Friday, 26 August 2016

Creating Champions...

Throughout the term we've been doing SO much creating as well as learning lots about the Olympics.  Today we took the time before Discovery to carefully consider what we were going to make, with what and how.  We call this a 'plan'.

1. Think about what we're going to create;
2. Think about what we will use to make it;
3. Draw a plan of what we're going to make and list the items we need to use;
4. Make it!
5. Reflect on how it went, and if we had to adapt our plan or design for our creation.

At the end of our Discovery time we brought our creations back to the group and shared them with each other.  Some of us had changed our plans because the materials we wanted to use weren't available, or the plan was too hard, or because as we were creating our plan turned into something else!  
Lily made a New Zealand flag and an Olympic torch...
Bryan designed and created a B Block Olympic Ring symbol!
Lot's of design champions in this class!
Isobelle designed a scene which had 3 different sports and sports areas -
a court, a field and a pool.  She made holes in the sides of the box
and made sports figurines out of paper attached to straws and used them like puppets.
Shoma made a rugby field...
Next Friday we will be following a 'proper' design brief that we will write during the week.  Watch this space...

Monday, 15 August 2016

Our Little Country ...

Following on from the invitation we received to participate in our very own B Block Olympics, we have been busy creating, collaborating and making decisions about who we are going to be!  We have talked about how some countries are democracies where all the citizens (the people that live there) get to have a say in how things are run, whereas in others the decisions are made for them by the person in charge.  We decided we wanted our country to be a democracy.
The word 'democracy' has it's origins in Greece, just like the Olympics!
We all thought of ideas for a country name, many based on the colour, our mascot or on our class theme (Dr Seuss).  We voted by choosing our preferred option. 'Seussralia' came out on top!  We have 23 students in our class, Mrs P and Theodore.  Therefore, we decided our country had 25 people living there (this is called the population).  

Before we chose our name, we used our White Thinking Hats and gathered up all the info we already had.  We already have a class mascot, Theodore, and decided we wanted him to be our Olympic mascot too.  Since the beginning of the year, we have joked that Theodore speaks 'Meowinese' and often do our 'days at school' in this made up language! Choosing our language was easy - in Seussralia we speak Meowinese (and English). Each class in B block has been allocated a colour, our colour is white.  

Since we can walk between our class and the others in B block, we decided our country should be like this too (instead of being an island).  We looked at the 206 Olympic committees participating in the Olympics this year and where they came from.    There are seven continents in the world - Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia/Oceania, Europe, North America, and South America.  Each one has a different climate, population, time zone etc. We voted, and the majority (the most) of the class decided they wanted our country to be in Europe, and we want Seussralia to be a warm country bordered by mountains on one side and beaches on the other.  

Our country is divided into four cities, Wocket, Sneech, Fox and Yertle.  These are the names of our cooperative groups!  

We took a closer look at all the flags of the world and realised there were common colours (the Olympic rings are common colours on flags), and they have simple designs. The flags can be seen and recognised from a distance and distinctive for each country.  We all came up with our own design for a flag for Seussralia, then we had an exhibition.  We all had a counter and got to put our counter on the flag design we liked the best.  Then we took another look at the most popular ones to check that met our flag criteria - simple, no words, block colour and easy to copy!  We voted again and decided on Isobelle's purple striped flag featuring Theodore, pawprints and spots!  Then we simplified it in a digital version.  This is our class flag ...

Isobelle's design features Theodore, our class mascot, pawprints,
spots and our B Block Olympics logo.
What a fun and creative Inquiry journey we are on.  The children are learning lots - about the Olympics, creating, collaborating, and making choices.

On Friday at Discovery, a group of students made a giant collaged flag using pictures from recycled magazines and a stash of donated computer paper.  We used the liners from our recycling bins for sticks for our individual flags and bamboo garden stakes for the stick on the large class flag.  It is great being able to put 'rubbish' to good use and we are starting to look at things quite differently in our classroom.  For instance, instead of throwing out the old glue stick containers, we simply throw out the stubby glue bit and are keeping the shells and lids for Discovery time.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Creative Discovery ...

We have been creating up a storm during our Discovery sessions.  Using a wide variety of recycled materials brought in from home, and saved from the landfill, we have repurposed it and turned it into some amazing creations that we are all very proud of...

Can you spot the medals, the athletes, the uniforms, the mascots and even sports
equipment?  Our students have been really excited and
inspired by the Olympics!

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Abode School Lunches ...

The new lunch menu from Abode Café starts from tomorrow (available on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays). Please follow the link to read what is available.

To order lunch, put your child's name and room number on an envelope with what they want and enclose the money, and take to school office. This is then sent to Abode Café.

At lunchtime, the café deliver the lunches to the office and students pick up from there.

Building Resilience - The Spirit of Polynesia...

