Thursday, 13 December 2018

Last Assembly for the year

Kia Ora koutou,

I can't believe how fast this year has gone.  We've come to our very last assembly and what a funny one it was.  My students have been focusing on making 'how to....' videos relating to their coding knowledge.  They're especially interested in this new craze called Dance Party.  We have also been preparing for our end of year celebration where they've decided to produce a dance.  It's honestly been a whirl wind of a year with so much happening, and we often forget to take the time to share with our family and friends what we've achieved and accomplished.

I couldn't be any prouder of my students.  They've grown so much.   They make reflections, give things ago, make mistakes and learn from those experiences.  Many of my students were too shy to even speak in front of a camera.  Too shy to perform in front of the class.  Now they are all more than capable of showcasing their learning to others - especially to an online platform such as blogger.

Nga mihi nui ki a koutou akomanga toru.
Na Whaea Gaylene

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Elf Yourself

Whaea Tania came to visit Room 3 today for the last time this year. The students have been having loads of fun experimenting with elf yourself. A great theme that aligns with our end of year preparation for prizegiving. We can't wait to share our performance with you all, so watch this space.



Friday, 2 November 2018

I am inspired from the success of others.

This week we have been aiming to develop and enhance the culture of our classroom.  We're empowered to change our mindsets.  Many have been inspired to learn from the success from others.  Some have discovered that making and correcting mistakes are proof that they are growing - particularly since their assessment results have started coming through for them to reflect upon.

Although one student in my class didn't quite reach their writing goal, they quickly discovered that their progress as a whole from the score they received at the beginning of the year to now is something that he should definitely be proud of.  Next year is a new year, where I can guarantee he will smash his writing goals.

The students in Room 3 have  also been developing their te reo knowledge and pronounciation.  We decided to create class posters with links to their mahi as a way of showcasing their work in one place.  Below you will find links to their work around translating English sentences into Te Reo.
Some students struggled, some students excelled, some students were ecstatic to complete the task and discover that they can learn anything they want to.

The great thing about the learning culture in this room is that they are inspired from the success of others.  They see it as a benchmark to aim for and in most cases surpass.

Super Proud Teacher - Nga Mihi
Na Whaea Gaylene

Friday, 7 September 2018

Room 5 Class Award

#Four ways to reduce plastic consumption.

This term Room 5 have been focusing on the plastic issues we all face, but moreso trying to brainstorm and think of effective ways of reducing our plastic consumption. One solution we came up with was by making our own cleaning products and therefore preventing our whanau from purchasing the plastic bottles in which they come in from supermarket shelves. We can reuse plastic containers or jars that we readily have in our homes.  Below you will see room 5 students make multipurpose spray, window cleaner, toilet scrub and shower cleaning scrub.

They were fun experiments that the children enjoyed taking part in. The children discovered that it's definitely harder to record live. You need to think about your delivery and know what you want to say. We'd like to thank Leigh Ngawati for coming into our classroom and sharing her knowledge and experience regarding Doterra essential oils. We really appreciated your support and help.

Below you will see the work of the students they chose to deliver to the school.  You will see how they made their cleaning products, the reading of one group who focused on using expression by changing the accents of their characters in a radio play and a quick video of some students goal to become confident and fierce when they pukana for kapa haka.      

Friday, 17 August 2018

Word Wheel

We've been looking at ways that we can improve on our vocabulary and spelling.  I've found an online site that will hopefully encourage the students to do this.  At the moment their finding it difficult to get great results....with practice I'm sure they will make massive improvements.  Here is an example of what I got.  A great game for all ages.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Getting Active and Moving

Today Matua Bo came to visit Room 5 to teach us some quick and simple ways of getting our blood pumping and heart racing.  It doesn't have to take up a lot of time.  Keeping our mind and body fit and healthy can be achieved in as little as five to ten minutes a day.

The children had a quick warm up of knee and shoulder boxing.  In pairs or groups of three, you have to try and tag the knees or shoulders of your opponent, while trying to avoid being tagged in return.  Matua Bo then had the students rotate through four stations with differing tasks for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Room 5's Solutions to our plastic issues.

....Creativity Empowers Learning....

Students in Room 5 have been learning about the global plastic issues we're facing in our landfills, waterways and oceans.  It is crazy to realise that plastic takes thousands of years to break down, even then they aren't completely gone.  

