Year 3 share their Guided Inquiry experience with their parents

Last Friday afternoon two classes of excited Year 3 students came to the IRC with their parents to show them their work. After the teachers spoke of how the Guided Inquiry process had worked for them in practice, some of the students’ Vokis were demonstrated on the whiteboard. The parents then spent time with their child looking at their bookwork, their PowerPoints and their Vokis.

The students had used the Guided Inquiry process, with Teacher Librarian support, to investigate their personally selected aspect of the human body. Besides learning about the Human Body they also learned a lot of reading skills, writing skills, thinking skills and ICT skills.

Books were the main source of information as our IRC collection has so many good books suitable for this age group. The students read a lot about the human body before selecting their favourite aspect to study. Writing their own questions was a lot of fun and some fabulous ideas emerged!

The practical science experiments for this unit were also suggested and created by the students!

Finally after they had investigated and written answers to their questions, they made a PowerPoint to teach the other students about their work. Then, for fun, they made a Voki summary. This also incidentally taught them a lot about spelling and punctuation as they tried to make their computer generated avatars ‘speak’ their presentations.

Cardboard projects of the past cannot be compared to this exciting learning process!




Critical Thinking Skills – Evaluating information under the surface

This series of video clips by technyou were funded by the Australian Government Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

Training to think critically can be carried out through the integration of Information Skills across the curriculum. The Teacher Librarian plays a major role in enabling this by teaching collaboratively with teachers across curriculum areas and integrating critical thinking skills into the synthesis of information to build new arguments and knowledge to share creatively.

Critical Thinking Part 1: A Valuable Argument

Critical Thinking Part 2 : Broken Logic

Critical Thinking Part 3 : The Man who was Made of Straw

Critical Thinking Part 4 : Getting Personal

Critical Thinking Part 5 : The Gambler’s Fallacy

Critical Thinking Part 6 : A Precautionary Tale

Transit of Venus in the IRC

Due to Sydney’s cloud cover, only a few students were able to view this event when their Science teacher, on the ready with special glasses, allowed them to rush outside during short breaks in the cloud.

In the IRC at lunchtime we watched short videos about the Transit of Venus, a simulcast of the event and finally some live footage.

We are very grateful to Paul Floyd’s blog nightskyonline that contained these videos as well as links to live coverage.

Learning through Play – Play dough Circuits

Playing with Play dough can be turned into a science lesson for the very young. In her TED talk, AnnMarie Thomas describes how to make a circuit using the normal Play dough recipe containing salt then adding into the ‘game’ some playdough made with sugar.

“Play dough can be used to demonstrate electrical properties — by lighting up LEDs, spinning motors, and turning little kids into circuit designers.”