Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Year 4 Buddies

We have been trialling a year 4/new entrant buddy system.  This is the idea of Tuakana/Teina.  Some of us are lucky to have our big siblings at school, but some of us don't.  With our buddies it's like we do have a big brother or sister. We have had year 4 buddies on a Wednesday afternoon.  Some of us have been going down to the seniors and been working through some collaborative art, buddy reading and fitness plans together.  Others of us have been working with our buddies during Rising 5s in Autahi.  It's been really nice having a buddy to work with us and so we know some of the big kids in the playground.  

Here's what some of the kids in Autahi have to say about having big buddies:

"I like reading in the library with my senior buddy and she is my sister!"--Alfred

"It's cool having a big buddy.  I like building the puzzle with my big buddy. It's nice to see my buddy not at Rising 5s time, but at the playground." --Vera

"I like reading books with my big buddies.  My buddy made me a rainbow picture and I made one too."--Olive

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

African Dance--trying new things and growing our minds and bodies

 We were lucky to have Naby visit us and teach us some traditional West African dance, drumming and singing.   First he showed us some dance, then we sang some songs, practised dancing and then learned a bit about the drums.  He showed us three different drumming sounds.  He explained that the sounds are like a family there is the deep sound which he called the Daddy, a slightly higher one that is called the Mommy and the highest sound was the baby.  
Each class had a turn at trying the dance and then the teachers did it too!  

The dancing and drumming were really good for our maths because we had to count the beats.  
1,2,3, 1,2,3, 1,2,3,4, 5,6,7,8

Here is the shared writing we did about the drumming:
Naby told us that in some African Villages the drums are used as ways of communicating a get together so if you hear drumming in your village you would go to where the drumming is coming from. 

Learning about African Dance was really good for us to be able to see how different places, people and cultures sing and dance and for us to give something new a try.  Everyone did give it a try and we know that when we try new things we grow our brains! Music and dancing are also really great for our wellbeing and link to our positive health curriculum.  Singing and dancing out in the sunshine and with the birds was lots of fun and got us moving and grooving! 

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Creativity, Problem solving and working together oh my!

Discovery time gives us an opportunity to create and direct our learning.  We work on our own or with others, depending on how we feel that day.  On a Tuesday when we have our toys we often incorporate our toys into our learning.  
During this time there is a lot of navigating social situations--children have to ask if they can join in, they create games together, they work to sort out problems both within a group or with something they are trying to build or make.  When we think about creating curious, connected and confident learners this time is a wonderful opportunity for our kids to be practising those skills.  They are growing their confidence to work with others and to ask to join in.  They are curious about whether or not their truck will fit into the garage they've built out of blocks.  And they are connecting what they are learning to what they are playing, as well as connecting with each other.  

We used cardboard and created laptops, computers and interesting pictures. 

We are working hard to create things for our toys.  We have to think carefully about things, make decisions, try things out, test them, change them and try again.  We are being critical and creative thinkers as we work on our creations.  

I made a house for my dinosaur.  I had to measure to make sure the roof was tall enough and I had to work to make sure my house stayed together.  I had to think what would make it strong.

I made a phone for my doll.  I had to measure and cut out a rectangular shape thinking about size.  Then I had to think about what's on a phone and draw it on.

I made a carry case for my dog Sparkle.  I measured to make sure she would fit.  I cut out what I needed.  I had to think what I could use as a handle and how I could attach it.  I wrote her name on it too.

I created a cardboard poster that says "I like toys." I used cardboard that we had painted a long time ago and I started writing.  

I worked to create a house for my reindeer.  I had to measure to make sure he fit in.  I had to stabilise and make it stay.  I had to add more cardboard because it wasn't big enough.  I had to ask myself questions and think about what I could do.  

We worked together and created a station for our cars and trucks. We also made a house for Betty the dog.  She was the lookout dog for the station.  We had to talk to one another to come up with ideas, listen to each other and share.  We had to manage our resources to make sure everyone had materials to build with.  We had to settle disagreements by listening to each other.  We also thought like architects and town planners and we decided what thing would go where and how big they'd need to be to make things fit inside of them.

All of the animals live in different pens and I made a door that opens and closes. 

We worked so well together making Betty's house.  We made a ramp so she could get up into the house and we were building up the walls around her.  

Helping Hands

As part of our positive education and looking at our character strength of Kindness we have been reading the book, "Hands are not for hitting," and we have been discussing what hands are good for.  
We know that what we focus on flourishes so we have been thinking about all the kind and helpful things we can do with our hands and we are trying to spot each other using our helping and kind hands.  

We came up with some ideas and practised what we can use our hands for.

Hands are for high fives

Hands are for drawing and writing (in the air)

Hands are for a pat on the back to yourself or a friend when they've tried their best

Hands are for a rub on the back if someone is feeling upset

Hands are for hugs

We also did some writing.  The writing was fun because we actually wrote in the shape of a hand! It was a bit tricky figuring out where to start and which way to write, but we came up with some awesome ideas about what we can use our hands for.
Hands can draw.  Hands can shake.  Hands can wave.  Hands can hug.  By Liora
My hands can rub a back and my hand can wave.  By Isabella
My hands can throw snowballs.  I can make snowmen.  I can feed a horse.  By Tom
Hands are for saying bye.  Hands are for writing.  Hands are for shaking.  Hands are for drawing with pens.  Hands are for playing with Duplo.  By Olive
My hands can pat my dog and pick up stuff and build a snowman and hug.  By Alfred
My hands can pat my cat and make a snowman.  By Ella

My hands can hug.  Your hands can wave.  Your hands can help you write. My hands can help me ski.  My hand can build lego. By Darragh
My hand can build a snowman. By Zen
My hand can pat my cat and help mum rub. By Otto
My hand can clap.  By Chloe

Can you think of more things we can do with our kind and helpful hands?