What can we do to alleviate the plastic problems?  Recycling is no longer enough.  Reusing isn't either.  We need to make better choices and better decisions.  We've been doing some research on how plastic is recycled and here are some ideas the students have come up with to possibly solve this problem.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Thank You Kids Can


Today Tautoro School had a crazy hair day fundraiser as a way of thanking the support we receive from Kids Can through kai donations, clothing, footwear, healthcare products and so much more.  If it weren't for their thoughtful support, our tamariki would find it difficult to concentrate and focus on their learning.

Nga mihi nui ki a koutou nga mahita o Kids Can!  
Mauri Ora.

Monday, 23 July 2018


Tautoro School have been lucky enough to participate in the 'Robopā - Robotics in Schools' programme launched by Awanuiārangi.  It has enabled our tamariki to access and manipulate technologies, robotic equipment and build on their coding capabilities.  They participate in teams, problem solve, engage in computational tasks, and ultimately design their own robot to successfully complete challenges set by the kaiako of Robopā.

We have already had our local school scrimmage, with lots of whānau and students from other classes come visit and learn for themselves about the amazing mahi that the senior students have been a part of.  

The question of the day was, 'What is a scrimmage?'

It's where each group works with another group (building team work) to complete a certain task.  In this case, to move as many blocks into the point zone as possible. You're timed with two minutes to accumulate as many points as you can.  The points you gain for each round gets tallied and accumulated toward your final score. The two teams with the most points by the end of the day, get to represent your local area at the regional championships held later in the year.  Our tamariki have the potential to win that and represent Northland at the National tournament held in Whakatane.

I loved how they were able to construct a robot, test its effectiveness, problem-solve and make changes, then re-test their ideas again in authentic situations.  There was lots of opportunities to communicate and collaborate with others and demonstrate their new found knowledge and skills to their peers, whānau, teachers and wider communities.

I felt that this programme engaged, inspired and motivated our tamariki to be successful innovators and creators of digital technologies (something they're familiar with).  It also encouraged them to develop and enhance their science, technology, engineering and mathematical knowledge, a bonus for me as their teacher :).

Please keep an eye for their posts regarding this experience.  
Nga mihi nui ki a roopu Robopā me Awanuiārangi.
Nā Akōmanga rima.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Mrs Beazley comes to Room 5


For many children throughout New Zealand handwriting seems to be a thing of the past, particularly for those with 1 to 1 devices, e.g chromebook in schools.  Whanau in Tautoro had a few concerns about the handwriting of their children.  Therefore, we have been lucky enough to have Mrs Beazley come to our classroom.  She is re-known throughout Kaikohe for her skills and knowledge in handwriting.

I have already seen a huge improvement in my students writing, from how they form and link their letters, grip their pencil, set out and take pride in their work.  Tall letters touch the top line, small letters start half way between, g's q's and y's have tails.


Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Stop Motion Animation

We had Tania visiting today to help us prepare for our movie making presentation based on Matariki later this year.  We were familiar with the process, however we've come to realise that instead of jumping in and racing to get things done.... we need to slow down and think about what we're trying to say. 

What is our purpose for doing this?  
Who is our target audience? 
What is our message?  
What is the best way of portraying that message?

So, thankfully we got to experiment with play dough.  Tania hand made clear back drops for pairs to use in order to eliminate the class room furniture.  We focused on making small movements for each shot (as it's estimated that feature films require roughly 30 shots per second).  We also focused on ensuring the pairs worked as a team, communicating 'clear' when all hair, hands and shirts were out of the picture.  The students enjoyed it, and grew as future movie makers.  We found play dough easier to manipulate as opposed to plasticine.


Wednesday, 13 June 2018

ProJoe comes to visit

On Monday Room 5 had a visit from Matua Bodean and his trusty side kick ProJoe.  They came to discuss the importance of making healthy food choices.  As a class we discussed the four main food groups - Grain Foods, Fruit and Vegetables, Milk and Milk products and  Meat and Meat alternatives.

Interestingly we learnt key words that would help us remember the significance of each food group.  We learnt that each food group also contains different nutrients that our body needs in order to grow strong, stay healthy and give us lots of energy.  We were reminded of why it's so important to eat foods from the four food groups in order to help us Go, Grow, and  Glow.

Glow Group = Fruit and Vegetables: This food group provides us with essential vitamins and minerals needed to have our skin glow; our nails to grow; our hair to shine and  they also help fight off infections and bugs.

