Today Waitāwheta Class spent the day at Aongatete Forest park, one of the oldest Puriri forests in the country. Aongatete Forest Project have a very successful baiting and trapping program which means that there is an abundance of bird life and also native NZ geckos.
For our class, Monday's is Forest School Day where we work on safe risk taking, understanding more about ourselves, our abilities and those of our classmates. We learnt to work towards goals and help those around us as they do so too.
Spending time in an unfamiliar forest gives us an opportunity to test what we know and how we feel.
At times our vision can become narrow, we only see where we are going. Today we spent sometime exploring 3 distinct layers of the forest, the forest floor, the sub-canopy (eye level-ish) and the towering canopy layer. We spent some time searching for things at all levels, natural objects, such as fungi, leaves and berries, and manmade objects such as track markers and information signs. Doing this before heading off on a longer walk to the famed swimming hole gave us confidence in our surroundings.
Spending time at the swimming hole gave us the opportunity to explore and marvel in the wonder of nature, a great reward for this terms work and learning in Forest School.
Thank you to our fantastic parents who drove and spent the day with us, carrying toilet paper just in case! Without you these trips would not be possible we really appreciate it.
Tony and Sue at Bullswool Farm Park invited Waikino School to help them return and area of pasture to native bush. This work is part of a bigger plan to build habitats for our native birds. The first planting session was 3 years ago now in winter of 2015 when students who are now our Year 6's planted Kauri, Manuka and Puriri beautiful area of the wilderness walk.
Today Waitāwheta class returned to our area and with the help of 4 of our parents, planted more Kauri and Pūriri. For our class who have been learning about regeneration of native bush in our forest school sessions it was a great opportunity to see what can be achieved.
We have been looking at bottles and researching them. One bottle was found in our Forest School site by Lewis in Waitekauri class. We found out that it was a 'lung preserver bottle' from Christchurch.
After we had looked at this bottle, Tayha brought to school a box full of other different bottles. Tayha and her family found them at their house. "As the horses walk about they move the soil and the bottles get pushed up."
We want to know, how did the bottles get here, to Waikino School and Waihi.
We want to know how often they used horses and what they used them for, and how the bottles were made.
Some of the bottles have writing and numbers on them, we want to know when they were made.
Our Forest School Find
We want to know what this was used for and whether it had a top on it.
Do you know the answers to any of these questions?
How did it get here?
When was it made?
Why is it round?
What is it made out of?
What was it used for?
How was it made?
Did it have medicine in it?
Did they use it as a cup?
Did a person at home make it or someone in a shop or factory make it?
Who used it?
Are there more of them around in Waikino or the world?
Did it have mints in it?
If you can help us to answer any of these questions please add a comment below. We write this blog as a class as part of our writing program. Sharing in the writing process gives everyone a great opportunity to learn from each other. While we wrote this post we talked a lot about who might be reading and what kind of things you would do as a reader if you read a question. We'd love to hear from you.
Nature and time in nature is a big important part of time here at Waikino School and we love it! As we begin to incorporate the forest schools ethos and develop our own, Waitawheta class are sharing their love of our native space.
As a class we are using some of the tasks suggested by the Kiwi Conservation Club or KCC as prompts or suggestions for learning.
These tasks prompted our explorations today. We had to consider time and available resources, the great thing we noticed was that we didn't need much at all and that many of the tasks are things that we can go back to again and again. We made predictions about what we might find and how it might be different on another day.
One of the tasks encourages a fungi hunt! What fun and so many fungi living in our native area. We can't wait to identify them soon.
Finding rainbows in nature is a lovely job that really gets us looking at what is around us. We found, sorted and organised our leaves, using colour to start which prompted lovely discussion about what makes leaves green. Do you know?
We found that we could match leaves t trees even when their fallen leaves were a different colour or even looked like a skeleton. Skeleton leaves are so very interesting and 'they have lost their flesh', showing just the bones.
We talked about shape, size, texture and we talked about evergreen and deciduous trees and tried to identify those around us.
Have you been using these tasks at home for outdoor exploration inspiration?
Just a reminder that we will be outside in all weathers so shoes and raincoats would really help to make this experience a positive one for our students. Send these along to school, we want to know if different fungi grown in the rain!
At the start of school year generally there are some things to get used to, some things that are new. For the majority of Waitawheta class having 'been here before' as they say, this isn't true. Working outside of your comfort zone can tell you a lot about yourself and is a great way to see yourself in another light.
