Team Rua

Tinkering Time! 

All learning in Team Rua (our Year 3 and 4 ākonga) is underpinned by the values and elements from Our  TPS Whakawhanaungatanga. One way we strive to achieve student agency is through something we call  Tinkering Time. Tinkering Time is a set time during the week where all of our Team Rua ākonga come  together as a whole. During this time, the ākonga make decisions about the types of activities that they  involve themselves in and they take total control and responsibility over driving their own learning. The  activities on offer are always varied and based on what our kaiako have noticed about the learners’ interests  or urges. Sometimes the activities will be a provocation where a problem needs to be solved, or they may  be an invitation to the learners to try something new and interesting. There is always a strong link to Our  Whakawhanaungatanga where one or two of the elements are focused, celebrated and reflected on.

Literacy and Maths 

Our Year 3 and 4 ākonga are also given plenty of opportunities to develop agency, independence and self-management skills through our  Literacy ‘Must Do / Can Do’ approach. Whilst our kaiako are working with groups of ākonga, the rest of the class work through a selection of  ‘Must Do’ learning that is based around Literacy including independent reading, buddy reading, word work, writer’s notebook and often a special  activity based on a poem or shared book. Once the ākonga have completed their ‘Must Do’s’, they are then able to move on to their ‘Can Do’s’  which is a selection of activities and tasks that the ākonga themselves have offered ideas for. Within our Literacy programme, we have a strong  focus on teaching the ākonga ‘The Code’. Our aim is for our ākonga to apply their knowledge of letter-sound relationships, spelling patterns and  irregular spellings, accurately, automatically and fluently when spelling, writing and reading. A similar ‘Must Do / Can Do’ approach is also used  for our Maths programmes. A key difference when it comes to Maths however is what we call ‘Team Rua’s Problem Solving Mondays’. Every  Monday, within each class, the ākonga are split into groups of 3 (different groups each week) and are all given the same maths problem to  collaborate on. During these problem solving sessions, the key emphasis is on the following mantra that we created with the tamariki – ‘Everyone  talks…Everyone listens…Everyone writes…Everyone understands’

STEM / Genius Time: 

We often have a focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning which often relates to  the current, school-wide Big Idea focus. In team Rua, this looks like a week per term which has a focus on STEM  learning through exploration and experimentation.This is where our ākonga really delve into the STEM process of Ask –  Solve – Design and Test – Adapt – Reflect and Present. Our STEM learning has covered a range of contexts or  learning opportunities including: making catapults, experimenting with magnets, designing and making rockets,  balloon cars, engineering bridges to hold toy cars, etc. Our Team Rua classes are also starting to dive into  something called Genius Time, which takes place for a set time each week (often the ākonga also choose to do their Genius Time learning as a ‘Can Do’ option). The children can choose a topic that really interests them, they then create a question based on this interest and spend time researching it/ learning about it. The children can also choose how they present their findings (when ready) to the rest of the class. In Team Rua, the ākonga and kaiako  are collaborative, agentic, self-directed and reflective learners with a strong sense of Hauora. We explicitly engage  in, reflect on and celebrate Our Whakawhanaungatanga as we strive to be the best learners we can be.