Kowhai class explores character writing and portraits

Mum By Sam Danielle is my Mum. She has short hair and green eyes. She has a happy smile. I love going on bike rides to the marina with her. It is a special time for me and Mum. I love my Mum. She’s the best!
My sister is the best! By Kaida Haven is the best sister in the whole world. She is little. She is cuddly as a lamb. I am happy when my sister is happy.

Baby Bear By Cameron Baby Bear is happy in the morning. He is the littlest bear in the family. He plays with his kite. I feel sad because Goldilocks ate his porridge.
Mumma by Darcy Mumma is as cuddly as a bunny. She is so beautiful. She is as beautiful as a butterfly. I love my Mumma.
Dad By Saxon Dad is busy as a bee. Dad goes to different countries. I feel sad when Dad is gone and happy when Dad is back.

My Dad by Aroha
My dad is the strongest in the world.

My Dad is tall like a giraffe.

I love him and he loves me.

Aunty D by Blair

Aunty D is my Mum’s sister.

She has blue eyes. She has beautiful clothes.  She has long, blonde hair.  She is beautiful.

She spoils me by giving me treats. I help her in the farm.  

I love Aunty D. She buys chocolate.  I eat it with her.  I snap a piece off for her and me and we eat it all.

I feel happy when she is by me.  Aunty D is very kind.

THE POWER OF STILL IMAGES & DRAMA IN STIMULATING IMAGINATION

At the moment our 17 month old grandson is totally enamoured with reading books, so usually we spend considerable time reading whatever he has chosen. What is fascinating to watch is how much his imagination is stimulated; how long he can concentrate and focus his attention on still images; how much information about the world he is absorbing, articulating responses initially through sounds and now a repository of “words.”

His older sister, aged 4, recently re-enacted her book “Tangled” (based on the movie about Rapunzel). Using her dolls and an assortment of carefully selected “props,” she replaced the scenes depicted in the pictures with her own interpretation. Adding her own dialogue she let her imagination transport her into the story, all stimulated by the images she referenced in her book.

So a reminder to everyone who is a parent, grandparent, caregiver. Give the children every opportunity to “read” books using still images. The pictures and illustrations in books don’t rely on an ability to decode language but are “effective in getting children close to people and situations; and able to take children into complex situations in a straightforward but valid way.”1

This week our Year 5 – 8 students and a number of parents were treated to a musical spectacular performed by students at St Peter’s, Cambridge. Starlight Express was brought to life by an ensemble that had obviously spent hours rehearsing. The entire cast and crew transported the audience into an imagined world where personified trains battled for supremacy in an international race. We were captivated.

Dramatic performances breathe life into narratives and provide an audience with the opportunity to suspend disbelief. Theatre is centered on thinking and imagining, two processes that are also evident when we read.

If it is wet this weekend get out the picture books and some props for you and the children, and let the power of still images and drama stimulate your imagination.

1. https://networkonnet.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/marvels-amongst-the-kauri-part-1/

DE-CLUTTERING A TO-DO-LIST

As well as provide students with a restful and often much needed break from school, the holidays can present families with quality time to share experiences. Though sometimes the plans made don’t always come to fruition.

Often times we set ourselves things to do – tasks or undertakings to accomplish, but  circumstances are such that we don’t necessarily get to complete anywhere near what we wanted to achieve. The thing is, we shouldn’t angst over this or feel bad. In fact, I would suggest that at times we need to “abbreviate” our to-do-lists and just focus on the essentials or else, as you endeavour to neatly organise your life by creating lists, the stress can rise.

In an article by Cari Romm titled “Why You Should Try Decluttering Your To- Do-List,” Romm shares a strategy suggested by Stephanie Lee in terms of dealing effectively with to-do- lists and that is, to explicitly focus on each days tasks with the following statement in mind….. “If this was the only thing you did today you’d be satisfied.” 1 Do that thing – everything else can wait.

