Friday, December 20, 2013

Huia 1 Miscellaneous from 2013 Part 1

Sometimes, we didn't get a blog written in time, and important events, photos and writing never got published in time. Now that it's the end of the year, and we have time to go back and check what was left out, we can publish a few miscellaneous bits and pieces.

Writing to Describe in Huia 1 in Term 2
Huia 1 have been learning to write descriptions based on observations and research. We have looked at historical, scientific, and biographic descriptions and decided to have a go at writing one based on our own observations.

Mrs Vincent:
Mrs Vincent (Intermediatus vincenticus kayii) is an endangered species of teacher, native to Huia 1, The Gardens School.

Physical description:
Mrs Vincent tends to wear glasses and has beady blue eyes that see everything – even at the back of the class. She has short, greyish faded-blonde hair, and she is nearly always seen wearing a set of class keys on a black lanyard around her neck.  Their jangling is a warning that she is nearby.  

Mrs Vincent is a territorial creature, found mainly in the Intermediate area of The Gardens School. She tends to inhabit a corner of the Huia 1 classroom, in a nest of computer cords, paperwork, books, and pens that don’t work. Also, she can amass in her nest used whiteboard markers with the lids off, half-full coffee cups, half-empty coffee cups, excuse notes for sports, and empty A4 plastic sleeves.

Mrs Vincent is known to eat healthy food, such as banana sandwiches and home-made soup, but she can also hoard secret supplies of chocolate or jelly beans for random distribution to students who have achieved well.  She has been known to consume these supplies herself if there are no eligible recipients.

Mrs Vincent can usually be found teaming up with other Intermediate teachers (Intermediatus  friendlyi) to each teach groups of about 25 – 28 students (Intermidiatus  fastasticii). For Huia 1, this usually involves repetitive lessons in the correct tripod grip of a pen; the correct use of capital letters, commas – including the Oxford comma – and semicolons; the correct use of  I or me; and the etymology of interesting words. She has a loud voice that can be heard across her entire territory.  Although Mrs Vincent sounds very dangerous, she can also be a very friendly and helpful teacher.

It is important that this creature is not hunted for fashionable clothing or accessories as Huia 1 students have got used to her and are looking forward to being the recipients of further jelly beans. This creature is rather fond of them, too.

The rare and endangered Intermediatus vencenticus kayii  can be difficult to locate but is easily identifiable by her distinctive greyish faded-blonde hair when contrasted against the more youthful Intermediata .
The rare and endangered Intermediatus vencenticus kayii  can be difficult to locate but is easily identifiable by her distinctive greyish faded-blonde hair when contrasted against the more youthful Intermediata .

Monday, December 16, 2013

End of Year Trip to Totara Park

There was nothing unlucky about Friday 13th for us. 

All the Intermediates went to Totara Park for the day.  We played games, relaxed, swam in the pool, talked to our friends, played ukuleles and brought morning tea and other snacks to share with our friends. At lunchtime, Mrs Konz brought us our sausages from the school sausage sizzle.

It was a lovely, relaxing, enjoyable day. 

Having fun just leaping and jumping.

How do you get a tennis ball out of the tree?

Bridget with a water pistol - and she's not afraid to use it.

First swim of the season

So many sausages to match to names

Would you like tomato sauce with that?

Mrs Konz's last sausage sizzle at our school.

Max demonstrating his soccer skills.

While some were swimming, the magpies were checking out their bags.

Ukulele time.
Look who found us! Some of last year's Year 8s.

Hanging out with friends.
Girls versus the boys in tug of war.
Welcome back pasat pupil Juliana who helped with the tug of war. 
Teachers relaxing.

 Tara, Lili and Bree.

Our Significant Memories

 Mrs Fowler asked us to consider what was the best day at school for each of us.   It got a bit hard trying to decide between so many of them,  so we decided to write about any good day we have had at The Gardens School.

A significantly memorable  day at The Gardens School for me was:

- Mwaniki:when I scored a hat trick in soccer in a lunchtime game because it was my first hat trick

- Ramandeep: when I was in the choir that sang for the Manurewa  RSA  last year because we sang Christmas songs, and it was fun

- Vanshika: when I got an electric shock from the fence when I was doing orienteering at camp at Awhitu, because I thought Sarah B had punched me in the back
- Jamarl: when I started reading the Percy Jackson series of books because it opened a whole new world of entertainment and Greek mythology into my life

- Corbin: when I started reading more and more and more because I've never done so much reading before
- Jason - when I met Willie Apiata at camp, after doing the best project in the class about him

- Jason - when I fell in the mud and cow ....  at cross country. I was going the wrong way and slipped

- Alexander (the Great) - when I got into Greek, Roman and Egyptian mythology and history classics  this year because it is so interesting how they lived back then

