Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Building and Constructing

We've been using lots of mathematical thinking and spatial reasoning as we work to build different houses, forts, garages and more.  We have been working together, taking, turns, making changes, negotiating and discussing. 

 With the marble run there was lots of experimenting and changing going on.  She was working to try to get the marbles to stay in the first part and land in the bowl.  She had to factor in the speed the marbles traveled down the chute and move the bowl to make sure they landed and stayed in.

With the lego we were creating barns, houses and garages.  Again there was negotiating, trialling and changing happening.


These boys used the bamboo to create a city.  The bamboo sticks were the buildings and they worked together designing and creating.  It was really tricky because the bamboo kept falling down, so they had to have patience, work carefully and be gentle.  They persevered and kept on going even when they were frustrated and they worked together really well everyone doing different jobs.  It was great to see the team work and communicating that was going on.

Where has our play taken us?

In the last few weeks playing school has been revisited time and time again with different children.  I happened upon this group of boys playing "Writing Time." One of the boys was the teacher and he was instructing everyone to draw a hot air balloon and write the words "I am up." (Incidentally that was something we had done as a class and had up on the wall near where they were sitting.) So the other boys watched as he did the model and they each took turns having a go.  The boy being the teacher was consolidating his knowledge of story writing and was doing so by showing others.  In this safe, low-stakes play situation, all of the boys happily watched and had a go.  No one was telling them they had to write.  They decided they would in their game and they were pretty proud of themselves after!

This was another example of playing school.  This game started with only a few.  One was the teacher reading a book to the other two.  The book was one she had made herself.  She diligently read each page and made sure to show the pictures.  Very quickly there was a circle assembled and others were joining in to hear the stories.  Soon they were taking turns each reading their stories.  They were consolidating their knowledge about concepts about print, they were actively listening and taking turns and they were reading.  It was non-threatening, self-chosen and student-led.  It was genuine play and the learning was clear as day.  They were making sense of what we do as a class together every day! 

Tuesday, 13 June 2017


We have been experimenting with lots of different art techniques and materials as we begin to create our works for the upcoming art exhibition. 
We have been working with paint and creating texture using different brushes, stamps and sticks. Then we cut up our paper and have been using it to make a collage.

We are also experimenting with crayon and dye and seeing how the dye resists where they crayon has been drawn.  

We are also using indian ink and skewers to try drawing the way that they used to write and draw in the olden days when they used quills.  It takes a lot of concentration and time.  You have to be patient.

Learning Through Play

Everything is fun when you're playing! Learning is fun when you're playing!
As we have been exploring the past in our inquiry we thought we better make some binoculars so we could be true explorers! So we all worked to figure out how to put them together.  It was hard to get the tape to stick, but we worked together and each created our own set of binoculars.  When we put them on, they help us focus on what we are learning about and see the past more clearly! They also help us to see things far away!

The learning links: 
  • Social Science: there is a past--things change over time.
  • Technology: we can use a design process when creating things, using a plan and making changes as we go.
  • Key Competencies: relating to others, taking turns and helping each other.

Building and creating
We use the wooden marble run, plastic marble run, mega blocks and lego to build a range of things.  Often we like to build very tall towers or long tracks.  We often build houses, pens, cars and farms for our animals and toys.  

The Learning Links:
  • Measurement--comparing how long and tall items are.
  • Science--physics. Changing marble runs, playing with height of parts of it to make the marbles move through.
  • Science--the living world.  Recognising that living things have basic requirements to survive, like shelter.
  • Key Competencies--thinking.  Problem solving and thinking about where things fit and what we need to change.

Buckets and Tubes! 

We have been using these buckets and tubes for lots of different games.  Some of us created a robot game.  The buckets were our heads and the tubes our arms! Others have been using the tubes to experiment with sound and how it travels.

The Learning Links:
  • Key competencies: We had to do lots of sharing and working together, listening and taking turns.
  • Maths: capacity--can we fit into these different items?
  • Science: developing scientific skills by conducting experiments.

We are learning so much through playing and experimenting!

Friday, 9 June 2017

Wig Wednesday

On Wednesday the 21st of June the Child Cancer Foundation is doing a Wig Wednesday.

Everyone will wear a wig to school and do a gold coin donation to Child Cancer Foundation.
It is for the kids who had lost their hair during treatment.
There will be a donation bucket at each base group.
By Steph

This event is very exciting as it is becoming an annual event! Wear your favourite wig, bring a gold coin and lets support Child Cancer Foundation.

If you don't have a wig feel free to make a wig following this link.

For more information, head over to the website

This is us last year! 

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Trip Day!

For many of us this was our very first class trip! It was pretty exciting.  We went on a bus to Te Papa, walked around and looked at different exhibits that showed ways that NZ has changed over time, had our lunch and walked to the Museum of City and Sea where we got told some stories about the Taniwha of Wellington Harbour and much more! 

Here is a time-lapse movie that one of our parents, Linda, made of the day! 

We spotted the Miramar Peninsula on here.  Can you find it?

This exhibit shows how much NZ has changed in terms of its forests and green space since people first settled here.  We talked about how it had become less green and lots of people thought it was because we had cut down so many trees to build houses and schools.  We also talked about how we can try to make NZ more green and there were ideas of replanting, fencing and protecting certain trees and making sure that we don't let rubbish overtake everything!

These were some tools from the past.  We don't use the same things anymore.  But we did recognise the level! We use those to make sure buildings are straight! Things do change over time but some things stay the same!

We did some playing at the museum! We built a hangi putting the rocks and wood in and then adding the food.

We were telling some Maori stories!

We explored different flags.

We explored different ships that explorers used!

We acted out a story.  We had the god of Wind Tawhiri helping Kupe on his journey and we had the rolling waves of the sea!
We explored what things were like in the past.  Telephones were very different and so was money!
We got to touch the carvings and feel how smooth the wood was.  The carvings told the story of Te-Whanganui-a-tara.  The story of the Wellington Harbour.  If you look closely you could see the two taniwha, the wheke, and Maui and his fish hook!

The trip was lots of fun and it gave us some ideas for our upcoming art exhibition! next we will be starting to create our special art to show our learning around our place, where we belong and how we can treasure and look after our special places!