Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Our Body is a Powerful Machine!

We have begun our inquiry into the body.  Our body is a powerful machine and like a machine it has lots of parts and pieces that work together to make us go! 
We started our inquiry by getting into small groups and outlining one person's body on big brown paper, then we had lots of organs and had to work together to try to figure out what each part was and where we thought it went in the body.  We had lots of ideas and there was lots of good talking.  We also had to come to a consensus about where we were going to put the body parts.  There were some interesting ideas about what was what!  

We have been exploring the body in other ways too:
  • Finding QR codes around the room that take us to different videos and songs about the body!

  • Working at the Doctor's Office to examine x-rays and trying to identify the parts of the body as well as trying to carefully operate on the patient! Trying to operate takes a lot of fine motor skill and we have to be very careful.

Stay tuned as our inquiry unfolds!

First Week Back!

Our first week back!

Outside these guys were making sparkly potions.  One potion was magic and it made you go up to the moon.  The potions had soap, oil and gold glitter and we used measuring spoons to mix them up.  We were working together, noticing how different combinations of ingredients made the potions look different and came up with ideas about what our potions did. One potion was a spell to make you invisible!

We were working together to make clothes for my horse and a feeding bowl.  We were making sure there were no holes in the fabric by taping up any gaps. We worked out the size the fabric needed to be and had to fold it up a few times to make it fit. 

We have been writing some stories about what we've done over the holidays.  We are drawing pictures, sounding out words we want to say and trying to remember our finger spaces and full stops. We all did very different things over the holidays!

 We have been playing imaginary games together, working on taking turns, following the rules of the games and playing different parts.  We were playing a game of house and we were looking after the baby, dressing her and wrapping her up nice and warm.  We used the wheelbarrow as a buggy and wheeled her around. 

We've been having a wonderful first week back.  We've been talking lots about working together, sharing, taking turns and "being the best me I can be!"

Friday, 7 July 2017

Introducing Seesaw Maths...

We have been investigating ways to develop our formative assessment so that we know what our students can do and what they need to work on. This helps our students to set small achievable goals. You might have seen some of this on Seesaw. We love how teachers and parents can give immediate feedback to develop the learning.

Today some of our students in Mahutonga worked with students in Autahi to introduce the idea of "Seesaw Maths."

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Maths Buddies

We are Maths buddies in Mahutonga. Today we  went to Autahi and did number bonds to ten with them. We taught them how to + and - to ten in different ways. Some examples are 8+2=10, 7+3 = 10, 4+6=10 or 2 +8=10

By Isabel, Megan, Charlotte and Lily S  

Thank you to our great Maths Buddies. Brain science tells us that teaching something to someone else helps the learning to stick. 

We are using Seesaw to make our learning visible. 

Monday, 3 July 2017

Process not Product

As usual we have a huge supply of cardboard boxes and the creativity and making never stops.  
Here are people working together and using materials to create their own designs.  They come up with their own ideas, get the materials they need and work with each other and on their own cutting, taping and creating.  As they go, they are learning what things work and what they need to change, they are working on their fine motor skills and their team work.  The end product is almost irrelevant, because it is the process itself that teaches them along the way.  They see that the amount of effort they put into something matters, that they can do things and create things on their own and that they can rely on each other for help. They are building resilience and practising growth mindset as they work!

More Preparing for the Arts Celebration has also been in full effect! 
Here we are adorning the Windows into our World! Who doesn't love a little sparkle?

The Beauty of Loose Parts

Loose Parts are open-ended materials that children can use in a variety of ways.  See the except below from an article around learning through play. 
Architect Simon Nicholson used the term “loose parts” to describe materials with varied properties that can be moved and manipulated in many ways. He theorized that the richness of an environment depends on the opportunity it allows for people to interact with it and make connections.
With no specific set of directions—and powered only by a child’s imagination—an assortment of shells might become a collection to sort, scoops to move sand, or saucers placed for tea. Further illustrating that the materials we provide children should be open-ended, Joan Almon, former director of the Alliance for Childhood, suggested that a good toy is really only 10% toy and 90% child (cited in Linn, 2008).
And below you can see this in action.  Maths manipulatives becoming birthday cakes, cupcakes and presents, while tubes and cable reels are explored as stools, wheelchairs, channels for things to travel through and containers.
The Learning Links:

  • Thinking like a scientist--testing and changing
  • Sorting by different characteristics--size, shape, type of material
  • Health and PE--creating a game together, taking turns
  • Movement
  • Capacity--how many of these little stones fit into this cable reel?


The amount of creativity and ingenuity that occurs when children can choose how they use the materials around them is incredible.  We are always thinking, creating, trying and changing in Autahi.