Tuesday, 28 August 2018

The Inquiry Cycle

We talk a lot about inquiry learning and today I wanted to break down some of the steps we go through in the inquiry cycle to give you a better understanding of the pathway we take on our journey of inquiry.

Each step has a statement that guides us. The first is 'I am curious' and it is the stage where we talk about our wonderings and ask lots of questions. It is also the stage where we can share some of our own knowledge about things. We started with some curious questions about music and this helped lead us down the pathway for the rest of our inquiry.

Next we start exploring. This stage is the discovery and research phase where we start to learn all we can about the subject. This might include reading information or being exposed to new things so that we can have a go and see what happens. This is a hands on stage and many of the areas around the classroom become filled with things to explore and discover. 
For our music inquiry this included learning to play different instruments and experimenting with how we make sounds. We also began to explore patterns as a part of maths and explored how there are patterns in numbers, shapes as well as patterns in music.

Next we move into the sorting and creating stage. This is where we start making and building as a way of showing some of the things we have learned so far. One of the activities we did was to sort different instruments by the way they make sound. We built our own instruments using the knowledge we had gained by exploring how sound is made. This is also where our show started to come together. We wanted a way to share our Kaitiaki learning that used lots of the new things we had learned about music and dance.

Finally comes the 'I am celebrating stage'. This stage is where we put all the elements together and take an action to share our learning. The Art Celebration was a natural fit for us to share our learning with the wider school community and we were so glad that we could share our show with so many people and that you could celebrate with us. 

But thats not the end. From here we can reflect on the entire process and see if we answered those questions and wonderings we had right back at the beginning. The great thing about inquiry learning is that it just naturally flows towards the next inquiry. Inquiry doesn't just happen in the classroom and we invite all of you to have conversations at home about some of the things we are exploring in the classroom. Our community is filled with musicians, artists, scientists and all sorts of amazing people. So share your stories and help be a part of the ongoing learning that is inquiry.

Hopefully that answers some of your questions about inquiry but if you want to know more than stop in anytime. We have a classroom full of inquiry experts that would love to share their learning with you.

Reflecting on goals

This week we looked back on an amazing Arts Celebration. Before we begun down the pathway of creating a show we set some goals about the upcoming show. We talked a lot about the feelings we might have like nervousness or excitement and what we could do to help us achieve the outcomes we wanted. Here are some examples:

Bravery and overcoming fear was a goal shared by many. Others made goals about learning and remembering the different moves they needed to do. We approached the show with a growth mindset, that there were things that we couldn't do yet but with lots of practise we knew we could achieve our goals.

So we practised and we practised and then we practised some more. We used teamwork to learn and guide each other. We took turns listening to the ideas of others. We had to work hard.

But then something amazing happened...

A show started to come together.

And now that the show is done we looked back at what we had achieved and celebrated meeting our goals. Here are some examples of the writing we did today about achieving our goals: 

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Talking about Maths

Today in Maths we were learning about how we can talk and share our ideas so that other people know what we are thinking.

We have been practising having some time to ourselves to really think deeply about what the problem is asking us and how we might solve it. This thinking time is really important as it gives everyone an opportunity to try and break down the problem. Once we have thought of an idea we challenge ourselves by trying to think of a different way we might solve the same problem. Often there are many ways and it is fun to find as many as we can.

Then after everyone has had a chance to think we turn to a buddy and share our ideas. It's great to listen to the ideas of others as it opens up our perspectives and helps us think about things in a different way.

After we have shared we all have a go at explaining our thinking. Carl does a bit of revoicing and helps to link the strategy we are using. Then we think about which strategy we would use next time we find a problem like this.

There are no wrong answers when we work like this. Any misconceptions are celebrated as chances for us to grow our brains. Here is a link to a video by Jo Boaler that talks about how we can use mistakes to help us learn. By using a growth mindset we know that mistakes are just new opportunities for learning.

So next time you are talking about maths don't fixate on a wrong answer. Instead celebrate all the amazing new learning you are about to dive into.

Image result for mistakes help our brains to grow

Wet lunch

Sometimes it rains at Worser Bay School but we don't let that get in the way of us having a great time. We are really fortunate in Autahi to have some amazing big buddies who come and join us on wet days. The big buddies from Monday wrote a short story about there time in Autahi that I thought would be great to share with everyone.

It's great to have an outside perspective in the classroom, especially when they are so caring and dedicated to making sure we all feel welcome and safe. When reading this piece try and think about some of the ways they are harnessing positive relationships and modelling how we can positively interact with one another even during a tough time like a wet break time.

Today at Morning Tea it was very rainy, so we went up to Autahi and played with them.

Megan and Chris played a game of HEADS DOWN, THUMBS UP and the Megan kept getting picked!

Joni and Greta played a medical game with some of the little kids. All of the kids used their imagination. We had fun pretending to be little pets and humans. There were quite a few cats, and two horses!

We are growing our Leadership by helping the juniors and by spending time with the youngest kids in the school we are practicing our patience. Because younger kids have a fresh imagination, you never know what they are going to do so it requires lots of patience!

