Sunday, 21 May 2017

Week 4 - Term 2

Learning Celebrations

Don't forget this week on Wednesday we are having our Learning Celebrations afternoon. To make a booking follow the link and use the code k23pp 
Please remember that school finishes at 12.30pm and will need to be picked up then

On Friday last week we got to share our learning with the Year 5 tamariki from our team. It was a great practice to have before we share this week! Some of the children even left some feedback in our Goals books.

Year 2 Production - There's a Sunflower in my Supper 

Have you heard that the Year 2's are putting on a production this term? This is our first week of practice and the children are so excited!!! The show will be put on in the last week of term - Tuesday PM and Wednesday AM (still to be confirmed). 
The children were asked to pick two options that they would like to do and they have been given one of their choices. Ask your child if they're an actor, narrator, singer, dancer or band member. 

PARENT HELP - are you able to help with sewing costumes or painting stage sets? Please send me an email or pop in and see me to let me know what you could help with and the time you have available to help. 


Our Big Book we are reading this week is 'Billy McBrown'. We will be looking at rhyming words, reading the story using the punctuation and we will also have a look at similes - saying something is like or as something else. 
Well done to our first reading group that performed their play today. You all used clear, loud voices and made the story interesting by using lots of expression. Ka pai!
Last week we started reading 'The Magic Finger' by Roald Dahl. We are really enjoying the story and have been listening carefully so we can imagine a picture in our minds while being read to.

Word Work 

In Word Work we are focusing on /ar/ and /or/ then /ai/ and /ay/
We have been recording words on the board and in our books then breaking them up to find out home many sounds each word has. We've noticed that digraphs only make one sound even though there is at least 2 letters. For example shark has only 3 sounds sh/ar/k 

Writing & Inquiry 

This week we hope to do some experiments followed by writing. We will also be writing some 'I Wonder' questions we have about CHANGE to put on our Inquiry wall and investigate later in the term.


Our whole class focus for Maths has been Measurement - Weight.  We have explored balance scales - using different amounts of weights to find out which side is heavier or lighter. Some of us were even able to make the scale balance. This week, we will be ordering items from lightest - heaviest and vice versa. 

Have a lovely week, see you on Wednesday afternoon.

Miss M :) 

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

A Team Inquiry Term 2

A Team teachers have thoroughly enjoyed the return to learning this term. We sure hope the students are having as much fun as we are! The feedback from them and parents of A Team students says it certainly looks that way.


We wanted to take this opportunity to unpack a little more about teaching and learning in today’s landscape. It’s looks and feels very different from our classroom days, regardless of where in the world you attended school. Frankly, so it should be. With the well researched best approaches to teaching and learning easily accessible and with the tools we now have at our disposal our ‘digital natives’ deserve nothing less than an environment that will allow maximum engagement, growth and achievement.

Using this research and allowing the use of tools for learning Whangaparaoa School has adopted a fully integrated inquiry approach and use our amazing chromebooks to respond to our curiosity and ‘OWN’ our learning.

The Inquiry cycle at WGP School starts with provocation. Last week and this week A Team students have been ‘reclassed’ into groups from each different room. Groups from Year 1 to 6 move around A Team each afternoon and engage in new experiences related to the concept of “CHANGE”, within the context of Science. The purpose of these experiences is not to ‘teach’ science in the old way but to ignite and excite the students curiosity in this area so they can explore, question, research, investigate, test and share their hypothesise and findings with a targeted audience.

We are engaged in the first stage of “INQUIRY”
‘Sandy the Scientist’, a visiting expert ;) has joined us for both Monday’s this term with the intention of sparking student interest in chemical change before all of A Team students are cross grouped for the afternoon session. If you are wondering about where your child is in the afternoons at the moment CLICK HERE.

Following our provocation focus students will be identifying areas of high interest and pinpointing learning they’ve been exposed to that has made them extra curious. You may have noticed them coming home and wanting to reproduce the experiments they have enjoyed at school. This is a good example of how we are trying to incite continuous learning. This then motivates student questions and we know from the research that when a student’s learning is platformed from their own self-directed questions and curiosity it makes the end result powerfully learned.

