Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Swedish sweet-tasting!

The day had come!

One week after our Mystery Google Hangout with Pernilla's kids in Sweden...we set aside half an hour to 'taste Swedish candy'!

Had the kids sit in a circle...the idea being we would casually 'record' some responses and have the kids 'use some descriptive language' to explain their thoughts (many kids have this as a writing goal - to use more descriptive words). So what a great opportunity to practice that within an authentic experience!

Well... the first 'taster' went out...I attempted to tell the kids what it was called... we smelled...lots of kids describing as 'caramel, coffee, liquorice smelling ...

And then we tasted!

The next thing I know... all the kids are up out of their seats and rushing to the rubbish bin! Well that was the end of the 'organisation'! Had to laugh though as this initial  reaction was 'priceless'!!

I decided to 'taste' myself with the thought that these kids are all just 'being dramatic' for the camera....WELL... i found myself having to 'get rid of mine' was HORRID! (Sorry Pernilla)

So onto the 'next taster'...

The little marshmellowy ones were a hit! "fruity" "like eskimos"

Then we passed out the fizzy bottles... smelt "bubblegummy" "sour"

The raspberry jube was a hit too..."soft, chewy, sweet" ... MY FAVOURITE!

We so hope you have just as much fun tasting our 'KIWI SELECTION' Pernilla and class! Make sure you do a video too...will be fantastic to 'see / hear' reactions!

ON BEHALF OF THE KIDS>>>>thank you for sending us some of your Swedish candy...the experience was fantastic and I hope we can connect with more classes around the world and do the same thing!

Friday, 22 May 2015

Our Buddy Class Challenge

Well Friday saw us working with our buddy class of Yr8s, Room 5, to see how long we could last doing the '4 chair challenge'. 
We organised ourselves into teams of 4 consisting of 2 Yr7s and 2 Yr8s. It was boys challenging the girls. Game on!

A very enthusiastic team of volunteers demonstrated exactly what was (and was not!) required and we discussed various tips for best results. 

Some questions we were thinking about as we carried out the challenge were:
'Does height matter?'
'Does weight matter?'
'Will individual strength influence the outcome?'

This is how it's done.

Teams worked together to enable everyone to have turns attempting the challenge.

The strain began to show...

... And the winning team was found!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Oh right...then there's the Standards!

With all the busy, creative, interest-based learning happening in 'theONE6' I am inclined to 'forget' that we have these things called 'standards' which we HAVE to report on!

Yesterday we had a discussion about 'the standards'....what ARE they? Why do we have them? Who 'makes them up? What might they 'look like' and 'sound like' in a classroom?

Here is a small part of our initial discussion...

It is interesting that many see the purpose of being 'at' will result in a 'good' job...what is a 'good' job... one that makes you 'lots of money'! This discussion could have gone on for a LONG time... 

It was also good to hear someone bring up 'but we all have different strengths and learn at different paces'... so we had a short discussion about what difference this makes when we as teachers HAVE to make judgements about a 'set of criteria' like the Standards! Again the conversation was thoughtful and could have continued....but I needed them to start 'unpacking' these READING standards today so they could begin to learn what it is they should be looking for in their work.

I suggested they approach the task by asking this question of themselves...


So the students went pairs/groups... however they felt comfortable...and added a sticky note under the STANDARD ... telling me what they would be looking for, for each particular one.

I WAS IMPRESSED... The language they were using showed that many have learnt by default what sort of evidence they need to have to be able to make a judgement about themselves.

Here are the photos of their initial ideas...will be asking that they add to these as the year progresses.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Mystery Hangout Evening

Well....Monday evening saw 10 students, a few parents and 2 visiting teachers (one from our own school and one from Mahora Primary School) come BACK to school at 6.30pm to participate in two Mystery Hangouts!

The scene was set...

Parents 'in place'!

Our first Hangout was with a class of South Korean students learning English. (Although the kids did not know this as we asked a series of yes/no questions to figure that out!)
Our favourite character from this class was 'Harry'... of course the kids asked him what his 'Korean' name was and he obligingly told us but unfortunately we did not quite 'catch' it!

