Aaaaarrrrrggghhh me hearties! What an amazing Pirate Week we've had to end the term. Firstly welcome to our 3 newest Room 8 students Beau, Aidan and James. On Monday the Kauri syndicate went on a big bendy bus to the Pumhouse Theatre in Takapuna to watch 'The Great Piratical Rumbustification. What a brilliant show! For some kids, it was their first time riding in a bus.
We ate morning tea outside the theatre, then after the show caught the bus back to school.
When we got back to school, we drew pictures of our favourite part of the show so we could talk about it with our whanau.
On Thursday, we all dressed up as pirates and had a Pirate Parade. Our whanau were invited to watch the parade.
We also had a pirate treasure hunt on 'Coatesville Island'. We had to follow clues to find the buried treasure. Yo ho ho! What piratey good fun!
We used our pirately folding skills to make these cool pirate hats, complete with skull and crossbones.
We finished off our term with an Animal Dress Up Day. Check out these kids cute animals masks.
And that's it for Term 2! Have a wonderful break and thanks to everyone for their support. See you next term!
As promised, here are our gorgeous 'A Lion In The Meadow' artworks. The children painted their backgrounds and then scraped a fork over the paint to add 'grass' to their meadow.
Other artwork we created this term were our 'Royal Portraits'.
This week we have been reading lots of Margaret Mahy stories. One of the stories we read was called 'The Lion In The Meadow'. For our art session we all drew crayon lion faces. We tried to make our lion's look angry by changing the shape of it's eyes and eyebrows. Check out next week's blog for the finished product.
Kauri Syndicate shared their learning at this week's school assembly. Jamie did a great job introducing herself and Room 8's amazing Fairy Tale 'Royal Portraits'.
In Room 8 we have really been enjoying our play-based learning. We come up with such amazing creations and games when we're given time to play. When we play we are CREATING, CONCENTRATING, INNOVATING, COMMUNICATING, CO-OPERATING, PROBLEM-SOLVING, PERSISTING AND NEGOTIATING. Our teacher loves to take lots of photos of our games and creations and we use these photos as inspiration to write stories. Check out our play photos from this week....
And our writing .......
In Room 8 we do maths 4 days per week. For 3 of those maths lessons, we focus on number and the other day we do strand maths (measurement, statistics, geometry or algebra). We also do our calendar maths wall every day for 10 minutes where we learn about days of the week, months of the year, the seasons and the weather. We also make patterns on our calendar and practice our forwards and backwards counting, reading numerals and numbers that come before and after.
Children are grouped for their number lessons based on what their next learning goals are. Lessons focus on either number knowledge or number strategy. One group will work with the teacher, while the other groups are working independently. After 15 minutes, the groups rotate.
Fine Motor Skills (or dexterity) is the coordination of small muscles, in movements—usually involving the synchronization of hands and fingers—with the eyes.
When children start school they often find it difficult to use scissors or control a pencil. We do a lot of activities in Room 8 to develop their fine motor skills. During our literacy rotations, the students will often do an activity like threading beads, lacing, dot-to-dots, or mazes. Everytime the children choose to play with the lego, the mobilo, the playdough, the hammer and nail set, or do painting or craft activities, they are also working on their fine motor skills.
This term for our maths strand focus has been on geometry. We have been learning to identify and describe 2D and 3D shapes. This week we looked at 3D shapes and finding them in the environment. As a follow up activity, the children did a cut and paste activity where they had to correctly sort everyday 3D shaped objects. We got really good at identifying cones, pyramids, cubes, cylinders and cuboids. This was a great example of how we could combine practicing fine motor skills while learning about maths.
We always have such fun during our discovery time sessions. This week the children enjoyed water play (warm water is much nicer in winter than cold!), water colour painting, playdough, hammer and nail sets, blocks, animals, lego and duplo.
What a lot of creative thinking this week! The children were able to draw with chalk and they decided to draw a running track.
And look at these boys on their boat. They were going all the way to England! Can you see them working as a team to row the boat? When it was tidy up time, Captain Luca called "Abandon Ship" and they all had to jump off the ship and swim to safety.
Following on from last week's blog, here are some more photos of our play based learning sessions (Discovery Time). The children had lots of fun using watercolour paints to do artwork, playing with the blocks and lego, and playing in the water tray (the water was warm which was lovely on a cold winters morning!)
For several weeks we have been training for our school's cross country and on Thursday it was the big day. Thanks so much to all the parents and grandparents who came to watch. I thought our Room 8 children did really well.
This week we started creating our Fairy Tale artworks of King and Queen portraits. Check out next week's blog for the finished results.