Our inquiry model has come from Kath Murdoch’s work, an Australasian Educational expert who responds to research by providing a scaffolded way to ‘do it’ for teachers. Here’s a short clip of her explaining what it means to be an Inquiry Teacher:


Sharing what is learned is an integral part of Inquiry - In essence, we learn, we create, we share. Not necessarily in that order and when you look at your child’s day each aspect of this process should be evident. Creating has taken on a whole new meaning. Before the digital era (and we define this as since ipad technology exploded onto the market, only in 2009) we could access a student’s learning response in books and on classroom walls. This is no longer an accurate indication as the platform they now have to share their work has grown exponentially. Teachers are the experts in analysing and identifying progress and the tools they have to do this also reflect the digital age. This means anyone making an assumption on progress by simply looking in a book could be grossly misguided and just plain wrong. For any questions regarding progress it is best to talk to the teacher.

Our school website is about to be updated to reflect our new understanding around what best practice looks like in an inquiry class. It says this:

Inquiry-based learning is a constructivist approach. This means children are engaged in constructing knowledge rather than simply acquiring it. Knowledge is constructed based on personal experiences and hypotheses of the environment, meaning students take ownership of their learning. It is the New Zealand Curriculum’s approach to teaching and learning.

Our unique Vertical Learning Communities allow children of all ages to share experiences and knowledge around our inquiry focus, while strengthening our learning community as the children become teachers to each other.
The benefits of learning through inquiry include higher order thinking, improved problem solving abilities and critical thinking skills. These are all identified as the leading skills looked for in today’s employment market. It increases personal ownership and responsibility for learning, develops skills of research and a student’s ability to determine the importance of the information they encounter.
Inquiry Learning supports our school ORCA values of Ownership, Respect, Collaboration and Achievement.

We look forward to the questions our students will ask, the discoveries they will make and how they will share what they’ve learned to others.

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about how your child is learning and why with the classroom teacher. We are also very happy to share with anyone interested more about the landscape of teaching and learning so any misconceptions out there can be addressed. Ka kite ano...

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Welcome to Week 1 of Term 2

Kia ora A2 whanau

Welcome back to Term 2! I hope you all had a lovely break over the holidays.

Inquiry - Change 
This term's inquiry focus is on CHANGE. We will be investigating change through the Material world - learning that the world is made up of 'matter' and it's physical and chemical properties can be changed when mixed, heated or cooled. Every afternoon for the first two weeks of term, A Team are getting together to do some fantastic hands on experiments. By the end of Week 2, children will have explored 10 different experiments!!!
I will be adding a 'Photo' tab so you can check out the experiments and our other learning.

Writing & Word Work 
Our writing this term will often be linked to our inquiry, so we will be writing instructions, procedures and explanations. For word work, we are focusing on learning our digraphs - 2 or more letters that make a new sound like th, ow, ar

Readers will continue to come home this term. There will be weeks where your child may only receive 1 or 2 different readers as some of our reading will  be integrated into inquiry and production (later in the term). Rereading books is beneficial to your child as it helps with their fluency, comprehension and instant word recognition.

This term we will be focusing on Addition and Subtraction. You can help your child with this by encouraging them to count on or back when solving a problem. It's important that the children know their before and after numbers up to at least 100 to help them use this strategy. We will also be looking at measurement - weight.

Discovery Time
Last term, A1 and A2 trialled working together at different stations and we all absolutely loved it! This time allows the children to explore their learning through their own interests, passions, wonderings and urges. The stations in our classrooms will change every couple of weeks and aligns with the NZ Curriculum. It is a popular time in our class where the children are making their own choices and engaged in their activity. Photos will be loaded throughout the term.

Reminders for Term 2 

  • Wear the correct school uniform each day
  • Please double check that all uniform is clearly labelled
  • Library day is on a Wednesday - book needs to be returned to issue a new one 
Have a great week!

Miss M 

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Our Motto, Mission, Vision and Values









Thursday, 26 January 2017

Welcome to A2's Blog

Kia ora whanau

Welcome to A2's online learning space. This blog is a great place for A2's whanau to:
  • keep updated with our learning focus 
  • check out what we have been doing at school
  • see photos of our journey
  • find links for useful websites 
So please check regularly and share your lovely thoughts in a comment. 

2017 is going to be a fabulous year! I am looking forward to getting to know the wonderful students and their family. Please remember to book a time for the meet the teacher interviews next week on the 1st/2nd February.  Click here to make a booking using the code Tfa2K

A little bit about me 

I myself grew up in Whangaparaoa, attending all of the local schools before venturing down to Hamilton for University. 

I love my family and enjoy spending as much time with them as possible. My partner has a 7 year old daughter named Ana who lives with us and will be going to Whangaparaoa this year too. 

I enjoy camping, cooking, catching up with friends, being at the beach, doing any sorts of puzzles and reading!

Miss Maxwell-Brown