Monday, 28 April 2014

Yell, Shetland Islands- Photos From the Other Side of the World.

Today I was so surprised to open my emails and find photos sent to us for our photo project from the other side of the world. 
Check out all the photos here

This is what the email said:

I wondered if you would be interested in some photos of a school on the other side of the world! We are a 13 pupil primary school on Yell, one of the Shetland Islands. It can be really wild and windy here but today the sky is blue and the sea is calm and it feels like Spring! I’m sending  a few so you could choose one if you wished!
Best wishes with the project;

Caroline Breyley
Burravoe Primary School

Now I didn't know very much about Yell, or the Shetland Islands, so I did a little bit of research.

According to Wikipedia, Yell has a population of 922 people. Yell has been inhabited since Neolithic times, around 10,200BC! Yell is home to some very interesting wildlife.

This map show the location of the Shetland Islands-

What an interesting place! Post your own information about Yell in the comments, or perhaps you could ask them some questions. Can anyone answer my questions about Yell?

Which animals is Yell famous for?
Where do people from Yell do their grocery shopping?
How far is Burravoe Primary School from the sea?

Friday, 25 April 2014

Amelia's Holiday Photos

Amelia from Room 8 was the first person to respond to the Holiday Photo Assignment. 
Yesterday she sent a photo of her and Brydie having a great time in a mud puddle. Today she went to two ANZAC Day Services and sent me her photos. Fantastic work Amelia!!

Check out and comment on her photos here.
What has been special about your holiday so far? What photos could you take to show a special holiday time?
Send photos to

Holiday Photo Assignment

I hope you are all having a lovely holiday Room 8. Here is your holiday photo assignment. 

Take a photo of a special time during your holidays! Remember to include a few sentences to tell me about the photo. I'd love to see photos from kids in any class. I'll give 10 tokens to any Auroa student who sends me a holiday photo that I choose to publish on the blog. 
If published, your photos will be visible on

Last Post- ANZAC Day 2014

During the last 2 weeks of the term, Room 8 was learning about ANZAC day. We visited the Auroa War Memorial, looked at old photos and treasures brought in by Amelia and her Mum Louisa. We talked about what war is, and why we have ANZAC Day. A pretty big concept for 5 year olds! I brought in an 100 year old bugle and played the Last Post to the class. We learn that this is how the soldiers knew when to go to bed in the war.
Today I had the honour of playing the last post on the bugle at 4 different ANZAC services around South Taranaki. It was so nice to see Amelia and her family watching! By request, here is a video and some photos from today.
How do you feel when you hear the Last Post played? What does it make you think of? Did you go to an ANZAC Service today?

The 100 year old bugle that I played.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Technology in Numeracy- Presentation to Other Teachers

Last week Mrs Berry and I gave a presentation to teachers from the MOA Cluster, sharing ideas about how we enhance numeracy learning through ICT.
You can view the presentation slides here.

This is some of what we showed the other teachers:


Using Aurasma to  demonstrate maths stages to students and parents. When you come into Room 8, grab an Ipad and hold it over our Maths Stages wall. Videos of the students will appear for each requirement of the strategy, demonstrating what it looks like. We hope this will help students to see what others are doing in the class, and  encourage students to aim for the 'next level'. We are also using Aurasma for our artwork. When you hold an Ipad over our Greedy Cat artwork, you will see the students reading their stories to match.


I use the Educreations App for lots of things in Room 8, and one of them is for getting children to explain the way they solve a maths problem. Usually the children do this so they can teach a concept to other children. There is no better way to learn something than teaching it to someone else! Educreations gives children the ability to add in pictures, and audio. I have all our class Ipads set up with number lines and tens frames saved in the camera roll, so they can add these to help explain a concept too. The children use Scene Creator Apps to demonstrate a word problem. Here are some examples. In these videos they are explaining how to count on from the biggest number, using a number line.





How to use Educreations- Starring Lauren

QR Codes

I use QR codes in a number of different ways in Room 8. We have a QR reading corner and a QR wall with links to different websites. I also glue QR codes in the back of students books so parents and students can look at their digital work. A new way I have recently started using QR codes in maths, is to read aloud word problems to our young students, who are unable to read them independently. You can see an example of this in the above video. I use a website like  to record the audio, then to turn the audio into codes. 

