Monday, February 21, 2011

Day Two

Today we began with a team building problem solving activity. We worked in teams to try and build as many bridges as we could between a row of cans/cup that were 20inches apart in 5 minutes. To build the bridges each team had 1 pipe cleaner, 3 sticky mail labels, 5 paper clips, 1 rubber band, and 10 drinking straws.
We then reflected on each team’s success talking about communication, cooperation, and creativity.

Some teams were more successful than others…

Some comments made were:

“there were too many people trying to lead”
“there was a lot of talking and not much listening”
“everyone wanted to be the leader”
“they all had good ideas but they didn’t bring them together”

“there was a lot of listening and getting on with it quickly”
“everyone shared their ideas” (shared leadership).

Next we considered “what if we were to imagine we were a group of adults who organised school camps”. We thought about what our camp would be like, what our company would value, and had a go at writing some mission statements. Here are some of the catchphrases and statements we came up with:

“trying new challenges”

“jumping out of your comfort zone”

“challenging yourself with exciting experiences”

“improve your confidence”

“be the best that you can be”

“push your limits”

“adapt to new situations”

“learn to be confident”

“making friendships”

“we believe that you may be shy but you will come back home more confident”

“be safe but challenge yourself”

“work with a team”

“you get to work by yourself and you get to work with a team”

“have fun”

“trust others”

“lead others and be led”

“be brave”


As we thought about the values and wrote catch phrases for a possible school camp business we reflected on why it was important to give children and young adults experiences like these. We had a think tank discussion followed by some writing about what makes a successful happy adult. Here are some things we said and wrote about successful happy adults that we know.

“My grandma used to be a nurse in India. She did it because India is a very poor country and it has lots of diseases. I admire her because she is a caring and successful person, also because she is very unselfish and understanding. Her skills were to learn a different language, understand a different culture and live in a different lifestyle – stepping out of her comfort zone. She challenged herself by living and working in a different country”. Macey

Chevron talked about his dad and how he has lots of friends and enjoys playing rugby and being part of a team.

Alexander talked about his dad and how he helps people in poorer countries, he described him as ‘unselfish’. “I admire my dad because he thinks about other people, not just his family.”

Pablo talked about how his grandad knows all about native NZ species. He described his grandad as passionate about nature “because he loves being with it”. He also described him as quick thinking, being able to do lots of things really quickly, and witty because he always has an answer ready. He described his grandad as “very very resourceful because he knows everything to do if you are lost in a forest”.

Hugo talked about his Mum and Dad who own a catering business called Blue Carrot.
“Having your own business means you need to be smart, work on computers, share ideas, manage and look after staff, and be creative” Hugo.

Charlotte talked about her mum who is fit and enjoys sports. “my mum challenges herself by going on bigger runs that she’s never gone on before. She is very sporty and that is what she thinks is fun […] she’s a nurse so she’s very good with cuts like when my brother Albert cut his finger with a knife she knew just what to do.”

Noah talked about his dad: “when I cut my toe my dad, me, and Mila went straight to the cabin and my dad bandaged me up. He is a quick thinker. If someone ever needs help he helps them. My dad is resourceful”.

“I admire my mum because she helps children with things they struggle with, things like reading and writing, and also teaches them new things. She is kind and patient and is very creative. She makes the children more confident with their reading and writing. She is good at listening to the children’s ideas. She is happy because she can see the children do something that they couldn’t do before.”

Orla talked about how her dad enjoyed travelling to different countries all around the world. “My dad is generous because he goes to different countries and helps people”.

Alice talked about her mum and how she looks after other people’s children. She talked about how her mum needed to be responsible and reliable. “You also need to be arty and creative and you need to educate the kids. You need to be kind and caring to look after children”.

Helena talked about her mum: “my mum is a translater […] I admire my mum because she knows so many languages, she challenges herself with nobody telling her what to do. She is helpful to others. If there was a letter someone did not know what it meant she would translate it very well.”

After talking and writing about a successful happy adult that we knew we interviewed some of these adults on a panel (by getting into role) to find out even more information about what made these people happy and successful. In role as interviewers some of the questions we asked were: “what do you like about your job?”, “is your job challenging?”, and “what skills do you need to do your job well”. We had to listen carefully to the answers so we could think of more questions to find out more specific information, for example “how did you learn so many languages”, “how do you work and look after your family?”.


In role as her mum, Helena talked about having studied hard at university, having to be a good listener and enjoy talking with people, and how she enjoyed translating.

In role as his dad, Hugo talked about how he had to be responsible and reliable and had to go to sleep early and get up early for deliveries. He also talked about enjoying his work and being creative.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day One of Our New Mantle

Today this group of year 3 and 4 students at Muritai School came together to start work in an enrichment programme that will be taught using Mantle of the Expert.

