Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Our inquiry is heating up!

This week we have continued our exploration of water and things have certainly heated up.

Water can take many different forms but a sometimes it is hard to see the change happening. We tried two different experiments this week by challenging ourselves to turn ice into water and another to catch the steam from a jug on a mirror and see what happens.

We discovered that the hotter we made the ice, the faster it melted into water.

The next day we put water in a jug and predicted what would happen to the water.
Then we carefully placed a mirror over the jug and noticed that water was appearing on the surface of the mirror.

How had the water jumped from the jug to the mirror?

We had a few ideas:

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Growth Mindsets and Goal Setting

In Autahi this week we have been talking about what it means to have a growth mindset. A growth mindset is about opening ourselves up to mistakes and embracing them as opportunities to learn. 

Instead of saying we can't do something we could say that we will give it another try.

Learning to write is tricky for lots of us (including the teachers). We have broken down the things that we need in order to be good writers and placed them on these steps. By breaking down these steps we can work on small chunks that over time will help us achieve our goal of being able to write.
Soon we will be each setting our writing goal to help us focus on the next skill that will help us write awesome stories. Once we have mastered a skill we will move ourselves up the steps and see us getting a little closer to the top. Each writing session we will talk about our goal so that it is front of mind for us when we sit down to write.

We invite you to pop in and have a look for yourself (when we are able to) and see what goal your child is working towards. 

Diving back into inquiry

At Worser Bay we follow an inquiry model which helps guide our learning. The purpose of inquiry learning is to empower our learners to ask questions, acquire skills for finding the answers, experimenting with different ideas and finally expressing their learning in their own way.
This allows our learners to follow their passions and wonderings down a logical path to find out about the world around them.

We were a little worried that we had just started breaking the surface of our inquiry into water.  But we were blown away by the awesome experiments and learning that has been going on at home. We have displayed some of the things you have been getting up to and delighted in sharing back what we had found out.

We reflected on the things we had started learning about last term and have begun to make connections with some of the things we have found out since then.

Lastly this week we have started to formulate new questions to help drive our inquiry forward this term. Over the next few weeks we will dive a little bit deeper into the different areas of our inquiry model and what it looks like in Autahi at each of the different stages. We are excited to start finding out why the pictures we paint outside with water disappear or how water gets on the windows sometimes.

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Sprouting foods from my pantry

Sprouting foods from my pantry

A lot of the foods in our pantries come from plants. Think about what you had for breakfast this morning. Perhaps you ate Weetbix or porridge? Maybe you had some toast or pancakes. Did you have some jam or peanut butter? Fruit or fruit juice? All of these foods come from plants or contain ingredients from plants.

But did you know that some of the foods in our pantries can be sprouted? It's a great way of making the connection between the foods in our cupboards and the plants they come from.

Here are three different experiments to try. Sometimes the food you choose will sprout - but, sometimes, it won't. Remember that, with all science, a negative result tells us as much as a positive one. If the food you chose didn't sprout, think about why that might be. And if, excitingly, you do get little green shoots, can you say why you think it worked? 

Seeds, beans and lentils

Some of the foods we eat are actually seeds. Do you have any beans, lentils or other seeds in your pantry?

I tried to sprout these foods: popcorn, pumpkin seeds, green lentils, black lentils and fennel seeds.

I put a double layer of kitchen paper on each plate and sprinkled on the seeds. Then I made sure that they were wet. I left them on my kitchen counter and sprayed them with water a couple of times each day to keep them damp.

After one week, my popcorn, fennel seeds and pumpkin seeds had not sprouted at all. 

My green lentils began to show signs of sprouting.

But I was very excited to find that, after just three days, my black lentils had made little curly, white shoots the were about 5 mm long - hooray!

Fruit and vegetable tops

Carrot and parsnips are ideal for this experiment. Potatoes, pineapples and onion tops can also work, too.

Cut the tops off your carrots. In this experiment, I tried a potato, too. Place them in about a centimetre of water.

