Thursday, June 17, 2010

Skate, scoot, rip stick!

Probably quite a few readers out there will be wondering what a "rip stick" is?
It is the latest skateboarding innovation. A flexible board that twists in the middle and has only one wheel at each end. The children propel them selves by wiggling.
Anyway the craze hit our school early this year rip sticks, skateboards and scooters were in- they literally arrived by the hundred at school.
they was the initial concern from some quarters, "Where is the padding, they will get hurt, they might crash..."
So we set up a zone, the children created rules and now each and every day the children of all ages (yes I have learnt to "rip"!) have been having a ball. Have there been crashes? No serious ones, have there been disagreements- yes is this a bad thing?
I spend 2 minutes last night talking with a teacher and we brainstormed the benefits and developments for 100-150 children aged from 5-11 all using wheels at school:
Their improved fitness (they go hard out for 1 hour a day at school, they wheel to and from school (another hour)
Their problem solving skills- rules around directions, zones, challenge areas
Their spacial and kinesthetic awayness- 100 kids on a court going full speed in all directions and rarely do they crash
Their co ordination skills- they race, jump, turn...
Their relationship skill development as they solve problems, disagreements, organise races, jumps...
The new focus on children and their learning from the caretaker he is now "re cycling every thing he can including slides, desks, steps so that children can jump and create obstacle courses.
The change in our playground as the other play areas are freed up while kids skate!

Downside? A bit of blood, a few bruises...

Fantastic learning, fun and fitness

Friday, June 11, 2010

The i pad

Check out this blog on the i pad

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Here's a thought....
We often talk about children knowing what they are learning and why they are learning. I am also interested in children knowing where they learn best. It is a concept at Windsor we call "Kotahitanga"- The right place for everyone and for everyone a right place. It is a concept that challenges the notion that children need to fit school- rather school needs to fit children.
So we encourage children to discuss where they learn best- in a group, at a single desk, in pairs, at a high table (so they can see what is happening in the class) on the floor, kneeling around a small table...
We now furnish our classrooms to allow this to happen. With the help of the Furnware we have created learning spaces (Classrooms) that allow children to spend more time learning and less managing distractions. It is fantastic to see children (and teachers) developing understanding of "Where I learn best" as part of being lifelong learners.