Today we had a visit from Bernard Mangakahia. Bernard has visited our school before. He brings with him tales from his family and from other cultures. He shares his message through stories, dance and music.  Today he spoke about resilience, and the importance of not giving up and working towards our dreams.

Here is a quote from an Olympian athlete (we're learning about the Olympics this term), with a similar message to the one Bernard shared today...

Bernard told us about his Great Grandmother and her efforts towards helping New Zealand woman having the right to vote, she showed lots of determination and resilience. He also told us about his amazing father-in-law Pat, who with an amputated leg, scaled one of the highest mountains in India with Bernard and his wife.  Bernard's son always dreamed of being a professional dancer and today, he is.  He has danced in New York and in London. What great efforts!  What courage!  What resilience!  Bernard explained that if you really, truly believed in something and worked hard for it, then you can achieve it.

We all enjoyed Bernard's show.

If you fall ... get up, keep going - never give up!
Rise each time you fall!

Learning tricky dances like this Fijian fire dance is very hard,
but Bernard never gave up.  He started learning when he was only a
young boy.  Look at him now!

Bernard showed us our very own tricky dance to learn and practice.
It is the Samoan sasa.  I wonder if we will be as good as Bernard
if we keep on trying and don't give up?
Bernard encouraged us to all think of a couple of people who we know and aspire to be like who are resilient.  These people make good role models.  They help keep us on track towards achieving our dreams.
Who inspires you?  
Who do you know who is resilient?

This video from Bernard's website gives you a look at what was included in the Kia Toa show he brought to our school today...

Monday, 8 August 2016

Olympics Fun in B Block...

So we got a letter...

We're all very excited about the Rio Olympics, so to have the opportunity to participate in our own is really cool.  We're all about 'creating' this term, so we're looking forward to learning about the Olympics and then creating our own version of it.  First things first ... to come up with a country name!  Lots of ideas to choose from so far (all contributed by the students)...

We already have a class mascot, Theodore, and we have decided he would be a super Olympic mascot.  He also matches our country's allocated colour (white).  Theodore speaks 'Meowinese' (a made up language - so far he's taught us how to count to ten!)

Today we learnt about the Olympic rings, why there is 5 of them and what colours there are (and why).  We studied different countries flags and identified lots that had the Olympics colours on them.

Our B Block Olympics logo is made up of rings too, but we have 6 rings (because there are 6 classrooms).  B5 has been allocated the colour 'white'.

Postcards From Around the World...

We thought we'd give you an update on our postcard wall ...

We have received 45 postcards this year.  Many are from students who've travelled and friends and family all over the world.  We've also received interesting newspaper articles and brochures for local events and celebrations that people have written to us about!

Thank you for sending us postcards. We love hearing from you, so please keep sending them.

Our address is:

Room B5
Eastern Hutt School
Kings Crescent
Lower Hutt 5010
New Zealand

Ngā mihi, Super-Duper B5.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Olympics ...

Every four years it's the Olympic Games!  There's a buzz of excitement in the classroom as children have started talking about it, and asking lots of questions.  We've decided this would make an awesome topic to explore this term.  Today we watched a few little clips about the origin of the Olympics (wow they've been happening for so many years), and a fabulous trailer from the BBC...

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Taniwha ...

At music last week Mrs Gain and Mrs Campbell read us a special book by a New Zealand artist and author called Robyn Kahukiwa.  The book was called Taniwha.  The book explores the idea of friendship and belief, as a little boy takes an adventure with a taniwha.  On the way they meet Paptuānuku and Rūaumoko, Tangaroa and Ranginui.

Māori history tells us about our origins that come from Papatuānuku, the Earth Mother and reach to the stars amongst Ranginui, the Sky Father.  One of their sons was Tangaroa, who is the kaitiaki (guardian) of oceans lakes and rivers. Rūaumoko also features the story.  He is the guardian of earth tremors, or lava flow and he is the youngest child of Ranginui and Paptuānuku.

During our music time we explored a whole lot of different sounds and movements that taniwha, the river, bubbles and logs might make.  We used instruments, scarves, our voices and bodies. 

The next day we wrote some stories about taniwha ... some of us wrote recounts of our awesome music session, others retold the the story of 'Taniwha'.

When we'd finished our writing, we decided we wanted to make some fabulous taniwha art to go with it.  We were inspired by a picture Feo made of a taniwha at his last school. Isn't it amazing?

For our pictures we created our taniwha using pencil outline, then coloured with jovis, outlined with black vivid and carefully cut around them.  For the background water, we mixed green and blue dye to make a water colour and while the dye was still really wet, we sprinkled table salt all over it.  As it dried it made a really neat bubble effect.  For the sky we used a bit of blue, a bit of purple and some black dye mixed together, then sprinkled fine blue glitter on it.  The dappled sky looks like a starry night!