Arohena Milestone Link to Pg 2
Junior room. Arohena School

In the junior class,we were struggling to understand honesty using Y charts and tournament sheets, so we read the story of the boy who cried wolf, made masks and acted it out, and also made an animation. The photos aren't very clear here but it worked well and the children enjoyed it.

Just thought I'd share this one with you because it stimulated wonderful oral language about colour, texture and shape. Didn't use ICT at all but good language development....and how the same pumpkin can look so different when you look from a different angle!
Post Cards
We have had a project (we asked parents to invite friends and family to send us in a postcard telling us where they live. We also set up a wiki site. on the go with the intention of finding out about places beyond our direct locality. It has partly as a result of the conference developed en route into a huge language development project as well. We have had mountains of information arrive, with which the children are excited. We have used this a s spring board for “questioning” and I have been incorporating many ideas from two lovely teachers who presented at conference on questions and questioning, who are based at Ohaupo school.
I set up a wiki relating to it but have not found this very useful. Perhaps I need more practice on this.We have done some research on line to try to find answers to our questions, and use so many of the pictures we have received to prompt discussion and writing.
As far as electronic learning tools go, we are dabbling! As far as ICT in it’s true sense, information and communication technology, this is huge…we are communicating world wide with others, Chocolate from the Cadbury factory in Birmingham put Birmingham on the map, and white chocolate with blueberries from Latvia really hit all our senses…another trigger fro writing!
The conference was for me very useful and stimulating, meeting and discussing with others, hearing about good classroom practice, and also getting a more global perspective.
The question from one child about Brooklyn Bridge;
“How do they make it so it goes across the water?”
Has stimulated such wonderful language, sketches, and ideas about construction…
Below is a picture of our display.

Questions arising from postcard

This topic is really too huge for us!
We are using it not only to look beyond Arohena but to help us ask relevant questions...or indeed ask questions at all. The children are so fired up by it, it is difficult to regain focus on a manageable bite! One child is desperately keen to understand how they built the Brooklyn bridge. (An engineering feat which is beyond me...and I watched the Megastructures programme about its construction!). Other children are more interested in...Are there real dragons in Wales? If the Irish Giant's boot is size 43, how tall would he have been? Did the Queen send us the postcard of Buckingham Palace? There are lights on in the top of that tower, I wonder how the people got up there? How do they switch the street lamp on, that is on the bridge? And so it goes is taking a different turn to the one I expected but I am running with it as it is proving to be a very valuable language exercise in itself.
We have also set our own writing goals' They look like this
Writing Targets in Junoir Room

Examples of speech bubbles are:
“I need to read my work to check it makes sense, and if it doesn’t I need to fix it up”
“I need to believe I can do it”
“I need to use the sounds I know to help me make words that I can read”

Each genre is being broken down into its parts and purpose and the parts are being
taught specifically so that students understand how the writing works and are building
up a resource bank of writing genres that they can chose to use for their writing purposes.
Along-side of each genre being taught is the matching grammar skills so that there is constant
teaching at the word and sentence level.
Teacher modelling is part of every lesson, with different teaching focuses modelled through all the stages
of the writing process e.g. planning, drafting, proof reading and editing. We are building up vocabulary
resource charts to help us improve our writing. Students are aware of the audience for their written work
which helps their writing to be in a meaningful.
We have also been using photos to help sequence our ideas and also to group like ideas for paragraphing which is working well.
In the senior class my aim has been to use different forms of motivation to develop specific genre of writing and in particular getting the students to become more descriptive in their writing. In the Teapot exercise, the children carefully studied the teapot and were able to physically touch it, using the senses of touch, smell, feel and sight, briefly brain-storm descriptive phrases and to then write a short descriptive passage. This stimulated wonderful language. The children were only permitted to write what they could see, feel smell and not make any assumptions about what it may have been used for, what happened to it etc. A photo of a snake was used in the second lesson for the same purpose. Children became much more confident in their writing and some writing was chosen for the school newsletter. The school received a phone call from a local resident congratulating the child on her writing.
Following our class tramp across the Tongariro Crossing the students took digital photos and videos and then on return to school used the photos to sequence the events. In pairs they wrote short descriptive passages about each of the main sites of interest.
Digital photos were taken during the recent study of the history of the district. The students chose 5 statements to write following their trip that would suit the audience and draw their attention to the photos and the points being stressed. Both these two displays have been included in our communicator 3 television programme we are creating.

Following my classes initial introduction with Communicator 3 programme within school, I attended the Marina View television session with Colin Gover and his intermediate class at Learning @ Schools which demonstrated the use of communicator 3. With Pauline's tuition we
are creating our own television programme which is really exciting. We have had some challenges with the size of the programme and the specifications of the computer in order to run the video programme. This is a work in progress. The children are all involved and each have been allocated a role within the making of the programme.

We used the thinking hats to help write a class story. I began the first two sentences and the children then brain stormed and shared ideas and together we wrote the next chapter of the story. Most students became very involved in the story but had to learn to work together as a class to come up with a collective agreement on the flow of the story. More vocal students were inclined to want to take the story in their direction but quickly learned to adapt the story to meet the needs of the audience. To complete the activity all children completed the final "pick a path" chapter, with some very interesting outcomes.
Rose_008.jpgRecount writing. Following the Tongariro crossing the children were able to brain storm their ideas and use the pre-discussed format of recount writing to complete a comprehensive recount. They used digital photos to prompt their ideas and also completed power points which are to be shared with families during an evening. This will give the students a chance to present their ideas.
Rose_006.jpgUsing an email we received concerning a topic of interest the students discussed the evidence the email and photos presented. They then split into two groups and debated the pros and cons of having a tent city jail. They learned the writing styles necessary to present their argument and substantiate their thoughts with facts taken from the article in question. Next the students were asked to swap teams and present their argument for the "other side".