Thursday, 22 October 2015

Moa Awards

Tickets are available from the school office for the MOA Awards, for a gold coin donation. Initially we will need to limit tickets to those students who have been shortlisted and their immediate families. If we have spare tickets these will be offered to other students and to families who need additional tickets. All shortlisted students need to get a ticket. Teacher will also need to get a ticket, as we have to restrict the number attending due to Fire Safety regulations. A fire safety officer will be onsite during the evening.

Monday, 3 August 2015

STEM and Computational Thinking

An Essential 21st Century Disposition

Computational Thinking (CT) is a problem solving process that includes a number of characteristics and dispositions. CT is essential to the development of computer applications, but it can also be used to support problem solving across all disciplines, including the humanities, math, and science. Students who learn CT across the curriculum can begin to see a relationship between academic subjects, as well as between life inside and outside of the classroom.

The Skills We Need To Develop With OUR Students.....

Decomposition: Breaking down data, processes, or problems into smaller, manageable parts
Pattern Recognition: Observing patterns, trends, and regularities in data
Abstraction: Identifying the general principles that generate these patterns
Algorithm Design: Developing the step by step instructions for solving this and similar problems

Computational Thinking will act as the overarching umbrella for STEM, which we will commence in 2016. Our teachers already use many aspects of computational thinking in their daily programmes. When our teachers are teaching maths many aspects of computational thinking are required to break down problems, look for patterns, or to "sort the wood from the trees" (Abstraction)

The diagram below explains Computational Thinking very simply.

Thursday, 23 July 2015


What is STEM?

Science ,Technology, Engineering and Maths

Why teach STEM?

Every country in the world is reforming their education system at the current time. Why? Well we are told it is because we are not preparing students with the skills and attributes they need for the future. Many jobs in the future will depend on students have a really good basis in STEM.

“Science and technology are at the heart of every major challenge we face: rebuilding transport systems in major town and cities, climate change, space exploration,creating a healthy economy. Yet every year the number of Graduates in STEM decreases in New Zealand”

Our government has created a new initiative called Curious Minds. “A Nation of Curious Minds is the blueprint for the Science in Society project. In July 2014, the Minister of Science and Innovation, Hon Steven Joyce, and the Minister of Education, Hon Hekia Parata, launched A Nation of Curious Minds, the Government’s plan to encourage and enable better engagement with science and technology across New Zealand society.

The plan, A Nation of Curious Minds – He Whenua Hihiri i te Mahara, recognises the important role scientific knowledge and innovation play in our lives and in creating and defining New Zealand’s future, economically, socially and environmentally.”

Through the MOA Kluster we have been developing exciting new partnerships and focus, for some months. We have been developing a STEM focus.We are still at the beginning of our journey. We had a combined meeting with the BOT from the four schools and we have agreed that this is a direction that is important for our students and their future.

So What Are We Doing About It?

Maths: Each school has designated a lead teacher to review our direction for 2016. These teachers will be working cross school to explore what is working well and what we need to improve. Having a cross cluster focus adds strength to this review. These teachers will also be exploring different ways to teach maths to help our students to become “maths problem solvers”

Science: The schools are working alongside one another to share professional development. We are currently building working partnerships both in New Zealand and overseas to strengthen our knowledge and skills in this area. Science and maths will be a major focus for our schools in 2016.

So What About Engineering? Do You Actually Do That At Primary School?

The short answer is YES.
If you’ve ever watched children at play, you know they’re fascinated with building things—and with taking things apart to see how they work. In other words, children are natural-born engineers. When children engineer in a school setting, research suggests several positive results:

Building Science and Math Skills

Engineering calls for children to apply what they know about science and math—and their learning is enhanced as a result. At the same time, because engineering activities are based on real-world technologies and problems, they help children see how disciplines like math and science are relevant to their lives.

Classroom Equity

Research suggests engineering activities help build classroom equity. The engineering design process removes the stigma from failure; instead, failure is an important part of the problem-solving process and a positive way to learn. Equally important, in engineering there’s no single “right” answer; one problem can have many solutions. When classroom instruction includes engineering, all students can see themselves as successful.

