Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Kaitiakitanga - guardianship / protection

This week is Maori language week. We explored the concept of Kaitiakitanga - caring for the land, being sustainable to ensure there are resources for future generations. We though about taonga (treasures, things we value) and how we could be kaitiaki (guardians).

The older groups began their projects to make a difference in the world. They can work alone or in groups. I am so impressed with the level of ideas and ambition that many have - we have children researching how to raise money to donate to organisations, some designing bird feeders, bee gardens, inventions to help the planet, some carrying out surveys, some raising awareness by writing a song, making a website, creating posters, making a powerpoint, writing a book, making videos etc.

The year 1&2 Quest groups looked at the native garden and the importance of trees. We used our 'thinking hats' to help us stretch our thinking about trees - yellow hat - positives about trees; black hats - negatives; green hats - ideas for how to look after trees. Next week we are going to plant native tree seeds that were donated, and care for our seedlings until they are big enough to add to the native garden (probably next year sometime if all goes well!)

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

What can we do to help?

Over the past few weeks we have been exploring ways people are helping to make the world better. We looked at helping the environment, helping animals, and helping people.

We saw examples of people who are doing something to help - either with actions or by raising awareness. We thought about what we could do to help.

This week we looked at helping people. We started by looking at philanthropist Bill Gates with the Gates Foundation, and all the people they are helping with their money.

Then we thought about how we could help people without using money. We role-played situations such as seeing someone fall over, seeing someone looking lonely, and thought about what we could do to help.

We then learnt about the bystander effect - it has been found that if people are in a group they are less likely to help - it's all about the 'diffusion of responsibility' - the presumption that someone else will do it. Here is an interesting video where they experimented with this.

Some of our senior students decided to try their own social experiment about the bystander effect at morning tea time. I hear that Whangaparaoa School kids are very helpful and generally didn't take long at all to step in to help when they thought someone needed it - nice to know!

Our example of people helping others in our community was to go and look at the Community fruit and vegetable stand by the Motutapu Rd carpark. This is run by the kindy, and supported by the school. It is where people can donate surplus fruit and vegetables for others to help themselves to - a good example of community support.

In the next few weeks we will be looking at actions we will take to make the world a better place. Senior students will have the option to follow an idea they are passionate about, although there will be suggestions of actions for those who don't have their own ideas.  My hope is that students will feel empowered to make a difference and know that their little bit can help. I love this quote from Auckland Zoo's director, Kevin Buley. 

"We can sometimes feel overwhelmed and think, that as individuals, we can’t really make a difference. But we need to remember there are millions of us, and every little positive action we each take counts - there is enormous power in our collective efforts."

Parent Evening - 'Gifted 101'

What is giftedness? At a recent parent evening I talked about the different domains (areas) of giftedness and how we identify and cater for ...