Thursday, 7 September 2017

Baby Birds

Our birds are parents again.  The mother bird lay five eggs but unfortunately only three hatched.  Mrs O'Dowda took the birds out  of the cage to give them a bath this week.  They are all different colours.  When we are quiet in class we can hear them.  Some of the children like to read to them.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Loose Parts

Loose Parts are an important part of our Play Based Learning.  The term loose parts refers to the 'stuff' we play with:

"As long as materials can be moved, redesigned, put together, and taken apart in a variety of ways, they are classified as loose parts"
Simon Nicholson (Founder of the idea of loose parts). 

"Loose parts were made for intelligence building.  Say you need to make a motorway-overpass in the clay bank.  To start with, you don't know what you are going to do, nor how you are going to do it.  All you have to go on is an idea in your mind and the materials available.  As soon as you look at the loose parts, intelligence gets to come out and play.  You plan, trial, construct and engineer with the loose parts, and before long you have the overpass in operation" from The Sacred Urge to Play by Pennie Brownlee and Kimberley Crisp.

In Te Kakano we are trying to build up our resources of loose parts especially for outdoor use.  As you can see from the photos below we have some tyres and rope but need more loose parts to create with.

Large Loose parts such as:

saw horses, pipes, guttering, planks, tree trunk rounds, wooden pallets, wood offcuts, crates etc...

We are also keen to get some more small loose parts for our inside environment. These would include materials such as:
paper rolls, mens ties, milk bottle tops, pipe cleaners, coloured stones, natural materials such as pine cones.

Please see one of the teachers in Te Kakano if you have something to donate and we will see if it is still needed.

Here is a link if you are interested in finding out more about loose parts: Loose Parts: Who is doing the thinking?

At the end of this post is a free ebook that has lots of great examples of loose parts. There is a copy of this book in Te Kakano. Please feel free to ask to have a look.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Maths Agents

We are Maths Agents!!!

Every day we check in to our special maths boardroom.  In the boardroom we have special maths missions that we need to complete.

 We have our own agent number that we need to pin on our clothes when we check into the boardroom.

We have a maths challenge that we have to try and work out each time we come to the boardroom.  

This week we have been looking at the ways we can add one and take away one from a number.  This concept also helps to consolidate our before and after knowledge.

We work in a range of different groups to help challenge our maths learning.

When we have finished our mission,  we check back out of the maths boardroom and come back to our Te Kakano classroom.

Our Whakangahau Presentation

Here is our Whakangahau presentation on cooperation and collaboration. 

Please click on the blue headings to take you to any links such as videos and slide show.

 Below is the King's Speech play.

Friday, 4 August 2017


Come and see Te Kakano's Whakangahau (assembly). It is on Monday the 7th of August in the hall at 12.30 pm. We would love you to come.
We will be sharing our learning on the meaning of collaboration and co operation.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Using Drama in the Classroom

Using drama in the classroom is a wonderful way to use our imaginations.  Today we played a game called 'Set the Scene'.  After listening to the story the Three Little Pigs we each had to pretend to be a character or object in one scene of the story then freeze into that position.  We used our faces and our bodies to show what we were were without talking.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Visit to the Locals Cafe

What an adventurous and fun 'Friday Surprise Day' we had on the last day of term.  Mrs James and Mrs Johnson took us on a surprise trip.  We all had to put on our jackets and walking shoes and off we went on a mystery walk.

It was a little cold and wet but we didn't mind as we walked up towards the school gate.

We had to walk up the big hill on Tukapa street but we all persevered.  Where were we going?  Ava thought we might be going to her house.

Wow we are here!  We have come to the Locals Cafe.

Robyn who owns the cafe is Mitchell L's mum.  She has kindly let us visit her cafe.  It is very busy inside so we are going to try to be very quiet.  Robyn is showing us around the kitchen where they make the food.

This is one of the cooks.  They were very busy cooking the delicious food.

This lady washes the dishes.  She uses a very hot dishwasher.  Her job is very important otherwise there would be no clean plates to eat from!

The people that make the coffee are called baristas.

We looked at all of the food in the big fridges and saw an enormous mixer that mixes the ingredients up.

YUMMY!!!!  We each got a warm bagel, a hot chocolate and a chocolate fish to eat.

