FISH Philosophy


Have you heard about heard about the “FISH Philosophy“?  What is it all about?

What is it all about?

Well, when it all began… A fish house in Seattle started this by trying to create a better experience for their customers.  The FISH Philosophy has 4 key concepts:

  • Play
  • Make Their Day
  • Be There
  • Choose Your Attitude

It’s pretty simple and such a good way to work and live!

What’s FISH!?

FISH! is the key to successful human relationships.
It’s a set of simple, interconnected principles that everyone can tailor to their own life and work – old wisdom for a new day. When you choose to incorporate these principles (PLAY, MAKE THEIR DAY, CHOOSE YOUR ATTITUDE, and BE THERE), you’ll see a positive change in the relationships you create at work and at home.

Where did it come from?  That’s a great story.
Imagine a workplace that smells, is physically gruelling, and requires you to be nice to people all the time. That was the Pikes Place Fish Market in Seattle. The fishmongers spent 12-hour shifts stocking, selling and packing fresh fish. The owner, Johnny Yokoyama, invited his employees to create a new vision for the market. They accepted the invitation and the end result was an incredibly happy and committed workforce as well as a humungous growth in sales.

Filmmaker John Christensen, who is also ChartHouse’s “Playground Director,” discovered the fish market while travelling. He knew that the fishmongers had uncovered something special and he decided to film it. John and his ChartHouse team, after looking at Pikes Place and many other healthy work environments, developed The FISH! Philosophy, produced the films FISH! and FISH! Sticks, and authored a series of related books. These have become international bestsellers as businesses and individuals have discovered the incredible power within its invitation.

 “An invitation”?

No one can make you be FISHy. We’re each responsible for the choices that we make, and the best we can do is to model behaviour that invites others to share in the experience.

And the great thing is that it works – sometimes right away and sometimes it takes a while – but if you’re committed to it, it can unlock the potential in all of us.

In 5H we are ‘playing’ with the philosophy which lets them help transform the class culture. The activities help learners develop ways to improve the school experience with others – helping to build confidence and learning about the impact they can have on their own environment.

FISH! Helps

  • Forge caring relationships with students that inspire them to want to be their best.
  • Foster a supportive culture where staff regularly celebrates and recharges each other.
  • Build a safe environment where everyone is ready to learn.
  • Develop clear expectations shared by every member of the classroom.
  • Guide students to examine their behaviour when it doesn’t work and take responsibility for more successful choices

Our class is looking a little FISHY!  

Our Colourful Learning Environment

We shared information about ourselves – but this is only THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG! 

There is a whole lot more below the surface!

Putting the pieces together – we are recording our thinking on jigsaw puzzle pieces!


We recycled the large coloured paper from the exhibition and are using these lifesize cutouts of some of the kids to record our discussions, thinking and findings out. You might be able to recognise Athul, Kenzo, Phebe, Maya, Sean, Catherine and Taiyo!  This idea is inspired by artist Keith Haring. 

We also used Keith Haring’s famous colourful art to REFLECT!  Here is an example by Harumi. From left to right it shows Harumi’s thoughts about Sport’s Day, fun reflecting, FISH Philosophy – Make Their day, Author Study and OUR WHOLE YEAR!

What makes us POP! Selfies digitally produced using Andy Warhol’s Pop Art style


Selfies to show WHO WE ARE – some of us are apparently very strange!

More selfies – this time innovating on Picasso’s famous Abstract style

Please come in and visit us, have your child show you the work and check out all the wonderful effort we put into each day.  You might even catch the potential of the FISH Philosophy!


Collaborative Activity

We don’t have too much ‘down time’ in 5H… just enough I’d say, although the kids might challenge me on that!

Each fortnight we have a designated time for collaborative activity.  During this time, the students can choose what they work/play on, as long as they are doing it with others.

Often students choose…

  • board games
  • making
  • building
  • card games
  • art / craft


  1. Develops higher level thinking skills
  2. Promotes student-student / student – teacher interaction and familiarity
  3. Builds self-esteem
  4. Develops oral communication skills
  5. Develops social interaction skills
  6. Creates an environment of active, involved, exploratory learning
  7. Enhances self-management skills
  8. Fits in well with the constructivist approach
  9. requires students to self-manage
  10. and the list goes on

Here are a few photos of today’s session (it differs most sessions).

Maths thinking

In Maths this week

Being flexible with our maths thinking – Thinking about our thinking – Asking yourself …

  • Where am I now? Awareness  
  • Where do I need to be? Knowing   
  • What do I need to know to get there? Understanding  

Next steps (developed by students) 

  • Learn words of question
  • Check the internet for good examples
  • Develop a worksheet
  • Write reasons why
  • Check answers against Quizlet
  • Rewrite Quizlet definitions
  • Prove how you got the answer
  • Prove the answer in a different way
  • Show your working out
  • Use fun and interesting games to help understand the maths terms
  • Ask Siri – answer – definition – process
  • Use websites such as Khan Academy / Maths is Fun

Ways you might show your learning

  • Write a Number Sentence
  • Write an Equation
  • Draw a Picture
  • Make a Table
  • Act It Out / use objects
  • Guess and Check
  • Find a Pattern
  • Work Backward
  • Make a List
  • Solve a Simpler Problem
  • Choose a Strategy
  • Use Logical Thinking

Can you solve the Pirate Riddle? Do any of the strategies above help you?

‘It’s a good day to be a pirate. Amaro and his four mateys – Bart, Charlotte, Daniel, and Eliza have struck gold – a chest with 100 coins. But now, they must divvy up the booty according to the pirate code — and the pirate code is notoriously complicated. Can you help come up with the distribution that Amaro should propose to make sure he lives to tell the tale? Alex Gendler shows how’.

Maybe you’re interested in trying the riddle yourself.  Have your child explain how they went about it in terms of processes used and strategies for working it out.  There was a great conversation that followed between Oliver, Athul and Lazare.  Then Otto came up with an alternative (by twisting the rules) which Sean, Billy, Taiyo, Haruki and Goki tried to solve.

More often than not,  it’s not about the answer but about how we get there. Get those brain of yours working!