WellyED: Classrooms Across Wellington – Day 16

Today’s post comes from Te Ara Whanui Kura Kaupapa Maori

As a Kaiako, I was struggling to get my students to write effectively within a given genre.  In class I had a large number students who are more than capable, however why were they struggling to get their ideas on paper?  How can I get my students to see the potential in themselves? I decided to introduce the concept of collaboration, and personal inquiry to see how this could engage, motivate and encourage my students to write.

Context: Science

Background Information:

  1. What are you interested in exploring or finding out about? Students could pick whatever that interested them.
  2. Work collaboratively with a partner.
  3. What is the structure of a Science Experiment? Children explored and created their own structure, therefore they knew what was required each step of the way.

Testing day was CRAZY so many different experiments taking place:

Rock candy, Rocket balloons, levitating Orbs, hover craft balloons, bouncing eggs, Slime, glowing the dark slime, the power of the mind, lava lamps to name a few.

Example 1 – Balloon Rocket

ballon rocketHow does the shape of the balloon affect the speed as it goes along the string?

Video 1  – Normal Balloon  

video link: https://drive.google.com/a/tawkkm.school.nz/file/d/0B-OlXi0Q0nLKYjg2Q3E3MHVTb0E/view

Video 2 – Long Skinny Balloon

video link: https://drive.google.com/a/tawkkm.school.nz/file/d/0B-OlXi0Q0nLKVW1mbVVpMWY1MGs/view?usp=drive_web

Example 2 – Slime
green slimeblue slimeDoes the amount of PVA glue affect the texture of the slime?

We found out that adding extra ¼  of a cup of PVA glue made the slime more stretchy. When we added ½ cup more of PVA glue the texture change to be more spongy and less stretchy.

Example 3 – Dry Ice Bubble

Our aim is to see if less or more detergent effects the bubble. We think that if we added 7 tablespoons of detergent in the mixture of glycerine  it will form a bigger and better bubble.  Video

video link: https://drive.google.com/a/tawkkm.school.nz/file/d/0B-OlXi0Q0nLKenlNMVQ1MU92elU/view

What we found out:

When you pour hot water on dry ice it immediately begins to bubble and create fog inside the bowl.

That is caused by the rapid warming of the dry ice. When you add detergent by wiping a wet cloth around the edges of the bowl , it creates a seal and traps in the fog. Eventually there is too much pressure built up causing the bubble to burst.  The result a cascade flow of fog.

We then presented our findings back to the group.

Was this task successful?

The students were the most engaged I have ever seen! They even arrived early for class eager to get started. For the first time ever I often had to forced students to leave! (otherwise they would miss their next class)

Students could clearly explain the structure of the writing and although they found it difficult to get ideas written up, they persisted and wrote more than in previous tasks.  My role as a teacher changed to that of a facilitator, it was a powerful few weeks and has changed the way English is taught in our Kura.

Lastly, we have started using hash tagging to encourage ourselves to think about what we are reading.  Three times a week we do 15mins of personal reading.  Hashtagging has encouraged us to think about characters, themes and plot development.  After every chapter a new hashtag needs to be added to show the development of your thinking.  This example below is from the first few entries.


Be counted Janine McVeagh #Historical #1893 #Amy Phelps
Holes By Louis Sachar #Bullying #Scared #Thristy
The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins #Catniss #Peta #bravery #everyone for themself
Sonny Bill Williams John Matheson #SBW #AB  #KIWI IDOL #top Athlete
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