Sunday, September 24, 2017

Term 3 Week 10

Last Week

Personally I found it nice to get back into some of our usual routines.

The afternoons this week were fun; on Monday we practiced tutira mai with some wooden ti rakau, Tuesday L2 had music with miss Truebridge, Wednesday afternoon we practiced our basket ball skills, Thursday was library day and Friday a whole class bingo, except those at a passion Friday option. Friday was also a good day for finishing off work and revising what it is we are counting when measuring time. On Tuesday we got to see and learn about our leaf cutter bees.

This week is the Cultural Festival.

L2 is not performing live for the show.  We have made up a short movie about kiwi kids with our VLC. You will not need to come to the show as I will post the movie on the blog. However if your child is participating in a Peaches and Pickles passion Friday activity they will have been given a permission slip to confirm that they are available and can perform. It is OK to perform in the show during the day and not the evening. Tickets are on sale 8.30am Monday in the library. Tickets are limited to 4 per family and cost $2 each.

Here is the order of items along with the holding rooms:

Group Performance Order + Holding Room
Group Performing:
Conference room
Senior Band
Year 2
Year 8 Band
Team Winter
Junior/Senior Ballet
Junior Band
Junior Choir
Into the Woods P and P
Senior Drama
Senior/Junior Jazz
Movie (Shearer)
O Block
Team Osborne
Story Telling
Senior/Junior Hip Hop
Irish Dancing
Story Telling
Senior Drama
Senior Choir
Film (P and P)
A Team
Story Telling
Closing (Franks item)

If your child is doing more than one item, they will need to be dropped off at the holding room of their first performance item and collected from the holding room of their last item at the end of the evening/day.  It would be advisable to write on their arm the order of their holding rooms. We will have teachers collecting and delivering children to the hall.

You should have received an email from Peaches and Pickles letting you know what their costume is. Tuesday is a full rehearsal, Wednesday is dress rehearsal.


Questions to ask when reading at home:
Who were the characters?
Where was the book set?
What happened/ What was the problem? / What was the solution?

Calendar Art

Your chance to order jewellery and calendars has been extended until Monday.


There is a whole school assembly this Friday. 

Wow it's hard to believe that we have almost completed our second term at school.  We have come a long way and learnt so much!!!!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Term 3 Week 9

Highlights of last week.

Maori Language Week-
Monday - Numbers
Tuesday - Introductions/ pepeha and asking peoples names
Wednesday - Maori myth Rata's waka, directed by Gordie Palmer
Thursday - The playground
Friday- Actions

Last week was a little out of the ordinary.  On Tuesday morning we had children join us from L4 & L5; years 3 and 4.  We practiced asking each other our names. We then made ti rakau and tried them out. A couple of the older children managed to choreograph their own actions to a waiata which inspired L2 to challenge themselves also with some tricky moves. 

It was great to see a few of our tuakana working with L2 during reading and maths.  In particular, a crazy sentence puzzle that the children showed little interest in during free choice previously, became popular and continued to be so the next day without the older children to scaffold its use.  

On Wednesday for book day, our VLC classrooms each took on a Dr Seuss book as a theme for activities in their class.  We had
  • Wocket in my pocket
  • Wacky Wednesday
  • Horton hears a who
  • The places we will go
  • If I ran a Zoo
  • Cat in a Hat
  • The grinch who stole christmas
I am sure you all heard about the grinch.  He was a favourite idea choice to write about on Thursday.

Friday whole school assembly saw another L2 member receiving an award. 

Next Week

This week we will be following our usual a more predictable learning routines in the mornings. On Tuesday Leigh Truebridge will be teaching in L2. Lucky L2, as we will be able to make use of her talents as a music teacher.

Friday this week will be a, bring a canned food item mufti day.  These will to go to the Salvation Army to support families in our community who are struggling financially.


Don't forget to order your calendars, key rings, notebooks, pendant or earrings with your child's art work on it.  They make great Christmas presents and will help to raise money for a new playground at school.

