Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Taonga pūoro with Jerome

On Monday, we were very lucky to spend some time with Jerome Kavanagh.
Jerome brought along a range of taonga pūoro (maori instruments), that he shared with us through story telling.

The first instrument we were introduced to was the putaatara - a shell trumpet.  Jerome played different sized ones for us to hear the range of pitches depending upon the size.

Next, we heard a story about how a whale tooth nose flute came about.  Jerome told us that the noise it makes is the sound of the mama whale singing to her baby.

We also heard a story about an albatross wing bone flute and Jerome played a pūrerehua (butterfly instrument) for us too.

It wasn't long before it was our turn to create our own ukutangi (clay instruments).  Jerome showed us step by step how to mould the clay correctly.  He explained that it took him many days of practising to be able to play this instrument correctly.  We had a go at trying to make the sound of the wind with our lips - it was tricky!!

We are looking forward to building on our knowledge of instruments and persevering with trying to play our ukutangi!

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Learning About Our Brains

Over the last week we have been focussing on our feelings and participating in some workshops about self regulation.

Each morning when we come into the classroom and sign in we also check in to show how we are feeling. We are getting really good at expressing how we are feeling. 

We've learnt about our learning brains and our emotional (feelings) brain. Sometimes our brain becomes so full of emotion we aren't able to learn as well and we need to help our brain calm down and relax.

We are learning how to "cross the bridge" from our emotional brains back into our learning brains. 

  We learnt 5 fun breathing techniques and enjoy reading the "I Can Calm" book. We have even started creating some of our own breathing techniques! 

We have practiced some new yoga poses too! 

Looking at the roundabout:

We identified some learning that happens in our L.Brain, some feelings, some strategies we can use to "cross the bridge" and some possible behaviours we might see if we got stuck in our E.Brain. 

When we are in our E.Brain we want to drive the correct way around the roundabout into the strategies. Otherwise... 
"You'll have a crash!" - Amber 
"You might get pulled over by the cops!" - Sonny
In short, we do not want to travel the wrong way around the roundabout.

Today we learnt about making new pathways in the brain when our brain is feeling too full or messy. 

We drew pictures of our L.Brains and E.Brains and how we thought they may look. 

Anarah drew the pathways with a little house on the end of each pathway. Inside the houses were all the different kinds of learning she loves doing at school. 

We watched this great video about breathing and learnt how to use our glitter jars. 

We have been really enjoying learning these new calm down strategies. This is how we have been feeling after these workshops: 

Calm - Kaiya 
Tired - Phoenix
Happy - Seb
Hungry - Oscar 
Excited - Quade
Relaxed - Jaxon
Stretched - Jaydi 

Ask us to show you our favourite breathing strategies!