Friday, 27 November 2020

Year 3 students visit to the Seniors

 The Year 3's spent a day in the Senior area on Wednesday. Each senior teacher worked with groups and played different games. Students then worked in smaller groups to create a game based on a balloon. Feedback from the students was that it was so much fun because they got to test games and work with different people. Our Year 3's are so excited about the move in 2021 to the Senior area and are all looking forward to setting new goals, getting to know their new teachers and just being a Senior student. Awesome!

Thursday, 26 November 2020


 Tautoru has been exploring the magic of Geometry over the last couple of weeks. It has been great to work on our fine motor skills to create a range of 3D shapes. Lots of folding, concentration, and sticky finger have been involved. Keep your eyes peeled on the blog and seesaw for more 3D shapes in week 8.

Creatures BIG and small

 Writing this term in Tautoru has been fantastic. We have had a focus on developing our writing stamina so that we can get more of our ideas down during writing sessions. Our students have embraced the challenge and it has been awesome to see the volume and level of detail increase. In addition, there has been a focus on writing a clear beginning, middle, and end to our stories. It is important for us to take our readers on a journey to entertain, inform, and create stories that encourage our readers to keep turning the pages. 

This week we have been writing descriptions of creatures big and small, wide and long, scary and friendly. We started with a sketch and time to share the details of our creatures looks, life, and possibly an adventure it may have been on. Loads of fun!

Here are some examples ....

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Physical Education - Skipping!

 Physical Education is a well-established part of our curriculum at Worser Bay School. In Tautoru, we often teach isolated PE lessons twice a week. As there are so many different curriculum areas and important lessons kids need to learn, we teachers get a little creative in how we manage to fit everything in. We also often use our morning 'Wake up your brain' time to practise and reinforce the skills we have learnt in our PE lessons.

These PE lessons are skills based and reflect the New Zealand Curriculum. At the moment in Tautoru, some groups are skipping, others are learning about hitting and striking with bats and small balls. While others are learning about throwing and accuracy. We are learning so many great things!

Character Strengths come into play in every lesson. Now, skipping is an incredibly difficult skill to learn! There are so many different aspects to it. There's the jumping with two feet, the co-ordination of swinging the rope over your head, making sure your back stays up right, jumping at the right time and then repeating this over and over. At the beginning of the skipping unit, we heard many saying statements like "this is too hard! I can't do it!" We worked on our Growth Mindset, Perseverance, Resilience among many other character strengths. Today Mikayla's base group finished their learning unit on skipping and their were many faces of joy, others with focus, determined to master the two feet jump skipping before the PE lesson was over. I even heard some children mentioning that they were going to ask for a skipping rope for Christmas!

Check out some of the snapshots of our awesome learning curve.

Here, we started the lesson playing a game of inside-outside to practise the two feet jump.

Super Sounds

 At least three times a week, we get out the whiteboards and practise our letter sounds. These are explicit lessons to teach letter sound knowledge that follows the Yolanda Soryl phonics programme. We generally have a sound that we focus on for the whole week, such as the digraph 'kn'. The kids will tell you that digraphs are two letters with one sound, and trigraphs are three letters with one sound. Often there are sneaky little letters in words that we need to remember when we're reading or writing. Super Sounds lessons are great ways for us to learn about these sneaky letters.

We work on rhyming, breaking up the words (we call this roboting) and then putting it back together, instant recognition of words, practise with writing words in isolation and then putting them together with silly sentences. There is so much learning jam-packed into a quick 10-15 minute lesson!

Below you can see the children roboting the sounds in each word. One sound is one robot movement! So knock would have 3 robot movements as we have 'kn' as one sound, 'o' as another sound, and 'ck' as the last sound.                       

Here you can see the kids writing down the word that has the sound of the week. If it were a video, you would them roboting the sounds as they write each sound of the word.

Here the kids are getting in some practise with writing as many words as they can in a certain amount of time. This is great practise for handwriting fluency as well as repetition with spelling and writing words quickly.

Thursday, 12 November 2020

Plant Power Inquiry - Te Ao o Tānemahuta, Rongomātāne and Haumiatiketike

The genealogy of Ranginui and Papatūānuku- source: Enviroschools

What plants are we kaitiaki (guardians) of in our community? Where do they belong within Te Ao Māori-the Māori world?

Māori stories tell that when Tānemāhuta separated Ranginui and Papatūānuku, his brothers Rongo and Haumia hid from Tāwhirimatea's rage underneath Papatūānuku's earthly cloak. As they emerged, they became the gods of uncultivated foods (Haumiatiketike) and cultivated foods (Rongomātāne). 

Tāne is the god of all trees and plants, and the birds are his very special children. Some stories tell how Rongo taught people how to grow food in gardens, like kūmara. Haumia showed how to find wild food for medicine, like kawakawa, and gather the roots of ferns in winter when other foods were hard to find. 

We have been looking around our kura (school) at the plants that we can identify that belong to Tāne, Rongo and Haumia.

We are building a map of these different plants around our motu (area).

We have been collecting information about the different plants and mapping them within our community. Today we went to the beach to observe the plants as well. We also found some interesting tiny creatures in this habitat.

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Communicating Through the Arts - Native Habitats

One of the wonderful ways to share our learning is by using the Arts. We have been practising the visual arts skills of using a foreground and background to place our arts elements (our ideas). Our elements were some of the connections between our native birds and the plants in their habitats. Some birds have a very important role in the health of our forests as they help to spread the seeds of the berries they eat. 

We researched our birds and made some drafts first. Then we practised placing our birds and plants in the foreground of the picture.

Here are some of the art works we created using watercolour for the background and pastels for the foreground. You can come in and have a look at our display on the walls!