Grow Group = Meat and Meat Alternatives: This food group helps to grow our muscles.   They provide our bodies with protein which plays an important role in building and repairing our bodies muscles and organs.  Meat is also an important 

Grow Group = Milk and Milk Products: This food group helps to grow our bones.  They provide us with the calcium our bones need to stay strong.  Our teeth too.

Go Group = Grains: This food group provides us with most of the energy our body and brain need to get going - carbohydrates.  They are also a good source of fibre.  

Room 5 Assembly

We've been really busy these last few weeks with quick rip and rippa rugby tournaments for our year 5,6 & 7 students.  We've been preparing ourselves for Tautoro's Speech Competition later in week 7 for writing, where the students have been focusing on topics that are important to them.

The tamariki have also been learning about Pablo Picasso's cubism - a branch off our geometry unit we're studying this term.  We've learnt about the difference of abstract and realistic pieces.

I hope you enjoy the spotlight on some of these amazing pieces of work.  Feel free to browse their blogs.

Nga Mihi

Whaea Gaylene
Tyrone & Chace - 2D shapes

Angel-Rose - Pablo Picasso
Neko Henley - Speech Planning

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Self Management

We are very lucky and fortunate to have Miss Simeon teaching in Room 5 while our classroom focuses on self-management this term.  Our class is making sure that they are listening, following instructions and making the best decisions to ensure that they are successful in their learning.

The students have also been focusing on making improvements in their writing.  One key aspect of their writing is checking that spelling, grammar and punctuation are correct.  Setting up systems such as buddy checking and using apps such as read&write to support them have definitely built their confidence in this.

Room 5 is also using the Fred Schonell Spelling programme that not only encourages the students to learn the word, but learn how to use it effectively in their writing.   We have already seen massive improvements in spelling results for students who struggle to string those sounds together correctly.

 Buddy checking
 Shalom and Maui (mixed ability spelling programme)
 Proof reading a document sent by Miss Simeon.

I can't wait to see how much they have improved in a few weeks time.  Kia Kaha Room 5.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Ki-O-Rahi Champions - By Sally Matene

Ki-o-Rahi Champions

Image result for Tautoro school Ki- Rahi

Last Thursday my team and I went to the Ki-o-Rahi tournament in Kaikohe at Lindvart park. The people that were in my team were Armani, Taonga, Tamaiti, Andy, Kohl-lee, Angel-Rose, Marta and me. When we started the game we were versing Waima school.

It was my first time playing against other schools.  I was super nervous because I was one of the youngest in my team and I didn’t want to let them down. The captain of our team was Andy.  Waima wanted to be kia oma, so we started off being Taniwha - that’s the team that hits the tipu and stops the other team from getting tries.

I was starting to get frustrated.  It didn’t help that the referee was confusing me. He wasn’t making sense.  He didn’t even know the rules which was annoying because
the other team was fending and having two tags on one side.  Matua Matt said “you can’t do that! That’s cheating!”  He ended up explaining the rules to the referee which made me and my team feel better and not as frustrated as before.

This game was a little intense because they were Kia-Oma and we were Taniwha. So kiaoma has 2 people guarding the tupu. The ki starts in Te Marama.  They have to throw the ball to their teammates who are the kaitiaki standing in Te Ao by the tipu. Then they look for people that they can see from their team to throw the ki to. The aim is to hit as many pou as you can before you get ripped.  Anyone can run around trying to get the pou but as the Taniwha it was our job to double rip them so we can get a hand over for our team. We’re also trying to stop them from scoring tries.  The number of points depends on how many pou you can tag.

So my job was to rip tags from the other team.  I thought I did good.  I got one double rip for my team which helped Marta, Helam and Andy hit the tipu and get us points. When we were ki-oma my job was to hit the pou.  I hated it when they were chasing me because I was scared they would rip me or get the ki off me.  I still got the try which was cool.  “Shot Sally!” I remember hearing Matua Matt yell out.
We ended up winning. The score was 11-1 to Tautoro.

I enjoyed playing Ki-O-Rahi.  It was an awesome day out competing against other schools.  I also liked working with my team.  We ended up coming first overall.

By Sally Matene

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

EPro8 Challenge

Four of our students (Kohl-Lee, Tyrone, Chace and Shalom) competed in the regional Epro8 challenge.  There are roughly 7,000 students around New Zealand that take part, and funnily it was the first time it had come to Northland.

