Congratulations Matahui School on a fantastic school production!
Kowhai class was in the forest scene for the production ‘The Point’. We were autumn trees. Here are paintings of ourselves in costume, photos and stories:
What a wonderful term Team Kauri, the Year Seven and Eight students have had at Matahui School.
The students have been learning to build and learn within a team and advance their ability as leaders. This has been achieved through an amazing array of outdoor activities including two camps, and skill building activities such as swimming, a deep-water confidence day and kayak skill development at Waimarino.
We have studied of the life of William Shakespeare and written a short biography. Following this we traveled with the Year Five and Six students to Auckland to see ‘A Comedy of Errors’ at the Pop-up Globe Theatre.
Other E.O.T.C. experiences have included our infamous boat day and a whole school beach education day.
In the classroom we have focused our mathematics on number and algebra. There are several budding mathematicians! We have buddy read a book called ‘A race to the pole’, a chance for our accomplished readers to share with and support their peers. This book was also part of our inquiry this term which has focused on the motivation to discover and explore. The high standard of presentations that concluded the inquiry are well worth visiting the classroom to see.
Children have the capacity to demonstrate heightened curiosity and genuine interest in the world around them. They naturally show the propensity to explore, investigate and discover; they are in essence, scientists.
The way Matahui students connect to the environment may not necessarily be unique, but it is significant. They enjoy going outside and the school playground becomes a microcosm of scientific opportunities – a living laboratory. When I shared Saxon Russell’s story (which KVH weaved into the report below) with the students in each class and informed them that the beetle he had discovered at school might be a horticultural “nasty,” they headed out on an intense search.
Prior to leaving school a six year old student at Matahui School in Katikati found a stink bug nymph, had his mother take a photo and proudly showed the critter off to his Dad. Being the small world that it is, Dad’s work sometimes relates to the kiwifruit industry and he had been contacted in the past by KVH about the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) so knew to make a report.
Formal identification by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) found that the bug was a native Australian Green Shield Bug.
This is a fantastic example of the great awareness of our environment, and all the living things in it (of which biosecurity is such an important element), being built up from the ground level by teachers and principals day-to-day in, and outside of the classroom. Raising public awareness is what we are all about, and our goal is for the whole country to form a team of 4.7 million biosecurity conscious New Zealanders by 2025. (Kiwifruit Vine Health 2018).
“Saxon the Scientist” and his scientific Matahui buddies hardly left a leaf unturned such was the excitement of the challenge to locate and carefully capture the beetle he had seen. Our Matahui scientists recognized the importance of the task ahead and became part of an authentic scientific process, one designed to carefully monitor our environment. They have certainly become biosecurity conscious watchdogs.
We must continue to nurture the innate curiosity of the children we teach and give them authentic ways to demonstrate scientific thinking and methodology, especially in relation to the environment. They will learn that their actions can have an immense impact on the way we care for and sustain the planet on which we live.
Here are our self portraits using black paint on a backdrop of primary colours, then mixed together to make a secondary colour.
We have been learning to introduce ourselves and our age in Maori.
Ko Darcy toku ingoa. E rima aku tau.
Ko Aroha toku ingoa. E ono aku tau.
Ko Callaway toku ingoa. E ono aku tau.
Ko Cameron toku ingoa. E ono aku tau.
Ko Payton toku ingoa. E ono aku tau.
Ko Kaida toku ingoa. E ono aku tau.
Ko Charlotte toku ingoa. E rima aku tau.
Ko Emma toku ingoa. E rima aku tau.
KoTyla toku ingoa. E rima aku tau.
Ko Anna toku ingoa. E rima aku tau.
Ko Phoenix toku ingoa. E rima aku tau.
Ko Saxon toku ingoa. E ono aku tau.
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.
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.
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
Darcy: I showed courage when I first started school. I felt a bit shy.
Blair: I showed courage to make good choices with my brother.
Aby: I showed courage when the dentist pulled my tooth out.
Sam: At the beginning I felt really scared to go into the native bush. It looked like a big black hole. But the I did it. I liked it and I felt really proud of myself.
Lily: Dad wanted me to go on the chairlift at Cadrona. I felt really scared because it looked so high. But I did it and I had a really great time.
Aroha: I always show courage to tell the truth.
Kaida: I showed courage on my first assembly when I had to talk.
Gabe: I showed courage when Niki and I went on a bush walk with my Dad. It was really dark in there.
Olive: I went on a moving chairlift in Rotorua. I was really scared to hop on while it was moving. Someone helped me and I did it and it was fun at the top.
Saxon: I showed courage when I went to see the ducklings.
Niki: I showed courage to go into the alpaca’s cage at Gabe’s.
Cameron: I showed courage when it was my first time trying a new food – spanakopita –
and I did it and it was really yummy. I also showed courage when I had my blood test.
Black shiny tube
Bouncing on the water
I feel excited in my tube
Small blue kayak
Riding the little wave
Happy and strong and really proud
Black round circle
Spinning in the water
Fantastic fun in my fun tube
Yellow fast kayak
Paddling on the calm sea
Taking control of my yellow kayak
Sailing, turning in the breeze
I am the captain of my boat
Big fun kayak
Adventure on the sea
Nervous, excited, happy, proud
Fast red kayak
Paddling from side to side
So much fun circling and turning
My boat is red
Floating, slicing through the sea
Having fun in my red kayak
Swimming in the water
I caught a fish on my fishing line
On the jetty
Fishing with my Daddy
First time fishing, my favourite
Swishing, turning, blasting
I feel so great in the salty breeze
Fast kayak, bright blue
Floating, paddling, speeding
Happy, smiling in the kayak
We had a wonderful day visiting the Tauranga library and art gallery.
First we visited the library where Penny read us some stories
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.
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.
And together we created our own wonderful wild flower garden!
We also enjoyed seeing Barry Dabb’s paintings.
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