Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Year 9 Science

The Room 10 students have begun a science programme with Mrs Dromgool, Berkley's wonderful science teacher.  The students will have an experimental session with Mrs Dromgool each week.  In-between they will have text book work to be done at home, and occasionally other assignments also.

Although this is homework, I am more than happy to help the students with any questions they may have.

The following homework to be completed before Wednesday next week (4th March)

  • Read page 72 of Pathfinder A Textbook: States of Matter, Properties of Solids, Liquids and Gases and Matter Particles (should remember this from last year).
  • On page 74 answer Questions 2, 3 and 4.
  • Check answers

Extra Questions: 
Name a substance that does not fit into the category of solid, liquid or gas
Name a substance that sublimes
Give an example of states changing (you may not use water).
Do you have any questions about states of matter?

Monday, 23 February 2015


QuadBlogging is a way to learn to give feedback to people in other schools on their writing and learning, and they will be doing the same for us.  The neat thing is this will give us an authentic audience for our work.  The first three schools will be from New Zealand, but I am hoping that we will be able to link up with international schools too.

This is how QuadBlogging works:

There is more and more research being done on the benefits of students having blogs.  This is spoken about here by the Vice Principal of a school in England:

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

New Furniture

Our school is very fortunate to have a room between 3 of our classrooms.  This is a stand alone room that is used for a variety  of purposes.  We have team hui there (meetings/assemblies), we use it as a breakout space for small groups, and it is the location for our staff meetings and staff professional development.  It is a neat space, but is in need of a little TLC with its furnishings.  Generously, our Board of Trustees has given us a budget to furnish the room.  After staff meeting last night,  a small group of us met together to discuss options.  It was decided that the priority purpose was to make sure we have a staff meeting space that can seat 40 - 50 people at tables.  The next step was figuring out how we could make it work.  We talked, and started to focus in.  At this stage, our Principal Ms Foster asked if my class could work out how we could achieve our needs.

Today I asked a small group of students to figure out how it was possible.  They started off by learning the criteria:
  • We needed to seat 40 - 50 adults
  • All people need to be able to see the Promethean board
  • People need to be able to move around the room during the meeting
  • All 6 doors need to be clear to meet fire regulations
  • They had to allow room for people to sit, so the tables couldn't be too close together
  • Not to have a lot of 'dead space' on the tables
  • The need to furnish it within the set budget
  • We need chairs that can be stacked and are comfortable for adults.
The group started off by studying the catalogue to know what was available.  Next they measured up the room and started planning what was possible.  When necessary, the students asked a lot of questions, and went over to our Enhanced Learning Centre to see how some of the furniture they saw in the catalogue worked in learning situations (they came back desperate to have a whiteboard table in our class for group learning situations).

I am hoping that they will be able to meet with Mrs Foster soon to feedback their discoveries and ideas very soon.

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Monday, 16 February 2015

The Block

Tonight I've been experimenting with different ways to add photos to the blog.  I like this one because you can put a lot of photos into a small space - there's about 80 here.  To view them, just hover your mouse over each photo and it will enlarge for you.  Give it a go.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

The Block: Mental Toughness

One of the activities for the block was the 'wall sit' to test mental toughness.  Each team had to provide 10 competitors, with one starting before the previous competitor 'tapped out'.  This meant the team had to communicate well, and support each other.  The idea was to be the last team standing (or sitting!)

We though the competition wouldn't last too long - we were very wrong.

Fletcher here, on the left, was number 10 for his team.  Two teams had already finished when Fletcher took his place on the wall. Staggeringly, he finished in 4th place 70 minutes later! This was a huge effort, with there being very little space between 4th and 1st.   My observation was that many Room 10 students were mentally tough, showing amazing perseverance.  I was also impressed with Fletcher's team, who kept him fed throughout his marathon effort.

The Block: Tug o War Challenge

The Block: Building our Shelters

Wednesday, 11 February 2015


Working in the ICT Suite today

ICT Instructions

11th February 2015

Morena Ruuma tekau,

Today in ICT we are going to spend time looking at the blogs.  Here is the order to work through in class today.

1. On this blog, go to the comments you all wrote after your first day at school.  Choose two comments you enjoyed reading, and using the reply button, give that person specific feedback (using the reply button after their comment).  This feedback will include what you enjoyed (what made you choose to comment on theirs).  Next choose one person that you feel could have done a better job at answering their questions. Think carefully about how you word your feedback - do it in a way that they will grow from, not in a mean way.

2.  After you have left three comments, visit this website.  Read the posts about blogging, especially the instructions about leaving comments - did your comments meet these criteria?  Answer in your literacy book.

3. At the bottom of that page are a list of other class blogs (some links don't work anymore).  Have a look through some blogs, and make notes in your literacy books.  Write down the things you didn't enjoy, and the things you did.  Don't just look at the content, also look at the layouts, and the different ways they put on the content (slideshows, movies, text, photos etc).  This will help you with making a class and your own blog be something you like.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Unit of Inquiry One

This Thursday will be a special day for Aranui; it is our first time to participate in an event as a team.

We will be having a special event for most of the day as the provocation for the 'How we Organise Ourselves' theme. In small groups, students are going to be competing in challenges all day, with a focus on how their 'communities' work together.

Throughout the day to students will compete together for points and prizes. As a part of the day, they will be building a shelter on the field, and having a shared picnic lunch together. The groups met together for the first time today, and started planning, so your son/daughter may have come home and asked to bring things for Thursday. Thank you for your support in this.

I don't want to give more information away now, but look forward to sharing pictures during the day on Thursday, and after the event. Keep an eye on the blog.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Room 10's Essential Agreement

One of the important tasks for the class this first week was to create an 'Essential Agreement'.  This is an agreement of the behaviours and attitudes that we believe will help our classroom foster an environment where we can all be comfortable and achieve to the best of our abilities.

The process we used to do this was firstly dividing into teacher chosen groups of four.  Next each group read though the agreement I created with my class last year as a starting point.  From here, students discussed these and crossed out or changed things they didn't agree with, or thought could be improved upon. They then added any extra ideas or attitudes they felt should be included.  We then met as a class and discussed our changes, and whether we all agreed or not.  From here I've tried to include the essence of all their ideas into our final agreement. The final result has enthusiasm and commitment added to it.  The keywords in each sentence (in yellow) are one of the International Baccalaureate (IB) attitudes.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Rocketry Day

Hi all, I just wanted to advertise this day.  My husband took my sons and a couple of their friends here last year, and they loved it, so it comes recommended.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Day One Reflection and Looking Forward

Well...our first day is done and dusted.  We've done a lot of administration and talking, and a little bit of getting to know each other.  I am really excited about the year ahead, and what we're going to achieve.  In the comments section below, I want to you write your name (only your first name), and answer each question:

1.  'Take up the Challenge' is our motto, and something the lighthouse class have been known for traditionally. What 
do you want to do outside of the class this year?

2.  What things do you think are important for our class to run smoothly this year, with each person getting the most out of it?

School has Started