Thursday, 26 September 2019

Polynesian Navigation Inquiry - Nik's Base Group

This week we've been studying the Polynesian navigators Kupe, Whatonga and Tupaia. Three very similar men from three very different times! Here's a three-way Venn diagram we made together today to compare them.

We are planning to make an information board for the school about Polynesian Navigation. We think it will have a map to show where the first navigators went, a timeline of navigation events in Aotearoa, background art inspired by our view and information on Kupe, Whatonga and Tupaia.

We spent some time outside imagining what it might have been like to see a waka hourua sailing past. How would our view have been different?

We plotted the journeys of Kupe, Whatonga and his sons Tara and Tautoki on a map after reading and hearing their stories.

We discussed when navigation events in Aotearoa happened in relation to one another.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Taonga Puoro

Al Fraser is a widely respected player, composer, builder and researcher of traditional Māori instruments ngā taonga puoro with a performance background. During Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori he came and visited Matariki and Māhutonga to share some of his amazing instruments and play some of them for us.

While he showed us his taonga puoro, he explained that taonga (treasure) and puoro (sound) translates into special/treasured sounds. He had crafted instruments from all sorts of sticks, rocks, logs and bones – even those of dogs, birds and whales!


These instruments are very special and unique to Aotearoa and it was such fun for us to see them all and learn about how they are made and played. Some of them are even made to play with your nose!

Tara Burton

Holiday Reading

With the holidays coming up I look forward to tackling the ambitious pile of books I have collected over the term.  If you're feeling a bit stuck for what to read this break you can always look at our Māhutonga/Matariki book recommendations.

Why is reading so important?
Parent/teacher engagement in reading is a strong predictor of future success. Reading and discussing stories also helps children learn valuable lessons in human behaviour. Reading for pleasure seems to be largely based in culture (both home and school) and engagement in reading.

“Parental involvement in their child’s literacy practices is a more powerful force than other family background variables, such as social class, family size and level of parental education."
(Flouri & Buchanan, 2004)

For more inspiration we have this sheet for reading bingo! Challenge yourselves to tick off as many as possible over the break. We will be giving this sheet out to students this week. 

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Maori : Kei Whea te Taonga? Treasure Hunt using Te Reo Maori

                             He aha kei te rapu koe e Ollie? What are you looking for Ollie?

Ollie is looking for the treasure, in this case a techdeck.  Sammy was giving him commands in Te Reo Maori.
Timata (begin), haere totika (go straight ahead), Haere tonu (keep going) e huri whakamauī (turn left) and so on. 
We have been learning the language involved with giving and receiving instructions.  It was really challenging but fun!
Sammy was pretty tricky but Ollie was patient and guess what?

He found it!

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Positive Health

What does Positive Health look like in Māhutonga/Matariki?

In Māhutonga/Matariki we learn about emotions and relationships. We use drama and games to reflect on how we feel about situations and how we can handle social situations in a positive way. We aim to help our seniors to become empathetic, resilient individuals.

Wake Up the Brain

Every morning students choose how they can wake their brain up for the day. Exercise affects the brain in many ways. It increases heart rate, which pumps more oxygen to the brain. It aids the release of hormones which provide an excellent environment for the growth of brain cells. Exercise also promotes brain plasticity by stimulating growth of new connections between cells in many important cortical areas of the brain. Research from UCLA even demonstrated that exercise increased growth factors in the brain which makes it easier for the brain to grow new neuronal connections. They can choose from to do singing, dancing or sketching too. This helps them to settle into their day and get ready for their day of learning.

Brain breaks

It's exactly as it sounds! We need to give our brains a break because learning is HARD! These are a quick few minutes of fun to break up the day. We also use these for our own learning as a staff.

5 Finger Breaths

After exercise, Just Dance or any time we need to take 5 we take the students through '5 finger breaths'. In which we trace our fingers with our other hand's index finger, breathing in and out as we go up and down. This helps students to visualise their breath, giving them a moment of mindfulness.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Parent Evening 18th September 6.45pm

Come along to our Positive Education Parent Workshops tomorrow night. Teachers have prepared 20 minute workshops based on Positive Emotions, Positive Relationships and Positive Health.

We are keen to get conversations going around what you are already doing at home and what we are doing at school to help kids FLOURISH.

Watch this space for some practical things we do here at school!

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Orange Day Parade 2019: He Rā Karaka pai!

What a fantastic Rā Karaka / Orange Day we had this year. Fulfilling our Road Patrol duties gives us a great sense of Positive Purpose every day. That's why we marched so loudly and proudly from Parliament to the Michael Fowler Centre. This was the New Zealand Police and Wellington City Council's way of saying thanks to all of Wellington's student road patrollers. We enjoyed a strong sense of Positive Accomplishment. 

"I am grateful that I had such a fun time at Orange Day Parade" - Olivia C

"I had fun when we went out for Orange Day Parade because we walked about 2km, which is a long way!" - Cameron J

"I’m grateful for being able to go to the orange day parade and have lots of fun" - Sammy C

Our banner read "Rā Karaka (Orange Day)" and "Tūtei whakawhiti huarahi (crossing the road safely)" in honour of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori. 

We showed that size doesn't matter - we were among the loudest groups and we chanted the entire time. Tau kē!

