Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Mihi Whakatau

Last week we held our Mihi Whakatau to welcome our Term 3 and 4 starters. A Mihi Whakatau is a traditional Maori greeting where we can formally welcome our new starters and their families into our school.
We were joined by the senior kapa haka group who performed as the visitors came into Autahi.

Gillian welcomed everybody for coming before Rosa and Tommy both bravely shared their mihi's. We sang some waiata with the help of our seniors and John on the guitar followed by a hongi.
Afterwards we shared some kai to wrap up the event. It was a great occasion to celebrate all the lovely new faces joining as at Worser Bay School. As someone who joined the school this year, I felt a great sense of welcome from everyone involved. I feel privileged to be part of such a caring and passionate community.  

ASB sports centre trip

On Monday the 26th of November we took a trip out to the ASB sports centre for a day of trying new sports and learning new ways to play. We had to use many different character strengths over the day. Some used bravery when trying new things like using the big sticks in Floorball to perseverance as we had 4 different activities through the day and found it harder towards the end as our energy started to dip. We have been learning about different ways to play in our inquiry and it was a great opportunity for us to work with some experts to help us learn new skills we can apply in our own games. 

A group of Autahi runners practising their athletic skills
In Futsal we learned how to pass and stop the ball with our feet

Some people made Floorball look easy

We practised passing skills using the sticks in Floorball

Look at us chase the ball. Good thing we practised

We had to dribble the ball around the cones. It was a bit tricky but we stuck with it and got there in the end

Afterwards we started some artwork to help show some of the things we learned at the ASB centre. This is one way of expressing our learning so that others can tell what we got up to. We will use this to inspire us in our writing to use this rich experience as a basis for our ideas.

This has had a really positive effect on how we think about play and being active with our friends. Hopefully the weather clears up so we can carry on this learning outside in the sun.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018


Throughout the day we take opportunities to focus on different elements of our flourish model (Positive Health, Purpose, Relationships, Accomplishment, Emotions, Engagement through unpacking and learning about strengths and character strengths) Here are some examples of ways we have been working on our wellbeing recently.

We took the opportunity to practise the strengths of Gratitude and Appreciation of Excellence and Beauty by taking advantage of beautiful weather and heading outside to do some of our reading under a tree.  We were able to hear the bird sounds around us, enjoy the view behind us and have an opportunity to enjoy some reading in nature.  

We also enjoyed some Star Wars Yoga on a wet day with some of our Tuakana buddies.  We were practising positive health and mindfulness by connecting with our breathing. We were also working on our relationships by having fun and shared experiences with our Tuakana buddies.  

Give me something to write about!

We have really been enjoying our big books in the class recently and have been finding so many rich curriculum links with them.  They have provided us with some exciting experiences that have helped us share ideas or create purpose for our writing.  

A few weeks ago we read the story:
 Will they float cover.

We put on our scientist hats and started asking questions and making predictions.  Many people thought certain things would sink because they were too big. But then others said, well, cruise ships are big and they don't sink.  So then we started to think about what would make something sink.  We all agreed that something with holes in it usually sinks. 
When we read the book, we uncovered that the weight of something relative to its size effects whether it sinks or floats.  This was a slightly confusing concept, so we decided we better test it out. 
 We chose an object each and made a prediction about whether we thought that thing would float or sink and why.

Then we spent some time testing our hypotheses.  
Most of the Metal things sank straight away.  Some of the cardboard things floated for a little while and then sank.  The feather floated. The button sank.  The stick floated.  

We came back to our writing and explained what happened.  

This experience had us buzzing. We were thinking like scientists and trialing things.  We had a purpose for writing.  We were sharing our scientific data!  

Here are some of the other Big Books we have been exploring.  Stay tuned for some of the awesome learning that's come out of these!
Camouflage.Dragons dragons dragons.Lost.

Learning about and practising kindness

Strength Practising

In Autahi we have been spending some time unpacking the strength of kindness and thinking about ways in which we can show kindness.  Like anything else, we need to practise strengths.  We can also start to spot strengths in others once we know what that strength looks like.  

Image result for Bucket filler book

We read the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today.  This book describes everyone as having an invisible bucket that you can either dip into or fill up.  When we do things for other people we fill up their buckets and that, in return, usually fills up our own as well.  Then we got thinking about ways we can fill others' buckets.  We created our own poster illustrating those ways.  

"When new kids start I can say, wanna play with me? They will say ok!"

"Even if someone is mean, you just smile at them and eventually they will smile back!"

After creating our poster and coming up with our ideas.  We decided to do some Random Acts of Kindness.  We each picked a name of a classmate out of a hat and then we made that person a fruit skewer.   

At the end of the day we exchanged our gifts and practised saying something nice.  Many of us said, "Thank you for being my classmate!" In this act we were working within the Positive Purpose domain of Positive Education in which we were thinking about someone other than ourself and doing something nice for that person.  We filled each other's buckets with kind words and a nice fruity treat at the end of the day.  Doing something nice for someone else, filled our own bucket too. 

Now we are working on continuing to practise kindness and notice and be grateful for kindness we see in others.  Can you try and spot kindness? Tell the person when you see it!

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Who can play?

In Autahi last week we explored whether there are games just for boys and just for girls. At times we have all heard 'you can't play because you're a girl' or 'that's not for boys'. We decided to explore whether there really were games and toys that were just for boys or just for girls. It was a great exercise in seeing many different perspectives. Many shared their ideas and we learnt a lot about what people like to play.
To start with we sorted all of the games and activities into boys, girls or both. As you can see there were some clear initial thoughts.

After having a chance to challenge the initial ideas we started to see that in fact all of these games can be enjoyed by anyone.

Again we had similar results with our second group.

Learning to challenge ideas in a respectful way is another way that we can grow connections with one another. Embracing everyone when we play leads to a greater feeling of inclusivity and respect. The learners in Autahi always amaze me with their thinking and care for each other. They are showing that they can connect in many different ways and enjoy lots of things together.
Two future aviation engineers. Instructions for constructing an aeroplane.

Do we need rules for games?

In Autahi this term, we have been exploring about ways that we play as part of our inquiry learning.
Over the last two weeks we have been using a mixture of our imaginations and some ingenuity to help us create some games.
We had to use common equipment and think about what we need to know to play.
First we tried playing with no rules. It was fun for some people but many didn't know what to do or how to play. So we tried thinking of rules and instructions to see if that would help. More people were able to join in and have fun when we had a few rules. We came to the conclusion that sometimes playing just to play is really fun but when there are lots of people then we need some instructions and rules to help us.

Check us out enjoying the games we came up with.