Sam’s busy Term 1
Mar 23rd, 2015 by admin

By:Tracie Phua

Sam, you’ve been busy this term. Look at some the work you’ve been up to !



learning the sandpaper phonograms and matching labels to the pictures


building the Roman Arch and seeing how well it holds up !


learning the names of masculine, feminine and diminutive of various species of animals


doing the bank game with dynamic addition. You know that 10 units can be changed for 1 ten, 10 tens for 1 hundred and 10 hundreds for 1 thousand. You know your place values of numbers and what addition means !

exploring the knobless cylinders. Your younger friends are watching and learning from you. Thank you for being such a good role model for them ! We’re looking forward to more learning with you in Term 2 !

Cloud in a jar
Mar 17th, 2015 by admin

By:Kelly Norton

Cyclone Pam inspired a group demonstration on ‘clouds’ and ‘rain’ with the ‘cloud in a jar experiment.  This inspired discussion about what the children heard and saw over the weekend when the storm hit.  They offered insight into how we may help our friends in Vanuatu badly affected by the storm.  After some poetry about the rain, the children collaborated to create the following poem about the storm…










Later there was time for independent discovery, while at the same time honing our pincer grip and observation skills..

Those who had had a turn, then became the experts (tuakana), to assist others (teina) in successfully completing the experiment.

Further art work was inspired…

While others chose to reflect and return to the poetry that was inspired by Cylcone Pam.

What learning do I think is happening here?

The children are learning about the natural world, science, poetry and empathy as they contribute to this discussion and participate in the experiment.

Opportunities and possibilities?

We will continue to offer a holistic approach to learning for our akonga at Titoki.

A visit from Annwyne and her fine feathered friends!
Mar 16th, 2015 by admin

By:Tracie Phua


We had an injured bird the previous week and one of our lovely mothers brought it to the Birdwing Centre at Rothesay Bay. Thanks Julie (Luke’s mum) for letting us know that they were happy to visit schools to talk about injured birds and their care. We spoke to Annwyne and she was able to visit us today!


The children attending this morning were informed that we were having special visitors which might include penguins. We discussed how we could help make sure the birds felt safe and the children suggested we could use our quiet voices, listening ears and gentle hands.


Annwyne did a great job describing her fine-feathered friends and how they came to her care. These included a kingfisher, sparrows, a baby tui, a skylark and 3 penguins. We had some excitement as a sparrow flew out our window. Thank goodness for tall mums who came to the rescue and helped get the sparrow back to Annwyne’s gentle hands. A picture writes a thousand words, so here are some photographs of how the 50 minute session went! It was hard to get a photograph of every child, but be assured that all of them enjoyed the visit!





We learned that native penguins had blue feathers and that those living in Antartica had black feathers. We also learned that there were no penguins in the northern hemisphere as the equator was too warm for penguins to get past.


Annwyne told us that we could help care for the birds by not throwing plastics into the sea or “bad stuff” into the drains as these flowed into the sea and harmed the fish and birds. We could also donate old towels or clothes to the centre as these were always needed to care for the birds at the centre. Cash donations are also helpful as the centre receives no funding from the Auckland Council or SPCA. 


We will be asking children if they would like to make donations to the Birdwing Centre. So please donate any old towels, clothes or cash to help our children care for our fellow inhabitants of this glorious planet we have! 


Some of the children have been making cards and drawings to send to Annwyne to thank her for the visit. Here are 2 samples :


Annwyne was very impressed with how attentive the children were and their gentleness in handling the penguins. They also shared their own experiences of seeing penguins at Kelly Tarlton’s and asked some good questions when Annywne shared how we could help care for the birds. One of these was “what if we vomit in the sink”? when Annwyne advised us not to throw “bad stuff” in the drains. She is happy to visit us again in future !

What learning do I think is happening here?

The children have learnt how humans can help injured birds and help them rehabilitate before going back to the wild once they are strong enough. They also learned how to avoid birds getting hurt by taking care of the environment. They practised being gentle with the penguins by gently stroking them on their backs instead of their heads.

Opportunities and possibilities?

We will extend the lessons learnt today, looking at the continent globe and showing the children where the equator, northern and southern hemispheres are. Children have also been interested in looking at our book Native Birds of New Zealand. We can further extend our learning by introducing ecology and ornithology to children who show interest.

Sam learns the parts of a helicopter and makes a booklet.
Mar 12th, 2015 by admin

By:Tracie Phua


Knowing that Sam had an interest in helicopters after seeing his work at the carpentry table, I asked Sam if he wanted to make a book on the “Parts of a helicopter”. He readily agreed and got the materials from the Cultural shelf.


