Thursday, April 10, 2014

Term 1, Week 10, Thursday 10th April

Correct Usage: Your / You're
This is easy. Just remember to use this check every time you need to use this word.
Your = belonging to you
 You're = you are

Sunday, April 6, 2014

2014, Week 9, 3rd April

The south of the North Island is south of the north  of the South Island.

Think about it ....

(We discussed when to use capital letters for directions and locations, thanks to a question from Hannah.) 
Use a capital letter when the north, south, east or west are part of the actual place name. 
Use a lower case letter if you are describing the direction taken, or comparing different locations.  
- Manurewa East is south of the North Shore.
- South Auckland in north of Palmerston North.
- We travelled west to reach the West Coast.
- Wanganui is on the west coast of the North Island.
- We visited many countries in South East Asia on our journey north to Europe.

 We looked at some errors that had turned up in  our previous weeks' blog writing and worked out what should have been written instead:
- Kinda meaning 'kind of' should only ever be used in direct speech.
"I'm kinda interested in going to  the movies," said Caitlin.
- Otherwise, 'kind of' should always be used.
- Caitlin said that she was kind of interested in going to the movies.
- similarly, NEVER ever write: should of. It is ALWAYS
 should have, could have, would have, must have

Correct Usage:  whose / who's
- Who's is only ever used as a contraction of who is or who has.
If who is or who has makes sense  when you say is aloud - then use who's.
- Whose  is the possessive form of who.
Check out some examples of whose / who's here - and take a short quiz test to check how well you understand the difference between these two words.

Grammar - more work on subjects and predicates
We looked at simple subjects and predicates  and identified them in this worksheet. 
We looked at how, in some sentences, the predicate could come before the subject - just to make the sentence sound more interesting and to add some variety in sentence beginnings.  It is also a way of making our writing sound more poetic. 

Language Features: onomatopoeia
We looked at some of the previous weeks' videos about onomatopoeia, and talked about ways onomatopoeia could be used to make sentences sound more interesting:
- The shells scrunched under her feet as she walked along the beach instead of The shells made a scrunching sound  as  she ....
- The shells crackled under her feet as she walked along the beach.

Tongue Twister: Fresh flatfish flesh - Try saying that quickly three times without stumbling!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

2014, Term 1, Week 8

Today's lesson started with updating our individual blogs on  Each week we write an individual blog diary entry. Some of the class are helping others to get set up and started.  Today we had class members coming and going to Linguists Club and to get packs for the Sunrise Walk for the Hospice on Sunday, plus messages over the intercom, visitors,  and Mrs Vincent's computer froze three times - so we didn't get as much finished as we had planned. 
Mrs Vincent's favourite picture for this week.

This week's tongue twister: sixty-six silky short-sleeved shirts. There were four winners who shared a chocolate prize.

Further to our work on onomatapoeia last week, here's a few more video clips to help understand what is is and how it can be used:

Here's the sound effects alphabet in which a guy does the entire alphabet in sound effects.

Here's an entire story told in pictures and onomatopoeia. 

We discussed some onomatopoeia words which could relate to sport:
Mrs Vincent's second favourite picture of the week.
Our Speed-Skills lessons today were: 

Correct Usage - there's and theirs (1 minute 50 seconds)
There's  =  there is or there has
- There's been a lot of interruptions today. (There has been a lot of interruptions today.) 
- There's a fly in my drink. (There is a fly in my drink.) 
Theirs  = belonging to them 
- The books are theirs. (The books belong to them.) 

To check which word is correct, see if you can replace it with 'there is' or 'does something belong to them'. 

Grammar - subject and predicate Part 1   (2 minutes)
Every sentence has two main parts - a subject and a predicate. 
The complete subject includes all the words that tell what the sentence is about ; it is always includes a noun or a pronoun.
The complete predicate includes all the words that tell what the subject does. 
Example: Most children enjoy sport.

Punctuation - capital letters for proper nouns (30 seconds) 
Always use a capital for God  and any pronouns relating to God - He, His, Him 
Use lower case g when referring to any unspecified god or goddess, such as:  Greek gods, the god of thunder, the goddess Athena.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Term 1, Week 7, 20th March 2014

Today we covered: 

 Correct usage:  We learnt when to use did and done
- the short rule is: Never, ever use I done when you should be saying or writing  I did.
- You can say I have done, I've done, I had done, I'd done, it was done,  and so on

Grammar: We continued to look at simple sentences and identified the subjects and the verbs, and then we had a go at punctuating simple sentences - with full stops rather than commas if the sentences looked too short ...  

Onomatopoeia Chart

Figurative Language: We looked at some examples of onomatopoeiaSee below for some links to help you learn more about onomatopoeia.

Here's a way to reeally annoy your friends and family - and your teacher - by  learning and practising  onomatopoeiac words.

Here's a silly song about onomatopoeia.

And of course, no examples of onomatopoeia could be complete without Batman!

And who would have thought that animals sound so different in other languages.

And here's some onomatopoeia you may recognise from songs.

Tongue Twister:  Today our tongue twister was Unique New York and Eli won the competition - and a chocolate bar. 

Punctuation:  We revised capital letters for months of the year, days of the week and the titles of  festivals and holidays, such as Christmas Day, Easter, Diwali, Anzac Day, and Auckland Anniversary DayBUT  the names of seasons do not have capital letters - even though we tend to see them use capitals incorrectly so often that it almost has become a new rule.  So:

- In summer we have to wear hats at school. 
- In winter we have the heaters going in the classrooms. 
- Even though it's autumn, it is still quite hot during the day. 
- Daffodils bloom in spring

But, of course, if the season is included in a title, then it would have a capital letter. 
Incidentally, we learnt that New Year's Day and New Year's Eve - and even just plain New Year's needs an apostrophe. (Because it's not a plural, it's the day - or eve - of the new year.
Mrs Vincent's Favourite Picture This Week

Monday, March 17, 2014

Term 1, Week 6

 Here's what we covered in English Skills last Thursday: 

1. Things to learn from errors in our own writing
(a) Only use "gonna" in direct speech, when using the exact words of the person speaking.
"I'm gonna go home now," said Jessica. But, Jessica said that was going to go home now."

(b) When writing  a story using an iPad or the computer,  it is usually always correct to have the writing lined up against the left hand side margin  - as in this page.

2.  Correct Usage: The difference between allowed and aloud
(a) I am allowed to go to camp this year. (My parents will allow me to go.)Most of the time, this is the word we would be wanting to use in our writing.
(b) He worked out his maths strategy aloud so the teacher knew he understood how he got the answer. (If the meaning has anything to do with noise or being heard, then aloud is the word to use.)

3. Grammar:Simple Sentences 
A simple sentence can also be called an independent clause
It contains a subject and a verb, and it expresses a complete thought. A simple sentence can contain more than one subject (compound subject) or more than one verb (compound verb)
In the following simple sentences, subjects are in yellow, and verbs are in green.
(a)  Some children walk  to school in the morning.
(b)  John and Andy play football after school.
(c)  Jessica  went to the shop and bought some bread.
These are all simple sentences. Sentence (b)has a compound subject, and sentence (c) has a compound verb. 

4. Figurative LanguageAlliteration 
We are still looking at ways alliteration can be used in poems, songs, writing, and film.

Here's a link to a video clip from The Masked Man, giving a very vivid version of alliteration using the letter V.

Here's some examples of alliteration in  songs.

5. Oral Language: Tongue Twisters
Today  our  tongue twister was: Dust is a disc's worst enemy.

6.  Punctuation: Capital Letters 

Capital Letters are also used for the titles of plays and musicals, paintings, tv programmes and movies and computer games
(a) A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare, Wicked, Mama Mia
(b) Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh
(c) Star Trek, Top Gear, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Despicable Me
(d) Minecraft, Angry Birds Rio Game Ultimate Edition

7. Writing:  This didn't get finished because we had a fire drill. 
Mrs Vincent's favourite picture for this week. 

And we listened to the music of Johann Strauss II -  and a German ballet version of the Tritsch Tratsch Polka. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Term 1, Week 5, 6 March 2014

Today Olivia, Hannah and Kate are away playing cricket.

Last Saturday was the first of March, which is the official first day of autumn. It's still hot in the day, but it's getting cold in the mornings and at night. "The sun is lower in the morning", said Nathan, "and it is in my eyes when I ride my bike to school." (Mrs Vincent added, "Try driving  a car with the sun in your eyes!" )

Last Friday was ice block day. We could order ice blocks and Magnums from in front of Huia 2. Magnums were $3, Calippos  and chocolate Paddle Pops were $2.00,  and lemonade ice blocs were $1.00. The queue went to the end of Poutama. "It would have been much shorter if people realised there were two lines," said Corey.

