I am a class teacher for Year Four and five students and a team leader for the middle school. My class and I are a part of the Manaiakalani Google ClassOnAir.


Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Matariki

For the last two weeks we in Room 6 have been learning about Matariki. It was a great experience as students got very creative when sharing their ideas. They did role plays, made books and posters. I gave them a real experience of celebrating Matariki in class where they got involved in weaving, dancing, cooking, singing, planting and kite making. We had to read books and view lots of videos to understand the true spirit of celebrating Matariki. We surveyed people and Maori students from our school to find out more about Matariki. In the end we came to the conclusion that Matariki was kind of a dying festival where not many Maori celebrate it any more. We were concerned and so wrote to the Prime Minister. Below are a few recordings of the lesson.
You can view the lessons and the lesson plans by clicking here and Here





I was very pleased with the outcome of the lesson. Children had real audience and a real reason to work on. They were very eager to survey the members of the public and students in school to find out if people living in New Zealand were aware of the Maori New Year. They were a bit upset with their findings. They found out that a large percentage of people did not know much about Matariki and a lot of Maori people did not celebrate Matariki. After the debate they questioned themselves and their classmates and came to the decision that they needed to do something to revive the festival. They came up with different ideas and also wrote a letter to the Prime Minister and requested to declare Matariki a public holiday. I was very happy at the end of the lesson as it provided lots of opportunities to talk and write about the topic. I was particularly impressed on how some students in the debating group could talk at length to convey their ideas clearly and how some children were very prompt to defend their opinion. There was lot of critical thinking, argumentation and language learning in real context! 

Monday, 4 June 2018

Learning new words through Topic studies

This term we have been learning about space. I have made a very deliberate effort to choose texts and transcripts that have language which is cutting edge for the students ( neither too hard nor too easy). This means they come across lots of new words and phrases when reading listening or viewing texts. It has now become a regular practice for them to notice these new words and write them down for future references.
So each child has their own vocabulary book in which they write down all the new words learnt during reading or researching time. They use words from the vocabulary book when writing their stories. Till now we have had more than 100+ plus word in our book.
I have to make sure I provide more and more opportunities where students can use these words as many times as possible so they become a part of their everyday use.