We looked at the various parts of the helicopters through the classification cards. We learnt the names of each part – rotor, tail-rotor, fuselage, cockpit, tail and skids. Sam, you were able to match the picture cards and the labels of each of the parts. You carefully coloured each part in red and wrote the labels clearly.


You then went to get the hole punch and thread to make a booklet. When you finished your work, you packed the cards, labels, paper and booklet covers in neat stacks and placed them in the tray which you returned to the shelf. 

What learning do I think is happening here?

Sam is learning the names of the various parts of the helicopter. This widens his vocabulary and understanding about the parts of the helicopter. He also practises his handwriting and reading both phonetic words like “helicopter” and “cockpit” and puzzle words like “fuselage” and “rotor”. The long cycle of activity also helps him develop concentration and perseverance as he meticulously colours in and labels each part of the helicopter.

Opportunities and possibilities?

Sam’s interest in the helicopter spurred him to finish making a booklet. Should we find out more about various helicopters and how they work? Should we also look at the parts of the aeroplane and make another booklet ? That has even more parts ! 

Sam’s “fire” helicopter!
Mar 2nd, 2015 by admin

By:Tracie Phua

Sam, you were busy this morning at the carpentry table. I noticed how focused you were in your work and you were not distracted by activities happening in the sandpit, athletics or gardening areas.  


When you finished your work, you came to show me the details of what you had made. You said it was a fire helicopter and told me about the propeller and the other part that shot jets of water to put out a fire. 



I suggested that you write “Sam’s fire helicopter” on your work so that no one would “recycle” it or take it home by accident.


You agreed and proceeded to do just that. We learnt that fire was a puzzle word that sounds different from what it should. We also learnt that “helicopter” ends with the phonogram “er” that makes a different sound from “e” and “r” individually.


You were really happy with your work and decided to put it in your bag so you could show it to Mum and Dad. I’m sure they liked it too!

What learning do I think is happening here?

Sam had the chance to exercise his creativity at the carpentry table. His helicopter looked really cool ! He had the chance to further refine his gross and fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination with the use of hammer and nails. He also had the opportunity to label his product and learn a new puzzle word while practising some phonetics and a phonogram as well !

Opportunities and possibilities?

We will continue to let Sam have opportunities to express himself creatively through art and craft or making things at the carpentry table. We will also look out for opportunities for him to write so that he has lots of practise building words and sentences in the coming weeks.

School holiday programme – January 2015
Feb 11th, 2015 by admin

By:Karin Zapatero

Kia ora everyone!


Happy new year 2015, and welcome to the children who attended the school holiday programme. Also, a especial welcome for our new entrants, Cooper Evans, Finn McGrath, Gloria Fan and Kian Anderson. Here are a few pictures of what your children were doing…


Some children really enjoyed the string painting activity…

Harrison was looking for bugs…




A volcano experiment at the sandpit, children loved to see the ‘eruption’ caused by mixing baking soda and vinegar.








Glenn was very happy at the sandpit too!




Amelie & Shilo were so excited to see each other again…in here they decided to “relax” πŸ™‚








Matisse loved having her younger sibling Cooper at Titoki. They had a wonderful time together.


                        Finn, you learned to put on the sandpit vest all by yourself!

Ethan did a lot of work at the sandpit!









Luke decided some cherry tomatoes were ready for harvesting πŸ™‚


















 Gloria, you loved designing your bookmark.



Some children really loved to create their own bookmarks/cards/door name signs πŸ™‚

The sandpit was a very popular place!


Sam & Heath having a great time with concrete chalk. At the back, the teacher’s primary age children really enjoyed their participation in the programme.






Kheiron, Gloria & Sienna loved the string painting activity.





Lovely display of affection by Luke & Kyle. I saw Luke just running to Kyle to gave him a big hug as he came down the ‘fire fighter’s pole’ πŸ™‚











Kian really liked the balance bike. He went around the concrete track so many times!



Torbien and Kyle were busy playing with their wood work.






Glenn, Sam & Heath, I overheard: “the bus is going, come and sit, hurry!!”…






Inez you and my daughter Sophie had a great time at the sandpit.





Apple picking was another favourite!








Gloria learning how to take care of her own dishes.











Arum waited patiently to have a go with the apple picking.

 “Yes I got one!” said Sienna.


These are only a few precious moments captured by the teachers. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did! We observed the children and were so glad to see their wonderful smiles and loving ways πŸ™‚


Term 4 photo stories from Sam
Feb 4th, 2015 by admin

Created on:4/02/2015 3:51:17 a.m.By:Karin Zapatero

Building the village with sticks and bark.


Peeling and slicing cucumber for morning snack…


…and measuring ingredients for the Raisin and cinnamon bread. Thank you Sam, you are always so keen to help!