We are learning how to work WITH the little kids rather than bossing them around. We liked watching the kids play and understand things about their personalities and anything really about them.

We enjoyed just going down there and getting to see the classroom where we started off at school.

By Greta, Chris, Joni and Megan

We really cherish the ability to grow the connections between our seniors and the learners in Autahi. It helps us to focus on developing social and emotional skills that help to nurture relationships with themselves and others.
We can't wait for the next rainy day so that we can spend more time with our awesome big buddies.

Thursday, 16 August 2018


We are so lucky in Autahi to have some amazing musicians to help us learn new songs. One of the songs we have been learning is Imagine by John Lennon.

This song has inspired us to imagine our own world where the Kaitiaki superheroes in Autahi have been working hard and have achieved all their goals. Here are some visualisations we did in teams that show what we imagined the world might look like. Each group were practising their team work skills by listening carefully to each others ideas before adding anything on. Patience was the key as we took turns listening and adding in our ideas to build together as a team.

 Here we have the Kaitiaki of the forests imagining a world where the trees are looked after and the animals all can make their homes in peace.

Then we have the Kaitiaki of the environment. They have been imagining big picture things like cities, planets and even the whole universe. We can see everything co-existing in harmony from greenhouses to galaxies.

 Next we have the Kaitiaki of the pets. They have been imagining what the world will look like when every pet has a good home with people who care for them.

 The underwater Kaitiaki have been imagining how life in the ocean will be when there is no rubbish spoiling their homes. Blue water where fish, sharks and crabs can make their homes.
Finally the Kaitiaki of exotic animals and insects have been imagining a world where all animals great and small can live peacefully. Monkeys and butterflies and unicorns oh my!

Here is some of the writing we have been doing alongside this to inspire our imaginations.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Come and check out our inquiry wall

In Autahi we are well underway in our musical inquiry. We have begun putting together our Arts celebration show as a way of sharing our learning. The show isn't the only thing we are doing to help you learn more about what we are doing in the classroom. We wanted a way of being able to capture everything we do with our inquiry so that even if you only have 30 seconds on a drop off once a week you can have a look and capture what has been going on around Autahi.

Our inquiry wall is your one stop shop for everything inquiry related. As you can see we have the inquiry cycle starting at 'I am curious' to 'I am exploring' then on to 'I am sorting and creating' then around to 'I am celebrating'.

Each of these areas is another step along our inquiry path. You will see pictures and brief explanations about what we have been getting up to as well as some of our curious questions.
This wall is for everyone in the Autahi community. For the teachers and students it shows our learning pathway as we explore deeper into the musical realm.
For parents it is a chance to engage in our learning and see what is going on in the classroom. We hope that you will come and check it out and be able to carry on some of the learning discussions at home. Sharing stories about your own experiences with music or any other topic can help us all expand our knowledge and helps us deepen those positive relationships we have with friends and family.

So next time you pop by the classroom be sure to poke your head in and share in the amazing Autahi learning.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Our Maths Learning


   As part of our own professional learning we have what we call Triples, where we conduct lessons in front of our triples buddies.  We then reflect on the lessons and get feedback from our buddies.  This helps to inform our practise and our Teaching as Inquiry.  It's also always helpful to see a range of lessons going on throughout the school and get feedback from extra eyes.  This group of kids is working on building their number sense through something called subitising which is being able to instantly recognise sets of numbers without having to count them.  Playing games with dice and tens frames helps with this. 

This group has also been exploring number stories to match Pete the Cat and his 4 groovy buttons story.  They listened to the story and as Pete loses his buttons they popped the buttons off his shirt.  Then they made up their own number stories starting with 10 and showing how many buttons he lost and how many were left over.  They did this using a tens frame--another way to create visual representations and to help them keep these numbers in their heads. 

These guys have been working on building buildings for Maths Street.  We were making teen towers.  We made a tower of ten and some more.  Then we wrote the number sentences. 

We are going to continue to build our Maths City.  Look out for bigger numbers!

In Maths we have also started working on repeating patterns.  Have a look at our patterns!

Monday, 6 August 2018

Our Music Inquiry

We are well and truly into the Exploring part of our Inquiry cycle.  We have been exploring how instruments make sound, what sounds they make, have been writing and playing our own songs on real instruments, been designing and making our own instruments and getting together and creating songs with a 4 beat in small groups.                 
It has been so much fun and we are digging deeper into our big questions:
What is Music and how is it made? How can we make sound and music?

During discovery time some of us have been writing our own songs using the ABCs and then we tried playing them on the Ukuleles!


We made our own instruments and drew our designs and then wrote about how our instrument makes sound.

We used teamwork to create our own little pieces with the instruments we made!

We have been learning how to keep the beat on lots of different kinds of drums with Andreas!

We learned about pitch and graphic notation and then we wrote our own songs using graphic notation.  Then we played our songs and a buddy's song.

We have also been listening to and learning Imagine by John Lennon.  We are talking about the message in the music and how artists send us messages through their music and that the tone and words of the music help them do this.  

Stay tuned for more on our inquiry into music!