Thursday, June 24, 2010

If it Weren't For Your Gumboots....

Our whole school is practising writing explanations and learning about the features that make a piece of information an explanation rather than, for example, a recount.

In Huia 1 we are going to write an explanation about "Gumboots". Many of the students in Huia 1 had never worn gumboots before and, in the best interests of authentic learning experiences, we carried out first-hand (first-foot?) research by wearing gumboots and splashing around in a mud puddle which made a timely appearance after a particularly heavy downpour of rain.

Thanks to Mrs Dillon and Mrs McCarty for the loan of your gumboots. We will try to get them back to you as clean as they were when we first borrowed them... but we DID learn that gumboots are specifically designed to get dirty, and tested this rigorously.

Disclaimer: No child suffered in the making of these images.

We had fun learning about the importance of gumboots in rural New Zealand. Check out here for Fred Dagg's Gumboot song. We have watched this video many times to research what it is about gumboots that makes them so special. Most of the class are now singing along with the chorus.

Mrs Dillon, from Kiwi 3, visited Huia 1 (to check out if we were looking after her gumboots?) and told us about her experiences wearing gumboots in Iceland, where she worked as an inspector in a fish factory some years ago. We learned that, in Iceland, gumboots have a wedge in their sole to help prevent the wearers slipping on ice.

Interesting things we have learned in the process of our gumboots research...

1. We learned how to pronounce the Icelandic volcano (Thank-you for the Icelandic language lesson, Mrs Dillon.)

2. The song Waterloo by Abba refers to the Battle of Waterloo, ("...Napoleon did surrender...") won by the Duke of Wellington - name sake of wellington boots also-known-as gumboots.

3. Vulcanisation is the process of treating and heating rubber with sulphur to make it hard and durable. Little known fact - Vulcanisation has its own Facebook page. Truly!

4. An infirmary is another name for a hospital.

5. A gumboot dance was developed by miners in South Africa as a means of communicating with each other in darkness underground and as a way of coping with their extremely hard conditions. Check out one of the many You Tube videos of gumboot dancing here.

6. We learned a whole lot of new words from the background reading and research we did on gumboots:

durable, flexible, surgeon, versatile, perish, vulcanisation, essential, abattoir, tough, hygiene, impersonate, pretentious, diplomacy, revere, vanquish, quirk, hideous, impoverished, bizarre, emulate, contemporary, diverse, flabbergasted

7. The word gum can be traced back to Egyptian.

Check out Spelling City here to test yourself on these words and to play games and activities to help you learn and understand the meanings of these words. Please note that the pronunciation is very American (is is a USA site, afterall) and that vulcanisation and abattoir are not yet in the Spelling City dictionary. We feel very clever that we know how to use these words...and millions of Americans (and people all around the world using this site) don't.

This is a fast-frame record of some of our gumboot experiences. Click on the pause button if you want to see any image for longer.

Monday, June 21, 2010

World Vision Kids for Kids Concert with Suzanne Prentice

Here are some photos from our choir's participation in the World Vision Kids for Kids "Top of the World" Concert with Suzanne Prentice, last Wednesday at the Telstra Clear Manukau Events Centre. Here are some photos from the rehearsal, earlier in the day.

Can you find us in our school uniforms?

Nicole auditioned, and was chosen for one of the soloist parts in the show.

Late that evening...

Some of the choir members, back stage.

Choir boys...

Cna you find our choir members?

The Gardens School Choir

Check out here to view an interview with Suzanne Prentice in Rotorua (last year) talking about the Kids for Kids Concerts .

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tree-planting Experience

On Tuesday some of our Huia 1 students went to do tree-planting in Totara Park for Arbor day which is an event when people get encouraged to do tree-planting. Here are two people we interviewed about their tree-planting experience (Kumiko and Sambit).

1.) Why do you think tree-planting is important for the environment?
Answer (Sambit):
It gives us oxygen.

Answer (Kumiko):
It makes us a tidy Kiwi.

2.) What did you enjoy the most, out of the whole experience?
Answer (Sambit):
Planting the trees.

Answer (Kumiko):
Facing my fears by touching a worm.

3.) What do you think made this whole event enjoyable?
Answer (Sambit):
Planting the trees.

Answer (Kumiko):
Getting involved with different people and trying out different things.

Here are some of the pictures:

Above : So Yeon & Kumiko

Thanks you Mrs Whitehead (Kea 1) for organising this day for us.

By Brittany and Nikeeta

Last Week - A very busy one...

Our classroom wall showing some of our Spanish words used as a border, some of the photography work we have done in Poutama and some photos from camp.

Last week we had started school on Tuesday because it was the Queen's Birthday. On Tuesday we had Mrs Lee for the day because Mrs Vincent was on a course. We did some Spanish art , spelling and maths. Mrs Vincent's maths class did maths in Spanish with Mrs Lee.

We made a border for the wall using words and phrases in Spanish.

On Wednesday Mrs Vincent was back and we had only a half day because of parent teacher interviews...but we still did spelling, maths and we learned some spelling rules. Here are the spelling words that we learned last week:


We also learned some tips and tricks to help us remember the spelling words. Here are a few:

- pro - nun - ci - ation
- question - n - air - e (2 ns in questionnaire because there is always more than one question)
- pro - dig - iou - s ( these 'gi' letters have a soft /g/ sound as in giraffe and digital

- quotient and partial both have 'ti' letters which make the sound /sh/
- quagmire, quaff and quarantine all have the letter 'a' making the /o/ sound as in hot.

We learned to break the words up in different ways to help us spell them easily.
(We don't always use syllables to break words into easy chunks to learn.)

Try spelling those out for yourself or you can try take a test by simply going on

Last Thursday we went on class trip to Telstra Clear Events Centre for Dancing with Mythology activities. We were joined by students from several other schools and we learned about Maori history and the legends. We also had activities to do like singing, performing, dancing and drama. Everyone got to perform one item on stage. We all had a great time and the trip at the Events Centre.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Our Special Guest... from Malaysia

On Tuesday we had a special guest to our school . Her name was Jaslyn and it was her first time in New Zealand. She is a teacher from Malaysia and she is visiting New Zealand schools in her own school holiday time with the AFS organisation.

Here are some of the Question we asked Jaslyn :

1) What was your first impression when coming to New Zealand?
A) Happy and confident

2) How do you like our school so far?
A) It's OK - it's my first school in New Zealand so I am undecided.

3) Was it quite hard to talk in English when you learned it?
A) No - I was confident

4) Do you like NZ so far?
A) Yes

5) What job do you do in Malaysia ?
A) I am a teacher.

6)What do you think is different to NZ schools and Malaysian schools?
A) A huge difference

7) What time do students start arriving at school in Malaysia?
A) 7.15 AM they start arriving
School starts at 7.30 - 2.40pm
Pre-school starts at 7.30 - 1.30
The sport time is 3.00pm - 5.00pm

8) What do you think about New Zealand weather ?
A) The weather is quite calm compared to Malaysia.

9) Does your school/teacher give harsh punishments to the students ?
A) The cane and duck squats .

Jaslyn with members of Huia 1 and Mrs Lee, our Spanish and Music teacher, who was working in our room at the time of Jaslyn's visit.

We hope you have a lovely time in New Zealand.
By Brittany and Nikeeta