Thursday, 26 September 2019

Porridge and Problems

Porridge and Problems

We all know the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, right? But did you realise that it's full of problems? 

Goldilocks skips off into the forest without telling her Mum where she's going. Imagine how worried her Mum was! Then, she barges into the Three Bears' house without asking. She helps herself to their porridge and breaks Baby Bear's chair. No wonder the Bears are upset when they get home and discover her sleeping in Baby Bear's bed!

Thinking and talking about the story, it was clear to us that Goldilocks needed to use her Bravery and say sorry to the Three Bears. Maybe Goldilocks should fix up Baby Bear's chair or make extra porridge for the Bear Family?

We acted out what Goldilocks could do and say, and how the Bears could show Forgiveness (that can be hard too, especially when somebody has gobbled up your breakfast). We had an awesome time taking turns to share our plays. 

We have also been writing letters from Goldilocks to the Three Bears, saying sorry for the mayhem she caused in their home. 

It's great to know that, when things have gone wrong, we can dial up our Social Intelligence and Judgement and find ways to put it right.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

So what does 'Play' actually look like?

We talk a lot about our passion for play based learning in Autahi. 
We believe that some of the best learning comes from the ability to explore, interact and play within our surroundings. 
Here are a few examples of what we mean - these photos were all taken on one morning during our Discovery time.

Here are Juno, Alice and Samuel playing with the dolls house. 
They were playing 'families' and had set the whole house up together.

We were busy planting tomato plants for the school fair. 
On the other side of the room Margot and Mira decided to find a gardening book, look up tomato plants, draw pictures of them and write a list of all the things they would need to grow. What a lovely connection to our learning.

Raife and Dante were playing a game of "Roll the Dinosaur" together. 
As I walked past, Raife informed me (and Dante) that the title of the game was actually incorrect! One of the dinosaurs on the dice was actually a dimetrodon, and they came before dinosaurs. Wow!

Everyone loves creating marble runs with this wooden set, and believe me, it's not as easy as you think. 
Greer, Marcia, Amber and Ava made this amazing marble run using almost all of the pieces (with a bit of teamwork and perseverance too!)

Rowan also wanted to make a marble run, so he improvised and created a marble maze using the small blocks instead, just as much fun!

Meanwhile, brothers Cam and Finn were busy making amazing creations out of the blocks.

And let's not forget about the art table, an area of lots of inspiration and play for everyone. 
Lexi had created a circle pattern picture with the left over circles from out dot day last Friday, what a clever way to use them!

So, as you can see, there is a lot of rich and meaningful learning going on during our 'play' time, and that's why we call it 'Discovery'.

If you would like to read more about the research behind play based learning, please have a look at Carl's blog from last year Learning Through Play

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

It's not a box!

When is a box not a box?

We read the story 'Not a Stick' by Antoinette Portis and used our imagination to think of what else the stick could be. 

Then we thought about a box...when is a box not a box?

When it's a...

Jack and the Beanstalk

When you read Jack and the Beanstalk, what do you think about? 

Are there any problems with this story? 
What kind of character is Jack? Is he an honest person stealing from the Giant? Did he listen to his mother when she asked him to do a job for her?

There are lots of questions and problems around this story and in Autahi we have been thinking about and unpacking what these are for the last two weeks.

We also changed the story to have a new land above the clouds...

We finished off by creating some beautiful art with ourselves as the main character.

Puppet Theatre

We have a new Puppet Theatre in Autahi.
We love making up stories to perform, and we also love being an audience!

If you'd like a turn to make a show, put your name on the board.

Monday, 16 September 2019

  Positive Heath: Sharks and Starfish

In Autahi, we often talk about how different emotions affect our brains. When we get angry, upset or a bit too excited, some mindful breathing helps us move from our 'feeling brains' back into our 'thinking brains'.

Watch the video Just Breathe for more on how this works.

Here are a couple of the breathing techniques we use in Autahi.

Shark Fin Breaths Image result for shark fin images

You don't need gills to breath like a shark! Sit or stand comfortably. Hold your hand up, side on, with your thumb resting against your forehead (this is your 'shark fin'). Then, move your hand slowly down your face, in front of your nose, to your chin. Gently breathe out as you do so. Now, as you slowly breathe in, gradually slide your hand up again. Repeat five times.

Starfish Breathing Image result for five fingers images

Sit or stand comfortably. Make a starfish with one out-stretched hand. Slowly run the index finger of the other hand from your wrist to the tip of your thumb. Breathe in as you do so. Then let your finger run down the other side to the base of your thumb. Breathe out as you do this. Now repeat with each finger in turn, taking your time, focussing on your breath.

Give them a try and let us know what you think. If you have any other mindfulness techniques that work for you, we'd love to hear about them, too.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Mihi Whakatau

This week our school community has grown as we formally welcomed lots of students and their Whanau to our school. At the beginning of the year we welcome all our new students with a Powhiri and the Mihi Whakatau is another chance to welcome those that have started school after our annual Powhiri.

Check out some pictures of the day and how grateful we are to share this experience with our school community.

Te wiki o te Reo Maori


This week was Te wiki o Te Reo Maori or Maori language week. We are always learning new things in Maori and this is a good chance to celebrate our learning.

We spent Monday exploring different aspects like unpacking some of the language in our school karakia, building models of what Whetukairangi pa might have looked like and giving positive feedback to others in Te Reo.

Check us out exploring the language and culture that is so important to us in New Zealand.

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

What do plants need to grow?

What do plants need to grow?

The latest news from our inquiry.

In Autahi, we have continuing to explore our inquiry question: what do plants need to grow?

We have created mind maps to show how seeds grow into plants.

On Tuesday, we each planted some cress seeds.

We sprinkled the tiny seeds on damp paper towel. We wonder how well they will grow without any soil.

A few pinches of seeds should give us lots of lovely cress.

We made sure to add just a splash of water.

We really hope our seeds germinate!

On Wednesday, we were all anxious to check on the progress of our seeds.

We added an extra splash of water to keep them moist.

Some of us thought we could see our seeds swelling up.

Hopefully, we will have more cress news to report very soon - watch this space!

Meanwhile, we have also been growing our brains, with help from our Big Buddies from Tautoru.

They've been coming into class to help us practice our reading and our Rocket Words.

Learning our Rocket Words helps us to read confidently and fluently - so we're very grateful to our friends in Tautoru spending time practising them with us.

It's always fun hanging out together. Thank you Big Buddies!