When my family are around, they sometimes point out to me that my to-do-list is excessive, so spending time with our grandchildren over the holidays the idea of de-cluttering my to-do list took on new meaning.

We played games (pirates is still a favourite); drew; picked flowers; went to the beach; collected “stuff;” built a Tinkerbell house; tidied the garage together; made a range of “Frozen” playdough objects……… Yes, spending time with the grand children was the only thing we did each day. And we were well satisfied.

 Tinker Bell’s newest home

1. http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2017/04/why-you-should-trydecluttering-your-to-do-list.html

 

Kowhai class, Matahui School, at the Tauranga Art Gallery and Library

 

We had a wonderful day visiting the Tauranga library and art gallery.

First we visited the library where Penny read us some stories

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Here is Lily’s story:

On Thursday we went to the Tauranga library and Art Gallery.  At the library we read some stories called ‘Sad the Dog’ and ‘Boa’s Bad Birthday’.  In Boa’s book he was excited that it was his birthday but when he got presents that he couldn’t use, he was sad.  Then when he got Dung Beetle’s present he loved it and thought that it wasn’t a bad birthday.  In Sad’s story he was sad because his owners didn’t love him.  The artist used facial expressions and sad colours. When Sad felt happy the artist used bright colours.

Next we went to see Richard Orjis’ garden.  We observed some things.  He expressed his feelings for plants.  Then we went to the art gallery and studied Barry Dabb’s art.  He expressed his love of colour and he loved his paintings to be BIG!

 

And a snippet of Sam’s story: Richard Orjis expresses his love of nature, growing a wild flower garden.

And Cameron’s story:  The wild flower garden was pretty and Richard was expressing his art.

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Great observation going on in Richard Orjis’ wild flower garden!

This great observation continued at the Art Gallery with Fiona when we looked closely at wild flowers and sketched and painted them with water colours.

 

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And together we created our  own wonderful wild flower garden!

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We also enjoyed seeing Barry Dabb’s paintings.

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Here are snippets of our stories:

*On Thursday we went to the library and art gallery.  I love the big paintings. Barry loved the colours and so do I!  By Aroha

*Richard showed that art can be in the form of plants. It doesn’t have to be paintings.  He has his own individual style.  Barry makes his paintings look real.  The illustrator used the colours of the fish in the book to show feelings.  By Aby

*Richard Orjis expresses his love of plants and nature.  Barry Dabb made big paintings of Cook Island flowers.  His art expresses happiness!  By Blair

 

 

 

Room One Matahui School Production ‘Windust’ By John Reynolds and Shade Smith

Congratulations Matahui on a fantastic show!

Room One were the school children, along with fabulous actors from Room 6 – Shane (Blake), Charlotte (Zoe) and the wonderful Miss Scow (Rose).

Here are our paintings, recount writing and photos:

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Our Production Windust  By Aby

Our school did a show in the hub on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  We wanted to have fun and show the Mums and Dads and Grandparents.

Our job was to be the school children with our teacher Miss Scow.  One of the things I say is ‘You be quiet Billy!  What do you know?’

We did a dance called ‘Gonna Break out!’  It is cool because it’s a lot of movement.  Miss Scow does not know we are there.

I felt nervous and excited and I also loved it!

 

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Windust By Gabe

Our production is in the Hub and we are the school children. It is on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Miss Scow is the school teacher.  I like it being the school children.  I like sneaking in when Miss Scow is dancing but she doesn’t know we are there.

I felt fantastic about everything in the show.

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Windust by Blair

The whole school did the show in the Hub on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  I sing and dance and all the people did it.  And Room 3 was on the hay and Room 3 was singing with us.

I like singing ‘Gonna Break out’ and dancing.  Miss Scow doesn’t know we are there.  But then she realises we are there.  I like that Miss Scow doesn’t know.  That was fun!

I felt happy singing and dancing.

 

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Windust By Nikora

Our school did a play at Matahui School on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

I am Billy and I’m a school kid.

