Monday, 30 September 2013

Boats That Float

We have been learning about different types of boats and how to make our own boats as part of our 'Invention' inquiry unit. 

 Plasticine boats, after lots of experimenting we found that a shallow bowl shape or a canoe shape floated the best. We had to be make sure that there were no holes in the hull for water to leak through.

Origami paper boats. We used these instructions to fold our boats.

 A BrainBox boat, with a battery operated motor and a propeller.

Once we discovered about how to make different types of boats and what types of things can float and sink we designed and made our own boats.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Making Pizza

Our classroom turned into a pizza shop yesterday.

This term we have been learning how to make, read, and write fractions so we were sure to cut our pizza into halves and quarters to enjoy for lunch.


We also cut our paper plate pizza into halves....

and quarters.

And we enjoyed watching the experts twirl pizza dough. Check out this amazing pizza dough spinning clip:

Wednesday, 25 September 2013


Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and The Three Little Pigs are some of the fairytales we explored today for Discovery.

Can you spot which activity supports which fairytale?

 Material collage for Cinderella's ballgown and magic-wand making.

 Fairy biscuits with 100's and 1000's.

 Three Little Pigs and their houses.

 Porridge tasting, just like Goldilocks!

 Two sleeping beauties in Sleeping Beauty's bed.

And the big bad wolf!

Today was our last Discovery session for this term, next term we have lots more exciting Discovery activities planned, including Halloween, Mickey Mouse's Birthday and Christmas.
We will also have lots of new Mountaineers (our pre-school visitors) joining us. I am looking forward to seeing their happy faces during their school visits.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Happy Paper Plate Hens

Our paper plate hens are out of their hen house and brightening up our wall. 

This week we have been learning how to segment and blend 'en' words, like hen, Ben, then, and den. I have been really pleased to see the children's progress listening to, reading, and writing CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words. And even better, they have been using the knowledge they learned during our phonics sessions during their reading and writing lessons. 

Lately we have been concentrating on changing the onset sound to make a new word (the onset is the first sound of a word before the vowel - /c/ in cat). For example, I will ask "What will the word be if you change the /h/ in hen to /m/?" The children have been able to say the sounds slowly to themselves and say then the new word. Research has shown that activities like this that support children's phonological awareness will help their reading, writing, and spelling.

Have a look at some of the other phonic art and craft activities we have enjoyed recently:

/a/ as in 'at' - Peg Bats
/i/ as in 'ig' - Egg Carton Pig Snouts
/o/ as in 'og' - Origami Dalmatian Dogs

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Yo, Ho, Ho, Me Hearties!

Thursday 19 September 2013 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. We celebrated a day early for Discovery today!

We explored lots of pirate themed activities, check it out....

 (Don't worry those are fake tattoos.)

Here are some pirate jokes:

Why are pirates called pirates?
(They just arrrrrgh!)

How much did the pirate pay for his hook and peg leg?
(An arm and a leg!)

What is a pirate's favourite subject?

What are pirates afraid of?
(The darrrrrk!)

What's orange and sounds like a parrot?
(A carrot!)

Friday, 13 September 2013

Floating and Sinking

As part of our inquiry we have been busy investigating what can float and what can sink. 
The Cookie Monster showed us how to perform a scientific experiment. (This clip is interactive and the children loved it.)

We followed the 'Scientific Method' just like real scientists.

We asked a question:
"Will it float or sink?" 

We made a hypothesis:
"I think it will ....."

We tested out hypothesis by putting the items in a container of water. 

And we observed what happened.

We found out that lemons can float, but a bouncy ball sinks. We found that a wooden peg floats and so does cork. We found that a stone and a marble will sink, but pumice floats.

The children will be using this knowledge to make a toy boat, if we know what floats hopefully our boats will too!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Conservation Week

This week from the 8th to the 15th of September is Conservation Week. For Discovery today we investigated how we can look after our planet and our country.

 We sorted items to recycle using this Sparklebox game.

 We hunted for worms, worms and other insects are helpful for us and the environment.

Watch this clip about from the Bugman about Yucky Bugs and how they help us:

We planted kowhai seeds. Kowhai are a plant native to New Zealand, I have two tui birds that fight every morning over the nectar in my kowhai tree. 

 We reused newspaper to make bags and pages from magazines to make envelopes that we posted to each other in our play letter box.
 We reused toilet paper rolls to make binoculars so we can do some native bird spotting.

From the DOC website:
This year’s theme is ‘Celebrate Conservation Week! What’s your whānau doing?’ It’s about getting friends and family together to experience the natural environment and all it has to offer. There are lots of awesome things you can get up to!

What are you doing for Conservation Week?

Friday, 6 September 2013

Oink, Oink

Check out our pig snouts!

We used egg cartons to make our pig noses and had a great time making the loudest snorting noises possible whenever we wore our snouts.

We have been reading this pig poem and practising hearing, reading, and writing /i/ in the middle of words and we are becoming experts at segmenting and blending simple CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words. I have been very pleased to observe the children applying their improved phonemic and phonological awareness to their reading and writing. Understanding how the smallest sounds in words can be heard and manipulated makes reading and writing easier and I use lots of explicit phonic instruction to help the children do this.

Have a look at this post to find out a little more about how we are learning to segment and blend words.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Ice Block Stick Butterflies

 A mother (and fellow teacher) of one of my lovely children came in to our class today to make these cute ice-block stick caterpillars. 

They are hiding a special surprise - a beautiful butterfly.


She also brought in her youngest child for us to play with!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Spring into Spring

Although today was not exactly warm Spring weather we had a great time learning about Spring and some of the amazing things that happen in the springtime.

   Birds lay eggs. We used clay to make these nests and eggs.

Then chicks are born. These masks are from Sparklebox.

 Daffodils bloom, mini-cupcake cases are perfect for the middle of the flower.

 Other types of flowers start to grow, so we labeled the different parts of a flower.

 I also cut some flowers from my garden for the children to paint. I love the colourful rainbow behind these flowers.
We also made easy pinecone bird feeders with margarine and birdseed. Baby birds are hungry in the springtime, so these bird feeders will keep them well feed!