Matai – Yrs 4/5


Tara Sutherland - TEACHER - Matai
Tara Sutherland

It’s hard to believe it’s Term 3 already!  At the end of last term we held a reflection circle and each student shared what they had enjoyed doing in Term 2- mainly people said they loved doing research projects and debates! Then everyone shared what they would like to do in Term 3- a Live Human Chess Tournament was suggested (Matai did one a couple years ago and some of the year 5s remembered being pawns in the tournament when Will epically battled Misato!)… so we are incorporating a whole class chess tournament into our maths program this term.  To start off, the students will do research projects in groups on the different chess pieces. Once we are all familiar with the strengths, weaknesses and rules of each chess piece, we will study chess strategies in our maths groups. When we have all mastered basic chess (and some of us are already experts!) everyone will play each other in organised rosters.  Eventually we will have two finalists. These champions will then get the thrill of playing each other on a huge board, with their classmates dressed up and role playing as the chess pieces! Drama and visual art will no doubt play a big part in this endeavour. Stay tuned for Matai’s Live Human Chess Tournament date!   

In literacy we are focusing on our Term Theme ‘South Island Stars’ where we will research and present on people (past, present and mythical) who are from or have influenced the South Island, as part of our Identity concept.   The students have dived right into their research and I look forward to seeing some high quality presentations!  We’ve also decided to continue with our debates. The debates were wildly popular in the last couple weeks of term 2, with some of our hot topics being:  The Oldest Child is More Sensible than the Youngest Child, Boys are Stronger than Girls, Dogs Make Better Pets than Cats and Rugby is More Popular than Basketball!  The debate teams have to research and prepare their arguments either for or against, then take turns arguing their point of view in front of the class, with each team member having to take the floor and include facts and statistics to support their persuasive argument and rebuttal.  The class then votes by a show of hands for who was the more persuasive side. We’ve learned quite a bit about Matai by doing the debates, namely that the vast majority of the class are the youngest children in their family, and that we have many very persuasive arguers in the class!  (a new debate topic perhaps- the youngest are the most persuasive??)  Finally, we said that we wanted to do more team sports, so we plan to play basketball and rugby lots this term!  Fingers crossed for nice weather- although the boys assure me that mud is no deterrent! 


We had a special visitor today- a Hedgehog!

The children got to meet the prickly patient and even give her a little pat.  Mrs Sutherland is rehabilitating her after suffering from a head injury.

The kids had lots of questions about hedgehogs and learned that they love to eat cat food and banana, and that their quills are only prickly if the hedgehog is scared.

In sport, all the year 5s are getting ready for their first Huxster mountain bike relay. It’s sure to be a great day! …Tara Sutherland


Link to: Matai’s Stationery List 2019