Sunday, 31 August 2014

Week 6 Term 3

Hi Families,

You may have seen Rosie and I moving furniture out of our large breakout space recently.  We have had a big change around in there and have introduced some new learning areas for the children to explore!  We have linked each area to the Herrmann Brain Model. 

Each area has a coloured sign that corresponds to the type of thinking you will be predominately doing in that area.  We have had lots of discussions with the children about the type of thinking they are comfortable engaging in and what thinking challenges them and takes them out of their comfort zone.  It has been amazing listening to the children analyse themselves and identify where they see their strengths lie.  This week Riley said 'Kerry, I am comfortable working in the blue!' and Justin identified himself as having strengths in all the areas which is fantastic.  Come and check it out!!

One of our new areas of learning-The Puppet Show

We have had another big week engaged in our Project Based Learning.

Outside Area
Members of this group have been busy checking out websites to get prices for the things that they want to buy so they can email Daniel back with a budget. Here Danielle and Hannah are writing down some prices from the Bunnings Warehouse website.

Rocket Blasters
This week the group have been designing a holder for their rocket to try and solve the problem of the rocking launching sideways as opposed to upwards.

Gravity and Stars Groups
The children in these groups have been very busy finalising their research and collating all their information.  They have attended a script writing workshop and will progress to making their movie/documentary this coming week.

South Africa
Hopefully you have seen the flyer that came home this week which the boys in this group designed and wrote.  We are really looking forward to South Africa Day this Friday.  Please help your child to dress in colours from the South African flag and if possible, bring a plate to share for lunch.  Thanks to all our families with South African routes who have offered to bring a traditional South African dish.

Control Panel
This group has had a big week, attending a workshop led by students at the Secondary school.  What an amazing experience!!  Not only did they learn how to make more complex circuits but they also worked out how to write a code to put a message on a screen!  They will be going back this week with their final design and hopefully we will see it take shape.  

Have a great week!

Kerry and Rosie

Monday, 25 August 2014

Week 5 Term 3

Hi Families,

Our Project Based Learning is well under way now. 

South Africa
We asked an expert to come in and share his knowledge with us.  Clint, Luke's Dad, very kindly came in and shared a Power Point presentation with lots of very helpful information.  They have also received an email from another expert, Andre's Dad all about South Africa.  Luke, Andre and Zachariah are planning a South Africa Day so look out for more information about that soon.

Rocket Blasters
Antos led an experiment exploring water pressure that he had trialled at home with his Dad.  After lots of problem-solving we managed to get the rocket off the ground!!!  Take a look at this youtube clip  and try it at home!

Control Panel
We emailed some experts from LC2 and asked them to run a workshop for us on how to make a simple circuit.  We had a go at Makey Makey and we also made circuits with a switch and a light bulb.  


We have been focussing on self portraits for a while now.  The children have developed their skills in drawing different parts of their face and are able to add a considerable amount of detail.  We have spent time looking at different artists and their style/techniques.  This week we looked at Matisse and how he used a colourful background.


Some of our children have started using 'paper planning'.  We have introduced this system to get them used to timetabling their day and being reflective.

Have a great week everyone!

Kerry and Rosie.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Week 4, Term 3

Hi Whanau!

This week we have welcomed Isabelle and her family to LC1.  

The Rocket Blasters

The Rocket Blasters conducted their second experiment on air pressure.  This time we experimented with a balloon in a bottle!

Please try it at home!  No matter how hard we tried we could not blow up the balloon inside the bottle! That was because the air pressure in the bottle was greater than the air pressure we were blowing in and it was trapped inside.  We then put a straw in our bottle and found we could blow up the balloon a lot more! That was because the air in the bottle could get out.  Check out our photos!

The Learning Pit

“If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. That way, their children don’t have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifelong way to build and repair their own confidence.” 
― Carol S. Dweck

This week we continued our work on supporting our group and team to complete jobs that need doing.  We set the teams a task; to build the tallest tower only using 5 sheets of newspaper and no glue or tape.  Many of our children very quickly went to a place of confusion. frustration and despair! This is called 'The Learning Pit'. - a vitally important phase of learning when we push ourselves out of our comfort zone and take risks with our thinking.  We hadn't really anticipated that this would happen! We took the opportunity to talk to the children about 'The Learning Pit'.  We were amazed by their reflections after the experience.  

Andre - "Zachariah pulled me out of the pit and I pulled him out!"

Layla - "At first we were all in the pit, but then we worked together and we managed to climb out."

If you would like more information please ask!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Week 3 Term 3

Hi Everyone!

This week we have moved into our project groups, ready to take on and investigate a lot of new learning!  Our focus this term has been "What's Out There?".  We have been thinking about this through the lens of "Digital Age Literacy".  We have specifically focussed on the Multicultural literacies and Scientific literacies to spark the children's interests.  Five groups have formed:

The Control Panel Builders:  This group plan to find out more about circuits and how they could make a control panel using electricity for a rocket.

The Rocket Blasters:  So far we have been doing experiments on air pressure to see if we can come up with how we can build our own rocket and make it blast off. 

The Space Detectives:  These children wanted to investigate into specific aspects of space.  So far we have sub groups looking into stars, aliens and gravity.  

South Africa:  This group are studying into life in South Africa, with a particular interest in the food and wildlife there.  

The Outside Area Developers:  This group plan on enhancing our learning area outside of LC1.  

As you can see, quite a variety of groups! We're really excited to see what the children come up with and the learning they are going to do along the way.  This term immersion and projects have looked different to last term as we really could not envisage what their projects would look like at the start of the process! Watch this space for updates over the coming weeks!

Linking to the projects, our learner disposition focus this week and the coming weeks is "Do I support my group or team by doing jobs that need completing?"

Below are some photos from our science experiment on air pressure. If you scrunch up a little piece of paper towel and place it in the mouth of a bottle and then try to blow it in it just blows out!  This is because the bottle is already full of air!  

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Week 2 Term 3

Hi Families

We enjoyed a successful trip to the Star Dome on Monday.  The children particularly loved watching the movie about Tycho the Space Dog as he flew around Space exploring the different planets.  During our classroom session the children found out about the movements of the Sun, Moon and Earth.  We were very fortunate with the weather and were able to enjoy lunch and a play at the park next door!  Thanks to our awesome parents/grandparents who came with us on the trip.

We have been working on our Space Place this week.  Come and take a look at our alien invasion!

We have also been designing and making our own space shuttles to go in the Space Place.  The art table has been a hive of activity this week.  We have been very impressed with the children's creativity and just as impressed with their ability to collaborate and share.

We had a very exciting arrival in the post this week.  Our Dark Den.  Some children helped Rosie to make it by carefully following the instructions.  The children LOVE being in it and as we gather more resources over the coming weeks, it is going to be a great place of learning!