We are starting to get ready to prepare for our science fair which will be later in the year.  We are also creating a can crusher to reduce the amount of space waste takes up. We are working on establishing our own blogs, and we have been learning about digital citizenship which means knowing about cyber  safety. In reading, we have been learning to scan to locate key words to help us answer questions and understand what we are reading. We did a test on instructional writing to make the best  ice cream sundae in the world.  We had to instructions  on how to do this, but we haven't made the ice cream sundae yet.

For homework we have a project called Ten Days to Make a Difference. We have to choose a local situation and we have to write a plan to work out how we can make a difference to this situation. Some of the things we are going to make a difference with are:
- pollution (Nathan by picking up rubbish around Manurewa)
- global warming (Matthew and Redhriane by using eco-friendly light bulbs and by not using as much electricity)
- saving power (Sean by turning off all the appliances in his house that aren't being used)
- recycling (Corey and Ronan by recycling paper, plastics and clothing  not used at home)
- hole in the ozone (Adam by not using cans like Lynx)

Today we  watched a video of an orchestra play Flight of the Bumble Bee by Rimsky Korsakov, a Russian composer (1844 - 1908). We also saw a few comedy versions of it and did a quiz on the new information we learnt.

Who wrote Flight of the Bumblebee?
What was his nationality?
What changed the prince into a bumble bee?
Why was the prince changed into a bumblebee?

In English skills we learnt when to use I and me.
 I  is used when it is the subject of a verb.

David and I went to school.  (verb - went)
Ronan and I shared our lunch. (verb - shared) 
I'm sorry that Breanna  and I left your computer on the bus.  (verb - left) 
We tried to find the way, but Jessica and I took the wrong path. (verb - took)
When in doubt, leave out the other person, and hear what it sounds like:
(David and) I went to school.
(Ronan and) I shared ...
(Breanna and) I left ...
(Jessica and I) took ...
Me is the object of a sentence 
Me, us, you, him, her, and they are all objects of sentences. 
They are used when they are object of a verb or preposition.

Aaron and Jonothan chased Caleb and me around the yard. (verb - chased)
The teacher thanked Alisha and me for tidying her desk. (verb - thanked)
John went to school with Jerry and me. (preposition - with)
Jerry shared his his lunch with John and me. (preposition - with)
Andrew lent his computer to Emma and me. (preposition - to)
Sally gave directions to Susan and me. (preposition - to) 
When in doubt, leave out the other person, and hear what it sounds like:
Aaron and Jonothan chased (Caleb and) me...
The teacher thanked (Alisha and) me ...
John went to school with (Jerry and) me.
Jerry shared his his lunch with (John and) me.
Andrew  lent his computer to (Emma and) me. 
Sally gave directions to (Susan and) me.
 Mrs Vincent's favourite quote of the week:
Unsure of origin of this.

Our tongue twister today was: Irish wrist watches and was won by Ebony again. 

We also learnt that some words can be proper nouns when used as a title, but common nouns when used in other contexts, such as:

 - Later this year Prince William will visit New Zealand.  

- The magic swan turned the exiled prince into a bumble bee so he could fly over his country to  see what was  happening. (The story behind Flight of the Bumblebee). 

- The first English person to visit New Zealand was Captain Cook. 

- The house captains were announced at assembly last week.

- Some Maori chiefs did not think they needed a governor from England to make laws for them. 

- Robert Fitzroy was the second governor of New Zealand after Governor William Hobson. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Week 4, 27th February

Today we learnt:

- the difference between it's and its 

It's Thursday today and we have Mrs Vincent. (Flynn) 
Its tail fell off. It is a cat. (Adam) 
It's actually quite hard thinking of sentences to use  the word its. (Mrs Vincent)

- proper nouns include people's names - including their initials and titles, and the names of countries, cities and place names - including specific geographical features.  