Mitchell and Connor were our 'questioners' for this first Hangout and they were great! 

Lots of thoughtful questions...lots of checking out maps and atlases...the kids worked out that Alyson's class were in a city called Anyang in South Korea!

And thanks Mikayla for being our 'recorder' as poor Dartanian was unable to be here tonight so Mikayla took his place and wrote up our 'clues!'

At the end the kids shared some information and finished with that 'universal' language ... 'hand signals of love'!!

Our second Hangout was with a class in Sweden...Boras to be precise! We found out it was 10am in the morning there while it was 8pm in the evening here! So they were just starting their Monday!

Once again some great questioning and thinking...Connor recognized the accent! He said very early on they might be asked the question and straight away we all then went to the Swedish map and began finding out WHERE.

Lily and Mikayla were out 'questioners' for this Hangout...and did a fine job too!

After discovering where they were...the kids asked each other some questions (with enthusiasm!!)

Chatted to the teacher...Pernilla Elander...

and the Swedish kids...

and finished with a 'groupie'....

Thanks to Mrs Thorogood, Mrs Howard, and Vicki for their support with the evening...COULD NOT HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT YOU ALL.

NOW...Pernilla and kids...we will taste the Swedish candy you sent us and let you know what we think...

Yours is on its way!!!

Tuesday, 12 May 2015


We are into our 3rd week of #NZreadaloud2.

Our book 'Wolf in the Wardrobe' is capturing the kids interest with SO many questions, thoughts, opinions, about the characters, plot, and the settings.

We have been REALLY lucky to have the author get involved in the student groups on Edmodo. Susan Brocker has joined the groups and replies to the kids comments and questions. THAT is a real bonus!

If it is collaboration and connectedness you are after as part of a future-focused classroom then #NZreadaloud is a brilliant place to start. For the 23 classes involved across New Zealand it becomes a major part of our Literacy programmes during this time and the kids LOVE it!

Here are a few of my kids sharing what they love about it...

What my kids think about #NZreadaloud from Kerri Thompson on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Skype #1

This morning at 9am we had our first Skype with one of our connected classrooms.

The school was Hernando Elementary in Florida.

We found out that it was 5pm Tuesday there for them and they had stayed behind after school to Skype us with questions.

We found out they have a cafeteria at their school where they can buy their lunch.

We found out their school is one hour drive from Disney World...they say it is expensive and always really busy there.

There are 700 kids at their school which goes from Preschool through to Grade 7.

If I have missed anything you learnt guys....make sure you write it in your 'reply'/'comment' .

Monday, 4 May 2015


WOW... theONE6ers' have been BUSY draughts-people, architects, designers, and makers now our MYmathsmakerproject has taken off and is well underway.

An earlier post explained the idea and its purpose...I can happily say that all goals are truly being met at this point in time!

Here are some images of some of the thinking and planning, designing and making happening for my learners.

Here is Lily drawing up her architects plan.

Here is Mikayla's architects plan AND the beginning of her 'space'... with some of her 'wallpaper' on.

Another progress photo of Mikayla's SPACE now including a window.

Here is Kristina's 'space' kind of space...a 'Reading Room'. Check out the 'bookshelves' on both sides of the room! Along with an 'L-shaped' couch and comfy chairs!

Brayden and Dartanian worked together to 'make their space'...ensuring it was within the 'size limits'.

Some of the 'ONE6ers' busy planning, cutting, thinking, looking for paint...

Here is the initial ideas of Jasmine's 'space'... funky wallpaper and floor!

Here is Mya posing for our photo! Everyone was pretty busy this morning...a LOT of thinking and learning.

The latest photo of some of the 'ONE6ers' at the 'decorating' stage...mmm... what colours will i use?

Friday, 1 May 2015


Here is a video created with Stupeflix which is a collection of images which show some of our journey into LearningMYway.