In the act I say “I don’t believe in bandits”.  But I was wrong.  There are bandits in the hills!

On my second act I lose my money in a magic show.

I like the show a lot!

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Windust By Kaida

All the kids at Matahui School are putting on a show.

We are the school children.  We are the cowgirls and the cowboys.  I like dancing and singing.

Miss Scow is our teacher and she throws stuff on the floor in the dance.

I like saying ‘Dare you to!

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WINDUST   By Sam

Matahui School put on a play in the Hub on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Our class are the school children.  Miss scow is our teacher.

I like dancing to ‘Gotta Break Out’ because it is fun.

I felt happy the parents were watching me.

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Matahui School Show By Saxon

We did a play called Windust in the Hub.

I am one of the school children and my teacher is Miss Scow.

The show is very, very, very fun!

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YEE HAA!

Room One visits the Katikati Murals

Our inquiry for this term is based on the question ‘What are our stories of the past and how can these be told?’  We are very fortunate to have the wonderful Katikati murals close by, for us to explore and find out the history of Katikati and stories of the past, told through a visual art form. Here are our photos, paintings and stories.

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My mural is Jimmy Culpan’s Packhorses.  By Nikora

Jimmy Culpan’s job was to take food and supplies and newspapers to the bush men so they could survive.  Today he would go by car.  He had two pack horses called Bess and Carr.  Jimmy was 17.  I think it was a hard job.  It was a long way and sometimes it was muddy.

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Sunday in the Bush Camp

By Sam

The bush camp men must be tired from working all the days except Sunday.  They have different saws.  They need to sharpen them to make them good at cutting down the trees.  Jimmy Culpan is there with his pack horses. He brings supplies and letters.

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The Waitekohe School By Aby

The Waitekohe School had 33 kids.  It was quite small.  Our school is also in katikati.  Now Waitekohe School is a house in katikati.  I even saw the house after the trip to the katikati murals.  It was just one class room.  They only used chalk to write on blackboards.  The children were 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – all those ages. They all learned different stuff.   The Waitekohe School had no jungle gyms.  Our school is much better because we have a playground, with a big orange ball swing, monkey bars and a sooper dooper flying fox! P1110887P1110949

Rev. kattern’s ostriches   By Saxon

Rev. Kattern’s is chasing ostriches down the main road of Katikati.  They escaped from the farm.  The girls used the feathers on their hats.

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Sunday in the Bush Camp 

By Blair

Sunday is a day that the bush men get a bath.  They were probably stinky because they have dirt because they work all week cutting kauri trees.  They cut their hair and they eat.  The miss their family.

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This is Waitekohe School. By Kaida

They had one classroom for all the children. Big children and little children.

I like my classroom now and I like painting.  The children wrote on blackboards with chalk.P1110900 P1110948

My mural is Sunday in the Bush Camp.  By Gabe

In the camp men had a holiday on the Sunday.   They sharpened their saws.  They had a haircut.  They bath.  I think the bush men would like having a day off from cutting down trees.

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IF YOU CONSTANTLY TWEET ON TWITTER ARE YOU A TWIT?

I don’t really get into following Twitter but I couldn’t resist looking at what Piers Morgan posted during the Olympics about Olympians and winning gold.

Here’s a few of his postings at the time for you to consider:

“America has a much better ‘win’ mentality than Britain. We love celebrating losers.”

“Everyone who fails to win Gold is a loser, yes. Not a derogatory comment, just a fact.”

“Ask real winners like Ferguson, Mourinho, Phelps or Bolt if coming 2nd or 3rd means anything.”