For this Mantle of the Expert work we will be in role as an enterprise that organises school camps. Through this fictional context we will consider whether belonging to groups is important for people, look at the different ways people establish and manage relationships, consider the different impacts of co-operative versus competitive activities, and consider what skills and attitudes are important for establishing group belonging and what kind of activities would best support groups of children to acquire these skills.

These ideas will be explored as we, as part of our work in this fictional role, plan school camp style programmes for a range of different groups. In order to put together these plans we will research real existing outdoor education centres and school camp businesses, trial different activities, and create and design our own activities and tasks.

Today we began our work by looking at some 'You Tube' videos where adults and teenagers reflected on their ‘Outward Bound’ experiences (see link on right hand side tool bar if you would like to view these, we watched the first two videos on this page). We listened carefully to what people said about the programme and had a great discussion around the 2 questions:

‘what do you think the point of a camp/enterprise like this is?’
‘what did people seem to get out of going to a camp like this?’

Here are some of our ideas:

“to meet new people”
“to make friends”
“to be part of a group”
“to be more confident”
“encourages you to try new things”
“to have fun”
“pushing limits which means pushing themselves to do bigger things, things they haven’t done before”
“to go from saying ‘I can’t do this’ to saying ‘I can’”
“to challenge themselves”

We talked about some of the slogans for Outward Bound and what they meant: 'find your true potential - achieve things you never thought possible', 'challenge yourself and push you limits', 'develop your team skills in real situations', and 'step outside your comfort zone'. We learnt what it meant to ‘step out of your comfort zone’ and did some writing about a time when we had stepped out of our comfort zone. Here are some examples of our writing:

‘when I first went kayaking I went out of my comfort zone. But now it is really easy because I have done it before’ Evie

‘when I was lost in the playground I was scared and I was out of my comfort zone’ Daniel

‘when I first went to gym I was so scared. I had completely no idea how to do anything. The hardest thing was doing the splits. And I did not know anyone. But now it is easy. I know lots of people. I like going to gym’ Zoe

‘I went out of my comfort zone when I went to Movie World. Going on the ride called The Wild West really got me out of my comfort zone. I felt good after I did it’. Hugo

‘When I started swimming it was hard to keep afloat. It was hard to kick and stroke. Now I feel comfortable swimming’. Pablo

‘When I first went to gym I was really scared and now I do things really easy. I thought that my coach was going to push me down really far in splits but now I can get down so it isn’t scary and I know I can trust my coach’. Lucy

‘When I started school I was scared because I didn’t know anybody in my class and now I know everybody and the teacher, and it isn’t scary any more’. Luca

‘When I first went wharf jumping I was scared because it was so far […]then I jumped and I felt great and then I kept doing it, it was really fun! It doesn’t seem so far now’ Helena.

Next we looked at a range of images of children involved in outdoor education activities. We brainstormed what we thought each of the activities were about by using post it notes to put our ideas around the outside of the images. Some of the words that were brainstormed were: ‘challenging’, ‘having fun’, ‘trust’, ‘teamwork’, ‘problem solving’, ‘helping others’, and ‘trying hard’.

Brainstorming ideas.

Next we chose some of our favourite images and recreated them as 'freeze frames'. Below are the images followed by the 'freeze frame' that was created. Once we had made a 'freeze frame' the rest of the group acted as the 'voices in the head' of the people in the scene, as they tried to imagine themselves in the scene and what they might be feeling.

Freeze Frames

To finish up we tried out some team building activities. Here are some photos of us playing some different games. After each game we reflected whether the game was co-operative or competitive and discussed the differences between these different types of games.

Team Building Activities

Paper, Scissors, Rock in Teams

Passing the Hula Hoop: around the circle without letting go of anyone's hands.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A New Mantle

This blog is now going to record the learning journey of a group of fifteen year 3 and 4 students who are about to begin on the first Mantle of the Expert programme at Muritai School for 2011. These students will be coming together one day a week, for the next 8 weeks, to learn through Mantle of the Expert. To read more about Mantle of the Expert see the links on the right hand side tool bar on this blog page. See the blog entry below this one to find out where to go to read about our two previous Mantle of the Expert learning journeys at Muritai School, which were run last year. We hope you enjoy reading about our work and look forward to seeing you as a follower on this blog.

Previous Mantle of the Expert Learning Journeys at Muritai School with Ms Gain

Below is the record of the learning journey of twelve year 5 and 6 students who participated in a Mantle of the Expert programme in Term 4 of 2010. To read from the beginning of this learning journey go back to the first blog entry on this blog page by clicking under 'Blog Archive' on the side tool bar. The learning journey of the group of year 3 and 4 students who participated in a Mantle of the Expert programme in Term 2 of 2010 is recorded under a different blog address: The link to this learning journey is on the side tool bar under 'Sites Related to Mantle of the Expert'. We hope you enjoy reading about both our current Mantle of the Expert work and our previous learning journeys.