Thursday, 26 May 2022

Expressing ideas through Drama

 This week we have begun to explore how to share ideas through drama. Drama is a wonderful way to play with ideas and communicate them to an audience. It’s also lots of fun! 

We have started by learning some fun drama games. One game is when we have to pretend to take our pet for a walk. Our pet might be small dog or a huge elephant. Imagine taking your elephant for a walk and trying to carry it. What would that look like?

Or imagine giving someone a gift but you don't know what it is. Where would your imagination take you? 

We will keep building our knowledge of drama skills this term with different ways to communicate ideas and use our imagination.

Garden to Table

We have learned about how plants change and this week we ventured into picking some greens (yes, greens!) from our garden to cook with them. We made some delicious corn fritters with some silverbeet. We had never tried silverbeet before so we had to dial up a bit of bravery to try this new green food.

We took turns at adding the ingredients and stirring the mix. Ximena helped us to scoop the batter and put it in the frying pan.

Finally it was time to try the fritters. Yum! We then wrote about the process. 

It was fun to try something new and we will have new crops to try throughout the year.

Thursday, 19 May 2022

How Plants Change Inquiry- Being Scientists

As part of our inquiry, we have been learning about how we can behave like scientists to find out more. First, we learned that scientists are thinkers because they ask questions! They also observe carefully to notice what is happening. After doing some learning and getting out into our garden, we dialed up our Curiosity and came up with these questions about plants:

Next, we learned that scientists carry out experiments to find out answers to their questions. We set up an experiment and made some observations. We put some celery in food dye to see how it absorbs water. We also made some predictions as to what might happen next. Most of us thought that the whole celery would change colour. We made some diagrams of Day 1.

We waited a couple of days and then looked at how the celery had absorbed the food dye. Sometimes experiments create discoveries that are unexpected! Only the celery leaves changed colour, and when we looked inside, there were these channels where the celery absorbed the dye.

We discovered that plants have thin channels inside called xylem. They are like plant veins that help them transport water and food to the leaves. Here is a video about our experiment if you want to do it at home:

Cross Country Race

 We had such a wonderful time at our school cross country. We used lots of our Grit Strategies that we learned last term, like positive self-talk, to give ourselves encouragement and persevere in the race. We also used this as an opportunity to write using our senses, in particular, explain how we were feeling.

Here are some of our stories from the day:

I watched Autahi. John finally called us up. We ran. I felt like I was about to fall. I caught myself. I was 10th place. Arthur

First we watched Autahi run. Then our class raced each other. I was feeling very good and I was happy too. I had lots of fun. It was good. The parents were watching us. They were cheering for us. The teachers were watching too. I felt proud. I was tired but it was good. - Thomas

Ximena shouted “Line up Tautoru!” I went to the starting line. John shouted “ready, set, go!” but before that he tricked us a bit then we ran like the wind. I went in bare feet. I went really fast, then I slowed down then I got to the grass. I went fast again and people cheered me on. I went onto the sand again ad came in 6th place- Finn G

I could hear people cheering me on. Ximena shouted “Keep going!” When it was our turn my heart was pumping. “Get ready set go” John shouted. I sprinted when we came to the hill and my legs were hurting. I said to myself “I can do it” When I came to the grass my legs were really hurting. When I came to the drive, it was really close to the finish line. Finally I came to the finish line I was so proud. I came 10th place.

“Get ready, set, go” shouted John. I sprinted along the beach. My heart was pumping, my arms and legs were getting sore. But I kept going. I sprinted up the hill and around the corner. I heard people cheering at me. Finally I crossed the finish line. I was so puffed out but I still had fun. Olive

Sunday, 15 May 2022


Research shows that character strengths can help children succeed at school and in life. Strengths are the positive qualities individuals have, as reflected in their thoughts, feelings, and actions. They promote the well-being of themselves and others. 

Have a watch of our latest little vignette - this time an introduction to Character Strengths 

Thursday, 12 May 2022

New Zealand Sign Language Week

This week is a very important week for Aotearoa as it is when we celebrate and raise awareness for one of our three official languages, New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). We use sign language as much as we can in Tautoru, practicing nine new signs every two weeks. In addition, this week we learnt to sign the alphabet and to introduce ourselves to others.

We practiced the alphabet using the posters photographed below and watching videos that showed the signs in action. After this we learnt how to say “hello, my name is…” followed by the signed letters of our names. 

It was a lot of fun learning the alphabet this week, please ask your tamariki or any Tautoru kids you see around to sign their names to you, I am sure they will love to show off what we have learnt!

Te Wā Mahi Tahi

This week was the first Te Wā Mahi Tahi that we have had inside all year! Te Wā Mahi Tahi is our designated time for tamariki to explore learning through the context of play. We put out a range of materials for students to gather, transport, construct, order and create with!

Our Tamariki loved being creative within the walls of the classroom, and our next rainy Monday definitely won't get us down! Students enjoyed using the creation table, building houses, marble runs across the classroom and testing the distance that our toy cars can travel! 

Through Te Wā Mahi Tahi students can explore their creativity, build their Leadership, Teamwork and problem solving skills. Each week we open our Te Wā Mahi Tahi sessions with a focus for the students to consider throughout the lesson, which extends their experience of the play and builds on their relationships with their peers. This week's focus was When am I at my best? Tamariki considered when they feel happiest in the classroom, and how we can bring these feelings to other areas of their learning. Here are some of the areas students said that they felt their best.

Please enjoy these photos of this week's Te Wā Mahi Tahi session!

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Matisse Inspired Portraits

This week we learned about the art of Henry Matisse. He discussed how he used bold colours, clear shapes, contrast and also looked at his use of collage. This helped to inspire the background for our portraits. 

First we began by learning how to draw the proportions of a face

Then we created collage backgrounds using some of the ideas from Matisse's art works.

Lastly we added our portraits to the collage.

Food for plants and food for thinking

This term our Learner Attribute is I am a Thinker. This is all about solving problems, questioning, sharing ideas and making thinking visible. We used a gardening opportunity to stretch our thinking!

We will be inquiring into how plants change in different ways. To spark our curiosity we celebrated International Compost Awareness Week! At school we have a thriving composting space, so we tapped into it to help us learn about compost. We did some weeding and added the compost to get our garden beds ready for more planting.

We found lots of very interesting creatures in the compost. 

After we investigated the compost, we gathered some questions that we will use for our inquiry into how plants change. Here are some of our questions:
- How was compost invented?
- What creatures live in the compost?
- How does it feed plants?

We also wrote about our exciting morning in the garden. Here is some of our writing:

Today we put the compost on the plants in the garden beds. I saw earthworms in the compost . I saw little bugs too. When I went to the garden, Ximena showed us the compost. The compost was full of worms, apple cores, paper, little bugs and centipedes- Dhitya

Today we put compost on the plants in the garden. I found a worm. It was tiny. I put it in the planter pot. We also put some soil in the ground. We also pulled out some weeds and we saw some centipedes. and worms and a mango seed and a lavander. It smelled sweet and it was purple and some strawberries. They had yellow seeds and it was red. Leo