When we left we said a big thank you to Robyn.  Robyn gave us a pen each and some note pads so we could play cafe's back at school.

When we got back to school Kairangi wanted to write Robyn a letter to say thank you.  Great idea Kairangi.  Lots  of the other children decided they wanted to play cafes!

Asher is being the customer and Noah is taking his order at the table.

Autumn and Romeo decided to be the baristas.  Mmmmmm that coffee and hot chocolate smells good.

Lawrie and Asher are  ready to take orders with their note pads.

I wonder what Kairangi is ordering?  Jake is busy on the till.

Asher is now the cook.  He is flipping the food over in the kitchen.

Giuliana is sitting in the cafe enjoying a lovely hot chocolate.  What a nice way to end our day.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Our trip to Muru Raupatu Marae

On  a sunny Tuesday  morning we were picked up from school and traveled out on a bus to Bell Block to visit the special marae called Muru Raupatu.

We were very excited!!
We were welcomed on the marae by our kapahaka group who were wearing their new kapahaka uniforms.  These uniforms were later blessed when we went inside the whare nui.
Before we were welcomed onto the marae we waited near the entrance.  Later that day Mr Ritai showed us the carvings on the entrance way.  They represented all of the tribes in Taranaki.

Before entering the whare nui we all took our shoes off and  took part in the hongi to greet our hosts.
Later in the morning we were lucky enough to see the kapahaka group perform outside.

We did lots of fun and interesting activities through out the day.  Hoaini taught us about the stars and Puanga.

Some of the older boys taught us the haka and the girls learnt some waiata.

At the end of the day we were lucky enough to see the hangi being pulled up.
There was alot of steam and we had to be very careful.  "Yum it smells delicious" said Romeo.  For many of us the best part of the day was eating the hangi.  Wow what amazing food.  It was scrumptious!!!!
Thank you Muru Raupatu Marae we had a wonderful day!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Walking Colours

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How can we mix colours without touching them?We found a way in Te Kakano.  Mrs Johnson put seven clear plastic cups out.  We  poured a different coloured  dye in  four cups  and water in three cups .  We folded paper towels and placed one in each cup making sure the paper touched each other.  Slowly the dye travelled (absorbed) up the paper towels and then down into the next cup.  New colours began to appear.  I wonder what these new colours were?
After the experiment many of our learners began experimenting with the paints and creating new colours.
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Friday, 7 April 2017

See, Think, Wonder and our Cross Competency Animals

This week we introduced two of our Cross Competency Animals to our class. These animals help our learners to understand our cross competency skills. During our See, Think, Wonder time we have been discussing how the animals can help us learn to learn. The first animal we discussed was the ant.
The ant likes to find out lots of information but always validates that the information is correct. The ant asks questions like:
Where can I find information?  Who can I ask?
Do I trust my source?
Is there another source I could ask to be sure?
Is the information I have found consistent across my sources?
Can I prove the information I have discovered is true and correct?

Our learners noticed that the ant picture had his thumbs up. They decided this meant that he had found the information he needed and checked that it was correct. On Monday, when we were in the library, one of our learners discovered a book about tuataras. The children were fascinated and we read the book together. During See, Think, Wonder time we told a partner a fact that we had learned about the tuatara. As the learners shared, we used the book to validate the fact. Before we knew it, the learners were giving each other thumbs up!  

The second animal we discussed this week was the cat. The cat is a very curious animal and is always asking questions to find out more information. The cat asks: 

What do I need to know?
Does my question start with one of the seven servants?
Is my question an effective question?
Does it include key words and phrases?
Will it get me the information or answers that I need?
Is my question relevant to my task or need?

Are there any other words (synonyms) I could use in my question?

Why did the boy go in the mud? 
During See, Think, Wonder time we showed an image on the Activeboard. This image was of a boy covered in mud. We discussed the 7 servant words that can be used to ask questions - Why, When, Who, What, Where, Which and How.  Once again they copied the actions of the cat image and had their arms out palm extended as they asked a question. Some of the questions they wondered were:

How did the boy get in the mud?

Why is the boy lying in the mud?

Next term, we are looking forward to introducing and using more of our animals with the language and skills that they promote.