Monday, 14 April 2014

Our First Time using Padlet- ANZAC Day Writing

Today Amelia's Mum Louisa brought some very special treasures from World War 1 and 2 to school to share.
The Rainbows used Padlet on the Ipads for the first time to do their writing. They found the link by using a QR code on the wall. When they started their writing they were so surprised to see all their work appearing on the board. I made an entry on the Padlet that had key words for them to use and they sounded the other words out themselves just like they would in their writing book.
They then chose a picture they took to match their writing.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Photo Assignment- Week 11

I was so impressed and excited by the fractions photos that students sent me last week! Well done to all of you who contributed. You can check out the photos here.
 Here is this week's assignment. Send photos to 
Remember, If I post your photo, you will be rewarded with 5 house tokens!

I see, I hear, I feel, I wonder

Last week we went for a walk outside and talked about our senses. We tiptoed over the pointy bark, we  slid through the wet grass and we lay on the smooth deck in the dell. We stared up at the clouds and Mount Taranaki. We brainstormed by sharing our ideas with a friend and then recorded them on an Ipad to watch back in class. We used I see, I hear, I feel, I wonder (Sheena Cameron, Louise Dempsey The Writing Book) to get our writing started. I can't wait to share more of the awesome writing the children produced.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

First Photos sent from Another School

Today I received an email from some students at a school in Waikato, called Ohaupo School. They saw  our post about Our Photo Project on our blog and they sent us some photos of halves they made at their school! They also took some photos around their school for us to see. Thank you so much Krista and Rubie, Room 8 will enjoy looking at another school.

They said
"In a couple of weeks our old school building will be pulled down and a new one will be built.  Our building is over 100 years old.
How old are your school buildings?"

Anyone who posts the correct answer on the photo of their school will receive 10 tokens form me tomorrow. 
Check it out here.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Mini Photo Assignment- Fractions

This assignment isn't just for Room 8 kids- it's for everyone and anyone.
Can you cut something into halves or quarters at home and email me a photo?
Remember to include:
1. Your photo
2. Who took the photo
3.  Some information about your photo

You could even make a sign to match.
Email your photos to

Any Auroa students who send a photo tonight can come and see me tomorrow for a special reward!

These are the fractions photos we have so far.
Well done to Mikayla who who was the first student to send a photo.

Our Photo Project

I have been trying to think of ways to engage our students, parents and whanau with our learning through our class blog. 
Recently I came across this blog from a teacher in America. She has a page where her students, parents, family, and relatives can contribute photos. I thought this was a very cool idea. It would provide a way for students and families to connect and share learning, and could also provide a great inspiration for writing in our class. 
Please get involved, take photos and encourage others to too!  Have a look at Mrs Yollis' page to get some ideas. You could use a camera, iPad or phone. What would make an interesting photo?

Check it out at the tab at the top of the page or click 

Email your photos to me at
ANYONE can share their photos with me.

Make sure you include the following information:
1. An interesting photo
2.Who took the photo
3. A few sentences about the photo- (think- who, what, when, where, why)  

Monday, 7 April 2014

We are learning about HALF

Today we started learning about fractions. We now know that halves are made of 2 pieces and we know what the symbol for half looks like. We learnt why it is important that the pieces are the same size when Miss Nicholas was sharing a piece of liquorice with Tessa. Tessa was not impressed with a smaller piece!

Miss Nicholas set up 5 stations around the room where we had to make half. We had to pour half a cup of water, write the symbol for half, cut a playdough pizza in half, draw a pattern on half a whiteboard, fill half an egg carton with teddies (some of us even noticed that half of 6 is 3!!) and colour half a strap of 'liquorice'.  We took photos as we went around, then when we were finished we made used the PicCollage app to show all the different ways we made half.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Awatuna Playcentre Visit

Last week we visited Awatuna Playcentre to meet some of the children that will be coming to Room 8. We had a wonderful time, and we can't wait to go back again. Here are some of our highlights.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Wassily Kandinsky - Circle Art in Room 8

Today in Room 8 we learnt about 2 artists that use circles in their work. 
The first was a Russian artist called Kandinsky. Kandinsky was a Russian painter who was famous for creating abstract pictures with lots of colours and shapes.

He was the first famous abstract artist. He said that good art does not have to look like something in a photo.

We started creating our own Kandinsky circles today using pastels. We folded paper into quarters, then started in the middle. We were trying to blend the colours together at the edges. We will continue to update you as we progress. 

Thanks to for the idea and information!

Bianca's Writing- Awatuna Play Centre Visit

Yesterday Room visited Awatuna Playcentre. When we came back, we planned our writing using boxes to show:

Today we used our planning to write our stories. This is Bianca's writing. We are so, so, proud of the progress she is making!  It has been her writing goal to include more than one sound in unknown words. Check out the detail in her work! Did she achieve all of the success criteria above?? Well done Bianca, you should be so proud of yourself too.