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Friday, September 8, 2017

Stunning Mt Ruapehu Ski Camp!

Room 9 or now better known as Hauraki, are part of the senior school Te Waka Ako Innovative Learning Environment. In Week 5, sixty five of our Year 5 and 6 students went to National Park to ski and snowboard at Whakapapa on Mt Ruapehu. The students had two days on the mountain learning these new skills.  After months of preparation and weeks of anxiety over the weather, the week arrived and was absolutely fabulous!  
The students worked with new adults and student groups, they negotiated new environments, they listened, questioned and learnt. They were challenged and extended and needed to persevere to succeed. The feedback from many different quarters outside our community was our students were respectful, polite, well behaved and just pleasant people to be around.  
Their success was being able to race each other after only two days. Their success was in the feedback they got from the public again and again. To see students with two days experience negotiating Rock Garden or Happy Valley slopes is memorable and shows how capable they are.
In the learning of the skill they learnt to rely on themselves to get better, their time practising by themselves was when they made the most gains. They also learnt to help and encourage each other, and then celebrate each other's success. But aside from the learning of a new physical skill like skiing or snowboarding they learnt to be open to a new experience in general. Being a long way from home, trusting and respecting a wide range of adults, focussing in on themselves to look after themselves and their property, developing new friendships, making the most of all the opportunities they were given, opening their eyes to an environment so many had never experienced and building awareness of the world around them.
They were amazing and we couldn't have asked for a better bunch.  All the adults who participated in the trip were very proud of them. As teachers, we hope the experience will inspire our students and their families that attended to apply their learnings and perseverance in many different areas of their lives. As well as go back and try again!
Following will be some slideshows that include the students reflections. 


Monday, September 4, 2017

Year 4 on a Roll

JD's Language work with subject verbs agreements
 
Abigail's Name Tag 
As mentioned before Te Waka Ako had some Year 4 students join our 'family'. They have had to learn to use chromebooks in a hurry so they can participate in work the Year 5 and 6 students are doing. We have been completing Cybersmart and chromebook use workshops with them so they learn the many skills they need. Today we looked at sharing our work through blogging and the process of creating a blog to share. Here are some examples of what they have been doing. Please leave a comment and feedback for them.


Faith's de Bono hat thinking about the move to our new space....Te Waka Ako
Ayva's comic strip about being Cybersmart. 


Toby's writing about Taekwondo skills we are learning in PE

BOOK WEEK DRESS UP

Book Week in Week 2 was a huge success for the whole school. We had a visiting poet who was very funny to listen to. She was a drama teacher when she was younger and so she was very 'dramatic' when she presented her poems. She also got students to help her present. During the week a book fair was on site and our community supported this extremely well, so we had lots of books we could purchase for the school library and resource room. On the final day the school had a character dress up day. Hauraki did particularly well at getting into the fun of it. We had some very creative ideas like half Romeo, half Juliet.
Hauraki Class looking awesome in book character dress ups on the steps of our new building - Te Waka Ako. 

With their teacher Mrs Potato Head.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

New Students in Term 3

Wow! We are in Week 3 and 'snowed under' with activities and work already.  At Waikowhai we had a teacher leave, and with the Auckland shortage of teachers it meant we were unable to replace that teacher. So Te Waka Ako, our senior syndicate, had to take on 15 new Year 4 students. Hauraki has 5 new students. I will introduce you to them now and show you some of the things we have been doing in the first two weeks of term.
 Toby is one of our new students. This is his tent creation he was challenged to make in Geometry, using only toothpicks and modelling clay. It was a very sturdy, strong structure.  
Two other students are Faith and JD. They both enjoyed this thinking activity and came up with

some excellent shapes.
Abigail and Ayva and our final two new students. They have created 'All about Me' poster to include in their learning steps slideshows, which include all their goals and practise work around their goals. For students brand new to chromebooks, our Year 4's are picking up the necessary skills very quickly. 

 

They have all settled in really well and have been very patient with all the changes. Lucky for Te Waka Ako we have extremely helpful Year 5 and 6 students who love to help teach them how to use their chromebooks, and the way we work in our new space.