JK Rowling
Harry Potter
Justin Bieber 
Sir Edmund Hillary
Mr Fowler 
Miss A Murphy 
Mrs HK Vincent

Sweden, Spain, Syria, South Africa, Stewart Island
Manurewa, Manukau, Mount Maunganui,  Milford Sound

We also learnt that some words don't need a capital unless they are part of a place name, for example:

I live near a river. I live near the Waikato River. 
We went to the beach for a holiday. We went to Cook's Beach for a holiday.
The sea was very rough in the storm. The Tasman Sea was very rough in the storm. 
They sailed across the ocean. They sailed across the Pacific Ocean

We  practised enunciation and speaking clearly, and had a tongue twister competition saying:
She sells sea shells by the sea shore. 

The winners were Ebony and Thomas, and their prize was one jelly bean each. 

We talked about alliteration and made up some examples of alliteration we could use to describe features of our school: 

- creamy crocodile cake  (from last week)
- Hannah handed Sam her handy hammer in hard materials. 
- graceful green grass 
- hungry Huia 1 
- screechy, singing cicadas 
- clicking computer keyboards 
- clouds skim  and skid across the sky
- creepy crawly cockroaches
- scorching Sahara Desert (from Sean's story)

General News: 

We have house captains for the year.  From this class we have  Nathan, house captain of Tawa, and Thomas is vice-captain of Kowhai.  Flynn is vice-captain of Tawa.

We have had Kia o rahi trials, but we don;t know who has been selected yet. Kia o rahi is a big game of other games put together, such as netball, soccer, rugby, touch and basketball. 

Ice block day is tomorrow. We buy ice creams and ice blocs from the GST (Gardens Support Team). 

Water polo has started again. Nathan, Adam, David  and Olivia from Huia 1 are in the team. We have played one game, and we won against Strathallan. 

Rugby 7s have started, but the team is still being selected. 

Yesterday we had parent teacher interviews. 

We have new classrooms opening this week, so there will be a lot of changes happening.

We have new librarians; Ebony, Redhriane and Diya are librarians from Huia 1. 

Mrs Vincent's favourite quote of the week so far.  
(Observe the correct use of  it's  and the semicolon, too. )

Here is the link to  Mrs Vincent's Music Classes blog, where you can follow some of the music we also  get time to do on a Thursday afternoon as well.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Huia 1, 2014: Our First Thursday of the Year

Welcome back to the first blog for Huia,  2014.

Huia 1 is now Miss Murphy's classroom, but Mrs Vincent looks after us every Thursday afternoon while we work on our own writing skills writing our own blogs. We are working on developing and improving our writing skills, and part of this includes group writing a blog for Huia 1 each week. Well, that's the plan.

This year,  there have been quite a few changes at The Gardens School and in the Intermediates.

Last year's Year 6s are now Year 7s and last year's Year 7s are now Year 8s.  It feels good being a Year 8  because it's my last year and next year I move on to high school and it's one step closer to being an adult. (Adam)

I like doing Phat Friday* because there are subjects we haven't done before, such as Spanish, orchestra, guitar, jump jam, photography, physiology, building barbecue tables, cooking, kapa haka, Samoan,  planning for special events, and ukulele lessons. (Olivia)

I am finding the work harder and longer, especially the writing and handwriting. (Flynn) 

I am liking school a lot this year because the work is challenging, especially the maths because I am working faster. (Matthew)

I am enjoying all the new people in Year 7 because they are all so nice to me. (Sean)

We have Mr Fowler, Mrs Murray and Mrs Vincent in our class on Thursdays, and we are enjoying this because we have a variety  of teachers' opinions and personalities. (Flynn)

I have learnt how how to take apart a  weed-eater mower with Mr Fowler. I know you have to take the carburetor out first. (Nathan)

The field has changed because some of the old relocatable classrooms have been replaced by new ones, and there are  also new toilets with the new classrooms. But there's not as much space to play on the fields now; however, there is more space behind the classrooms than you would think. (Corey)

The Year 7s have more sports than they had last year. (Flynn)

I like learning science and Spanish because  it's a new opportunity. ( Olivia)

So far this year, I have met new people in my class,  and I really enjoy Huia 1 because of all the people and teachers in my class and how colourful and inviting it is. (Hannah)

I learnt we have to be careful how hard NOT to kick a soccer ball when there are people around - but it wasn't me that kicked it. (Adam)

On Thursday afternoons with Mrs Vincent,  we write a personal blog each, and we write a shared class blog. This is our first Thursday.

*phat means fantastic