Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Creativity Abounds - taking a break from the Chromebook as an interface to learning

 Today we decided to reconnect with our creative selves. Instead of doing our online activities for reading and math, we decided to focus solely on STEAM play. Here are some photos of their day...

Tuesday, July 21, 2020


As part of our student agency progressions across the school, our class focusses on developing their play-based learning through STEAM - that is, moving from experimental play to play with purpose. It is an opportunity to self-select tinkering experiences, art development, scientific thinking, and pondering through play. Today we took a closer look at engineering and tinkered with the idea of building the tallest building. However, we could only use cardboard and scissors - no sellotape or glue.

Here are their creations...

1. Using corrugated-card and interlinking slots to stabilize the tower. 2. Stacking tubes on to platforms.

3. Stacking large to small boxes. Creating windows for aesthetic value.  4. Stacking and stabilizing.

5. Single tube tower with platforms.

Kaha measured each tower to find the winners.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Mathematical Thinking

Mrs Mill put us on to 3-Act Task math problems to teach us how to notice and wonder what math interactions might be going on in three separate but interrelated video clips. Here are some pics showing their working out ideas.
First they watch a clip. Then they write down what they notice. After that they write down (or draw) what they wonder. We then pair up with a shoulder buddy to share our thinking.
Next we are introduced to another clip. This will have more information which will alter or justify their ideas. More thinking ensues.
Finally the last clip is shared which is like a big reveal to share the whole picture. Is it what they thought? Were they thinking with their math brains? How did they show their thinking?

Learning Maps

In class, we completed our second learning map. Here is a video of students sharing their maps with each other.

Season Study

Following our Soil Study during Distance Learning, we moved our focus to the Seasons. We continued our observations of plants, above and below the soil, and learned which vegetables grow best in which seasons.

Part of our season learning was to understand how seasons happen. We played with models of the earth and sun (oranges from the neighbours and torches) and realised that in order for the earth to experience seasons, it must circumnavigate the sun on a tilt rather than straight up and down (otherwise there would be no change). To get this, we marked the equator and the northern and southern hemisphere. It is the most interesting "Planet Earth and Beyond" lesson I have ever experienced, and they are 7-year-olds! Curiosity and a thirst to learn has boundless opportunity.

These are our Autumn Leaves published writing set underneath our cultivated foods artwork.

Understanding how seasons happen...

Notice the rock layer and the weather shown in the sky (Tawhirimatea)

Painting "sand" into our soil to show soil types. We used gold glitter mixed with glue.

Creating a rainbow collage for our art installation.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Our trip to the Tairawhiti Envirocentre

The other week we went on a class trip to the Tairawhiti Envirocentre so that we could visit their edible garden and learn about the beneficial insects. We even got to eat carrots straight out of the ground. Some students found a spider that was initially thought to be a katipo spider, but with a scientific investigation (classification books and magnifying glasses), we found out that it was in fact a false katipo. Fortunately, they are not poisonous. What a great find!

Monday, June 1, 2020

Autumn Leaves

As part of our Atua study, we are learning about seasons. We have read books about the seasons and played under the trees outside - an Autumn learning experience. Then we sat in and around the trees to write.