Saturday, 2 March 2019

What's ACING in Room 5?

As part of our digital technology this year, the children in Room 5 are trialling a number of engaging, creative, and super fun gadgets that we might like to purchase for school.

Makey Makey is our first one.  Our challenge was to create a simple circuit that would replace the keyboard on a chromebook.  Once successfully made, the children then had to try and play simple songs on the makey makey piano.  
The music is then played through such objects as fruit, vegetables, utensils, playdough, even themselves.

Head to the following link to find out more!

CoSpaces Edu is an educational technology that enables the creation of virtual worlds and learning experiences whilst providing a more flexible approach to the learning curriculum. Working inside your browser, CoSpaces Edu allows users to create, explore and experience their own creations using customisable building tools and 3D assets. With numerous practical uses for both teachers and students, CoSpaces Edu opens up a whole new classroom for creating virtual models, presentations, narratives and much more. Learners can animate and code their creations with CoBlocks, JavaScript or TypeScript before exploring and sharing them in VR.

The children are at the moment creating their own town or zoo in CoSpaces.  Their challenge after school camp is to create an eco sanctuary or an eco friendly tourist accommodation for the increasing population on Stewart Island. 
We will update this learning as we go.  I will also create a link to share their creations. 

Helping celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

A couple of weeks ago, we were given the opportunity to spend a morning at the museum seeing science for girls in action. 

The Otago Museum, in conjunction with the Dodd Walls Centre of Research Excellence, wanted to recognise the importance of encouraging females to pursue careers in science.  We were invited  to join them and celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

Science Wonders
A behind the scenes visit lead by our team of science communicators to TÅ«hura Otago Community Trust Science Centre, which has over 45 hands-on interactives, including a three-tier tropical butterfly enclosure and the Perpetual Guardian Planetarium, a 360° cinema. 

A 2 hour interactive workshop lead by Girl Boss Alexia Hilbertidou and designed to outline the myriad ways a knowledge of STEAM will equip young women to powerfully impact their own communities.

Growing a butterfly or two.......

The Allen Centre is going to try and grow some Monarch Butterflies this term.  Here are the swan plants, already with tiny, little caterpillars on them.  They will grow pretty fast I am sure!

This is a caterpillar castle that I purchased from the Butterfly and Moth New Zealand Trust.  They suggest using it to keep your caterpillars from crawling away, and as a place of safety for newly hatched butterflies to dry and strengthen their wings.
It also means we can watch without giving in to the temptation to touch and poke!

Our first butterfly has arrived safely!

Tasting freedom.  I have put out some melon, squishy banana, and honey water for the hatched butterflies.  
Once they test their wings though, they don't stay for long.

And they just keep coming! I hope the weather stays warm and calm for them.

A lovely fact file by Molly Bremner

Below is a great link we have been using to learn all about the butterflies.  Keep a look out here for some more photos of our creations.

If you would like to see how the life cycle of a Monarch Butterfly in action, click on the link below for a time lapse video of the metamorphosis process.

Friday, 1 March 2019

What's new for 2019?

Board games are major fun, but they can also be a great, interactive learning tool.  When children play board games, they learn valuable skills such as:
  •  Turn taking, as well as the skill of knowing when to act and when to wait!  
  • How to be a humble winner and a gracious loser!  
  • Children can gain knowledge of how to listen well, follow directions, and respond appropriately. 
  • Some games help hone the ability to think and plan ahead, and some help children to think about the consequences of their actions. 
  • Board games can help teach collaboration, and how to make the most of our classmates  strengths.  
  • They can  build discussion and communication.

The Allen Centre kicks off again this year with the ever popular board games extravaganza.  Back by popular demand, these games are designed to practice the skills underpinning the Key Competency:

Below are some photos of us trialling our new additions!

Thursday, 15 November 2018

CO2 Cars 2018

First step in making our Co2 cars, is learning how to use our equipment safely and sensibly.  The number one lesson is how to use a craft knife.  Practice begins with the challenge of: CARROT CARS! 2 kebab sticks, 1 carrot. Can you make a car with turning wheels?

Next is the designing and shaping of the cars.  The children decide whether to enter the best looking category or the fastest car.  Each car can be judged on both.

Best looking means you can add however many bits you like.  Maybe like this for instance...

The other trophy up for grabs is the Fastest Car.  This means the design must be slick and low and super areodynamic.  Maybe a bit like this....

Here are some photos of our cars getting ready to race!

Finally after a lot of hard work and creativity the finished cars are ready to race.