Wednesday, 22 February 2012


  • Mathletics is good for our brains and we like thinking about mathematical questions and answers.  BH
  • Mathletics is fun and answering questions is testing your knowledge when you're doing Live Mathletics.  JW
  • Mathletics is fun and it helps with your brain and your learning.  CAB
Connecting to our Learning... Finding out how success criteria can really help us in our learning

We have been thinking about what makes learning easier. To understand how to make a complex task easier we decided to use our knowledge of success criteria to make something challenging... like balloon dogs!
Our teacher had spectacularly failed in her attempt to make a balloon dog some years ago so it was a good experiment to see if a list of criteria could even help an adult.

All of the students helped write up the success criteria after watching the process modelled:
  • Get a picture of a dog in your mind - draw it if it helps you remember the sequence: nose- head- ears- neck - front legs- body and back legs.
  • Start with the nose (that is the balloon knot)
  • Twist a head
  • Twist one ear the size you want, then bring down the balloon to match the size of the first ear, twist again, and twist the ears together to join them securely (at the narrow part) 
  • Twist the balloon to make the neck 
  • Make the first front leg and then it's matching pair. Do the joining twist.
  • Create the body then twist and create the back legs just the same way as the front legs - with that joining twist again
  • The leftover part of the balloon becomes the tail! 

Could every person be successful following the success criteria...... absolutely!

Some other things also helped us:
  •  working with a peer
  •  giving each other feedback and feedforward
  •  persisting  

Our Class Treaty

For a number of days we discussed the idea of having a Treaty, or agreement, so we could all understand what we really wanted to happen in our learning community. We did lots of brain-storming, sifted and sorted our ideas and really looked at our school's Values. Finally, we came up with 4 articles for our treaty. 

We got inspiration from New Zealand's Treaty of Waitangi... except that, unlike NZ's founding document, our class treaty has a fourth article that says what the consequences are if we do not stick to the agreed treaty we have signed. 

Room 13’s Class Treaty

Article the First: Our Purpose
We, the members of Room 13, agree that the main purpose of coming to school is to learn; we want to use our brain, to be good role models, to help others and develop our leadership skills. We think that we can help each other by giving feedback and this will help our learning. We would like our learning to be fun. We think we need to develop our research skills and do lots of discovering.

Article the Second: Values
 We believe that the most important values in our learning community are tolerance, caring and respect. If we remember to use these values we will get really good at Relating to Others. If we can get on positively this will help our Learning.

Article the Third: Positive attitudes and effective learning­­
 We will know we are remembering these values if we: 
  • are inclusive, 
  • work to understand other people's beliefs and cultures, 
  • listen carefully to other opinions and points of view; 
  • take care of other people when they are hurt or sad, 
  • help peers with their learning in a positive way
  • remember to follow the rules for sharing, taking risks with our learning, and celebrating our achievements in learning.

Article the Fourth: Consequences
 We agree that everyone in Room 13 has the right to make an “I” statement if the classroom treaty is broken or ask for the assistance of a mediator. People who stop learning will need to reset their goals. If interruption affects learning, a first warning (yellow card) will be given to the time-waster. Persistent time-wasters will get a second (orange) or third (red) warning. If this happens, they will spend time in the Thinking Room with Mr B. and will need to fill out a thinking sheet to explain how they have interrupted learning and this sheet will go home to parents. Physical harm to others will result instantly in the red card warning.

If third warnings happen three times parents will be asked to come to a parent conference at school to discuss the disruption to learning. The loss of Golden Time on a Friday will happen if the agreed rules are broken.

We agree to review our class agreement and re-sign it at the beginning of each new term.

Signed this                10th            day February 2012        by all the learners in Room 13, EPS

Friday, 17 February 2012

Connecting to each other... Learning how to co-operate on an artwork

Yesterday our class went on a morning trip to Te Tuhi Art Centre in Pakuranga. We went to a workshop called Creative Stories and we worked with art teacher Mr Leatinu'u.

First we presented a drama of the Maori Creation story, Rangi and Papa. We used speech, dance, and mime to present the story of how the Earth Mother, Papatuanuku, was separated from the Sky Father, Ranginui. 

Everyone put a lot of effort into the presentation and Mr L was very pleased to see our play. We were inspired by Gavin Bishop's version of this great myth, retold in his wonderful book Counting the Stars.

Then we went into the art room and talked about how to make a poster based on our favourite scene in the Rangi and Papa story. 

 We had to work together to share our ideas and get our poster made. We used bright coloured paper to make our scenes.

Everyone worked really well on their group artwork.

 We will take another photo of the finished artworks after we finish them back at school.

Welcome to Room 13's Blog for 2012

Kia ora koutou. Greetings from a Year 4 class at a school in Pakuranga, Auckland!

The fabulous learners in R13
It is very exciting to be starting a new school year with a new group of students! We are getting to know each other and we're doing lots of activities so we can build a supportive, positive learning community focused on learning.

As the year goes on we hope our visitors will post comments on our site about the learning in our room and the work and ideas posted by the students. Welcome aboard!

Mrs H