Friday, June 16, 2017

Hauraki Assembly

This Week our class was on the school assembly. This means we have to host the assembly, create a slideshow, organise songs, show our work, give out certificates,  do plays and so on. We LOVE to organise assembly (that's the students!!) Their teacher doesn't mind too much, but it can be stressful.
Anyway this week we had two plays to do as we are doing Drama this term so we had less time to show off our work. To make up for this we created a slideshow to show case the work we thought was our best pieces, or that we were most happy with. If you want to see more of them they are on our personal blogs. Happy reading


I (Hauraki's teacher) realised how many new skills this work represents in my students, and how much work they had completed over this term. Some more than others of course, but generally most of them have worked diligently to 'get stuff done!' Awesome work Hauraki. Be Proud.
Check out their personal blogs and leave a comment for them.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

And BACK to Skateboarding!




 On the third week of Skateboarding our intrepid adventurers were definitely into mastering the skills to ride the boards. They are having a heap of fun and have been inspired to bring in boards from home to ride in the mornings before school.


video
Of course their teacher had to get in on the act as well. 'In my day' we didn't really have skateboards, rather we made trolleys ourselves and careered down hills with no brakes or helmets! These skateboards are smooth and quick and the inevitable happened; I fell off! Landed on the side of my left thigh very hard and still sport a large bruise 10 days later. I did however get back on last week and start to master cornering in both directions!


I have a much healthier appreciation for skateboarders and the effort and skill it takes to use a board. It is a heap of fun!  These video clips are the kids really just starting to learn, we will take more next week, because some students have moved on to tricks.


video 
Lucky for us the weather has been good for most of our sessions and we can be outside on the courts rolling around. On our second lesson it was raining so we spent time breaking down a skateboard and putting it back together. This was really interesting as we learnt how important the different parts of the wheel bases were and what they did.


Friday, June 2, 2017

Te Waka Ako

Out new learning space is called Te Waka Ako or The Canoe of Learning. The opening ceremony was on Monday the 22nd May. We have now had two weeks in the building and there are many changes that we are getting use to. All the students have posted their thoughts about the move in an activity using de Bono's Thinking Hats. Check out their blogs. You can find these on the right hand side column of this blog.
Mr Riceman and the Manukau Class have a great blogpost about the event, with a great movie and explanation. Check out their blog site.                     http://wpsriceman.blogspot.co.nz/

Artwork Inspiration

video
Last Term our focus in The Arts was Visual Art. We looked at the work of a well known New Zealand artist, and created a piece that had elements of the artists work in it. Our room looked at the work of Fatu Feu'u. We used paint on heavy cartridge paper and black or silver pastel. Learning to paint with detail and lots of straight edges was a challenge, but we are very happy with the results.



Check out some of Fatu's work.

Technology Challenges

We have had such a busy month in Room 9, moving from our single cell classroom called Room 9 to our brand new building, called Te Waka Ako (the canoe of learning), with two other classrooms and becoming the Hauraki class. Before we shifted the students worked very hard to complete work that they could put onto their personal blogs. It is always a bit of a process completing the work, getting it checked, creating a meaningful blog post, getting that checked and finally the getting the green light to go ahead and post their work. In all of this our class blog has been a bit neglected, so several different blogs will be loaded over this weekend.
Earlier in the term we had some fun with newspaper, sellotape and string. The challenge was to create different items with a very limited time frame and only three different resources. Using the Ready Set Design site we were given these two tasks.
            I need to protect myself from the rain. I need to collect and carry small things.

Ready, Set, Design is a favourite educational activity. We use it as a way to introduce the concepts behind "design thinking" to groups. It's very adaptable, and lots of fun!  Here is a link to the instructions.
      http://cdn.cooperhewitt.org/2011/09/02/Ready%20Set%20Design%20vX.pdf


 The Smithsonian put out an great video explaining the reasoning behind having small groups create objects in this way. Check out this clip.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIXSuZg2awA&feature=player_embedded

Check it out and challenge your class!


Check out more photos in the slideshow.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Skateboarding

This Term for Physical Education, we get to do SKATEBOARDING!!
The team that came in to teach us were very professional and organised.
On our first session we had safety gear to learn about, unpack and attach.
Then we had time to learn the very basics of rolling on the board across the courts.