My carrot tops started to sprout after three days.

This is what they looked like after one week. You can see that the green shoots are getting quite tall.

My potatoes did not sprout, though. Next time, I will try leaving them whole and putting them in the light.

Seeds and pips

Sprouting seeds from fruit takes a little longer, but it's definitely worth a try. Apple, lemon and orange seeds can all work. What else could you try?

Take the seeds out of the fruit and plant them in a small amount of potting compost.

Cover the seeds with a sprinkling of compost and then moisten it with a little water. Place your pot somewhere bright like a window sill. Keep the compost damp. It may help to cover the pot with a plastic or cling film. You may have to wait two weeks or even longer for your seed to sprout.

Be patient: if it works, you will be able to replant your seedling in a bigger pot and then into your garden. You never know, one day you might be able to pick yummy fruit from the tree that you sprouted!

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Maths games with playing cards

Build your number skills with playing cards

Playing cards are so versatile and most of us have a set at home. Here are some simple games you can play with them to build number skills.

For these games, you will need to remove the face cards (Jack, King, Queen, Joker) from the pack. Aces become 1s.

1. Biggest Number Wins

Shuffle the pack and share the cards between the players. All the players take the first card from the top of their pile and place it on the table face up. The player with the biggest number on their card wins all the cards. The winner of the game is the person with the most cards (or all of the cards) at the end.

  • You can also play 'smallest number wins'.
  • For a challenge, each player draws two cards instead of just one. They must rearrange the cards to make the biggest number and win the round e.g. if you draw 4 and 9 it can be 49 or 94. 

2. Go Fish

You've probably played Go Fish before, and may have your own version. It's great for practising number recognition and matching.

Deal the cards so that each player has five cards. Place the rest of the pack face down. The aim of the game is to make as many sets of the same number as possible (e.g. four 3s or four 9s). Everyone starts by looking at their cards. If they have a set of four, place it down as one point and collect four more cards from the pack. 

Now Player One selects a number that they have in their hand. They ask another player (Player Two) to give them any cards of that number e.g. "Do you have any 2s?" If Player Two has any 2s, they have to hand them over, picking up cards from the pack to make 5 once more. If Player One wins some cards, they get another go and continue until a go fails. 

However, if Player Two doesn't have any 2s, they say 'Go Fish!' and Player One has to take a card from the pack.

Carry on until all the cards are used up. Then count up the sets of four to find the winner.

  • Play with pairs of cards instead of sets of 4 for a faster-scoring game.
  • For more challenge: play for pairs that add to make 10. For example, if you have a 2 in your hand, go fishing for an 8 to make 10. Most pairs that make 10 win.

3. Mind Reading

Play with a buddy. The first player chooses a card at random and, without looking at it, holds it on their forehead, face out. They must now work out what their card is by asking their buddy questions. You might ask: is my number bigger than 3? Smaller than 7? Is it 2 + 2? Is it my age? Is it the number of toes on my foot? Try to work out the number with the fewest questions possible.

Variation: ask questions with yes or no answers only. Try to guess the colour or suit of the card, too (e.g. 3 of hearts, 6 of spades).

4. Counting on and basic facts 

This is a simple way to practise counting on and basic facts. Split your pack of cards into two and place the bundles of cards side by side, face down. Turn over the top two cards. Add them together. You can do this by counting on or (as you start to remember them) the basic facts that you know (for example, you may know already that 3 + 1 = 4, so you don't need to count for this one). How may pairs of cards can you do?

Tips for counting on: remember, you don't need to count up from one. Pick the biggest number. Put that number in your head (tap your forehead and say the number), then count on from that number using your fingers or the dots on the card to help. For example, if you got 9 and 4 on your cards, put 9 in your head (it's the biggest number), say '9', then count up '10, 11, 12, 13'.

5. Builder's Paradise

This is a simple game that practises ordering numbers and also matching suits and colours. The aim of this game is to be first to lay down all your cards.

