Monday, 30 May 2016

Theme Week - Matariki

Today, in Rm15, our main focus was on Matariki.  Here is a snapshot into today's morning work cycle.

Tuakana teaching teina how to create their own visual mihi.

Visual art and geography combined to arouse interest about NZ Maori place names for these students.  They got talking about Stewart Island and if that was a Maori name and that perhaps they could come up with a good Maori name for it.

Students looked at their own mihi and pepeha (an introductory 'speech' - based on whakapapa - recited during mihimihi).

Ko ____________ te māunga
Ko ____________ te awa/roto/moana
Ko ____________ te waka *
Ko ____________ tōku tīpuna *
Ko ____________ tōku iwi
Ko ____________ tōku hapū
Ko ____________ tōku marae *
Nō ____________ ahau
Ko ____________ rāua ko __________ ōku mātua *
Ko ____________ tōku ingoa

The mountain that I affiliate to is _________________________
The river/lake/sea that I affiliate to is ____________________
The waka that I affiliate to is ____________________________ *
My (founding) ancestor is _______________ *
My tribe is _____________________________
My sub-tribe is _________________________
My marae is ___________________________ *
I am from _____________________________
My parents are __________ and ___________ *
My name is ____________________________

Great discussion, planning and organisation going into Matariki.

Teina teaching tuakana how to build a visual mihi.
Mattie worked on a visual art / 3D creation to represent his interpretation of Matariki.  When the students shared their 'work in progress' this afternoon a teina student commented to Mattie how "inspiring' his work was.

21st Century skills in play here with collaboration and co-operation occurring naturally. 
Students practicing ti raku alongside others creating their visual mihi.

What's Cooking in Rm15?


Welcome to the class kitchen. I, Olesya, am going to keep you up to date on what is happening in the class kitchen.

Term 1
In term one the kitchen had been used three times.
The first time some students made pancakes.
The second time others made chocolate brownies.
The third time a different group made cupcakes.

Term 2
It started of with a cooking group making banana cake.
The second group made cupcakes.
The third group to venture into the kitchen made yummy chocolate cake.

Enjoying our time in the kitchen.

Recently Afghans were baked.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Compulsory Viewing for all parents

There was a special report that TV3 aired last night (click on the link below to watch the catch up).  It is thought provoking and timely with reports about to be given out.  It's important that we as Montessorians understand the impact testing and assessment has on our children and their psychological and emotional wellbeing.  Comparing our children at all is wrong let alone comparing them to 'national standards'.   

Why, when we are reporting to parents, do we only tell them about their child's achievements  in regards to reading , writing and mathematics?  What about all the other equally, if not more important, learning areas?  The Arts - music, visual art, drama, dance, sciences, geography, history, gardening, cooking...  

Maria Montessori was all about 'following the child' in doing so this enables children to work on what interests them and at their own pace.  So, if you get a report and see 'Below, At and Above' please be mindful that this is a snapshot of your child's achievement in a given test and at a point in time against a national standard which has nothing to do with their own personal growth and development which is as individualised as each of us is unique.

If I was asked what the purpose of education in the 21st Century is I would say to help every child develop essential skills that already exist within and to master the creative learning process to develop the skills essential for success.  

World Class? Inside NZ Education - A Special Report

Award-winning documentary maker and author Bryan Bruce asks what the purpose of public education in the 21st Century is; and how should we be teaching our children to help them deal with whatever the future will throw at them?

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Thursdays in Rm15

Rm15 being introduced to philosophical discussion.

A couple of teina looking at the Commutative Law of Distribution.

Do you remember learning stick games during your primary schooling?  The teina are learning Maori games as part of their te reo maori with Mrs Norton on Thursdays. 

Maori place names of New Zealand was the task these two took on last week. 

The tuakana have enjoyed hablando en español. Ruth sole habla en español during her sessions with them. My Spanish is un poco. Ask your child to share with you what they have learned so far.

What Did Plato say about Music...

We all enjoyed the impromptu violin concert from Katya.  

There was lots of interest and inquiring.

Robotics Week 4 Term 2

Roman will be running a Model Airplane Club again this year with the Tuakana (older students).  During Robotics session this week the students enjoyed experimenting with drawing from a birds eye view.  .  

The atmosphere was very calm and all students were focused.

Roman challenged himself to try and complete a couple of the missions the students are expected to do as part of the FLL.  He had to admit that it wasn't so easy.  Good on you Roman. 

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Photos 2016

We have uploaded the recent classroom photos onto the website, please see

Thank you Michelle Moir for these wonderful pictures.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Previous Newsletters

We are rearranging a few things on the website. As part of optimizing the menus and content I have removed the For Parents / Newsletters menu.

We publish all news in this Blog now and don't make newsletters often. Even when/if we make our next newsletter, we will publish it here in this Blog.

But the old newsletters are still available via this link

Saturday, 7 May 2016

NZ Music Month

May is NZ Music Month.

Here is a link to the song Rm15 sang last term as part of our Assembly item.  
Paradise - Waimarie Smith

If you want to know more about Waimarie who composed and sang the 2013 winning Hook Line and Sing-along song then check this clip out:

Friday, 6 May 2016

NZ National Anthem in NZ Sign Language, Maori & English

Next week is NZ Sign Language Week.

The students are currently learning the National Anthem in NZ Sign Language.  Here is a link to support you at home with learning our National Anthem in NZSL, Maori & English alongside your child(ren).

NZ National Anthem

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Four Boosting Math Messages

At this term's Parent Class Meeting we shared the following inspiring video clip.  Four Boosting Math Messages

We shared the same video clip with the students in Rm15 today and it was wonderful hearing the discussions that followed.  Please take the time to view it.

What kind of Mindset Do You Have?

Check out this link: