Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Let's Makey Makey!

In the holidays Miss Chalmers went to a three-day conference called U-learn. She had so much fun and got lots of new ideas about exciting things to include in the classroom. One of the workshops included something called a Makey Makey. After seeing what it could do, Miss Chalmers emailed Miss Harland straight away begging for some money! Here's a video of us playing with our new purchase. Yes, you saw correctly - we invented a FRUIT PIANO!

What is a Makey Makey?

A Makey Makey is a circuit board that introduces children to basic computer programming. Alligator clips are connected to anything that works as a conductor. You can then programme the computer to do a whole range of things like play music or computer games!

In half an hour of "playing' what did we learn?

- basic computer programming skills
- technical language like "conductor" "alligator clip" and "anchor"
- creativity - our brains are already overflowing with ideas about what to make next!
- questioning - "why didn't it work?" "what went wrong" "how does the wire sense our touch?"

Friday, 9 October 2015

Should Animals be kept in Captivity?

Last term Room 15 spent a lot of time learning about persuasive writing. Persuasive writing is when you are trying to convince the audience to agree with your opinion. We also learnt how to structure our writing using the OREO format. That means we need to write our opinion and back it up with reasons and examples. And yep, you guessed it, we got to eat OREO cookies too!

One day we watched a funny video about a Walrus doing sit ups with it's trainer. You can watch it right here:

Interestingly enough, what was only meant to be a short "brain break" turned into a full on discussion and debate. Some students thought that the video was very funny, but animals shouldn't be kept in captivity like they are at sea parks. Other students said that having animals kept in captivity, like at Auckland Zoo, meant that they would be safe and well looked after. Sometimes zoos even helped with conservation projects in the wild. Why not read our persuasive stories about animals in captivity below? Otherwise you can check them out on our Writing Wall when you're next in Room 15.