Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Dr Seuss books - what a lifesaver!

'The more you read, the more you know...'
-Dr Seuss

Relieving in a class today... Children finished their set work... where to next?

Dr Seuss books - what a lifesaver! Working with the small group of children, we used some of Blooms Taxonomy words to create a reading activity for them. Onset and rhyme came up quickly (of course!) but so did favourite parts, favourite characters, boring parts... It was fascinating to see what they came up with !

Manaiakalani Movie Time

'Welcome to Fight Club. The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club.'

Its Manaiakalani time in Panmure! Teachers and students discussing storyboards, props, strategies, camera angles... Brought back memories of this stunner - written solely by year 9-10 students. 'You are Special', by Max Lucado was their favourite book of 2013, and they turned it into a movie. 

Re-watching it brought tears - there is nothing more beautiful than softhearted children enjoying sharing the story of kindness.

TPS Room 5 - You Are Special from Tamaki Primary on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Making Connections

'Everbody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life beieving that it is stupid.'
-Albert Einstein

Today I have had the privilege of being in Room 9. We have discussed koi fish and their origins, we have explored the ideas behind Albert Einstein's quote (below) and we have been out for basketball! Imagine our surprise when our coach turned out to be Coach Adrian - from the Philippines! As soon as this connection was made their were Tagalog (filipino) phrases being thrown in with English - "sumalo"(catch) and "pumasa"(pass). The kids were fascinated with being able to share how the tagalog words sounded like words from their own language. As we left we called "Salamat" (thank you) and Coach Adrian called back "Walang Anuman" (that's okay). Marwa was very excited to realise "Salamat" in tagalog was so similar to "Salam" (Hi) in her language.

Love these days of making connections!

Cha Cha!

CLIP0008 from Tamaki Primary on Vimeo.

Looking back in the Vimeo file, I found this gem. I remember the process of trying to teach the kids to 'get over' holding hands with a member of the opposite sex, I remember cutting out circle skirt fabrics 'til very early in the morning, and helping my mother sew, I remember looking through my wedding box and finding the bow-ties that my students wore then... What a lot of organising...and yet! I am so filled with pride watching this group of students perform again, and re-live the memories of such a good night. And then to watch the seniors transfer these skills to their end of year disco where they cha-cha'ed with each other then... so precious :>

I am seriously proud to be part of a school that allows their teachers to try something a little different :>

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Pancake Carnage

Making Pancakes 2015 from Tamaki Primary on Vimeo.

Oh how things have changed. I sit around the table on family night and hear my grandad complain about how the 'young ones these days' (meaning my generation) 'have no respect for their elders', and I roll my eyes at my brothers and we think it is a huge joke. Yet, at work I find myself thinking EXACTLY the same way constantly! Whether it is the child who doesn't respect the reliever, or the 5 year old child who practices their graffiti tag in chalk on the wall.

Today however took me a little by surprise. While making pancakes this morning I was informed that they were not right... in fact they were apparently "yucky!!"Was it the ingredients? No! Was it that way that they were cooked? No. It was, as asked by Chance - "Where is the golden syrup?"

'In my day' (I can't believe I am saying this) making pancakes at school would have been so much fun! Where is the golden syrup? WHERE IS THE GOLDEN SYRUP?? Oh how times have changed!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

i-Pads?? Help!

P.D Notes!

Such a reminder of where I was pre-Tamaki Primary days! Today I went to an i-Pad training day, representing our junior team of teachers (who actually know how to USE an i-Pad!) and sat completely overwhelmed through the whole training!

Site creation? Easy!

Blogs? Piece of cake!

A class of 30 children on 1-1 devices? No sweat!

i-Pads .... I am running for the hills!

Thank goodness for a team of teachers around me, who actually know what they are doing! At least I had learned how to turn on an i-Pad before I went!

Monday, 10 August 2015

Changing our Competencies?

The idea was brought forward that we should change our "TRUMP' acronym for our key competencies to something else... (in light of what is going on with a particular figure in he spotlight...)

Here's an idea...

Relating to others
Understanding signs and symbols
Managing Self


Our TAMAKI Competencies!

Achieving our Best
Managing Self
Associating positively with others
Keen to participate
Interpreting signs and symbols

What a Hoot!

'Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve. '
-Roger Lewin

Milkshake Madness! from Tamaki Primary on Vimeo.

Today I had just a fabulous time with Room 6 - creating milkshakes as a reward for their amazing behaviour over the last two terms! Being their PRT release teacher, I have the pleasure of teaching them one day a week, split into three blocks over the week. Bit by bit, they have been building their points up until they had enough to choose a prize! As I have taught most of these students at one point or another in the last three years, I wasn't surprised that they chose to make milkshakes - definitely an all time favourite of my past classes.

The fun for me came with the challenge of how to adapt this activity to challenge the critical thinking of students - some of whom I have taught for 2+ years. Because I love an enquiring mind I decided to incorporate higher critical thinking skills.

These skills we have all taught at Tamaki, but I have found that some of our students, a huge majority ESOL, have found it hard to understand the actual MEANING behind some of the words, and to be honest, I was surprised what a great activity this was to teach them!

First the class split into four groups and chose a work area that I had set up. I then gave them three objectives - using critical language, encouraging each other and challenging themselves to do better. They then brainstormed their milkshakes after looking at their ingredient table. They were only allowed to use 5 ingredients in total. Once giving this a try by making small testers for each of their groups, they then adapted their recipe depending on a group discussion. And what discussion it was! I couldn't believe the vocabulary coming from the groups! Check out the movie to see what critical thinking language they used and the amazing concoctions they came up with.

What a fabulous afternoon :>