Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Creative thinking

As we start a new term we embark on another inquiry journey. This term you will see us explore our imaginations as we work together to create new games.
Just like we have been exercising our bodies we have also been flexing our creativity muscles. Each week in Autahi we will have creative writing station where anyone can come and be inspired by some images and see where their imaginations take them.

Here is an example of some of the images that inspire imagination:
Image result for dixit cards 
Each of these images gives us a glimpse of a story and lets our imaginations fill out the rest. So when you come by the classroom come and check out our creative space and maybe come and create a story of your own...

PE and Positive health

As the sun begins to shine a little more often and the days get hotter, it's time to venture outdoors and get a good dose of exercise.
There are many health benefits to exercise including promoting a healthy heart and building strong muscles and bones. Research also shows that  regular exercise is beneficial in promoting mental health and well being. Thirty minutes of exercise a day has huge benefits to our health and wellbeing and fits in nicely as we promote positive health. Exercise is key to developing fundamental movement skills as well.
This week we we have been getting ready for athletics day with lots of exercise. Check us out.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Parent Maths Workshop

Message from Jude: 

In Week 9, Term 3, we had the Parent Workshop on Maths Learning. As I said, we are very proud of our Maths academic results. In 2017 a colossal 86% of our children were at, exceeding or well exceeding curriculum expectations in Maths for their year level. And we are tough on our judgments, as the reviewers from the Education Review Office noted in their feedback to us! But that doesn't mean we rest easy. We have never known so much about how students learn - thank you to the inventors of MRI scanning technology.

All of our teachers are undertaking Maths professional development through Stanford University - focussed on the latest research and thinking in Maths education as to where and how you get the biggest shifts in achievement. The Board recognises the importance of ongoing teacher development and, as a consequence, Nicola was awarded a study grant this year, yes - you guessed it - focussed on Maths. Nicola and Ximena have also been selected to present at the largest national educators' conference ULearn these upcoming holidays, which we are really proud of. (And their session is booked out!)

So we were very excited to have the opportunity to share our ongoing learning and thinking with many of you last week. We started with a little activity - asking parents to simply answer this question:

BEFORE: What did Maths mean to you at school? (3 words)

Then at the end of the interactive workshops we asked this question:

AFTER: What does Maths learning look like for kids at WBS? (3 words)

Please find the first and second Word Cloud results below:

This was really great and informative feedback for us, and I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up on a screen in Auckland at ULearn sometime soon as part of a presentation!

If you couldn't make it, you may find this Jo Boaler Ted Talk interesting. Or What our Children Think.


Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Parent Information Session

Hi all,

I have just updated the parent information page of the blog for those that are about to start school.  Please go here to see the information that was shared at the info session last week and to access the slides!

Math City

This week we have been exploring number sense by creating a Math City!

Number Sense can be defined as:
· knowing numbers relative values 
· how to use them in flexible ways when adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing
· how to develop useful strategies when counting, measuring or estimating.

It has been a lot of fun being immersed in maths and seeing the maths around us.  The class has been building towers for 10th Street (where all the houses 0-10 live) Teen Street and 20th Street (where all the houses 20-29 live).  They have been building and counting the towers.  

We also sat down as architects and city planners and drew our own Maths City Skylines.  We had to create our buildings and count how many squares were in each building.  We explored the idea of area with this and continued counting and building our number sense.  Seeing that a 12 tower could be 12 tall or 2 columns of 6 helps us to be flexible with our numbers. Have a look at some of our cities!

The excitement is too much to contain!

Teddy Bear's Picnic Continued

Last week our Teddy Bear Picnic inspired learning sparked so much excitement and interest that we have more of that learning to share with you!

We read stories about bears during reading time and we wrote about teddies! Look at some of our amazing writing!

We read this story:
Image result for The Teddy Bear Secret
Which is all about what our teddies actually do when we're not looking and then we wrote our own versions about what we think our teddies do when we are at school.

We thought about what we needed on a picnic and we had to stretch the sounds of the words and use the stamps to write them.  This is what we call stretchy snake and it is a strategy we learn in reading and writing.

Poetry and Movement: All week we learned this poem Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear and we acted it out with our own teddies!
Image result for Teddy Bear Teddy Bear turn around


There were so many ways we linked Teddy Bears' Picnic to maths it was incredible!

Introducing Fractions: We introduced the fraction 1/2 by decorating a picnic mat and thinking about each half having a different pattern. 

Sorting, counting and graphing: We sorted and graphed our teddies by size.  This exercise was really interesting because it caused some confusion around the difference between size and quantity.  Many of us got confused about which teddy we had the least amount of because the 1 was so big!

We also got to sort, count and graph these gummy bears and then we got to eat them too! They were delicious!

Story problems with math buddies: We had a story problem of bears coming over the hill to the Teddy Bears' Picnic and we had to figure out and explain how we figured out how we knew how many teddies were coming to the picnic. 
Some of the ways we explained our thinking was that we knew 5 + 5 =10, so 1 less would make it 9.  Some of us explained that we knew a whole 10 and some more was a teen and others knew 5 + 5 =10 plus 3 more makes 13. 

Art and Making: We made our own teddy puppets and we used playdough to make teddy food for the picnic!

Celebrating: At the end of the week we had a family and teddy picnic on top grass.  It was lovely to end our week of ted-tastic exploration and learning with some lovely afternoon tea with our friends, teds and whanau!
Thanks for those who could make it!