What a great morning we shared with other junior classes from Waihi! Big thanks to St Josephs for hosting all of us and to their amazing senior students for helping our guys have a great day! Here is a short video of the day put together by Lexie and Chevelle.
Today Room 2 were lucky enough to have three amazing ladies from the Athenree Spinners and Weavers Group come to share what they do from fleece to yarn. We learnt about different types of yarn, wool, alpaca, cotton and silk. In Amber's words "there is so much interesting stuff to know!"
Spinning turns animal and sometimes plant fibre into yarn that we can use to make fabric. There are a few different ways to spin and today we got to try them. Using the wheel wasn't as easy as we had thought it might be, there was lots to concentrate on!
Kim made two drop spinners using dowel, an old CD and a cup hook and gravity was used to help spin the wool.
Kim also shared some Alpaca fibre which was lovely and soft. And some silk, we played with 'silk handkerchieves' and learned that silk comes from a type of chrysalis. It was amazingly strong and much harder to break than wool. It is so fine, we can see why silk is so expensive!
Kim told us about growing cotton at home. We all think it would be a great crop to have here at school!
Thank you so much to our visitors. What a great introduction to another fantastic resource, natural fibres. We can't wait to let you know what else we learn and how our adventures in dying go.
Less than 24 hours later and the modifications have begun! How can we use what we know about the sun and solar energy to get more heat into our ovens? Here's a quick video with 3 out of 4 groups sharing their ideas, group number 4 have a secret plan!
In our last blog post we shared a video in which we talked about where power comes from. We had a wide range of ideas but most of us agreed that power came from the power poles and into wires that connect to the plugs in our homes and school. Watch the video and read about our thoughts here www.waikino.school.nz/junior-school---room-2/focusing-on-our-footprint.
The past week we have been talking about Energy and in particular, Solar Energy.
We have found out that...
we 'see' and 'feel' solar energy as heat and light.
Some places in our school get lots of solar energy, like the field and the playground.
Some places have the solar energy blocked such as in the native area, these places are colder.
Solar energy can be used to power the things we use.
Solar energy cannot be used as it is and needs to be changed before we can use it.
As we learn about Solar Energy we have come up with some things that we'd like to test, things that we have heard but aren't sure if they are true.
1. Dark colours attract the sun.
2. You can't get sunburnt in winter.
3. You don't need a battery to use solar energy.
4. You can cook with the sun.
5. You get more solar energy from the North.
We are in the process of designing experiments to test these statements, check in again to see what we come up with!
You can cook with the sun!
Mrs Smith spent a day in Room 2 last week and decided to test whether the fact that the sun can be used for cooking is true or false. Using readily available materials 4 solar powered ovens were created! Unfortunately on Friday the rain persisted and we had to wait for the whole weekend to see whether they worked. Today was the day....
We made some predictions about what we thought would happen and how long it would take.
"We think it will melt the chocolate and marshmallow"
"It will take all day to melt."
"I don't think it will cook like a proper oven, the marshmallows won't have a crunchy outside bit."
"I think ours will melt the quickest."
We used the information that we had come up with as we searched the school for areas with lots of solar energy and those that didn't have much and set up our area. We really wanted to know how hot our ovens got so that we could decided if they could be used for other food so we put a thermometer in the box with our smores! Woweee what an amazing thing we had created! 40 minutes, loads of heat and a delicious treat.
Thank you Mrs Smith!!!!!
In our blog last week we talked about painting our feet and making footprints. We told you that we were doing it for our Native Area. This week we wanted to share our learning as we further explore the footprint that we are making as we use our special place to play.
The conversation about how our huts were affecting our Native Area started at the end of last term as we were bringing more and more things from home and using them in our huts. Having 'things' caused some problems and we were concerned about the increase in 'hut raids' and the damage we were doing.
As we talked about our huts, some words came up again and again, change, different, impact. These words have become the basis of our investigation into how we can continue to enjoy the fun that comes with making huts while still staying true to our environmental values and our Native Area Treaty.
We noticed as we added them to the chart that those that made a big impact were built out of materials that had to be brought in, that didn't occur naturally in the Native Area. To remind us we added labels to show what our huts would be made out of.
Interestingly we talked about impact not always being bad. Nicolas said that he could have an impact and it be a good one by just using a tree as his hut.
Understanding that we have an impact and can make a change is such a powerful idea. We began to explore this further this week as we talked about our carbon footprint and the things that we do every day that can make this footprint big or little. We turned our painted prints into posters with collections of things that we do that impact our earth.
During our explorations we began to talk about using power for things and what makes things go. We weren't too sure about power, about where it came from and we thought that recording our ideas might be a good way to see what we need to find out. What an interesting video that gives us lots of starting points for our inquiry into 'Where power comes from'.
Where do you think power comes from?