Here’s my take on his comments. Most of us like to win, no question about that. My family will tell you that when it comes to family games – ten pin bowling, monopoly, mini golf… I am highly competitive and aim to win. Listening to Mark Todd for example, talk about losing their grasp on a potential gold to fourth, his disappointment was palpable – he and the team really wanted to be the Olympic champions but they weren’t. Yes Mr Morgan, this is a fact but, does that mean however, that we should not still celebrate the fact that the team is ranked 4th in the world in a sport dominated for some time by European countries with resources that far exceed what we as a country can offer? How many of our athletes missed on medals but are ranked in the top 10 in the world? I would argue that we are not losers – far from it. These athletes still inspire, motivate and indirectly encourage others to get out there and give of their best which is probably why they were greeted by so many well-wishers when they arrived home this week. And it was great to hear some of the athletes who did win “unexpected” medals talk about how they hoped they were inspiring others to take up their particular sport.

Perhaps in our classrooms we should adopt Morgan’s approach and apply it in all facets of our lives and tell our students they are losers if they cannot understand a concept, if their test result is only 80% or if they can’t catch or pass a ball with accuracy. Were we to adopt this approach, I would resign tomorrow. As teachers we need to recognise and honour every accomplishment that our students display. Encourage them to aim for gold – absolutely, but destroy their confidence and self-esteem by letting them know that they are losers – yeah, right.

I’ll leave you with this thought – if we didn’t have losers, how could we have winners?

Room 1 and 5 enjoy a Teddy Bear’s Picnic

Room One’s inquiry this term is the question ‘What are our stories of the past and how can we tell them?’  We connected to the past by way of our teddy bears.  We invited our buddies from Room 5 to join us and we each brought along a special old teddy or soft toy. We enjoyed listening to their stories, followed by a delicious food at our teddy bear’s picnic!  Our buddies even made the bread rolls themselves!

P1110759Ellie is a snuggly elephant.  He is my toy.  It used to be my Dads when he was a boy.  The first thing he did was sit on him!  He looks like an elephant but he is yellow.  I like to hug him.  Ellie is cool.  By Sam

P1110758My Santa teddy is cuddly.  My Great Nana made Santa for me before she died.  Santa is snuggly.  I think he really likes me because I look after him.  By Blair

P1110755Miranda is my doll.  Miranda has long orange hair.  I got her on my first birthday from a Katikati shop.  I pushed my trolley around Katikati with her in it.  I was cute pushing her around Katikati.  She loves me!!  Miranda!!  She comes to some tea parties and sleeps in my bed.  She is knitted.  She’s a school girl.  I love Miranda!  By Aby

P1110757Toby is my teddy.  But Georgia had him when she was a baby.  Toby is a kind and cuddly teddy.  I love to hug my teddy.  By Gabe

P1110756Goody Goody Gumdrops is my favourite bear.  I like to cuddle him.  He looks cute in his T shirt.  By Saxon.

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My dog is named Troy.  Troy is a teddy.  He is a fast teddy.  I got him from my Mum.  My Mum got him from her friend and his sister.  He has got brown lines going to his eyes.  I like to pat his back.  Troy is cute.  By Nikora.

 

Can you match our water colour paintings with the photos?

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DOES GOOD NEWS EXIST? YOU BET!

When our children were small we gave up watching the news on television the day our daughter asked …”Why are there always bad things happening in the world?” She is now 32 and guess what, when we watch the news it seems that nothing has changed. Most of the stories presented reflect a high degree of political and social unrest in many parts of the world. Moreover, the level of violence against humankind seems to have escalated. Add to this the bad press surrounding the Olympics, be it the potential impact of the Zika virus, the doping scandal that has rocked Russia, or the security of athletes in Brazil, and you wonder where the good news exists. Well let me tell you……

Watching and listening to Ella and Bryden Nicholas speak from the heart about their kayaking one cannot help but recognise the motivation, drive and positive energy these two young athletes exude. Furthermore, when they speak about their cultural heritage and the pride they have in representing their country they illustrate what the Olympics ethos aims to achieve. They are excited about being a part of a world event that draws in countries across the globe. As a school we share in their excitement and revel in the fact that they epitomise what we want for our students when they finally leave Matahui School. There is not just good news, but GREAT news……..thanks Ella and Bryden for being such shining lights.

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