- Mason: learning about the history of the world wars because I find it really easy to learn about and it's really interesting to me
- Mason: reading and doing comprehension on Holes and Private Peaceful because I improved a lot in comprehension, and I can now understand themes of stories

- Cameron W: when we did our novel studies on Private Peaceful and Holes this year, and last year doing the Castaway novel  because it helped me understand foreshadowing and parallels in stories

- Cameron W: doing  Romeo and Juliet last year because it was my first Shakespeare play

Cameron W: learning about Vincent van Gogh because I learnt that some great people can have disabilities - like he had depression

- Cameron W: getting to know the other Year 8s at camp

- Brylee: when I came fourth in cross country because it was the closest I have ever come to first

- Brylee: when I discovered my comprehension  in Private Peaceful and Holes

- Aaron: when I came first in cross country

- Joanna: doing the visual art project because it looks very creative and artistic

- Dominic:  when I  into the semi-finals for the speech competition
- Sheffy: watching Holes and Second Hand Lions because I discovered that I enjoyed coming-of-age stories

- Jupman: doing the kowhaiwhai patterns with Mrs Irwin because I enjoyed how it represented my family

- Aaron: when our soccer team came first in a tournament at the beginning of this year

Aaron: making it to Counties for athletics because I had never made it to interschool before

- Kylah: doing athletics and coming first in the relay team

- Tara: when I went on the water slide  because I'd never been on one before - but slid over and fell on my face

- Sukhdev: when our cricket team won the Counties competition because it was the first time I had participated

- Li Li: when the Year 8s went to camp because the Year 7s watched movies and did lots of activities with different teachers

- Syvannah: when we went to the swimming carnival because I had never been to one before

- Aiden: coming first in basketball

- Amber- Lee: dancing because I learnt how to do the right steps and how to cooperate with boys

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Huia 1 Choir Sings Christmas Songs for Totara Hospice

On Thursday 12th September,  fourteen Huia 1 students  (our class choir) went to the Totara Hospice across the road from school to sing Christmas songs for their volunteers' morning tea. Tara and Syvannah interviewed some of the choir members to see what they thought of the performance.
We performed for the office staff before we left for the hospice.

Huia 1's choir was getting ready for a moment that everyone was going to remember. When we got to the front desk of Totara Hospice, we found that we would have to wait for another ten minutes before we could go in and do our singing,  so while we were waiting we were humming the tunes so we could warm up our voices.

We finally got called up for our turn. We lined up in two lines and got ready to perform for the staff and all of the volunteers who were there.

While we were singing the nervousness in the room seemed to disappear. The first song, introduced by Mason, was Put a Sausage on the Barbie. It was really fun singing the song, and it looked like all the other people were having a lot of fun listening to us singing.

Kylah said that her favourite part of the whole thing was the volunteers singing along with us  because it looked like the people were having a lot of fun. She said that her favourite song was Rudolph the Red- nosed Reindeer  because it's a joyful song,  and Sheffy put on a funny nose on that flashed. She said that she liked the day because was it was a different group from last year when she did it.

I talked to Sheffy and he said that his favourite part was wearing his reindeer things when we were singing Rudolph because everyone was laughing and having a great time.  His favourite song was Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer because he got to put on a Rudolph nose and reindeer antlers. He enjoyed the day because everyone was having a great time.

Cameron's favourite part was being able to make the people in the hospice have a good laugh. I asked him why he thought that and he said that it was good to give the people in the hospice a good time. His favourite song was the medley because it had three different songs and people were singing. He liked the day because we made elderly people happy.

Brylee's favourite part was when we had finished The Hat I got for Christmas because she could see everyone smiling. This was her favourite song because when she did the hat part everyone laughed and smiled and she thought it was really special, too.  She liked it because we were singing for people who look after elderly people and that's very special to her.
Mrs Vincent: I think all our practising paid off; we were a happy and confident choir. I was pleased we were able to do rehearsal performances for Mrs Steele and the other Mrs Vincent's classses, and the office staff. I liked the way we hummed all the songs quietly while we were waiting in the admin area before we were called to go inside to perform at the hospice. I think our harmonies in Silent Night were beautiful.

Mwaniki: I like singing The Hat I got for Christmas because it was humorous and made people smile. I liked how everybody was friendly  because of their general attitude. I enjoyed singing with my Huia 1 choir group.

Sukhdev: I liked singing Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer because it was fun and  funky, and there were no high notes, and people were laughing. It was a nice a feeling to have, and it was enjoyable watching people smile.

Aiden: I enjoyed singing Jingle Bell Rock because it was joyful and bouncy. I liked how the hospice smelt, and it was nice to sing to volunteers and helpers. I enjoyed watching Mrs Vincent have a good time while singing with us. I improved by being louder. 