In Room 8 we spend a large chunk of our week involved in early literacy learning activities. Before we are ready to start reading and writing, there are a lot of things we need to be able to do. For writing we need strength in our fingers to hold and control a pencil. We need strength in our bodies to sit upright at a desk. We need good oral language skills to say our story to the teacher. We need good memories to remember our stories. We need to learn about the concepts of print - that we start reading and writing from the left hand side and go to the right, and when we get to the end of the line, we need to return to the margin below. In reading we need to know how to hold a book, how to turn the pages, we need to understand that letters make words and words have meaning. To become an independent reader and writer we need to develop phonological awareness. We need to be able to hear sounds in words, distinguish rhyme, break words into syllables. We need to know alphabet sounds and some basic sight words. As you can read, this list is massive, so when we get to a point where we can independently read or write a story we have already learned so many things!
Throughout the week we get involved in 'Discovery Time' sessions, which is all about learning through play. A lot of the pre-literacy skills listed above are learned through play. When children play they are developing their fine and gross motor skills, their listening skills and their oral language. And what's more amazing, is that because they're having fun, they are more motivated, engaged and focused, and their pre-literacy skills develop as a consequence. Here are some of our kids developing their listening skills and their fine motor skills (not that they know it!!).....
On Friday, it was a teacher only day. That meant that while the children were not at school, the teacher's were at Albany Senior High for a day of professional development. Coatesville School is part of a Community of Learning (or CoL) where we work collaboratively with other local schools. Here are some photos of some Coatesville students who were involved in the powhiri to welcome the teachers at the start of the day.
This week our student's were involved in a Technology Challenges Week. Every afternoon, the students worked in teams (with children from other classes in the Kauri Syndicate) and participated in Fairy Tale based technology challenges. They had to build a boat for the gingerbread man that wouldn't sink. They had to build a zip-line to take grandma her cookies, and in Room 8, they needed to design a house strong enough that the big bad wolf wouldn't be able to blow down.
Last week I wrote about our maths rotation. The children learn lots of important maths knowledge and skills through games, playing with maths equipment, construction equipment and other hands-on activities. Learning is fun in Room 8!
What a busy week it has been for Room 8. Our new children are settling in well to all our learning programmes. From Monday to Thursday, 9am until 1pm, Room 8 children are involved in activities aiming to help them reach their literacy and maths learning targets.
During our literacy times, we use a variety of activities to learn our sight words.
We also know how important it is to learn alphabet letter names and sounds.
Learning letter sounds and sight words helps us to achieve success with our reading and writing.
During our maths time, Mrs Thompson sets up a rotation of maths activities for us to engage with. One of these activities is working in a small group with Mrs Thompson. The learning is targeted to meet the specific needs of the group.
Other activities in the rotation include maths apps on the ipad, building with the construction equipment and making patterns with maths equipment.
On Thursday we were lucky enough to have Frith from Kidpower take a session with us about all the powers we can use to help keep us safe.
Then we came back to our class to welcome our friends from the Coatesville Learning Centre who had come for a visit.
After we had our brain snacks, we had Discovery Time.
When children start school at Coatesville, they get introduced by a buddy or sibling at Friday morning's school assembly.
To celebrate the end of book week, all of the students (and their teachers) were encouraged to dress up as their favourite book character.
This week we read the Fairy Tale 'The Three Billy Goats Gruff'. We did some 'hot seating' for drama where we pretended we were the characters from the story. It was lots of fun. We also used puppets to put on our own puppet plays.
This week we began our topic on Fairy Tales. We started with 'The Gingerbread Man'. The children in Room 8 enjoyed making and baking gingerbread men, and they were sure to eat them quickly so they couldn't run away!
This week was also book week and we had crazy Dr Seuss dress ups all week. We had Mixed-up Monday, Odd Socks Tuesday, Wacky Wednesday, Crazy Hat Friday and Funny Food Friday. During the week parents could buy books from the Scholastic Book Fair to help raise funds for more books for our school library.
On Friday afternoon, the children presented their mothers with paper bouquets and questionnaires they had answered about their mums. It was lovely to see so many smiles, hugs and kisses between our special mums and kids.
And to follow on from last week, we had a group of children who changed the design of their mouse trap to make two more versions. Check them out...
Mrs Thompson was away for two days so there aren't many photos this week. But here's a few to keep you going until next week....
Welcome back to term 2!
Five new children started in Room 8 this week. Welcome to Aimee, Sylvie, Jonty, Jackson and Cathy.
At the end of last term, we saw a mouse run across our classroom floor! So during one of this week's play based learning sessions, a group of Room 8 students used the 'spare parts' to create a mouse trap. They used bit of wood, plastic, pipes and buckets to capture the mouse. Their trap even had a 'runway' of lights to entice the mouse.
Here are some more photos from our play-based learning sessions ......
On Friday, we had a 'wacky hair day' to raise donations for the westpac rescue helicopter.
Luca and his friend William from Room 5 won the school 'tidy kiwi' award at this week's assembly for picking up rubbish at lunchtime. Well done boys!