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2003 project

Analysis of Basic Skills Test and SNAP results

Analysis of the results in the Basic Skills Test identified the following as possible topics for the unit: number, space, operations (multiplication, division) and measurement (angles, position and scale). High school SNAP results indicated a similar range of areas. Stages 2 and 3 were identified as the areas to be targeted. A wide range of possible activities were brainstormed before the final sequence was determined.

Planning the unit activities

Later in the project the team met to plan the excursion and presentation. One parent team member significantly improved the project's chances of success by assisting with the identification of local cultural practices and involving several Elders in many of the activities. The team also heard a presentation from one of the Aboriginal students in Year 6 who had participated in the district Multicultural Public Speaking competition, which he won.

The use of grinding stones by the local Gamilaraay people to indicate distance and places of significance such as waterholes and meeting sites caught the imagination of the team and several activities were developed around them. Initial plans to measure angles of boomerangs proved problematic so a webquest based on boomerangs was used. Another activity involved students using paddle-pop sticks to make boomerangs which they threw; they then estimated and measured the distance travelled.

The culminating activity was a field trip. This provided an opportunity for the integration of the teaching and learning activities with community involvement and cultural experiences. The one-day excursion was to the Warrumbungle Environmental Education Centre with students and community members engaged in a range of activities. Several Elders attended and participated, particularly in the face-painting activity.

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