Friday, 26 February 2016

Connections ...

The students in B5 have friends and family all over the world and we'd like to connect with you!  

We're getting some special postcards printed and we'd like to send you one.  We'd also love to receive some.  

Last year Mrs P's class received over 110 postcards, even one from our Prime Minister John Key and one from Antarctica!  Each time we receive a card we will look on a map and work out where it comes from. The pictures and the writing will be great learning opportunities for us.   Sending you cards will be great writing practice for us too.

Post cards can be addressed to:  Room B5, Eastern Hutt School, Kings Crescent, Lower Hutt 5010, New Zealand.

If you'd like our class to send you a post card, wherever you might be, please leave your name & address in our comments section below (all comments are moderated so we will not publish any personal details).  As soon as our cards arrive from the printer, we'll send one off to you.

We are excited about this post card project ... we wonder how many we might receive before the end of the term?  And where they might come from?

Feel free to share this post.  It would be great to have some new readers to our super-duper blog and receive some more post cards.  Thank you.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Dav Pilkey on Reading...

Dav Pilkey is the talented author of the Captain Underpants series.  Here he tells kids how reading gives you superpowers!  

There is great value in children choosing their own books and reading for fun! Encourage your children to explore what's on the bookshelf or at the local library for some fun books to compliment the reader they bring home from school...

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Our Trip to the Rocky Shore...

We've been learning about how to be a good friend and soon we will be exploring 'Our Friends in the Sea'.  Yesterday we had a great time visiting the Island Bay Marine Education Centre in Wellington.  Judy and Victor, the centre's educators, showed us around the rock pools and told us about the creatures and life in them. Then we went through to the aquarium and got to see some of the species we'd talked about (and in some cases, found) up close. There are tanks of all different sizes and a wonderful touch pool, where you can actually pick up things and gently examine them.  It was so cool...

Theodore came too.  He loved exploring the rock pools.
Mrs P found him up close in the touch tank.
Just a well he didn't eat any of the fish!
He even got to help drive the bus home!
There were lots of amazing creatures in the touch tank and aquarium...
We explored the rock pools and found different sorts of seaweed,
sea snails, worms, crabs, glass shrimps and other cool things.

After lunch we enjoyed a play at Shorland Park.
Some of our parent and teacher helpers were asked to
wear 'special safety gear' (aka fishy hats).
We all loved the bus ride.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Learning to Learn ...

This year we're 'Learning to Learn'.  We have had some great discussions about how we learn new things.  Nearly all of us have tried to ride a bike.  For some of us it was easy, for others it was tough going.  We shared ideas about what we did to learn to ride a bike. There was so many of them.  These same ways of learning to ride a bike apply to how we learn all new things...

We decided that to learn at school there are things we need to do for ourselves to make sure that we are the best learners we can be ...

In Week 2, we talked about ways of learning at school.  Sometimes we are shown how to do things, told how to do things, or given the opportunities to learn things for ourselves. Some of us like to work one way and others like working another way.  Some kids said they like to move while they learn ... they 'wriggle'.  Some kids said they work better when they sit still like statues!  We are all different.  'Learning to Learn'  gets us thinking and talking about the way we learn and will help us to identify how we work and how to make good choices about our learning.

In Week 3 we talked about listening and the difference between good listening and hearing.  We played a fun game called 'Pass the whisper'.  We decided that it is important to be a good listener, but speaking clearly and being able to talk to others was important too.  We will work on developing our oral language skills in class throughout the year including daily sharing news, Learning to Learn and other fun stuff.

This week we are thinking about our brains and how we think about things. It is sometimes easy to think things are very hard and feel like you can't do something. If we are using a 'growth mindset' then we are more likely to give new things a go. Telling ourselves things like, it's not "I can't" it's "I can!" (or, "there is always a can in can't") and it's not "I don't know" it's "I'll give it a go", can have a very powerful effect on learning.   Challenges can grow and strengthen our brains.

Here's a couple of fun clips for kids on Growth Mindsets...

"You were made to be AWESOME!"

"Believe in Yourself!"

Monday, 22 February 2016

Place Value Learning...

Over the next month or so we will be learning about place value...

Thursday, 18 February 2016


Thank you all for your responses to our 'mini-survey'.  As the application we were using was a freebie, it does cap the responses and it is now 'full'.  Looks pretty representative of the last few weeks though, so chances are your child's ideas may have already been captured.  If not, please feel free to leave a comment below letting us know your ideas...

Wednesday, 17 February 2016


Since we've been talking about surveys and collecting information in Statistics, I thought it might be cool to gather some feedback from students and whanāu about their first few weeks in B5.  I'd love to hear about how you're finding things.

I have created a PollEv cloud presentation online.  You can click here to go to the link. Ask your child to give you a couple of words to describe their first few weeks in our class, type them in and click 'Submit Response'.

Thank you for helping your child do this, and supporting your child to settle into their new class.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Blog Buddies...

We are excited to share our new blogging adventure this year with you ... Blog Buddies! 

There are four classes (including ours) from all over New Zealand who are going to connect with each other through our blogs.  We will be reading one another's posts ("Hello" to you), sharing stories, art works, letters and other things throughout the year. Watch this space!

