Monday, 24 July 2017

Week 3 Term 1

Welcome to Term 3 

This week production practice will be taking place Mon-Thurs for a big chunk of each day. It is important that we use this time while we lead up to the big performance on Wednesday and Thursday of Week 3.

Costume List

Band - black clothes i.e. black shorts / leggings and a black t-shirt (plain / no logos).
Choir - plain, brightly coloured clothes (no logos or patterns)
Narrator - smart clothes / party clothes
Autumn Leaf Dancer – black leggings and a plain autumn coloured t-shirt
Market Seller – plain shorts / leggings / trousers and plain t-shirt (no patterns)
Actors- costumes will be provided

*Please could your child bring in their costumes as soon as possible and in a named bag. We are planning to have our costume call next Tuesday (week 2).

HELP!! – if anyone has any autumn coloured plain t-shirts, black leggings, black t-shirts that they would be willing to lend us, then that would be fab!! If you could put your child’s name in anything lent that would be great.

Maths, reading and writing will be happening slightly different this week and next while we are rehearsing our production.

-Library day is on Wednesday, please bring back any unreturned books from Term 2
-Sell your raffle tickets please or bring back any unsold tickets so other children can sell them

Have a great week
Miss M

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Week 8 - Term 2


This week we are not reading a big book, instead we are looking at a collection of Matariki stories. Matariki is the the Māori New Year and it is marked with the rising of the star cluster Matariki/Pleiades. There are many different myths about how the stars appeared in the sky. One of them being about how Tawhirimatea (the Wind God) became angry and threw his eyes into the sky. 

Word Work

For Word Work we are focusing on the long i sound - 'ie' pie, 'igh' light and i-e bike. We will be working more with alkonin sound boxes to find out how many sounds words have. 

A1 and A2 asked the children what they would like to investigate further - coke and mentos explosion was a popular choice. We wondered what would happen if we changed coke to lemonade and mint mentos to fruit mentos. It definitely didn't explode like coke and mint mentos. 
Next was slime - we are trying different types of glue to see which makes the best slime! Oobleck was another top choice that we would like to look into further. 

Our writing this week will be around our inquiry experiences and Matariki. We have been learning to using sequencing words (first, next, then, last) and include more WOW words in our writing. Keep your eye out on our blog as some children may publish their writing onto this page! 

Production Update!!! 

As you know, the Year 2 children are busy practising for our upcoming production 'There's a Sunflower In My Supper'. We had initially planned to perform the show in the last week of this term but to allow the children to reach their full potential we have changed the dates. The new dates for the shows will be Week 3, Term 3 - Wednesday 9th August at 1.45pm and Thursday 10th August at 9.45am.  
We are also on the hunt for any type of bugs/mini beasts costumes. If you have one that we could borrow please send it to school (clearly named so it comes back to the right owner). Please note that the costume may not be worn by your child as all children have a different role in the show. 

Have a fabulous week!

Miss M :)

Monday, 12 June 2017

Week 7 - Term 2


Our big book this week is called 'Brave Mouse'. We are focusing on making connections to our prior experiences - times we had to be brave and how we felt before, after and during.
We continue to read 'George's Marvelous Medicine'. The children are absolutely loving this story. 

Word Work

This week we are focusing on 'aw' as in hawk and the long e sound - 'ea' (leaves) 'ee' (bee) and e-e (Pete) (bossy e)


For writing this week we are writing about our fidget spinner design - describing it's appearance and speed. We will then continue to integrate our writing through our inquiry. Most of A2 have a big focus on remembering to use full stops and capital letters! Sometimes it can be tricky to know where the full stops actually goes so we need to read it back to ourselves and notice when we take a breath. 


For maths we continue to work on skip counting, both forwards and backwards in 5's and 10's and 2's and our doubles and halves to 20. We have really enjoyed the skip counting Youtube clips. 

Production Practice 
Our production practices continues 3 times a week. We have been working so hard to learn our lines, the songs or to play an instrument.

- No toys are to be brought to school. If your child would like to bring a toy to share for news in needs to be given to the teacher and kept in a safe place until home time
-  Shoes need to be work to school daily
- Library day is on Wednesday

Monday, 29 May 2017

Week 5 - Term 2

Wow! What a fantastic job the children did with sharing their learning on Wednesday afternoon. The classroom was absolutely buzzing! I hope you enjoyed seeing what we've been up to this year and what we get up to in our classroom. Thank you to all who made it.


Our big book this week is called 'Crumpet, the Cat'. We are focusing on making predictions and retelling the story, the '-ink' and '-at' word families and verbs. 
Last week we finished our first Roald Dahl story - 'The Magic Finger' and have begun reading George's Marvelous Medicine'. The children did some art this afternoon of what they imagined some of the characters to look like. Feel free to pop in and have a look later in the week when they're complete. 

Writing & Inquiry

For writing this week we are learning how to write instructions. We are going to write the instructions on how to plant a sunflower based on our experience on Friday. Our step by step instructions need to start with a Bossy Verb (put, poor) and be nice and clear. We will also be making jelly this week so we can look at the physical changes and write our own set of step by step instructions. 


For maths we will be working on skip counting forwards in 5's and 10's to 100. We will also be looking at doubles and halves to 10 or 20 (depending on group needs). 

-Library day is on Wednesday
-Check that your uniform is clearly named - especially shoes and jumpers

Have a fabulous week A2 whanau,
Miss M 

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