May 30, 2013

Week 3 of Term Two (second attempt!)

Hi everyone, this update is a little late - the internet crashed on me as I was almost finished and I have only just this week had time to sit down and try again!

Yahoo! Well done to all our team-mates who were able to complete the cross-country last Tuesday - we are very proud of everyone and especially of Maximus, second in the 11 year old boys' race, and Thea, fastest girl and winner of the 11 year old girls' race.  Wonderful achievement all of you! (Will add photos as soon as I find out where Mr McK has saved them!!)

This week we had another successful week of the DIY programme - we published our shipwreck stories and began planning the writing of our speeches which are based on our inquiry topic of community. We will write these in Week Four, practice them over the next three weeks, and present them later in the term.

Our art work theme is design - we have created kowhaiwhai panels with Mr Pirie and also had a go at some circle patterns with Mrs Coyle (which we will use for book covers later in the term).

This week our maths DIY task was to take part in the Census at School survey online - this will collect data from children all around NZ and we will be able to see how similar or different our lives are to others in this country. We had to measure such things as the length of our arm spans, our height, how heavy our school bag is etc and answer questions about our favourite TV shows, how we get to school and our favourite subjects.  It will be interesting to read the results!

On Wednesday we enjoyed a visit to school by Mr Bob Bickerton, a wonderful musician who shared with us the story of an early NZ whaler and his Maori sweetheart.  Some of us even got to help perform the story and were very delighted to do so!!

Sadly on Friday we farewelled our wonderful team-mate Jaekob, who is heading north to live.  We will miss you Jaekob!

Mr Pirie will be with us from Weeks 4-6 so we are looking forward to working with him during that time and  getting more practice done on our kapa haka items. Keep warm and dry everyone!

May 21, 2013

Term Two - Well Underway!

Today is the day of our Lower Mataura Valley Schools' Cross-Country - keep an eye out for lots of Team Kahu names in the results - we have been practising every day and we have some pretty fantastic long-distance runners in our midst!

Perhaps even one of our team-mates will be a trophy winner for fastest boy or girl?  Watch this space!!

Our first two weeks have flown by as we trial a new class programme called DIY Learning (Do It Yourself) - just as Kiwis are well-known for getting on with the job and doing it ourselves, that is how we are operating in our classroom for the first three weeks this term:  Mrs Coyle sets all our tasks for the week - we have MUST-DO activities that have to be done, WORKSHOPS with Mrs Coyle for guided activities and CAN-DO activities that we can do if we have finished everything else.
Inquiry - think pair share activity

We have our own timetables so we can keep track of what we need to get done and see where we have time to do it during the week. This all gives us the chance to be self-responsible and self-controlled learners - Mrs Coyle was so pleased with how we have been working on the DIY that she brought us a batch of her almost-world-famous-M&M-cookies!! Delicious!!

Inquiry - think pair share activity
Mr Pirie will be with us for the next three weeks on his posting and he is looking forward to having about nine days of full control, so we will return to a more traditional timetable and programme while he is here putting his teaching skills into practice!

So what have we been working on?

Inquiry - think pair share activity
In the first week we wrote recounts - the Year Fives wrote about a holiday event and published these as picture books, while the Year Sixes wrote about a camp activity and created multimedia picture books using PowerPoint - Ally was the Writer of the Week and you can read her story here on her blog.

Our new novel is about a shipwreck, so in week one we researched some of NZ's shipwrecks or sinkings and this week we are writing newspaper articles about the shipwreck we learned about.

This week we are combining our inquiry (What roles and responsibilites do people in our community have and why are they important to me and my community?) with our reading and with our speech-writing: we have each chosen an aspect of Community that we are going to learn about and share in a speech.

Our inquiry is making us think not just about our community of school or town, but also Southland, New Zealand and the world! There will be quite a variety of speech topics!!

Calum from Sport Southland has been coming along to help us build on the volleyball skills that many of us learnt last year - this is a lot of fun on a Tuesday morning!
Volleyball with Calum and his assistant

We sadly farewelled Linus as he moved to another area, and this Friday we will also farewell Jaekob before he moves away.

Jaekob's shift means that Maximus takes his place on the Student Council - congratulations Maximus! You will be a fine councillor!