Here's our Blog Buddies...
Introducing Mrs Robinson and Mrs Sherlock's class from Isla Bank School in Otautau. Isla Bank School is a small rural school in a farming, forestry and milling town located inland on the western edge of the Southland Plains of New Zealand. Otautau is located approximately 40 km north west of Invercargill.  Room 3 is a class which is made up of year 0-3 students.  Visit their blog here.

Introducing Mrs Campbell's class from Papakura Central School in Auckland. Papakura is a suburb of Auckland, in northern New Zealand. Room 17 is made up of year 2-3 students. Visit their blog here.

Introducing Miss Robinson's class from Grey Main School.  Grey Main School is in Greymouth, the largest town in the West Coast region in the South Island of New Zealand. Room 15 is made up of year 0-2 students.  Visit their blog here.
If you visit these blogs, please take a moment to leave a comment for them (and also on ours).  Remember, instructions on how to do this are in the 'Our Blog' tab.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Statistics is Fun...

Over the last couple of weeks we've been learning about statistics ... how to ask questions and gather, record, discuss and present data.

Here are some examples of what we've been doing...

We have worked out when all our birthdays are over the year.
We noticed there are no birthday in April.
The most popular birthday month is May.
We shared what our favourite colour is.  The most popular colour in B5 is blue.
The least popular colour is yellow.  We were surprised.
Today we took our maths session outside.  We used clip boards and surveyed the cars as they drove past our school.  We recorded how many black (including silver and grey), blue, red and purple cars went past.  These are the colours of our own cars, so we thought they would be good ones to count.  

We then transferred the data we had collected onto a pictograph.  Black (including silver and grey) cars are the most popular coloured cars.  Purple was the least popular.

We've also explored how many people live in our families and what our favourite sports are.

Here's a great clip on tally marks to help explain what we've been learning and why.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Xīn Nián Kuài Lè! 新年快乐! (Happy New Year!)

In our class we have children of many different ethnicities, who speak different languages, come from different cultures and enjoy celebrating different festivals.

This week we have observed and have been learning about Chinese New Year.  

The oldest and most important festival in China is called the Spring Festival. Many people call it the Chinese New Year. No matter what you call it, it is a time of celebration for millions of Chinese people all over the world.

Chinese New Year festival origins come from a story...
A long time ago, there was a terrible mythical monster who preyed on villagers, especially the children.  It slept all the year until the last day, when it woke to eat people.  The lion-like monster's name was Nian which is also the Chinese word for "year".   A wise old man counselled the villagers in order to ward off the evil Nian by making loud noises with drums and firecrackers; hanging red paper cutouts and scrolls on their doors, because for some reason the Nian is scared of the colour red.   The villagers took the old man's advice and the Nian was conquered.  On the anniversary of the date, the Chinese people recognise the "passing of the Nian", known in Chinese as guo nian, and celebrate it.

Because the Chinese use a lunar calendar, the date of the festival changes each year. It takes place at some time during the end of January or the beginning of February. Traditionally celebrations last for fifteen days, ending on the date of the full moon.  Its ending is heralded with a Lantern Festival.

The Chinese calendar has a 12 year cycle and each year is named after an animal. People born in each of these years are said to have certain characteristics. The year 2016 is the Year of the Monkey.

Today the Year 2 classes had a special rotation with many opportunities for our students to explore different ways of celebrating this special festival.  In one class they made lanterns, in another Chinese dragons and in B5, monkey faces!

What a fabulous way to celebrate...

B5 students with their monkey faces....
"Look what else we made!"
Gong Hey Fat Choy...

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Meet the Teacher...

Thank you for coming to our Meet the Teacher evening.  If you missed it, or wanted to refer back to our shared presentation, here it is.  To take your time reading a particular slide, simply pause the video.

Friday, 5 February 2016

End of Week 1...

What a busy way to end our first week back at school.

We started the day with our very special powhiri to welcome new students, teachers and whānau to our super-duper school.  It was extra special for B5 as we welcomed Feo to our school.

After morning tea we did 'Discovery'.  Check on the Discovery page above for more information about this neat way of learning.  To introduce Discovery for the year, we spent some time thinking about what it's all about.  During each session we will be focusing on key competencies  and our all important school values.  As the children explored today we kept in mind 'relating to others' and 'respect'.  It was awesome to see the children sharing ideas, turns and resources; using their manners and showing respect to others and for our resources; getting to know one another better; helping each other to learn and teach new skills. At the end of our Discovery session we reflected about what we'd done, how we worked together and ways we'd shown respect.  We are all looking forward to our next Discovery session.

Today was another scorching day in Lower Hutt (2 days ago it reached 31 degrees here). We were very pleased to be able to jump in the pool this afternoon for our first swimming session of the year.  The water was clean and cool.  We made a whirlpool, played ring-a-rosies and all went under, used cups for water play and exploration, used straws and ping-pong balls to practice our bubble blowing, and had a play on the flutter boards.  Great fun!

This weekend is Waitangi Day.  It celebrates the date of the first signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, on February 6th, each year. Waitangi is in the Bay of Islands in Te Ika A Maui / North Island.  It is a public holiday and this year we will have Monday off school.  See you back in Super-Duper B5 on Tuesday.  

Monday, 1 February 2016

Our First Day...

This is Super-Duper B5!
We are B5.  Today is our first day at school.
We have done a treasure hunt, had assembly and other stuff!
We like school.