There will be two performances of our Cultural Arts Festival 28th September, 1pm and 6.30 pm.  Team Shearer are creating a short film with a kiwi kids theme, so L2 will not need to come in, in the evening during the show unless they are in a peaches and pickles item.  I will upload our film (if it can be done) onto the blog after the festival so that you can view it.

The America's Cup trophy will be on display at the Gulf Harbour Yacht club Friday 22 September 3.30 to 5.30pm. The yacht club is very pleased to welcome anyone who wishes to visit. A gold coin donation would be much appreciated to assist in fundraising for engine repairs to the clubs safety patrol boat.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Term 3 Week 8

Last Week

The Motat trip was a great success, thanks to our 5 parents who helped out. There was enough happening to keep us busy the whole time. After orientation we had 20 mins to follow the parent trail which was barely enough time for all we could explore.

Our tram ride was interesting not just for the ride but in the way it was powered and the way it turned around.

We then had a teacher led session in a room where we were introduced to everyday items in the home from 100 years ago. We had the opportunity to dress up and try these items out.

After lunch we explored the sunlight room which was very dark but had lots of interactive ways to explore concepts of the sun, photons, speed of light and energy.

Afterwards we explored the historical village, noting how small and lacking the house were of today's mod cons they were.

Just enough time for the playground.

This Week

Busy week ahead.

Maori Language Week

Each week we have a word of the week. This week in support of Maori Language week it will be:
Kia ora - Hi (informal hello/greeting) Kia ora - thank you Kia ora - here! Here! I agree

Each day we will be focusing on a different parts of the language. On Tuesday we will be joined by 10 children from our VLC. Together we will be learning how to mihi. I am hoping to make ti rakau out of newspaper/magazine and learning a waiata to play a game with them. Could you please send in any newspaper or magazines you have at home that would be appropriate to roll up to make the ti rakau.

Wednesday - Book day

The children in our VLC (Shearer) will rotate around our classes with different themes from Dr Seuss books. L2 will be Wacky Wednesday.
Friday - Whole School Assembly
This week assembly will by hosted by team Shearer.


School Start Time

School starts at 8.55am. The classroom is open from 8.30am. It is important that your child arrives at school to get themselves ready to start their school day before the bell goes. Children arriving after the bell are distracting to the children who have already begun their day.


We have had a case of head lice in L2. Please check your child's hair so that we can stop the cycle. An easy way to check is to run a nit comb through their hair. You will be able to see any eggs or live lice on the comb.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Term 3 Week 7

Highlights of Last Week

Last week we talked about the ways that people have been kind to us and how we can be kind to others.  We also watched some utube clips and listened to the book "Have you filled a bucket today?"
Hence our passion activity with L1 on Friday was to make a bucket full of popcorn to share with someone else.  We also wrote some kind messages, watched a short funny movie, ate popcorn and did some dancing and singing.  

A whole school assembly last week saw another L2 member receiving an ORCA award. Well done!

L2 really enjoyed our impromptu soccer session on Tuesday.  It takes a lot of coordination to get a soccer ball accurately to a receiver or to dribble a ball around an obstacle and get it back to your team member. There was lots of laughter and cheering as the two teams finished a relay race neck and neck.   

This Week


We are ready for our trip to Motat this Tuesday.  As a class we have discussed what we might see there and our main objective towards our inquiry of social movement. There was a lot of interest in the jail house, the train and the tram. Our ratio's will be 4 children to one parent. All our class's groups will follow the same order of events on the time table.

Please make sure you:

  • arrive at school before 8.45am so that we have enough time to organise ourselves before the bus leaves at 9.10am.
  • your child is wearing correct school uniform.
  • they have a drink bottle and a healthy lunch.
  • a change of pants in a plastic bag.
  • check their school bag, pack it together with only the things they need. Everything needs to fit inside their school bag and be able to be zipped up easily. They will need to carry and look after their belongings themselves. (no book bags for Tuesday).
There is also an exhibition on at the Maritime Museum that you may like to take your children to, supporting our social movement enquiry. It is free for Auckland residents.

