Monthly Archives: June 2015

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During writing this term, we focused on writing for a #PURPOSE and keeping in mind our #AUDIENCE when we write.

So when it came to publishing our #BIOGRAPHIES, we wanted to check if we had achieved our purpose (writing the life story about someone we knew) and if our biographies suited our intended audience (the person we wrote about - our grandparents).

We were very lucky to have some of our grandparents (and parents if our grandparents couldn't be there!) come into our classroom and listen to us read our biographies. It was really exciting and they told us what amazing writers we were!


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We were very lucky to have 5 people come to speak to us to help us answer our essential question "How has family life changed?" Brian, Chris, Wes, Amy and Colin came to tell us about their family life and their views about changes to family life over the years.

IMG_0029 IMG_0028 IMG_0025Brain can draw with both hands! At once!

Brian, Dylan's papa, spoke to us about growing up in India. We were very lucky to see what amazing artistic talents he has too -  he can draw with two hands- AT ONCE!!! He told us stories about going to boarding school when he was 6 years old and how all the students had to have an adult go with them to the toilet to check that snakes weren't coiled around the bottom of it!!!!!

IMG_0030CHris' grandad at the airport in Sri Lanka!

Chris spoke to us about family life in Sri Lanka (which was called Ceylon when he was born). He told us how there was a civil war at the time when he was born and that when his mum and dad tried to escape they were stopped at the airport by armed guards who made them turn around and go back to their house. He also told us how his family moved to Darwin and lost almost everything they owned when Cyclone Tracy hit. The picture is one of his grandfather riding at the airport.

We!s told us his 2 favourite words

Wes told us how it took 6 months by boat to arrive in Australia from Egypt. He also wrote his 2 favourite words on the board that he wants us to remember...GRATITUDE and DETERMINATION! He said that if we remember these words, anything is possible. He also told us how he only learned to speak English once he started school and that in Year 11, his teacher told his parents that he would have to repeat... but Wes knew he was smarter than that and didn't want to repeat, so he studied really hard and in Year 12, was DUX of his school!

Amy showed us her version of 'google' :)

Amy brought in a bag of things that reminded her of growing up and of her family. She showed us her version of 'google'... a dictionary 🙂 She also brought in books she read and games that she played. Amy reminded us that there are some things that she did that we still do in families now (read, play, holiday, eat etc) however there are also things that have changed (computers, Wii etc). Amy showed us her stamp collection. When she was younger,s he collected stamps from all over the world!

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Colin spoke to us about what it was like growing up in World War 2! He told us he had to go on rations and that he could only buy 1 egg, 3 rashes of bacon, 1/3 block of cheese and 1 bag of jelly beans that had to last him a month! He also told us that there were 40 people in his class (25 boys and 15 girls!) Colin brought in a picture of his family as well as the passport he had to carry at all times during and after the war.

We learned SO much from our guest speakers.

THANK YOU Brian, Chris, Wes, Amy and Colin for sharing your stories with us!

I found this post on #KellyPisani's blog where she looks at the importance of gross motor skills and how to ensure children are meeting the required milestones.

imgresMany children in school have poor gross motor skills. Children today, are not engaging in as much outside play compared to twenty years ago. They are not given the same opportunities that we were given to develop gross motor skills. It is quite scary that many children in Kindergarten are unable to catch a ball, balance on one foot or walk up and down stairs confidently.

Even though children may have underdeveloped gross motor skills due to lack of experience, there are many children that have underdeveloped gross motor skills due to a muscle condition. It is important to have an assessment with a paediatric physiotherapist if you or your child’s teacher are concerned with their gross motor skills.

imgres-2According to “Therapies for Kids” Paediatric Physiotherapists are movement specialists for babies, children and adolescents. It is a clinical area of physiotherapy that aims to improve a child’s movement abilities through the use of methods such as movement training, strengthening, exercise, stretching, adapted equipment, motor learning and play as well as education.

Should you be worried about your child?

Below is a list of gross motor skills that children of a particular age should achieve before starting school. If your child is unable to perform any of these skills by the end of their first year of school you should see a paediatric physiotherapist to check that there are no developmental concerns.

3 year olds

  • able to climb jungle gyms and ladders
  • walks up and down stairs with alternating feet
  • catches an object by using their body
  • able to walk on their tip toes
  • able to pedal on a tricycle
  • stand on one foot
  • jump with two feet
  • walks forward and backwards on a line

4 year olds

  • stands on one foot for at least 5 seconds
  • able to hop on one foot at least 3 times
  • jumps over an object and lands with 2 feet
  • runs around obstacles
  • easily catch, bounce, throw and kick a ball
  • get dressed with little assistance
  • running is more controlled (stop and start on demand)

5 year olds

  • walk up and down stairs while holding something
  • hangs from a bar for 5 seconds
  • skips on alternate feet
  • jump over a skipping rope
  • do somersaults
  • walk on a balance beam
  • catches a small ball with hands only

imgres-1Children need many opportunities to develop their gross motor skills. This can be done through organised, structured play like team sports or unstructured play like climbing playground equipment or a tree. Parents will need to realise that there is always a chance that your child will get hurt while playing, but underdeveloped gross motor skills will certainly increase the chance of your child having a more serious injury in their future.

Hope you find this useful 🙂