Next week we will learn more 'safety stuff' and moves that will give us
speed and confidence. And we can't wait! Izzy wrote an acrostic poem
about our session. We are all doing some writing on it and using some
of the many photos our teacher took of us. Check out our individual blogs
down the right hand side of this class blog. They will be coming soon.
Starting with the gear,
Knee pads,
And elbow pads next,
IMG_1301.jpgThen wristbands last.
Excellent!  Skateboarding time,
Blue, pink, orange boards.
IMG_1292.jpgOk, let's go! Position your foot!
And now let's push along the court.
Reaching the finishing line,  we  are
Done. Gear  away
IMG_1324.jpgInto the boxes.
Now, boards in formation.
Gosh, that went fast


Filled with pride, I went to class,
Unfortunately, the lesson is over...
Now, I can’t wait to go back!
by Isabelle



Responsibility to being GREEN

Our overriding inquiry this year is about Responsibility. Our Responsibility to the Planet is part of this Inquiry. In Drama we looked at what we think it means to be GREEN. We watched this video narrated by Morgan Freeman and discussed lots of things that are shown in it.

video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lieN18OTlME
After watching another short clip targeted at very young students, we had a go at acting out and 'freeze framing' the different points in the clip that the children said were being green.


Then we came up with things that we do that we considered 'green' and so helpful to the planet. We only had 10 minutes to come up with a very quick skit/play about one idea.
videoBelow are some clips of us acting out what we think are some things we could do or do do that help the planet.  We are going to develop our skills and thinking more, in producing plays, throughout the term.
One group of boys decided planting trees was an important part of being 'green' while a group of girls went with installing solar panels.
video  Another group corrected other people's ignorance over the correct bins to use, while a fourth group suggested people should use buses more. The final group suggested people needed to tell others about the impact they were having on the Earth.
video
There was crazy noise, but heaps of cool conversations and idea bouncing all around the room on a very wet Thursday afternoon. We sure had a heap of fun with everyone willing to give 'drama' a go. Watch this space for more polished video clips about what we think we can do to get to that 'day' that Morgan Freeman speaks about in his clip.



Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Term Two

We have rolled into Term Two. The students in Room 9 returned with happy hearts! I think the holidays were good for everyone. It was lovely weather in most places over the holidays and lots of our class got outside and had some fun enjoying our country.

ANZAC DAY:
Last Term we focused on Anzac Day a week before the holidays and again for the first week in Term Two, because it fell in the holidays. The school had a commemorative assembly last Term in the hall, due to the wet weather. We read poems, observed one minutes silence and played the Last Post. Several senior students shared some knowledge about the wars and New Zealand's role in them.

BOOKS:
We read a book called One Minutes Silence. It is about Gallipoli from both sides of the War. It asks you to think about how it was for the Allied Soldiers and how it was for the Turkish Soldiers. It is an excellent read that really makes you think and wonder about life for all the people and how they really weren't any different from each other. The Author David Metzenthen is Australian and lives in Melbourne. Michael Camilleri has created stunning drawings to illustrate the story throughout.
This Term we are reading Caesar The Anzac Dog by Patricia Stroud. this is another excellent book to read. It is based on a true story about a bulldog from Auckland that was a mascot for the 4th Battalion in the First World War. He helped find wounded soldiers and lead the Red Cross workers to them in No Mans Land. His collar is on the 3rd floor of the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Our class would recommend these books to everyone. They are 'must reads'!!

BLOGS:
Finally we are all starting to post our work onto our learning blogs. The Year 6 students will keep adding to their blog they started in 2016. The Year 5 students are starting brand new blogs and are very excited about it. They will have some work about Anzac Day and the Caesar book posted onto their sites soon, so check them out and tell them what you think of their work.

All their blog links are down the right hand side of this Room 9 Blog.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Wheels Day




Fundraising for our Camp in Term Three is underway. In Week 10 of Term One the Senior School put on a Wheels and Food Day with a Bake Sale at Lunchtime. We also sold American Hotdogs at morning tea. It was a great success. Unfortunately the weather meant we couldn't have the Wheels Day component of the day so we had to postpone that until Week 11.


Bringing our wheels to school is always a heap of fun! With the new classroom construction happening at one end of the school, the driveway was a no go area but that didn't matter. the many different types of wheels mixed and mingled with no upsets, mixups or tragedies! As well as wells we used other fun school equipment for students that didn't have wheels to bring. These included trolley boards, stilts, moon hoppers and unicycles. Room 9 had all kinds of wheels and were responsible for helping those from other classes as well.










 We think we will have another Wheels Day this year, because it is a heap of fun and we learn new skills from each other and with each other.