Clues for reading with your child:

Watch out for the Anton books in your child's book bag again. I will be to sending some home with activities that would be beneficial for individual children. It may be in the form of a game or something that they could practice if they wish. If I do send them home please make sure they come back the next day.  If you have sight words at home that you are no longer using, can you please send them back complete with their plastic bag.

Upcoming Events

As we have gained more class members since our class photo was taken last term we will be having another sitting for a class photo on 11th September.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Term 3 Week 6

I apologise for the late posting.  I had a few technical issues.

Last Week

It was great to catchup with some of the parents last week. If you have any questions you are always welcome to see me casually before or after school if I don't have an appointment or meeting, or make an appointment if you wish to discuss something privately. If you are unable to come in you can always email me on

Our first speed writing session was a great success. This is where the children have a couple of minutes to think about and share what they could write about. It is a topic of choice and from the heart. They then write about their idea for 10mins. No constraints around spelling or punctuation. Just writing. It really boosted their confidence and many were keen to share with the class what they had written.

What a wonderful active class we have! Everyone who was at school participated in the cross country. We did so well preparing for the exciting moment and walking safely over the road together. However we lost a school uniform in our cloak room. Although instructed to put all their uniform items back into their bag, the cloak room was left in a mess with items all over the place. Not all the uniforms were named. Some of the items I was able to match to a child and ask them to put them into their bags, others were not so successful. All remaining loose items were put in our cupboard. It now appears that one of our children has lost his whole uniform. Please check your child's uniform to make sure that it belongs to them. If you are missing items, please check the cupboard.

Our joint activity with L2 on Friday was to make bird hats to use in our cultural festival movie. We have chosen the bush as the topic of our 30 second snippet about what is special in NZ.

This Week

We will be starting a new activity to practice our listening skills and our ability to follow instructions.
Inquiry we will be preparing ourselves for what we might see at Motat and comparing houses in the past to the present and what we would like in our own homes. Please make sure you have paid your activity fee and returned your permission slip.
Maths we have most still working on counting forward and backward, recording numbers and patterns to 5. We are trying to beat our best time for counting on to 20 of 14 seconds. Our counting back from 20 results vary greatly each day.

Friday is Random Act of Kindness Day.

In General

It is a good idea to put a spare set of clothes in a plastic bag in your child's school bag. This way your child is prepared for any accidents, mud or otherwise.

Don't forget our community meeting this Wednesday at 1.45pm and 7pm.

There are some good reading tips and maths resources in our school newsletter.

Quiz night fundraiser this Saturday 2 September. It's not too late to book a table.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Term 3 Week 5

Last Week

Lots of exciting challenges and ways to look at maths concepts last week.  Daily estimation challenges were:
  • How many pom poms in a bag?
  • How many bottle tops to cover the area of the toy garage top floor?

  • How many sponge white board rubbers is the length of the kneeling table?
  • How old is Mrs Biddle? (Due to many thinking that they were older than a 100year old Tuatara due to being bigger).  This also prompted me to spend one morning working on concepts of time and how we measure it.  When asked what are we counting many said numbers.  But what do the numbers represent? When mentioning time we tend to think of clocks. But we measure time in many different ways; days, months, hours, minutes, years.  Hence we will be doing some more work on time.
  • How many teddies does this piece of play dough weigh?

The daily maths questions from the web site prompted quite a bit of discussion and were interesting in the way that some questions really needed some critical thought, as with the estimation challenges.

A minion was spotted at school last week.

On Friday we joined up with L1 and made wharenuis. (Not bird houses). See if your child can remember which part is the maihi and which is the amo. Some have included a tekoteko.

A whole school assembly saw another L2 member receiving an ORCA award.

