Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Waking up our brain with music

Every morning we wake our brains to help us get ready for learning. We have been using music and rhythm to switch on our learning muscles, and also learning about keeping a beat and the different types of rhythms and sounds that we can make with instruments and objects.

We are using different types of instruments like drumming sticks and rākau to create patterns. We are enjoying creating different beats and working with others.

Inquiry- We are exploring the changes of the sun, moon and earth

The Inquiry Cycle: I am Exploring

For our inquiry focus this term, we have been exploring and learning through different activities about the relationship between the sun, earth and moon, and some of the changes we can observe from earth. We are also finding answers to some of our original questions:

Where does the sun go at night?
What is the sun made out of? Why is it hot?
Why does the moon look different sometimes?
If the sun is a star, how come we see it during the day and we see the stars at night?

Here are some of our activities and what we have discovered.

The Sun

The sun is a medium size star. Other stars are even bigger than our sun but they are very far away that's why they look so small.

When stars are further away they look smaller and we don't feel their heat. Our sun is much closer so we get lots of light and heat from it.

The sun is always shining, but as our earth rotates, different sides get sunlight and heat. This makes day and night.

The Moon

The moon orbits our earth like the earth orbits the sun. The moon is made of rock and reflects the light of the sun like a mirror. We see the side of the moon that the sun is shining on.

For the next stage of the inquiry cycle, we will be Sorting and Creating from we have learned. We may even have some new questions to wonder about.

Monday, 25 February 2019

Planets of the Solar System

On Friday we explored the features of the different planets of the Solar System. We noticed that some have craters and land features. Other planets are gas giants that have amazing swirling clouds and some even have dark spots.

The students observed the different features and then created their own plants to add to our class Solar System.

We used watercolours for the plants and then while our planets dried we used white paint for the stars.

Some stars were bigger than others because they are further away!

Pop into Tautoru to check out more of our creations.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

We're exploring at Space Place!

On Monday we went to Space Place and it was quite simply out of this world!

There were loads of hands on activities.


Troy from Space Places taught us lots about The Sun, Earth and Moon. Did you know that The Sun is a star? And its not even a ‘large’ one, troy said its only a ‘medium’ star compared to others out there.

There was even an awesome theatre called the planetarium, where they could project the night sky onto and zoom in on planets, moons and even star constellations! They also showed us a short movie that was both educational and hilarious. A great combo.


Check out more of the cool photos from our big day!!   

Monday, 18 February 2019

Our Inquiry- The Earth, Our Home

We have begun our new inquiry: The earth, our home. This inquiry will take us to space as we explore our place in the solar system and learn about the changes that we observe between the sun, earth and moon. We will be focusing on growing our scientific skills of questioning, observing and recording like scientists using tools such as role play, diagrams and models.  Our character strengths of perseverance, teamwork, creativity and of course, curiosity, will help us on our journey.

Our Learner Attribute for this term is I am a goal setter. This attribute is about growing the capacity to clarify what I know, what I don't know YET,  think of steps to help me learn (such as asking questions, observing, creating and sharing ideas), and then share my new understanding when I've learned it.

So off we go in our new inquiry journey!

I Am Curious

First, we gathered our questions in the 'I Am Curious' stage. We are wondering about things like:

Why is the moon out during the day and why do you only sometimes see part of the moon?
Where does the sun go at night?
What is a star?
Why do we only see the Milky Way in certain places?
What are the seasons?
How do the seasons change? What causes these changes?

First Ideas

We then collected our first ideas: Where does the sun go at night? This will give us a starting point to see how much our understanding grows over time and how our thinking changes from what we thought at the beginning. Here are some of our first ideas that will grow over time as we learn:

I Am Exploring

Next, we will launch into our 'I Am Exploring' phase where we will experience information in different ways to grow our understanding and answer our questions, beginning with our visit to Space Place. I wonder what discoveries we'll make and what new questions we will have?

Blast Off Into Space!

If you had to travel our solar system, what would you take?

On Friday we used our character strength of creativity to design a rocket to take us to visit our solar system. We shared ideas and came up with a plan. We drew the outside then designed the inside with lots of detail to show all the things we would need to pack (plenty of our favourite toys of course!).

Our rockets are displayed in Tautoru so come in and have a look at what we have packed to travel to space.