21st Century Skills

Hands-on, project-based learning is the essence of engineering. As groups of students work together to answer questions like “How large should I make the canopy of this parachute?” or “What material should I use for the blades of my windmill?” they collaborate, think critically and creatively, and communicate with one another.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Student Posting in the Holidays: Auroa Primary School

Bethanys Blog: Visiting Sky Tower
These students from Auroa Primary School are all in the Y5/6 Room Three Class.  They have individual student blogs and have all chosen to post in their own time during the school holidays:

Bethany's been on holiday in Auckland and visited the iconic Auckland Sky Tower.  You can see her standing on a sheet of glass on this fantastic post on her wonderful blog by clicking here.

Caros Blog: Mount Taranaki
Caro has been in the snow on Mount Taranaki - you can read about the details of the experience that she's had by clicking on her fantastic blog here.  

Katelyn has been in Rotorua having some fantastic adventures on her holidays.  If you would like to find out all about what she has been up to and read her fantastic recount about her adventures you can click on the link here.

In each instance the students have been writing about the events that have occurred, and written recounts detailing the events and taken time to include details and links (such as hyper linking to links with more details).   Its provided motivated learners and opportunity to connect with an authentic audience.  The students concerned have had a combined total of 15,000 page views.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Students Posting About Special Events

Teacher Note: We're trying to encourage students to post regularly about school events or about home related topics and experiences. These are two examples of students who competed in the Weetbiz Tryathalon and then wrote and self published about the events following the experience. Jayden, whose blog is also mentioned in producing a series of farm related videos on his blog detailing his family and farming experiences.

Today we had a large number of students competing in the Weetbix Tryathalon in New Plymouth - this is a huge event, one of the biggest single sporting events in our area this year.   Students who competed didn't make it to school, but that didn't stop two students from Room Three posting as soon as they got home.  If you'd like to read all about the 2015 Weetbix Tryathalon you can visit Caro's wonderful blog with her awesome posts here.  You can also read and see about her recent trip to Wellington to compete in the Colour Run.

Jayden's been producing some amazing work, you can read about his experience by clicking on his blog here.  Not only can you see about his effort and what he thought of the Tryathalon - you can read about some of his fantastic farming related posts that he's been creating involving his farm on his blog here.

There's also some other wonderful student blogs - you can see the full list by clicking on the side bar on the Room Three Blog.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Using Media From School Events: Kizoa and Athletics

During the recent Cluster held between our schools we took two hundred or so images from the day. Returning to School during the following days, while writing about the event a group of students also used a free Media production device, in this case Kizoa, to produce a slideshow of images from the event. We used the 'free' account setting (you can pay with donations for better material, access and options). We've then used the slideshow to refocus on the students experience. The media has been created completely by two students, with no input from the teacher. The interface for the program is a straightforward drag and drop icon system and the animations are extremely easy to use. If you or your students would like a further tutorial you can Skype our class, you can also use the original media and copy the work.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Students Reflection of Her Holidays

Teachers Note: We had a student who was lucky enough to have an amazing experience during her holidays.  She took her iPad, recorded these images and came back to school.  We were able to have her (Y5) and two other students put together the iMovie within one 45 minute block.    She completed the recount in her own time and the sharing part of her holiday was we put the slideshow on the big screen when she was finished.  The original post is below.

Paige from Room Three has been lucky enough to have just come back Raratonga in the Cook Islands. She spent some time on holiday but also spent some time working hard. She made an amazing iMovie of her adventures with the help of Quade and Harry, which includes pictures that she took and video of some of the cultural performances. This is her recount about the trip.

Thump thump the plane had landed! After three hours on the plane it was cool there was a TV on every chair I got to play with it because there was games on it and we could play music and movie too. It was boiling hot once we had hopped off the plane.

Then we had a look around on the island on a bus. That night we got to have a swim, the pool was refreshing. Nana and Aunty jumped in the pool with their clothes on.

Raro (1) from Myles Webb on Vimeo.

We got dressed up and headed for breakfast waiting for another adventure. Me and Dad went to Kids Club and we made a sarong. 

That night we went to a show it was an island dance. We watched the performance. There were two guys doing a fire dance. It was awesome.

The next day we went to the Spa. I got my nails done and I was allowed to have a massage. That night I got a three hour swim.