Lili:I loved singing the Silent Night medley because it was soft and peaceful for the people at the hospice to listen to. I liked how the audience looked happy and they were also singing with us.

Mason: I enjoyed The Hat I got for Christmas is too Big because it was really funny, and it pleased the audience.The hospice people appreciated what we were doing for them. I liked how Mrs Vincent can have fun and not be too serious.

Ramandeep: I loved Jingle Bell Rock because it was fun and enjoyable. I liked how the audience was singing along with us, and they were cheerful and occupied. It made me happy that Mrs Vincent was calm and joyful.  I  improved by the way  I was singing a lot this time.  Last time I was really quiet

"The Hat I got for Christmas is too Big"


Friday, December 13, 2013

Garden update: appearances and disappearances - the circle of life

 This is a belated post. We got a bit behind, what with busy end of year activities.

An update on the bird's nest in our garden:
- the eggs hatched
- we think the mother is a blackbird
- there were at least three eggs
- at least two of them hatched
- they grew quite quickly
- the mother bird was very busy goingf to and from the nest, delivering worms and other bugs
- the mother made many trips and always seemed nearby to keep a watch on her babies
- we were a bit concerned the night of our school garden competition, as there were many people around - and the book stall was right beside our garden - but the mother bird remained fine and well-protected by the increasing leaves of the apple tree
- then, last week, the mother and babies all disappeared - without a trace
- some people have said that the neighbouring cats were seen around - but there's no sign of attack, or dead birds
- someone could have harmed them, but there is no other damage to our garden or nest
- we are pretty sure the birds were too young to leave the nest
- it remains a mystery
This is as close as we dared to get with the camera. Can you see the baby birds in the nest?

 And then, we have had a lot of butterfly hatchings - all within a day.
Check out the amazing photos of the butterfly coming out of its chrysalis.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Kevin Biggar - our Year 8 graduation speaker

On Monday night, we had the Year 8 graduation ceremony.  Our special guest speaker was explorer an adventurer Kevin Biggar. You may know him from First Crossings tv programme. 

We found his speech very funny, inspiring, lively and enjoyable. Here are some of the ways in which Huia 1 students were inspired: 

I would love to go on a trip with him because he likes to explore around New Zealand.  If I went with him I would learn survival techniques, such as how to stay healthy when you are walking to the South Pole. I learnt that you need to follow your dreams if there is something that you really, really want to do. 

I learnt  to be determined always and to  focus on what you are doing.   Chase your dreams.   Everything will happen in the future will be because of decisions you make in the present. 

Don't let anything take energy away from the job that needs to be done. 
Mrs Vincent 

I learnt to "keep on rowing". When ever you fail at something  - try again

I learnt to set challenges.

 I learnt to never stop.  Put your mind to achieving your goal, but know your limits, and know when it's time to adjust your goal.

 He inspired me to want to go to Europe and Egypt and look at the history there. Always look on the bright side.
Alexander the Great (formerly known as Alex)

 I learnt to know your limits. If you have been persevering for too long and can't keep going, such as when they were in the South Pole and they could go half way, know when to stop and change your goal. 

I learnt that if you put your mind to something, you can do it.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Update on changes in our garden

Can you see the caterpillar skin? This is a chrysalis we found on a stalk of lavender. 

We wonder what the black marks on the chrysalis are and if they will affect the butterfly.

The paper wasp is after nectar. Look at the segments on its legs.

The other end of the paper wasp.

Another butterfly hatches.

Can you see how its wings are crumpled up to start with? It takes a while for the fluid to spread to all parts of the wings, so they are strong enough to fly.

Too many aphids!

Watch out aphids! Here comes a ladybird.

Two lady birds. Are they herding aphids?

We had to rescue this chrysalis because the caterpillar attached itself to a dead leaf - which then fell off the plant. Can you see the butterfly forming?

Jason watched the garden for a long time and took many photos. He discovered that the bees pierce the base of the flower to get the nectar. can you see this happening here?  Look for marks on the flowers where the bees have done this.

Can you see the bee piercing the flower to get the nectar?

Just because we like the look of this flower.

The next day: The butterfly is clearly visible inside the chysalis. We watched this for a long time.  The chrysalis has a visitor. We wondered why the snail would want to crawl all the way up the plant to this leaf? 

Another lady bird on the look out for aphids.

The snail moves along.

It must be very cramped in here!

Jason took a fantastic photo of a bee piercing the flower to get the nectar. Maybe the flower is too long for the bee to get the nectar any other way?

This is a fantastic photo, Jason.  You could be a nature photographer.

Can you see the hole the bee left?