On Thursday afternoon we finished off our learning about Wetlands by creating our own healthy NZ wetlands out of modelling dough in small groups. What a wonderfully artistic and clever class of students - their creations were well thought-out, made good use of the research tools around them and were carefully created. These are on display in our classroom.
On Friday Room 3 explored Maori traditional kites through video, a shared reading lesson and pictures, before creating their own with natural and traditional resources - toetoe, raupo, cabbage tree leaves and harakeke. This used and further developed key motor skills, teamwork skills, listening skills, perseverance and resilience. At the end of the session, we had all contributed towards a beautiful piece of useful artwork. Tino pai to mahi!
In our first week of school we combined our values of partnership and thinking about how we work best together with learning about the Treaty of Waitangi. Students watched small clips, plotted visuals of key events and people, used thinking keys to discuss issues and viewed a brief powerpoint on the Treaty. This led the students to a request to come up with their own treaty plays, before discussing our own class treaty and the rules we needed within it to allow us to work together in a successful partnership. We ended with thinking about and discussing some deeper thinking questions about the treaty - asking students to think carefully about the treaty, how it could have been dealt with differently, and 'what-if' questions asking the students to think about what would have happened given different circumstances.
This week Room 3 looked into another Celebration from Around the World. We learnt about the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe - a Mexican celebration that occurs at this time of the year. It is extremely popular in Catholic Mexico, and tells the story of a man who received a visit from Mother Mary, who asked him to get the Bishop to build her a basilica on Tepyar Hill. Mary performed many miracles, including presenting roses from a barren landscape, before the Bishop would believe the man, and finally the Basilica was built. The students learnt about how people dress in Tilmas or cloaks with the image of Mary and roses, eat traditional sweets (we made some of these), and make altars to Mary at home and pray to these. We made traditional cakes, our own Tilmas and said traditional prayers to Mary around our own altar in the classroom, before dancing to traditional Mexican Mariachi music which is played during this celebration.
Our R.E. topic this term is Coping with Sadness and our Life Journey. I asked Father John if he would like to come in and chat to the children about the Catholic Life Journey and Coping with Sadness. In response, he invited us to the most beautiful, heartwarming and appropriate children's mass on the subject, using metaphors of trees and water to symbolise someone who has passed and someone who is still living. The students were all invited to the church foyer for a visual demonstration of this metaphor, before being allowed to join Father John around the table as he prepared for communion.
For Inquiry this week we focused on the celebration of Dia de los Muertos - The Mexican Day of the Dead. This is celebrated in Mexico on November 2nd every year. Students learnt how the Mexicans remember their dead by tidying graveyards, laying beautifully colourful marigolds, having parades, making and dressing special altars in their house, dressing up and eating traditional foods together as a family and community. Students then created colourful masks modelled on the artwork and facial artwork created traditionally in Mexico. They also made traditional sugar skulls and Pan de Muerto - an aniseed orange sweet bread. Before the end of the day we celebrated by wearing our masks, eating Pan de Muerto and our sugar skulls whilst listening to Mexican traditional music.
On Tuesday Room 3 were able to participate with other schools in the valley in an educational, good-spirited and fun-filled teeball tournament. Students competed in games against other schools, but were also treated to a referee that was also a coach that was able to develop their skills along the way. The weather was beautiful and it was great to see our kids working together so beautifully, having fun and developing their skills.