Tuesday, 27 May 2014


This week we have two celebrations to share on our blog.

Keelyn has been working on some tricky math strategies involving partitioning numbers. Callum was very brave and read his favourite book to the whole class.


"I was learning how to add by making ten. Making a tidy ten makes the equation easier to answer. These equations were pretty easy but Miss Chalmers says soon I will be able to use the same strategy to work out really, really hard equations!!!"

"I bought my book to school. It's called "I Need a New Bum". Every single page is my favourite. I read it to the class. They all laughed! I felt good and clever."

Monday, 26 May 2014

Addition and Multiplication Strategies - The Triangles

The Triangles did something really exciting in math group today - we used an app called "Showme" to demonstrate different addition and multiplication strategies.

Keira, Elisa, Ashton, Spencer, Jaime and Sophie show how they can solve addition equations using the following strategies:
  • Rounding and Compensating Strategy - makes a calculation easier by rounding a number in the problem to a tidy number and then compensating by adding and/or subtracting the amount the number was rounded by.
  • The Place Value Strategy - partitioning numbers using place value (hundreds, tens, ones)
Samantha demonstrates how to solve multiplication equations by making equal groups of objects.

It's taken us a few weeks to get to this stage - whenever we learn a new strategy we always get the math equipment back out - place value blocks, popsicle sticks, number charts, counters. That way we really understand what we are doing when we manipulate the numbers. 

We were all a bit nervous about recording ourselves today (including Miss Chalmers!) so please be sure to leave an encouraging comment below :)

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Homefun - Week 4, Term 2

Dear Parents, 

Homefun for Week 4 will be going home on Tuesday this week. As I was away from school on Friday, we will share our information reports and complete end-of-week testing on Monday instead. 

I hope this doesn't cause too much disruption to after-school routines.

Kind regards,

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Just the Facts!

Room 15 are immersed in all things non-fiction.

We read non-fiction. We write non-fiction. We love non-fiction!

For the past few weeks we have been learning about how to write factual reports. We have spent a lot of time discussing the difference between fact and opinion, persuading and informing. We know about titles, subtitles, introductions and conclusions. We know how to list important facts using bullet points.

On Monday some children from Room 8 kindly came to help us research an animal of our choice. You won't believe the animals we found out about - we have tiger slugs, we have bush viper snakes, we have megalodons! The big kids helped us find the answers to our questions. We needed their help putting the facts we read about into our own words.

We have begun writing our factual reports based on the information we found. We will be sure to post them once we're done.

Thanks Room 8 for helping us with our research! You were so patient with us and we really appreciate your support. 

But wait, that's not all!

To create links between reading and writing, we read lots of non-fiction texts too. Doing this really helps us with our writing because we can identify language features, specific word choices and visual text features too.

This week we read about Bears in this shared big book:
If you have any special non-fiction books at home that you think would be suitable to share with the class, please be sure to bring them in. 

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Where are we at with Maths?

We're always in the "moooooooo-d" for Maths in Room 15!

The only compulsory homework for Maths in the Pukeko Team is the basic fact practise sheets that go home in the Homefun books.

However, if you would like to support your child at home with some of the other skills they are learning in class, that would be great too.

I have written below a little summary of what each group has been up to in Math recently. Please remember that we are a class of Year 2 and 3 students - everyone is at different stages of development.

The Triangles

We have been learning how to count on and count back to solve addition and subtraction problems. That means we are beginning to picture numbers in our head, rather than using materials to help us. Your child will be able to explain to you that they can now hold the biggest number in their head and count on or back using their fingers only for the smaller number. i.e.

We have mastered using this strategy solving problems up to 20 - why not try some equations up to 50? We do exactly the same for subtraction, only we count back on our fingers instead. Subtraction is definitely trickier!

Please note: if you write out some equations for your child, please make sure the second number is 5 or less. This means we can track that number on our fingers.

The Squares 

We have also been working on solving addition and subtraction problems by counting on or back. We can apply this strategy when solving equations up to 100 (when the smallest number is 5 or less), although some of us need a bit more practise with subtraction.

