Ohaaki letter from the friendly team at Wairakei Primary School.
Dear <<First Name>>,
It has been an exciting and fun Term 3 in the Ohaaki team. The inquiry focus has been around 'Phunky Physics'. This involved lots of hands-on experiments involving the physical world.

The students explored everyday examples of physical phenomena, such as movement, forces, electricity and magnetism, light, sound, waves, and heat. They were supported to seek and describe simple patterns in physical phenomena focusing on sound, movement and forces. 

Room 10 students have been investigating “What is Sound?”. The children have learnt that energy moves an object with force and for sound to be produced, an object (or matter) needs to be vibrated.  Sound vibrations matter, surrounding it in a chain reaction and creating sound waves. The experiments the children have been taking part in are to help them understand and see sound through vibration and to create sound waves.  These experiments related to seeing sound, hearing sound and understanding this physical scientific phenomena that is occurring. The students created guitars, string telephones and sound guns.

Alongside the Phunky Physics focus Room 11 has also been exploring movement and energy in art. The students looked at the work of street artist Keith Haring and created our own Funky Figures using vibrant colours, simple body shapes and radiating lines that show which part of the body is moving and give the painting energy. Time is also on the move and we kept track of the days with a wall calendar. Changing the day, date, and month is the responsibility that one of our class members takes very seriously. We are learning how to ask and answer questions about the date in Te Reo Māori. This daily practice is helping us to remember and say complete phrases using Te Reo Māori.

Room 13 has been learning how to give and how to follow directions using positional language as well as using quarter and half turns. One of the activities that Room 13 have done is to find the ‘magic’ number on the hundreds board. First the students each got a hundred’s board and then buddied up with somebody and took turns at thinking of a ‘magic’ number from 1 to 100. Using the hundred’s board the students needed to give directions to their buddy to lead them to the ‘magic’ number. If the student’s followed the instructions correctly they would end up on the ‘magic’ number. 

Room 14 became scientific investigators to write about the paper planes and use what they learnt to understand how other things move. Children had to come up with a question about their planes to investigate, predict what might happen and then test their planes. They also had to write or draw an observation and then evaluate its performance. This led children on to writing comparisons between different paper planes and why they thought some flew better than others. Later when children were making catapults and parachutes, they recognised many of the same forces acted on these things. The class showed their learning by drawing  diagrams and labelling forces they had learnt about.

During the last two weeks Room 10 & 13 students were lucky enough to take part in the Contact Energy swimming and water safety programme held at the AC Baths. The children learnt valuable water safety and swimming skills to prepare us for a summer of fun by the water.

Watch our  Ohaaki 'Phunky Physics' Celebration 2020 video here

Ohaaki Teachers
Tracey O’Sullivan
Margo Clark
Leanne Jackson
Rebecca Partridge
Paul Morehu

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