Pull out the number 6 cards from the pack and lay them in a row. Deal out the rest of the cards between the players. In round one, the players can build on to the 6 by adding 7s above or 5s below. 

Players check their packs and lay down any 7s or 5s they have. Be sure to keep all cards of the same suit together in a column. If a player has no 6s or 8s, they pass that go. In the next round, players can add on 8s and 4s. Continue until one player has used up all their cards. They are the winner!

6. Bingo

Ideally, you need two packs of cards for this.

Deal 16 cards to each player. They lay these out in a 4 by 4 grid. 

The Bingo Caller takes the second pack of cards. Turning over the cards one at a time, they call out the number and suit (or number and colour, if you want to keep it simple). If a player has a matching card in their grid, they turn it over. Play for first to get a row or for Full House, when all cards are turned over.

7. Pairs or Pelmanism 

This is an absorbing memory game to play alone or with a buddy. 

Simply, lay out your cards in a grid, face down. Take turns to turn over two cards. If they match, you have a pair. Set the pair to one side: this is one point to you. If the cards don't match, just turn them back over again. Keep going until all the cards are used up. Count how many pairs you have made.

Tips: when you or your buddy turns over a card without making a pair, try to remember what the card is and where you can find it when you need it. Try to keep the cards in the grid formation as it makes it easier to remember where different numbers are.

Variations: pairs can be the same number or, slightly tricker, the same number and colour (e.g. two red 5s). 

8. Snap!

Did you know that playing Snap! is great subitising practice? 

For two players, divide the pack into two equal piles and place them face down. Players take turn to turn over a card, laying them in piles side by side. The first person to spot two cards the same wins all the cards that have been turned over in that go. They add these to the bottom of their pack and carry on. The winner is the person with the most cards (or all the cards) at the end of the game.

Remember: agree between you what snap looks like in our game. You might decide that any two cards with the same number are snap. Or you might decide that they have to have the same colour, two e.g. two red 6s are snap, but not a red 6 and a black 6.

Do you have a maths game using playing cards? Please share it on Seesaw and I'll add it to the Blog.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Kindness Cards

It is very strange at the moment being away from all of our friends at school. 
I really miss seeing all your friendly faces and hearing your funny stories.

So this is a good time to think about someone who you could give a kindness card or drawing to. 
It might be someone in your bubble, or you could go for a walk and put it in the letterbox of a friend...? 

Here are a few ideas to get you started...

Draw a picture, write a letter, include some jokes, anything you like!
Then roll it up and tie it with a ribbon and place somewhere for them to find.

 Make an envelope, decorate it and put your letter inside. 
Put it in a friends letter box or somewhere for your family to find (like under a pillow!).
Don't forget to put their name on it!

Make some little cards with notes attached to a string and hang it somewhere for them to discover...

Or try making them a Warm Fuzzy Friend like can have all of the things you like and miss about them written either on the front or back of it. 
Such a nice thing to receive.

Have a go at one of these...or try your own idea.

(Don't forget to put a photo of it on Seesaw so I can see what you create!)
Hayley xxx

Monday, 4 May 2020

Art Recreations

Even though we can't visit Museums and Art Galleries at the moment, we can still enjoy the art in other ways. People across the world have been recreating famous paintings. If you would like to add to our Art Gallery, please post your recreations to the Padlet below.

Made with Padlet

Travelling Tales

Call all storytellers and creators!

Do you like stories? Do you enjoy using your imagination? Can you make a picture to go with a story? If that sounds like you (and I'm guessing it does!), here's a fun project that you might like to be part of.

Travelling Tales is an opportunity to connect with other families in our school to make a story. 

If you would like to be part of a storytelling team, use this link  to find a Google form like this:

Fill out the form and save it. Nicola will put you into a team and let you know which part of the story you will be telling. You will also need to make an illustration to go with it.

We are excited to say that we will share the stories with our school community on our Blogs. Then, we will have lots of new tales to enjoy.

After all, we all love stories, right?

Kia Ora #3

Kia ora 3