More recently we have been learning our 2s, 5s and 10s times tables. Before we practise learning them by rote, we learnt about what the times tables sign (x) actually means! We know that we need to make equal groups to represent the equation and then work it out using skip counting i.e.

This is a picture that represents 4x2. We draw four groups of two objects. 
We can then work this out by skip counting in 2s (2,4,6,8). 

Please note: If you choose to write out some multiplication equations for your child to practise it really helps if the 2, 5 or 10 is the second number in the equation. If they get stuck and have to draw it 4x2 looks a lot different than 2x4.

The Triangles

As above, we have been practising our multiplication facts. We can work out 2s, 5s & 10s and are now working on 3s & 4s. As with The Squares, we had to do some work around what the multiplication sign actually means. Now that we know this, it's time to learn the times tables by rote. Using flashcards at home would be a great way to memorise the basic multiplication facts.

We have spent a lot of time learning about the place value strategy and how we can use it to solve addition and subtraction equations. This means we need to break apart the number into ones, tens and hundreds. i.e.

We can apply the same strategy for subtraction.

We have now moved onto learning about a different strategy (rounding and compensating) but could still benefit from the practise using place value so we don't forget it all :)

Hopefully that was of some help should you and your child wish to do some extra math work at home. Please remember that this is not an expectation. The strategies I have explained in this post are ones each group has been working on for some time - if they can do it well at home then that is perfect! As with all Homefun, the idea being that they can have extra practise to consolidate the things they have been learning in class. 

If you have any questions about using these strategies, or anything to do with our math programme, feel free to pop in and see me. 

Room 15 are FAMOUS! - ANZAC Day Art

Make sure to pop by the reception area over the next two weeks, parents, to view our wonderful Poppy Art! We're world famous in Reremoana School :)

Our art was inspired by two lines from the Ode of Remembrance - "At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them"

ANZAC Day fell in the holidays this year (it seems like an age ago now!) and Room 15 has been busy learning about the importance of this special day to New Zealanders. Our mini unit took place over Week 11 of last term and Week 1 of this term. 

One highlight of our ANZAC Day unit was having a special visitor from the Manurewa RSA. Dave is a war veteran, and he came to talk to us about what the war meant to the soldiers who fought at the time, and what it means to our country today. Below is the video Mrs Martin took:

Monday, 12 May 2014

Homefun - Week 2, Term 2

Ka pai to those children who completed their writing task last week using the shark picture prompt. I loved reading your creative stories, and it's great to see most of you using some of the writing features and conventions we talk about in class.

A special well done to Samantha and Elisa who wrote their stories out as a comment on the last blog post - great work girls!

You have TWO WEEKS for this next writing task - choose one famous person who you admire to write an information report about them. This could be a celebrity, a sports person, a member of your community - you decide!

These don't have to be big huge reports. You make it as detailed as you want to. You might like to set your information report out like this:

1. Title

2. When was your person born?

3. Why is your person important or well-known?

4. Write 2-3 facts about your person

5. Closing sentence

Hint: your parents might be able to help you google "biography reports" if you want some more ideas about how to set out your information report.

For "extra bonus points" why not publish your writing for display in the classroom? Or on the blog for our visitors to read? You can do this by clicking on the comment button below this post.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Homefun - Week 1, Term 2

Your writing task for this week is to make up an exciting story based on this picture prompt. What do you think it happening? If you look really carefully it looks as though the shark is giving the diver a high five! How will you write your story? Will it be from the perspective of the shark or the diver?

Here's an example:

Just keep swimming, swimming, swim....hang on a minute, what's that? Two legs, hands, small knobbly head. Why, it's a human! What a treat! It's not often we see anyone this far own in the ocean. How can I get him to come closer? I know, I know...I'll just stretch my arm out and give him a friendly high five. That's right human...just a little closer. It's working, it's working! See, I'm not so scary, am I? Now I'll just give him a smile and "cheeeeese"...oh no! What happened? The human is swimming away! He's back in the boat. Was it my teeth? It's always the teeth. It's not as if I wanted to eat him or anything!

Now it's your turn. Get creative and write your story in the comments section below :)