Next Week

On Tuesday, school will finish at 12.30pm for catchup interviews.  This is an opportunity for you to book with your child, a 12 minute interview with me to ask any questions about your child's progress or clarification of their mid year report. You can book these on the school interviews web site through the link on the school newsletter.


What are sight words and why do we learn them?

Sight words are the words most commonly used for reading and writing.  A lot of them can't be sounded out like 'the'.  Being able to recall them quickly helps a reader to read more fluently.  If they spend a lot of time trying to decipher a text they may not remember what they just read and what it was about. Reading then becomes laborious and uninteresting. The colour of your sight words does not necessarily determine your reading level ability. It is the level of books that include these sight words.

Some suggestion for learning sight words at home are:
  • Make up cards with them (written on cut up cereal boxes) and place them around the room to be read when ever passing, or you can ask "Can you find me ...?".
  • Include a new one several times in a pile of known ones.
  • Ask can you show me .... when listening to their reading or when reading to them. 
  • Writing them down. Asking what letters make up the sight word. How many letters?
Memorised sight words can easily be forgotten if not used regularly.

In brief this is what your child is learning about at the different levels:

Look at the pictures first.

Magenta levels 1-2

1 - Looking at the words as they read- matching one to one - left to right - can recognise the difference between a word and a letter.
2 - Can track - left to right and next line.  Can identify some sight words within the text when asked.

Red levels 3-5

  • Recognise and use sight words
  • Notice when they have read something that doesn't make sense  
  • Self correct and re-read
  • Be-able to retell the story in sequence and include some details 
  • Recognise the words in compound words.

Yellow 6 - 8

  • Read with their eyes- use a finger if stuck
  • Use blends, word families, use predictions, checks - looks and sounds right to self correct
  • Use language like fiction/ non fiction etc
  • Re-read with fluency and expression
  • Read for meaning
  • Retell the story with greater detail, ask and answer questions about the story.
For more details check the reading rockets on our wall.

Remember: Reading is fun, but when you are learning it can be hard work!!!

School Cross Country -year 1 & 2

Thursday 24th August 1pm - Edith Hopper Park.
Children will need a set of clothes to run in, and a towel as there will be some exciting obstacles that will get them wet and possibly muddy.

Motat Trip

You should have received a letter regarding our Motat trip on 5 September.  Don't forget to pay your activity fee for the trip and fill out the form if you are able to join us as a parent helper. We need 6 helpers for each class.  This trip is in relation to our inquiry towards social movement.  

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Term 3 Week 4

Lots of maths challenges and games this week. We will have a daily estimate challenge. At least 2 children who estimate the correct answer or are the closest will be entered into a draw at the end of the week for a prize.

Last Week

L2 really enjoyed being the audience for the year 2 show; There's a sunflower in my supper.  It was very entertaining.  The teachers and children did a wonderful job and it was great to see all year 2 children had the opportunity to participate and shine.

Friday was a little crazy again with all the bells and a delay in the lunch orders, but we survived and no-one missed out.  We trialled getting together with L1 for a shared activity (making kites) to help build friendships.  It went really well, so we have decided that we will do arts and crafts together each Friday from 10am until morning tea. 

On Thursday Ms Steidinger set up a STEAM CHALLENGE (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) at lunchtime.  Challenge 1- Build the tallest tower using marshmallows and spaghetti, which a few of our L2 children took up.

This Week

Maths, maths and more maths.  Each morning we will start with a daily estimate challenge and complete the tasks on the maths week web site. We will also be playings games and doing maths activities centred around what the children are currently learning. 
I hope you have manage to fill out our short survey to gather data on where and why people move to different homes. We will use this information together with the books we have read to list all the reasons people move home in modern times and see where this takes us.

Craft with L1 on Friday will be making model wharenui's, so could you please bring in any cardboard boxes.

Year 1 & 2 school cross country will be at 1pm 24 August.

Term 3 Week 10 Last Week Personally I found it nice to get back into some of our usual routines. The afternoons this week were fun;...