Sam and friends during mat time at the end of the day.






Drawing on our brand new art easel!










Sam you love using the digger at the sandpit.






Concentrating as you paint a wonderful master piece…





Walking on the line takes a lot of concentration, well done you did it so well πŸ™‚

Learning to work the Trinomial Cube!





Sam and Heath working as a team to carry Titoki’s Christmas tree.






Using the Christmas stencils. What a beautiful decoration you created for the Christmas tree! πŸ˜€

Sam is comfortably settled in Titoki!
Dec 5th, 2014 by admin

By:Tracie Phua

Sam, you are so comfortably settled into Titoki! Here are some of the things you’ve done in your first month at Titoki.


The trinomial cube is a puzzle of different shapes and sizes at the 3-6 age group. At the higher age groups, children will see that the 27 pieces represent the different pieces expanded from the equation (a+b+c)3.


You are so focused here as work on your calendar art. You allow your friend to observe your work. She must have been inspired by you!














You are concentrating as you work on the ten boards. You definitely know your tens and units after this exercise of making numbers and their corresponding quantities


What learning do I think is happening here?

Sam is definitely finding his feet at Titoki Montessori. He is well liked by his peers and all the Titoki staff. He has great manners and a genuine concern for others at Titoki!

Opportunities and possibilities?

We will continue to let Sam have opportunities to explore all the materials in the prepared environment as he shows interest. It’s great to see him settle in so well and helping friends and teachers at Titoki! πŸ™‚

Sam learns the phonograms!
Dec 5th, 2014 by admin

By:Tracie Phua


Sam was interested in checking out some “new” sandpaper letters with me today. This was the sandpaper phonograms.


We learnt that the digraphs “sh”, “oo” and “ou” each made a different sound from their component letters. He could hear “sh” when I said “ship” and “shout”, “oo” when  I said “book” and “cook” and “ou” when I said “out” and “spout”.


Sam learnt the sounds very quickly and did not get “tricked” by me when I moved the sandpaper phonograms around and tested him for each sound:-)





Later, when the children were keen to play the silence game at lunch circle, I asked Sam to bring me the sandpaper phonogram that made the “sh” sound. He went to the language shelf and got the correct phonogram for me! The children were silent for one full minute, thanks to us telling them that it made the “sh” sound !


I look forward to learning more of the phonograms with you Sam!

What learning do I think is happening here?

Sam is learning that 2 successive letters produce a single sound in the English language, that may be totally different from their component sounds. Sam is not only increasing his awareness of sounds in words, he is also gaining a visual and kinaesthetic memory of the symbols used as he traces the sandpaper phonograms with his fingers.

Opportunities and possibilities?

We will continue to introduce Sam to the rest of the sandpaper phonograms. We will follow up with the phonogram cards and lists that enable Sam to practise blending and sounding out the various phonograms that he learns.

Sam settles into Titoki and learns the decimal system!
Nov 14th, 2014 by admin

By:Tracie Phua

Sam, a warm welcome to you as you join us at Titoki! We love having you with us and watching your enthusiasm in learning how things work at Titoki! πŸ™‚


You were interested in learning the decimal system, so  I showed you the golden beads on your first day with us. You learnt that 10 units made one ten bead bar, 10 ten bead bars made a hundred square and 10 hundred squares made a thousand cube. The next day, I showed you the decimal cards and you quickly learnt the numerals for 100 and 1000.


Today, you were ready to play the “bring me” game. You arranged the unit cards on the rightmost column, the ten cards, hundred cards and thousand cards in succeeding columns to the left, as shown in the photo. You were asked to collect various quantities from each category from the “bank” on the shelf from the cards I gave you. You carefully counted the required quantities at the bank and brought them to your mat. You verified that you had indeed brought the correct numbers of units, tens, hundreds and thousands each time you laid out the numerals and quantities on your mat. 

Finally, you saw that if we placed the thousand, hundred, ten and unit numeral cards in order and slid the cards to the right, the numerals showed how to write the whole number representing the quantities, eg “five thousand, six hundred and eighty nine” in the last photo shown.

What learning do I think is happening here?

Sam is learning the decimal system and whole numbers in a concrete manner. His enjoyment of number work allowed him to quickly learn the symbols and quantities involved. He is an active learner following his interest and determining how far and how often he wanted to practise his new learning. He was very focussed in his work and carefully returned everything back to their rightful place on the Mathematics shelf when he was done!

Opportunities and possibilities?

We will continue to practise the “bring me game” with Sam, this time with the teacher giving him the quantities and him picking out the correct numeral card. He can progress to playing it with a friend and seeing what happens when they add the quantities they bring together!

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