Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Buddy Reading

We have been really lucky to have big buddies coming through on a Thursday to read with us! This past week it was Scott's Literacy Group and each week we will get to read with a different Literacy group in Tautoru.  They were really good buddies because they read us stories and helped us with our stories!


This has been another great opportunity to make positive relationships with our buddies in Tautoru and to work as a whole junior school!

Our Musical Inquiry and Positive Engagement!

Positive Engagement
The Positive Engagement domain of the Positive Education Model looks at helping students experience complete immersion into something to experience flow.  Being in a state of flow where you are learning and being challenged, but also enjoying what you're doing is invigorating and motivating. 
Immersion into music has certainly been what we've been up to this past week.
We ended last week with some visualisation.  We listened to 4 very different pieces of music and tried to think about the mood it put us in (our emotions) and the story we could imagine accompanying the music.  We drew what we thought.


We have had bands forming during discovery time.  During this band practise, the lead was giving everyone their own turn, then they would play the beat altogether!

We had senior buddies come and show us the instruments they were making.

And we had buddies come back to help us make our own instruments.  We had to think about what we needed to use to make our instruments, how they would make sound and then we had to get creating!

And we also had Soma's parents come in and share a wide range of instruments with us.  They played for us and we got to have a turn.  It was awesome.  There were instruments we had never seen before!

We also did some fantastic writing about the instruments!
I like the Seagull because it is like a cowboy.  I like the finger piano too.

I like the drum because it makes a sound like this bing bing bing!

We have definitely been engaged in exploring lots of different ways to make sound and music.  We have also begun to unpack some of the things like tempo and dynamics in music.  Next week we'll talk a little bit about pitch!
Keep following us!

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

ABC groups

ABC groups
In the mornings we split up into ABC groups.  Some of us are working on our initial letter sounds and our letter formation using the story Casey the Caterpillar to help us learn the shapes of the letters.

This week we have been exploring letters that start with an open mouth.  We have looked at c, a, and o.  C is an open mouth, a is an open mouth, close it up, short stick and o is an open mouth and close it up.  We have also been learning the word can in our reading so we have been practising it in our writing as well. 

Here are some excerpts from Casey the Caterpillar and here is the cheat sheet of the way we describe the letter shapes in class.  You can use this at home too!

Others of us have been learning our digraphs.  This week we have been exploring Th and Wh. We use these songs to help us! We have been practising the formation of these digraphs as well as the sounds.  Th is tall stick, twig and tall stick tunnel.  Wh is four sloping sticks or cup, cup and tall stick tunnel. 

Stay tuned for some of our work around these digraphs and for now help me notice them in my reading!

Our Inquiry into Music

We have kick started this term with our inquiry into music and the deep understandings that we are aiming to uncover are:

  1. My imagination can create worlds and solve problems
  2. I can use my imagination to communicate emotions, feelings and ideas
  3. I can build on ideas to create new ideas
  4. Art and creativity brings communities together
  5. Music is made from lots of different sounds (sources)
  6. I can challenge myself with new learning (connected to I am a goal setter criteria)

Some of our key questions, to help us uncover this thinking, are:

  • What is music and how is it made?
  • How can you make sound?
  • Who are the arts (music, dance, drama, visual art) for?
  • What is the purpose of music and performance (the performing arts)?
  • What can we use our imagination for? How can we express our imagination?
  • How can we innovate on other people’s ideas to express our own?

    This week already we have jumped in head first trying to wrap our brains around what music is, how it's made and how different sounds are made.

    We have been experimenting with different materials and trying to make sound and think about how we use those materials to make sound. Some of our made up instruments we have to shake, others we rub and others we strike.


      We experimented with these materials and made instruments.          
      Even though we used the same materials one instrument had to be struck and the other spun.  Here we are writing about our instruments.
      We explored sounds by playing the jars with different amounts of water in them.  We listened to the way they sounded.  Then we painted our own songs and had a go at playing them.  

      Then we started talking about the difference between just making sound and music.  Here were some of our first thoughts.  It will be interesting to see if after some more learning about music we have different ideas.  

      Many children were talking about noise being loud and music being soft, so we began to look at the dynamics of music and began to realise that music could be played in different volumes.  We put on our conductor hats and listened to Invercargill March trying to notice 2 things: the beat and the dynamics.  We raised our conductor wands high when the music was loud and low when it was soft.  
      We noticed that in this song that changed a lot and that there was a strong beat of 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
      So then we marched around the room keeping to the beat!

      Stay tuned for lots more around our inquiry into music!
      Tomorrow is our first drumming session and we are excited!

      Wednesday, 18 July 2018

      Matariki Celebrations

      It was a really special event in the last week of term as many of us met on the beach by moonlight.  Thanks to John and Scott we had a blazing fire to warm our hands by. 
      We sang some beautiful waiata, thought about the importance of Matariki and remembering people in our family who can't be with us anymore and some of our seniors led our haka.
      We had some time to roam the beach and take in the beauty of our surroundings, tapping into some gratitude for our very special place and our school whanau. 

      We then headed back to school for some shared kai and got to hear a talk from Dean and Xavier from Heritage NZ.  They told us about the significance of our place and the harbour in relation to Kupe.  

      After the talk, we broke up into our whanau groups and had a day of Matariki related workshops which included waiata and dance, weaving fish as we listened to the story of the star fishes of Matariki with flax and paper, weaving stars with wool and paper plates, creating beautiful Matariki constellation pictures and making instruments and noise! The day was fantastic as we worked in Tuakana/Teina our whanau groups, with older children helping out younger ones.  Our Matariki art is up all around the school.  Come have a look and tell us what you think!