Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Playing can take you anywhere!

Here's a look at some of what we've been doing when we choose our own learning!
Last week many of us joined a game.  The game was that we were on a plane and the flight attendants were making sure we all had our seat belts on and were quiet before take-off.  The game started with a few willing participants and as it grew, you can imagine how complex it got.  There were lots of people wanting to have the game go their way so there was lots of negotiating and discussing going on.  We were all using our imagination as well as our prior knowledge as we imagined we were buckling up, listening to the instructions and getting ready to go to some unknown destination.  Some were going to Disney World, some were going to Auckland and others to Fiji!  We even got given refreshments and lollies at the end if we were good on the plane.  There were discussions of pilots and control rooms and rules on real planes!

In our inquiry we've been looking at how places change over time.  We found these old postcards and realised they were of places we knew! So we looked at them and started talking about what they used to be like and how they are now! We made these Then and Now posters to show our ideas! We were comparing and really thinking about how things and places change over time.  We still wonder how they change though? And who decides they are going to change?

Here we had a game going on that was looking after animals.  They were being cared for and taken around in the cages.  Some of them were sleeping under blankets and we were thinking about what people and animals need when they are sick.  Wellbeing is important and getting lots of rest is something we can all use--especially if we're feeling crook! Luckily, these little animals had these caring Autahi members looking after them! 

We got some new kinetic sand this week and we have been experimenting and building with it.  It's very interesting to feel it change from individual grains of sand to a solid form! We also got some molds and have been making castles and seashells and all different kinds of shapes!

This game had many iterations. It started as a shop with food being made and sold, turned into a house and people going on a trip and then became an army fort being defended.  There was lots of discussion, negotiating and compromising.  Everyone wanted the suitcase and money, so we had to do some problem solving as well! We are getting better at working out our problems together and with our words!

Up, up and away!

Up, up and away!  Our exploration of position and direction has continued! Last week we read a story about two mice who travel out of their hole, up the leg of a table, onto a cup to sneak some food.  They then make their way back down and into their hole.  We decided to make our own little mouse houses, ramps and obstacle courses with our own mice.  We created and showed how they worked, describing where the mouse went!


We then wrote our own stories about these houses thinking 
about using the language we have been talking about.

Building on from our position and direction language we began making maps! 
Here are some of the maps we have made of our own rooms.  We had to think hard and make sure things were placed in the right spots and were the right size when compared with other objects in our room! This took some mathematical and spatial thinking. 

We've also started making a map of our room talking about where things sit in relation to each other.  Here's how it's looking so far.  We had to do a lot of thinking about where things fit, what size, shape and colour they are and then we began to draw, cut and paste making sure we could fit everything in!

We have also been reading the story Scattercat by Lynley Dodd and talking about where cheeky Hairy Mclairy is in relation to the cats he chases in the book.  
To practise our direction and position language we have been playing a game called "Where is Hairy?" where one buddy hides a picture of Hairy Mclairy and then has to give directions to their buddy to find him.  This has been lots of fun and we have had to be very specific with our direction giving!  Keep an eye out to see more about this game!

Wednesday, 17 May 2017


Emotions are a tricky thing. They can sneak up on us and they sometimes get the best of us.  In Autahi we have been exploring emotions so we know what they are, how we can spot them, what it's like when we are feeling one and what we can do for ourselves and others when they are feeling certain ways.  

We painted portraits looking in the mirror and seeing what our faces look like when we feel different ways.  We noticed lines in our foreheads and wrinkly eyebrows when we are mad and lines around our mouths when we smile and are feeling happy.  


Then we did some writing about what things make us feel the way we painted. 

We also have been reading the story Kei te Pehea Koe and have been exploring how we can say our emotions in Te Reo Maori.  

We also thought about what things make us happy, sad, angry and proud and we created these posters.

We had some language practise where we practised asking,
"Kei te pehea koe?" 
We also practised responding,
"Kei te pukuriri au!" 

We have some gumboots in our class that our called our "Empathy Boots" because they help us figure out how others are feeling while we literally "put ourselves in someone else's shoes!"
We had to design our boots, so we all did some drawings and Tori helped us decorate them.

Then we had some practises putting ourselves in the Empathy Boots to trial out how we might feel if certain things happened.  We practised being actors and acting out what the different emotions would look like. 

We are working hard to show empathy in Autahi, but first we need to sort out how others are feeling and what we can do to help!

Watch this space for more because this is definitely something we'll be coming back to quite a lot!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017


Last week we read the story My Kite and continued on with our exploration of direction and position language by talking about how kites can go up, down, around, through, under, over lots of different things.  

Then we had a go making our own Kites.  We had the choice to make them however we wanted but everyone wanted to try to follow instructions we found online to make your own kite.  First we had to get two sticks and secure them together in a cross.  Next we used fishing line to create a frame for our kite.  Then we drew an outline on paper in a diamond shape, taking care to measure that it would fit around our frame.  We glued the paper to the sticks, added a tail and voila! 

After making our kites, naturally, we had to go outside and try to fly them!  Some were more successful than others, but it was lots of fun and we learned a little bit about wind power and aerodynamics! It helps a lot if you hold the kite up when you are trying to fly it! We also learned a bit about gravity because most of the kites came right back down!

After, we came back in and wrote a bit about how our kites performed!
Some went under, others through trees and others up, up high and even the highest!  
We used lots of direction and position words in our writing!

It was so much fun being engineers, designers, kite testers and writers all about our col experience!