"I had fun when I kept on yelling '2, 4, 6, 8, who do we appreciate? Not the king, not the Queen but the Worser Bay Patrol Team!" - Avery D

We made sure to give thanks and high-fives to every Police Officer we saw. A great chance to show some gratitude to them for doing a great job keeping us safe. 

"I am inspired by the police and how much time they put in to Road Patrol. I had fun at the parade and enjoyed listening to the people singing" - Eva S

 "I am inspired by everyone that does Road Patrol" - Pippa S

"🧡ORANGE DAY PARADE🧡 was awesome, and I almost lost my voice doing chanting. I’m a bit sad that we did not get to show a talent or win a prize, I felt that Worser Bay was forgotten, I hope it goes better next year. " - Gina L

Bonus - we got to meet our Mayor, Justin Lester. He explained that his Mayoral chains are the same ones you can see former Wellington Mayor Michael Fowler wearing in the big portrait outside the auditorium. Ngā mihi nui ki a Justin!

"I am grateful that we have Road Patrol so we don't get run over by cars" - Caleb W

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Celebrating: Whāia ngā Whetū

Everybody was in 'Flow' when we celebrated the conclusion of our Inquiry Whāia Ngā Whetū with amazing and creative presentations. Flow became Flight as we launched off and the conversations around the learning became more animated.
Artworks, animations, explanations, board games and dioramas were some of the many ways in which kids chose to share their learning.  The creativity and breadth of knowledge was astounding!
 We have been exploring the Universe: the multiverse, aliens and alien lifeforms, black holes, The big bang, star formation, Apollo missions, constellations and their connections to myth, the list goes on.

Kids became teachers and shared their deep knowledge about the 'mind blowing' concepts involved as soon as you begin to look outwards into the heavens.  We have been left with even deeper curiosity about the many questions connected with outer space and astronomy.
Thomas in Flight.

We evaluated each others presentations.

The Goldilocks Zone.  Earth is is one of 3 planets which are considered to be not too hot, not too cold to sustain life (as we know it)

The audience was fascinated!

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Persuasive Writing

This week we have begun to focus more on our persuasive writing as part of our term focus on transactional writing.
We were hooked in by receiving an 'email' from Jude explaining that morning tea and lunch would only be for eating and playtimes would be removed from our timetable.... Unless... Jude received a letter to convince her to change her mind..

Although there was initial panic at the prospect of losing play time, our kids were quick to action. A focussed silence spread through the classroom as the kids formed their arguments. Protests were even beginning to plan. The students in our whanau really are flexing their 'I am Powerful' muscles.

They explored the use of rhetorical questions, emotive language and making clear points.

One student even remarked 'Jude isn't going to even read it if it's not our neatest handwriting'  we explored presentation and the importance of using proper spelling and punctuation if our opinions are to be taken seriously.

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Mingalabar to Yangon International School! Our Mystery Skype...

Our Digital Technologies Student Council group did a Mystery Skype with students at Yangon International School. The first question they asked us was if we went to school in Myanmar. It sounded a bit like Miramar so we were confused!

This Mystery Skype was with a school in Myanmar. Our old teacher, Chrissy, was there. We found out that they where in Asia and we tried to guess their school before they quessed ours. We had to use yes or no questions. Next time we are going to ask each other questions about where we live...

By Dylan and Nikora

Mystery Skype teaches students 21st century skills such as:
  • Critical Thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Deductive Reasoning
  • Digital Literacy
  • Geography
  • Teamwork ​

Mingalabar Chrissy! Lovely to see you. 

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Visualisation and Painting a Picture in the Reader's Mind

We have been thinking about the reading strategy of Visualisation. We have been linking this to writing and how we can paint a picture in the reader’s mind. We drew a picture plan of an alien then wrote descriptions. We sent the descriptions (not the picture plans) to students at Auroa School to see if we were able to paint a picture in the reader’s mind…

Monday, 2 September 2019

Graci Kim at Samuel Marsden School

On Monday, some of our students were given the opportunity to see Graci Kim speak. She is an author and innovator. Graci spoke about creativity and play. We would like to thank Graci and Samuel Marsden School for inviting us! Our students were buzzing after the experience. 

Octavia: I really liked going and watching her she was inspiring she talked a lot about how you need to stay positive in life no matter what.

Eva: I really enjoyed Graci Kim, she was very inspiring and it helped me look at the bright side of things. she has made me want to try all these other things that I haven't tried before.

Kate: I really enjoyed Graci Kim because it was really fun and really inspiring. She told us to try everything and that’s what I want to do!

Ollie: Today was really fun because I went to Samuel Marsden. Graci Kim gave us a talk and said nothing is impossible. She didn’t really like the word impossible but she realised that impossible is actually I’m possible... mind blowing! 
But one time her vision was blurry then she went to optometrist and they said "Oh No, You need to get the surgery." This was a scary moment for her but she did not give up. The surgery worked out and she was happy that it worked out Because when they took off the bandages everything she looked at seemed like it had a smile. Graci Kim is an author and what I learnt is to never give up.

Nikora: The visit to the college in Karori was really inspiring. The speech that Graci Kim gave, I think it inspired lots of other people there too. Graci Kim inspired lots of minds with her ideas of nothing is impossible she does not like the word impossible she thinks it is untrue. Nothing is impossible and you can achieve anything if you work harder you can be the best you can be.

Izar: The talk with Graci Kim went really good. Graci talked about what she did in her job and other stuff and I really liked it. She talked about nothing is impossible and she hates the word impossible.