Sunday, 21 May 2017

Week 4, Term 2

Kia ora koutou,

This week will begin with a big push to be ready for our Celebration of Learning meetings with you 😁.

We are also starting our Year 2 production rehearsals. Your children have all chosen some aspect of the show to be involved with from acting and dancing to singing and stage management. We will be performing this for you towards the end of this term. I promise to keep you posted with the details.

My personal goal for this week is to get our spelling programme in order in such a way that it will make it easier for you to follow from home and support us back in the classroom. In next week's blog, I will give specific detail on this.

Have a great week. I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday.

Kind regards,

Monday, 15 May 2017

Week 3, Term 2

Kia ora koutou,

I hope everyone enjoyed Mother's Day 💮

On Friday, we combined our Inquiry concept with Mother's Day to bring you the chocolate biscuit balls. While making these for you, we noticed the physical change to the biscuits when we crushed them and the chemical changes when we melted the butter and mixed it into the dry ingredients.

We have been continuing with developing our ideas around multiplication. Students are not being asked to remember multiplication facts, rather we want them to understand the meaning of 'times'  and 'X' as a symbol. The children share their strategy for solving the problem in the group. Some students count all, some skip count in 2 or 5 and some are using repeated addition. All are good strategies at this stage. Sharing in the group allows for everyone to learn from each other.

This week, the students will begin doing some incidental equal sharing activities that will seem very easy but will lead us into the concept of division in due course.

The focus in reading, is to use our eyes to find meaning in the text. We are reading a 'favourite' page  or only one or two pages aloud together. We are spending more time discussing the text and the ultimate goal is to retell the story with detail.

I haven't reported on PE before - we have been focusing on soccer skills, controlling the ball, dribbling and passing, using the inside of the foot. Next week, we'll move onto ball rolling skills.

Next week, is the Celebration of Learning meetings. There is plenty of space if you would still like to make a time. This is about your child sharing their learning with you. You may enter and leave the classroom at any time within the 45 minute time slot.

Finally, thank you to Thomas for sharing the new addition to his family today! Barney is gorgeous. I loved his squashy legs! I couldn't have cuddles though....if I had the rest of the children wouldn't have been able to!

Till next week!

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Week 2, Term 2

Kia ora koutou,

We welcome Spike and Camo this week....
Over the holidays, I told a a friend of a friend our tale of woe about our class budgie and Jedi the cat. She saw an opening to give away her fish tank. So this afternoon, I took receipt of 'Camo' and 'Spike'. I just hope they survive overnight. They are huge goldfish. Watch this space! 

To matters more academic - some students will be bringing home an extra reader each night to build mileage. The next day, I will ask the students to share their favourite page - either read to us or tell us about it - IF they had the time to cover two books. (This will be casual.)  

If your child is resistant to reading at night, try reading their reader to them first or read it aloud to yourself 😉 first. It may be that they feel nervous or fear failure or outside of school the task seems more arduous than it really is. Praise each page as they go and ask if they want to read the next one or would they like you to? If they get you to read - pop in some errors in your reading for them to find.

We are learning to write reports this term. We enjoyed making dioramas using natural materials (Material World) on Friday, so much so that I think this will be a good motivating topic for us to continue with in writing, attempting our first report. Here are photos of our efforts:

They look much better in person!

Our Inquiry topic "Material World" was started with great gusto on Tuesday. Our VLC was the place to be with our extra special visitor from Germany 😆


A reminder about our Celebration of Learning meetings to be held in Week 4. Don't forget to book in for your preferred time slot. You have a 45 minute time slot, you can use as much of this as you and your child need. 

See you next week!

Kind regards,

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Welcome to Week 1 of Term 2!

Kia ora everyone,

I hope you all had a good break over Easter.

Mrs Taylor's cats had a busy time with their cat castles! There is a lot to tell the students about them on Monday. I will include some photos here for you to see too. (Please have a look at an earlier post for photos of us constructing and presenting them.)

This term's inquiry focus is on the Material World - learning that the world is made up of 'matter' and thinking about how it changes - physical - temporary change and chemical - permanent change. Of course, this will be at our level and we'll be looking at things that we have experience with, like bubbles, popcorn, eggs, paper and water.

This science focus, lends itself to report writing so we will be learning to write up what we learn from our inquiry, in this way.

