Thursday, 27 May 2021

Super Sounds - Phonics and Spelling

 Each week we regularly start our reading sessions with Super Sounds. This is where students learn about different phonemes (sounds), digraphs (two letters to make one sound, e.g. ll in in still or 'kn' in knit), and trigraphs (three letters to make one sounds, e.g. tch in witch). We usually focus on one phoneme each week. This is one part of our literacy programme. After our super sound sessions, we move into other literacy learning such as guided reading sessions with the teacher and shared reading activities.

In Super Sounds, we practise blending and segmenting words, 'roboting' the words. This is where students sound out the word on the card and then put it back together. This practice really helps students to identify the individual sounds in words which also helps when they are reading books. When we come across words we're not sure of at home, you could by 'roboting' the word to try work it out!

After we have practised blending and segmenting the words. We do a quick fire round by reading the words without sounding them out.
Next, we practise writing some words that have the phoneme of the week in it and then write a silly sentence using some of those words. This is a great time for us to also focus on our letter formation! Win, win!

After we have learnt about lots of different phonemes, digraphs and trigraphs, we move onto spelling patterns and spelling rules. We might learn about the spelling rules including 'ed' and 'ing' such as when to double the consonant when adding 'ed' or 'ing' or when we should drop the 'e' when adding 'ed' or 'ing'. There are many spelling rules in the English language!

Developing our Artist Eyes

 We have continued to practise our observation and sketching skills. We know that when learning something new mistakes are normal, so sketching is helping to notice our mistakes and use them to learn. We are practising being in The Learning Pit and persevering so we can see our artist eyes grow over time.

This week we have been sketching shells, leaves, seed pods and pine cones.

The sketching skills we have been practising are:

- Holding the pencil higher up than we would for writing. This helps us to draw the first lines lightly.

- Focusing on using lines we like to define our shape.

- Shading parts to add depth to the lines.

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

The Learning Pit

What is the Learning Pit? We all go through it when we learn something new! 

Today, we first learnt about the learning pit by learning about a finger movement pattern. Ximena showed us how to do it. We were in the first stage of the learning pit where we wanted to learn something new.

Then we were in the learning pit, at the bottom of the picture. We were feeling a little fuzzy and unsure.

We kept practising and practising. We were now coming up out the pit. 

To practise our new learning about The Learning Pit, we used positive self talk such as "I can do it" and "I'll keep trying" when we were sketching trees.

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

What is bullying?

As part of our ongoing Positive Education programme and 'New Zealand Bullying Free Week', we have been learning about bullying. We started with a brainstorm of our questions.

We then watched Oat the Goat, a video about how a goat helps others that are being bullied. It captures what bullying is, what to do if we see bullying and what it feels like to be bullied. 

At different points throughout the video, we paused to discuss which options Oat the Goat should take when he saw the sheep or glow worm getting bullied. We decided standing up nicely to the behaviour or asking if they are okay and inviting them to play were the best options.

After that, we answered some of our questions and talked about the difference between being unkind and bullying. We came to the conclusion that bullying is when someone is being unkind and it happens over and over again - like every single day.

Tautoru then split off into our Writing groups to do some writing about what we learnt. Some wrote explanations in their books, some brainstormed some posters about bullying, while others made paper chains about what we could say when we see bullying.

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Developing Perseverance and Growth Mindset through the Arts

This week we have begun sketching as a new challenge. Sketching helps us to develop fine motor skills and observation skills. We learned about the use of clean lines and shading by adding depth to the outline of a tree. Practising sketching is a way to help us develop a Growth Mindset and Perseverance by learning that mistakes are part of learning. Sometimes our drawing may not turn out the way we expected and that's ok.

Next we will be observing and creating more lines to add depth to pictures.

How do scientists use sound?

Samantha is a scientist and she came to tell us today how scientists use sound.  It was really helpful to hear how some of our learning in inquiry gets used in different ways. Thank you Samantha! We learned about how doctors use ultrasound to look inside our bodies or a stethoscope to listen to our lungs and heart. We also learned how scientists use sonar to map the oceans and how sound travels in our ears.

Here are some reflections from today:

Cam- I enjoyed the diagram of the ear.

Finn- I like how doctors use a stethoscope to listen to our hearts and lungs.

Callum - We learned that ultrasound to see inside our bodies.

Amelia- Scientists can get a picture of how the ocean floor looks like using sonar and bouncing sound back.

She also showed us this fun video of how some musicians can experiment with sound and make it visible in different ways:

Te Reo Māori: E Hia? How Many?

 This week we've been learning how to ask and reply to 'how many' in Te Reo Māori. We practised this sentence structure:

He hia ngā _______? How many _______ are there?

E (number) ngā ________. There are _______ _________.

Here is an example:

We will keep practising this over the next few weeks as we have been learning to count to 20 and we can now extend our use of number in Te Reo Māori.

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Stormy Weather

 Writing this week has been loads of fun. We have been working on how to hook our reader into our stories. We have also been learning about onomatopoeia and how to use them in our writing to add POP!

Here are some examples. 

Sophie F


My house cracks in half.

Lightening and thunder hit the sky


A tree crashes on a school and breaks things.



A tornado picks up 1,000 people.


A tsunami crashes into boats and splits it into eight pieces.


A helicopter smashes down to save the people.



The tsunami floods houses!


The thunder shakes my house!


The waves and the wild hail!


My house has a hole!


Powerful Tornados zap the grey clouds.

Lightning bolts shake the boats.


The boats sink to the bottom of the sea.

Waves smash together.



The people are scared.


The tornado sucks up a home.


That was a lightning strike. It is attacking a home.



The waves crash.


The sea is smashing the sand.

My sandcastle broke.


I have to make it again!

Welcome to Term 2

So great to see everyone back after a break filled with blue skies and sunny days. We are very excited about the new term and there is so much on the horizon.

But what about last term? What were our highlights?

"Maths was awesome" Sammy

"My best thing was reading because I got so much help." Samuel

I really liked Te Wahi Mahi because it was fun to build and let my imagination go wild!" Amelia

'I liked creating my Poppy art" Callum

"I liked the ASB for the futsal festival to see the futsal girls" Scarlett

"Learning to read chapter books was cool" Ava

Here are some things we are looking forward to in Term 2

Reading, swimming, trips away to ASB and the Art Gallery, playing with my friends, Golden Time, Sumdog, maths and science experiments.