The ePro8 challenge focuses on engineering, problem solving and coming up with innovative ideas - hence how they got its name.  It was an amazing event that the children thoroughly enjoyed being apart of.  They had to option of completing 4 challenges each with their own set of criteria.  Their aim was to complete as many tasks or criteria as possible, accruing the allocated points for each task.  The team with the most points would qualify to compete in the semi-finals and finals the following week.

The tamariki loved every aspect of this event.  They learnt a lot along the way - the importance of communicating and listening to each other, working as a team, reading and following instructions, planning and following those plans, even working to time constraints.  

This event has motivated our classroom to learn more about electronics, circuits, constructing 3D objects to suit desired goals, coding, electricity, coding....
If you are interested in learning more about epro8 here is the link.

 Here they're trying to attach a light to shine on 'uncle' who struggles to wake up in the morning.  They've set the light to turn on when the sun rises and alarm goes off.

 Each team were given their own workstation with all the gadgets they'd need to complete the tasks.  These included batteries, cogs, wheels, screws, joiners, wingnuts, pulleys, reels, axles, gears, buzzers, multiboxes, solar battery, magnet sensor, lights, switch boxes, push buttons...

This is them learning how to construct a bed that was at least 45 cm wide and 1.2 m tall.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Swimming in our new pool

The tamariki were bouncing with excitement.  They couldn't wait to dip their toes into the pool.  It has been a long time coming with lots of fundraising and support from whanau to ensure that learning to swim became a reality for the students here.

We spent Monday having fun, learning how to be safe in and around the pool area, and making sure that students understand that they are responsible for bringing a towel, swimming togs, cap and goggles daily.
As the week has progressed the students have been discovering their capabilities, learning how to breathe, kick, how to use their arms to slice through the water efficiently.  Their goal is to beat their time of swimming one full length of the pool for freestyle.  It has been very interesting with a few talented swimmers demonstrating their skills and confidence in the water.

I've discovered that good listeners progress, whilst those who don't...won't.

The students will have reflections to share with you all shortly.
Nga mihi.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Our First Assembly for 2018

It has been an exciting two weeks.  We've been focusing on our classroom learning culture - what that looks like, what will help us be successful in our learning, possible barriers and how we can overcome them.

Room 5 were tasked with establishing a classroom treaty.  They discussed key values that they felt were important to demonstrate not just within the class, but the school also.  They each voted on their top ten picks (thank you google forms) and a select few students put their hand up to work with Matua Matt in making a video that demonstrated these key values.  I hope you enjoy.

Tenei te mihi rātou ko Tyrone, ko Sally, ko Victor-Jack, ko Yvette, ko Marta, ko kohl-lee, ko Matua Matt mo ō rātou mahi he kiriata poto hei whakaatu i tātou ākomanga me kura waka hoe. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou.

Thank you Tyrone, Sally, V.J, Yvette, Marta, Kohl-lee and Matua Matt for your short video work in promoting our class and school values.

We hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018


I had envisioned this really exciting day where everything ran smoothly.  I had worked for days leading up to today and planned really exciting activities.  The learning environment was set just right.  My class site, learning groups, visual aides, were ready to rock and roll....BUT then the truly unthinkable happened.

My laptop wouldn't turn on! When it did (eventually) the projector wouldn't mirror my screen.  As a teacher of tech savvy students on 1-1 devices it's equivalent to code red - the world's about to end!

I'd just built up the hype and anticipation to problem solving challenges...I had the attention of every single one of my students.  In the corner of my peripheral vision however (whilst having a mini meltdown), I could slowly see and hear the students lose focus, start talking about issues that had absolutely nothing to do with what we were focusing on.  "Whaea what are we doing?" "Whaea my chromebook won't turn" (tell me about it)..."Whaea can I go to the toilet?" Whaea Gaylene so and so said ....." gah! I quickly discovered two things.

1. I need a working computer, internet and projector in order to function.
2. What the hell is plan B?

Plan B = good old kanohi ki te kanohi teaching.

We spent today going over class expectations, rules, and building positive relationships.  Created a padlet  discussing our class treaty.

The students were put into groups to compete in differing challenges - perseverance, positive comments, working as a team, devising strategies, respecting one another were key ideas that students identified as enabling them to be successful.

Overall, aside from the hiccups - it was a great day.  I'm excited for what lies ahead for the students in my room.