Sunday, 26 May 2019

What's been happening in Maths?

We have been exploring a number of concepts in Maths in the last few weeks, and all of them have been revolving around the idea that Maths is a creative and open subject.  Speed is not the priority, but rather critical and creative thinking, listening, trying and justifying your thinking are. 

We've explored these overarching ideas through the contexts of shapes, patterns, sorting, graphing, and much more.  

These guys are working in partners to come up with different ways to sort the different coloured shapes.  Some sorted them by shapes with straight edges while others simply by colour.  

We are sorting emojis.  Some of us sorted them by eyebrows and no eyebrows, others by open mouths and closed mouths and others by happy and sad faces.   What we realised is that there are so many different ways to do it, but they have to have something in common and you have to be able to justify your ideas. 

Many of us have been expanding our mathematical creativity and thinking into our discovery time.  We have been using the shapes to create patterns, to sort and to make pictures.  We have also been practising working out our own number problems.  We've even started using patterns in numbers to help us solve bigger problems.  For example: I know 2+2=4, so I can figure out 20 + 20 because it's just 2 groups of 10 + 2 groups of 10 which is 4 groups of 10, which is 40! 

We have also been exploring how mathematical information can be shared and presented.  We explored creating our own graphs showing a continuum of our least favourite of something to our most favourite.  We talked about how the line could have numbers along it and if it did, the least favourite would be closest to zero and the most favourite closest to 10.  Lots of us started by ranking our preference of colours.

Positive Relationships--working with our buddies and across the school

In the last few weeks we have had a number of opportunities to connect with our big buddies and work across the school.  We know that meaningful relationships are key to our wellbeing and that we need to learn social and emotional skills to foster these relationships.  When we work with our big buddies, often these skills are modelled for us and we have an opportunity to practise what it means and looks like to have a positive relationship.  
Last week we got to opt into different senior-run workshops and spend the middle part of the day learning from our peers.  Not only were we able to spend time with and connect to people from across the school, but also we were able to have agency in what we wanted to do.  This, as we know, leads to much higher levels of engagement and participation.  

We also have been spending time with our big buddies during Rising 5s time on a Wednesday afternoon.  Sometimes we are in Tautoru with our buddies and sometimes in Autahi.  We get to work together and learn a bit about each other.  

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

SPCA visit

This week we visited the SPCA to learn more about their role in looking after animals in our community and to help us to build our skills when meeting new animals.

We have been learning about the things animals need to survive. They need food, water, shelter, love and room to move and exercise. These are all things that we need as well so we could see the similarities.

Matt from the SPCA taught us how to be brave when dogs might scare us. There are several things we can do. The first is to stand tall like a tree. Next we put our hands up high near our shoulders to keep them away. Lastly we turn our back to the dog. This will hopefully cause the dog to become bored and leave us alone. Here we are practising what we could do.

Next we got to meet some of the animals. First we had to ask the owner if we could pat their animal. We do this to make sure it is safe as there may be things we can't see that can change how an animal could behave. For dogs we then make a fist for it to smell so that it knows we are friendly. Then we can pat the chin or chest of the dog.

We have a reponsibility as Kaitiaki to care for others and our environment. After our visit we have a greater understanding of the ways we can care for and interact with animals. We learnt skills that will help us have positive relationships with animals and know the joy they can bring to our lives.

Te Reo

We have been learning Te Reo Maori as part of our daily programme in Autahi. We have been practising how to ask how people are feeling and how to reply to that same question. 

The way we ask is: Kei te pehea koe?
How are you feeling?

There are many ways we can respond using the following structure:
Kei te _________ ahau.

Pai -- Good
Ngenge -- Tired
Koa -- Happy
Pouri -- Sad
Riri -- Angry
Hiakai -- Angry

We practise this daily as part of our roll and have been exploring more of the language during Kapa Haka and more in depth sessions.

Below is a video link to a story using Kei te pehea koe?

We are sorting feelings using the English and Te Reo words

Here we are practising with a buddy how to say we are feeling hungry

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Positive Accomplishment and Health!

When we talk about Positive Education and Flourishing we are talking about scientifically proven strategies for "feeling good and doing good".  The flourish model is a framework we look at to help balance what we do.  These last few weeks we have been engaged in many experiences that have helped us to strive towards goals and have also been grounded in fitness and health. We know that these are just small parts of the whole picture of not only our wellbeing but also our academic successes. 

Cross Country and Swimming have been in the spotlight in the last few weeks as some focus on Positive Health and Positive Accomplishment. We know to be fully flourishing we strive to have some of each domain represented on a regular basis.

Positive Accomplishment: The development of individual potential through striving for and achieving meaningful outcomes--involves the capacity to work towards goals despite setbacks.

Positive Health: Optimal and sustainable physical and psychological health.

Leading up to our x-country we have been practising our running every day, choosing our own challenges of laps around the school. We have been working on trying to push ourselves while also pacing ourselves. We also have been needing to practise perseverance because at times we wanted to give up. On the day we all gave it a go, achieved some of our goals and had fun!

In swimming each week we are not only practising healthy habits, but also we are working towards and achieving small goals.  
For some of us, it is getting comfortable in the water, while others we are working on swimming underwater, bubble breathing, streamline arms and much more! 


"Savouring is the capacity to attend to, appreciate and enhance the positive experiences in one’s life. (Hefferon and Boniwell, 2011). Take a walk with nature, enjoy a meal with friends or sleep in late on a cold Sunday morning. The important point is to be present in the moment, grateful for the experience and to use all of your senses to develop a heightened awareness of how that moment makes you feel. In-the-moment present mindedness allows us to take a more detailed mental photograph that we can relive or share with others at a later time.  Research tells us that people reporting higher levels of gratitude levels experience lower levels of envy and depression, improved social integration, increased life satisfaction, and increased academic performance (Froh, et al., 2010). Allowing yourself these little moments of happiness can have a big impact on your wellbeing." (Institute of Positive Education  Tara Clark)

In Autahi we have been exploring the idea of savouring a little bit.  We started by thinking about a memory from our holiday that we really enjoyed, that brought us happiness, calm, joy or excitement.  Then we did some art representing that memory, thinking about capturing the moment.  We then wrote about the moment.  Next we shared our happy memories and then we practised visualising the moments.  We closed our eyes, pictured where we were, who we were with, what we could see around us and what emotions we and the others were feeling.  After doing this everyone in the class reported back that they were feeling happier in that moment.  

Have a look at our savoured moments.

We are working hard to stop, breathe and appreciate the small moments.  Even stopping for an aesthetic break to appreciate our beautiful surroundings helps to increase our gratitude and overall wellbeing.  Have a think about the last time you stopped to do this and if it's been a while, we encourage you to give it a try today!