This term we have been given the opportunity to attend the Hockey Big Day Out which is held in Ngatea. The problem? None of us had played before. It's amazing how some of us show our value held by the manu Kiwi - Can do attitude straight away, jumping in and just going for it. And interesting to see how many of us needed more information, or even to see the game before saying that they would have a go. Of things to 'have a go at', hockey does have the fear factor, hard ball, hard sticks and bare feet don't often go that well together!
We have spent quite a few afternoons learning some skills and this last week we have become involved in quick games and given a chance to test those skills. We had so much fun! We learnt about positions and played to our strengths and had a great time doing it.
I hope that the confidence gained in learning this new skill will stand us all in good stead as we move forwards with our learning in other areas in Waitawheta Class.
Growing and gardening always feature in our classroom program in some form or another and this week was no exception. Our New World Little Garden seedlings are producing lots of healthy looking vegetables and we have had a few extra marrows this last week with Alex bringing his in from home.
We wanted to make something that could be sold by the PTA this weekend and help with their fundraising efforts so zucchini cakes for the bake sale it was.
Hopefully our group of motorhome rallyers enjoyed them, if not, there may be some for morning tea on Monday!
For the next two weeks Waitawheta Class are taking part in a national read aloud. We will be exploring the NZ author Gavin Bishop and his work as an author and illustrator. As we get into these books we will be sharing our learning with other classes around NZ using the blog https://nzreadaloudjnr.blogspot.co.nz/.
This is a great opportunity for us to safely explore blogs and learn about sharing our learning online as we begin to do the same with our own blogs here at school. We are practising viewing others work, expressing our opinions and answering questions based on other's contributions. We are also learning to comment appropriately and receive feedback on our own work from others. There are lots of little tips and tricks to using blogs and the internet and lots of new symbols to become familiar with. We look forward seeing what other classes are doing round the country.
We are having fun learning together, this is us as a pizza!
Thank you for your patience in waiting for u to share these beautiful works of art. Good things take time as they say and I'm sure that you will agree that these pieces of work will become taonga for years to come. Beautiful. (See our previous post talking about how these were created).
As this year has begun we have had a focus on goal setting and knowing where we are going in our learning. Taking responsibility and being accountable for where this school year takes us has influenced our discussions as we have established routines and got to know each other.
Acknowledging that none of us come into our classroom as a blank slate or an empty vessel we first explored who we are using the title I am..... we are a modest lot and it took our classmates to help us at times to celebrate our talents.
our class has many skills to share, we are good at running, jumping, swimming and caring for our earth. We are kind, caring, calm and excited to name just a few.
School should support and nurture our greatest talents and we had some fantastic discussions about where we might be if we weren't here, or where we see our lives heading. I will..... be a zookeeper, sell my own paintings to rise money to save birds all around the world, go on holiday and come back when I am ready, be a gamer where some of our aspirations.
By talking about these two ideas along with identifying with one of the values held by the manu within our school we created a strong sense of understanding about what we needed, what was important for us and therefore could talk about learning goals in Reading, Writing and Maths with a sense of purpose and expectation.
We shared our learning wheels with our families who completed the last spoke in the wheel by sharing their aspirations for us. Knowing that we are supported and encouraged to work towards our goals gives us confidence to push boundaries.
Our next phase of learning as we begin these goals is around what makes us happy and healthy because learning is harder when our basic needs are not met. We look forward to sharing this with you in the coming weeks.
Kia ora whānau, this week we wanted to share the things that we did on a pretty special day. We have had a chance to sit and talk about what we enjoyed, learnt and found interesting this last week and hear are our thoughts.
Heart Kids day.
On Wednesday the whole school dressed in pink, or red in order to support and raise money for HeartKids. HeartKids is a charity that supports families of children with heart conditions before, during and after treatment. What a great opportunity to learn about how our heart works! We were lucky enough to hear first hand from a real Heart Kid, our own classmate Alex and his mum Lou who shared his story of being born with a hole in his heart. Alex shared pictures and explained what had been done to fix his hole and how his heart has changed since his operation.
Trying to imagine what happens inside our bodies can be tricky and we learnt from Alex and Lou that the heart has lots of different parts. We wanted to see it for real! We used this weeks value of cooperation held by Kākāpō to work with a buddy and build a real pumping machine, very similar to our own heart.
Did you know that your heart pumps approximately 4 litres of blood per minute? We though that this wouldn't be too difficult. Playing a fun game we realised just how hard our heart has to work to move that blood. It took us between 2.31minutes and 4.30 minutes to move the same amount of water from one container to another using a cup. A cup is about the same amount as our hearts can hold.
It was even harder when we tried to move that water using a container with a hole in it!
HeartKids day was such a great day full of learning, exploration and discovery. Thanks to Alex and Lou for sharing this day and allowing us to share it with you!