These ideas are big ones and we are really challenging our brains to think beyond what we can see at times. By connecting our own experiences of building and making change in the Native Area we are able to deepen our understanding of these ideas.
We look forward to sharing our learning with you as we continue to ask and answer the big questions. We love comments so please feel free to share!
Last week was a busy one, there were lots of things happening with lots of opportunities for shared experiences. Writing something together is a great way to talk about those experiences. By sharing the writing process we are all able to contribute and we learn from each other, it gives us an opportunity to talk about word choices and adding interest to our writing. We hope that you enjoy reading these short paragraphs that talk about some of our favourite things from last week.
Some of us painted our footprint and others drew around our feet.
We did this for our Native Area to show how big or how little our hut is and the change it made.
When we were painting our feet it was quite slippery, it was ticklish and it felt funny.
We started to talk about what would happen if the trees died. We were talking about improvements or changes that had been made to our school where trees were cut down to make our field. We thought it would be killing nature.
We thought that the oxygen supply would by less without the trees.
We know that we need Oxygen to breathe in and out.
Sharing our writing on a Friday helps us to make sense of our learning and make plans for the following week. It's great to have that time to chat about the things that we thought were important and we look forward to sharing more of our learning in this way. We love comments so please feel free to add them.
Friday was our first Discovery Day of the term. The idea of Discovery Time is an extension of how our students usually explore things that they are interested in. It is a dedicated time for exploration usually with a theme.
Our groups for Discovery include students from all classrooms, from new entrants to Year 6's. This gives a great opportunity for people to learn as they would naturally in community from both older and younger peers.
This term our Key Competency Focus are Relating to Others and Participating and Contributing. Working alongside others as we found out about Beeswax was a great way to add meaning to these two ideas.
As the beeswax was grated we used it create beeswax food wraps. We tried two different methods, the first used an iron and we found this was a good way to be able to see the wax change from solid to liquid. We could add more as we needed it and they set really quickly.
The second we used a gas burner and a baking tray and reused some of the wax that had coated the bolts we'd used in candle dipping. As it melted we used a paint brush to cover the cotton and make a wrap.
Both made great wraps that we are looking forward to using in our lunch boxes next week!
Have you used beeswax at home to create something useful? We'd love to hear your suggestions.
Gold flip books
Creating text that others want to read and recording our experiences in new and interesting ways have been part of our writing focus over this term. Often writing is kept in books and rarely shared, we wanted to change that.
Creating small, quick books has been a way that we can showcase all of our growing talents from writing to illustrating and for some of us, even graphic design. The placement of text and pictures has made from some in depth discussion around what is enticing to read and what feeling or mood was being created.
We are learning to publish our work using Pages on the iPad or Printshop on our Apple Macs. Choosing a font and a font size that would make our writing easy to read was one of our goals.
Being prepared for writing involves lots of processes and parts of the brain all working together. Cutting skills help to develop hand eye coordination and fine motors skills, both are necessary for successful letter formation. Using stickers helps all of our writers to recognise letters in different forms and make the connection between capital and lowercase letters. Peeling them off also works on fine motor development along with helping to make our titles really colourful and interesting!
Book character interactive cards
Book Week was a brilliant excuse to put together some more books and share about our characters and the teddies that we brought for our teddy bears picnic. This work was much faster than our gold books, we only had a couple of mornings so we worked on recording short pieces of information.
Dressing up as our favourite book character was so much fun!!! These pictures show just how much effort everyone went to to really 'become' someone else for the day. But what does it mean to be a character and how can we describe them and what makes our character different to us?
We have shared both of our books at assembly, if you missed them, why not come into class and have a look, we are really proud of them!
What a fabulous way to end our learning focus around resources in our local community! Room 2 spent the day discovering Waihi's mining history and seeing what is happening in and underneath our little town. There were so many fun activities and we learnt lots of new things. Check out these amazing pictures of the day and keep checking in as we write about the things we have learnt and what we saw.
A big thanks to our fantastic parents for all of your help, you'd make great miners!
Our learning focus has been on finding out more about our area, what brought people to Waikino and what resources are sought after here. We begun by identifying the Kauri and were amazed to see what lengths people went to to harvest it as we walked to the Logging Bogie.
We then talked about gold and silver and found out that this process was a long and dangerous one too.
We talked about resources and had these questions
What is a resource?
What do we need resources for?
What happens if we use all of our resources?
Can I get my own resources?
What can I take?
As part of our enviroschools commitment we took another look at our vision map that was updated in 2014. We noticed that this showed resources that we had here at school. We came to a decision to combine our new learning with this vision map and have started the process by creating our backgrounds.
The process was a fun, messy wet day activity. We used a variety of tools to give our background a textured feel and worked with each other to create 3 large sections.
Keep checking in for progress, we look forward to sharing it with you!