In Maths this term, the focus is on multiplication and division. If we are not up to that quite yet, then making sure that the foundation skills are in place - things like skip counting and fractions.

I have made up a timetable for oral language - aka 'news'. With a special focus for each day. Your child may require a little guidance and encouragement for this! There is a 'page' on this blog with the news timetable on it. Please scroll over to see Friday and there is a hard copy up in the classroom.

Topics are: 
Monday: Your own news, any 'news'.
Tuesday: Anything about a book you've read.
Wednesday: Newspaper or "News" news - a clipping or something about our local area or a story that has caught their notice in the news.
Thursday: Science - something factual to share or items from nature etc
Friday: A joke or poem

Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow!

Kind regards,

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Week 11+ Cat Castle Photos :-)

Here we are making our cat castles! Thank you to Raewyn, our LA and Liz, Sophia's mum for the spare hands!

We are learning to collaborate and work in a group together.

First of all, we studied what cats like and other cat toy and bed ideas. Then, we drew plans and wrote a list of possible things we thought we might use.

As a part of the whole week, we read the big book about Crumpet the cat who was very naughty! We sang this song too:

Finally, after two sessions, we finished and presented our cat castles to Mrs Taylor who will take them home and report back to us on their success or otherwise!

Presenting them gave everyone an opportunity to practice their oral language. The students spontaneously shared the speaking - giving each person a 'bit' to talk about. 😀 I felt super proud of them for this.

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful Easter break.

See you next term!


Saturday, 8 April 2017

Week 11

Kia ora koutou,

Suddenly the last week of term is here!

This week we will focus on C for collaboration from Orca.

Inspired by Yoda the local cat who visits us in B4, we will make a cat bed/toy in a small group. We will need a design and a plan and lots of cooperation. If you have any boxes, scraps of fabric or wool that you could donate for these projects, could you bring them in by Tuesday. Thank you!

Barbara Taylor, who fosters kittens and has a couple of young playful cats in her family has agreed to give our creations a test run at her house over the holidays. We will prepare some criteria and questions for feedback too.

Here is Lulu with a new toy he quite fancies:

Our big book and song will be about a cat and we will do language revision on ng and magic e. We will look at nk also as a follow on from ng.

Each week, we are doing a guided drawing using basic shapes to improve our fine motor skills and spatial ability. As the students become more successful, they also take pride in their work. So far we have done a fox, a monkey and this week, a cat, of course! It's also a great way to improve mindset. Students see that they CAN do something that seems impossible to start with. (Myself included when it comes to drawing!!)

Maths this week, will be about combining our addition facts and sequencing skills. We will use the concept of solving problems 'vertically' - posing problems based on ladders, stairs and lifts.

Last week, one of our reading groups performed a play for the first time. They did a fantastic job! I know they practised a lot at home and they also did a lot of work and learning, with Raewyn, our Learning Assistant.

We look forward to more reading groups performing plays as the year progresses.

Here are photos of "The King's Pudding":

Thanks for getting all poem folders in this week; also, all yellow books in on Thursday please.

Our final assembly for the term starts at 2.20 pm.

Have a wonderful Easter Holiday break!

Kind regards,

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Week 10

Kia ora koutou,

Welcome to Week 10!

We are have a focus on our feelings and actions this week and 'ownership' which is the O of ORCA. Last week, we linked into R for respect with our poem and story.

You can see the spelling lists in the middle of the yellow books have been updated. I have highlighted the words your child is working on. You are welcome to use the sheet any way you wish. If you look at this sample, you can see the words dated on the left were not correct at the time of testing and the words on the right were. New words were tested until the student has 5 or so words to work on - so 'when' is a new word to work on.

In maths, we are working on understanding the value of numbers and sequencing them even when the numbers are not consecutive.

This week in writing we will focus on including a compound sentence in our work.

Spelling will focus in the '-ng' sound. We will also revisit 'Magic e' as we find words to write up next to the magic e's that we made last week. This is such an important point as it is linked to understanding the long and short vowel sounds.

Our picnic in the park for Tuesday has been cancelled due to the weather. We look forward to socialising in our VLC in the near future.

Lulu bird update: I hope that Lulu bird might be able to visit in the winter when the doors are shut more often. Unfortunately, Yoda, a local cat has him in his sights. Yoda has made several reconnaissance visits since he discovered Lulu!