October 11, 2016
by msnathan

Citylife: plan your world


You have the opportunity of a lifetime, to create the ultimate city. Cities are nothing without their people. They make up the culture, the economy, the innovation and the community. How are you going to encourage people to choose your city to be a part of?

Brief doc

Collaborative resource doc

Have to have:

  • City name & slogan
  • Birds eye view of city center (detailed)
  • Birds eye view of total city
  • Advertising brochure/poster for your city (hard copy A3)
  • Piece of writing outlining industries/opportunities
  • Fact sheet/infographic: population, breakdown of demographics, climate, geography, cost of living, interesting facts/what’s special, political systems
  • Real estate ad for average home
  • Famous person/landmark/discovery, etc


  • Expo stand plan: 2 x desks, 1 Chromebook
  • How will you sell your city?

We would love to hear about your city and what you love about it. Please add to our Padlet below!

Made with Padlet

August 17, 2015
by msnathan

#kidspeaknz no.1!


I’m really excited to announce that the first ever #KIDspeaknz is happening tomorrow afternoon! This is a chat that has come about after some teachers and I were chatting on Twitter and wondering what if we gave the reigns over to the kids and ask them what they’d like to talk about? Our students are now more connected than ever and with that connectivity comes students who are empowered with a voice worth listening to!

This week the topic of devices in the classroom came up so Room 27 wrote the following questions:

  • What curriculum areas do you use your devices for?
  • Do you think having your own device helps you learn? Why/why not? How?
  • Do you still work with other people or off your device?
  • Are there any possible negatives about having devices in the classroom?

Looking forward to having students from Tamatea Intermediate, Bohally Intermediate and Aorere College join us at 2pm tomorrow! Any other schools are welcome to join, nau mai, haere mai!

May 29, 2015
by msnathan

Change Makers

reconstructionistsAll images via The Reconstructionists

We are investigating Change Makers. While we’re working on our inquiry to save the world (no big deal!), we’re going to find out what characteristics other great change makers had to help our own change take flight! You can have a look at this Padlet or our Change Makers board on Pinterest to find out some of the people we think have changed the world.

Next we’re going to create portraits of our Change Makers, using Lisa Congdon‘s Reconstructionist series as inspiration!

Who do you think has changed the world? Do you have someone who inspires you?

May 17, 2015
by msnathan

How do we remember & why do we forget?

We’ve been working on becoming better researchers, better questioners and good self directed learners in Room 27 this term so we decided to try out some of the School in the Cloud big questions to investigate. It is fun because it is totally student driven, the students get to choose their groups and answer question however they like. It is hard because the question can’t be answered by one Google search! It is important to work together, use key words and use bits from lots of sources. It is also important to talk about the things we’re finding when researching because that will help us synthesize our information and come up with answers.

Here are some of our findings for the first question we explored (there are still some photos to add from the groups who chose not to use a Popplet), “How do we remember and why do we forget?”

March 24, 2015
by msnathan

We’re growing our mind(set)s!

IMG_5006Today we looked at the idea of a growth mindset. H/t to the awesome Kerri Tamatea for giving me some ideas on how to introduce this to my class!

Have you ever heard of a growth mindset? I put the phrase up on the board and the students brainstormed what the words could mean separately before considering what they might mean put together (those ideas are in blue). We then got into groups and researched the phrase ‘growth mindset’ to see if we could find anything else out (those ideas are in red). This was pretty tricky because most of the stuff written about it was for adults like teachers, psychologists and people at university. We read things out loud to each other that we found and tried to put it into kid language. For example, we turned ‘educators’ into ‘teachers’ & ‘developing intelligence’ into ‘getting smarter/better’.



IMG_5008Then we looked at some fixed mindset statements like “I give up.” and “I’ll never be as good as her/him.” and decided they were totally boring so changed them into new and exciting statements like those you see above!

Something else we talked about though was that sometimes, even if we work really, really, really hard things might still not work, go according to plan or get better. That there are some people that even though they work hard they also have natural talent and it is ok to sometimes feel bummed out when someone is naturally good at something you want to be good at, or when things don’t work.

It’s what you do next that matters. Will this feeling stop you from trying new things? Will it stop you from celebrating not just the things you are awesome at but also the risks you take and how hard you work? Not with a growth mindset it won’t!

Here’s a video some students found to help them understand what a growth mindset is. Do you think this is a good way to think about learning? Is there anything that could go wrong with this way of thinking? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

March 9, 2015
by msnathan

Can our school save the planet?

Do you think KNS is an eco friendly school? What would you change to make our school more environmentally aware, sustainable or energy efficient?

Timberland-Eco-Love-SurveyHere’s an example of an infographic that uses pictures, statistics and graphics to present an idea about being eco-friendly. We talked today about statistics being important because they tell us about themselves. Do you think this is a useful infographic? Why/why not?

Our Pinterest board – have a look here for inspiration and ideas around our big question.

March 2, 2015
by msnathan

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it…

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 8.47.14 AMOne of the main reasons we blog and that blogging has become so popular, is that it is a way to connect and share with other people. But how do you get people to read your blog? A great way to do this is to join up with other bloggers doing challenges. Why? This gives you both ideas of what to write about but also people to connect with. Commenting on other peoples blogs is one of the best ways to get people back to your blog to read it.

Every year there is a Student Blogging Challenge where you can find cool new blogs and get weekly activities to improve your own blog. It starts this week and it is super easy to sign up. I have already signed up our class blog and if you head over here you can sign up for your personal blog as well as getting a badge for your blog to show that you’re part of the challenge.

I’m excited to see what connections we make!

September 8, 2014
by msnathan

Inquiry Research & Website Evaluation: Due Friday, 19th Sept



Purpose: to research for our systems inquiry topic and to find and share relevant, useful sources.


– Using the website evaluation tool shared with you, evaluate three websites that you have looked at, used or considered using in your inquiry research. Remember, they don’t necessarily have to be great, that’s why we’re evaluating them.

– On your blog, write a post about your inquiry including: your focus, your big question, a brief statement as to why you chose this topic (what interested you, what are you hoping to find out), some interesting/surprising/unusual/cool things you have found out so far and a link to your website evaluation document explaining why it is important to evaluate sources.

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