Friday, 13 September 2019

We have been practising making compound sentences using either a comma, or a conjunction to join the two ideas together. We wrote about a mystical, mythical, made up creature, and planned what ideas we wanted to join together into one sentence.

We also practised organising our ideas into a logical sequence, and arranging these into different paragraphs.

Here's one example.

Samcu’s belong to the lizard family. They have prickly, scaly skin and toxic, oozing sores. The sores dribble out a poisonous fungus that they rub onto the bark of the Quinzal tree.

Their habitat is the hottest place on earth. They crawl around in the sands of the Sahara desert. 50 degrees heat is when they move around unprotected from the midday sun.

They eat scorpions. The scorpion sting has no effect on them. A samcu will cover themselves in sand and wait. They breathe through a snorkel that they raise up from their burrow to breathe. When they feel the vibration of a scorpion on the sand above, they spring out and attack it from behind. Their sharp, pincer teeth squeeze the scorpion around the throat until it can breathe no more.

Samcus protect themselves with their oozing, pussy venom. The smell is so vile, all other creatures will move away, leaving the samcu to live in peace.

Samcus lay a thousand eggs on top of the Saharan sand. The eggs bake hard and crusty in the baking heat. Swallows fly down and devour the eggs. When they defecate, the eggs are dropped in the poo. The liquid in the poo dissolves the egg shell and gives the baby samcu enough nutrients for them to begin to grow. Only a handful of the thousands of eggs will ever make it to adulthood.

Samcu’s would survive a nuclear war. Like cockroaches, samcu’s would rule the world as the only survivors. Let’s hope that never happens.

We also used some online drawing programmes to draw our creature.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Tread Lightly Caravan

We recently had a visit from the Tread Lightly Caravan. We focussed on ideas we can implement to make a difference in our environment. 

Each decision we make in our lives each day, has some impact or effect on our environment. We saw how much effect these decisions have. We would need 3 or 4 more earths to support our population if everyone lived the same lifestyle as us. That's scary!

We were shown how the rubbish we drop and leave on the ground eventually ends up in our oceans. Outside drains should only drain rain. Oils and chemicals, and litter and rubbish, can all wash down our drains and end up in our waterways.

We all made pledges, where we promised to try and do something that would help us make a difference for our environment. They are small, manageable promises that can make a change.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Virtual Reality (VR)

We were lucky to have a session using Virtual Reality (VR) glasses run by the Sir Peter Blake Foundation.

In the VR session, we explore New Zealand's underwater world. The fish were spectacular, lots of shapes and colours. Most of the video footage came from some of our marine reserves, like Goat Island and  the Poor Knights Islands. Here, the fish are abundant because of the banning on fishing and collecting.

We also saw the sad sight of the polluted wasteland under the Leigh wharf just north of Auckland. There was ugly rubbish dumped here. There were no fish and hardly any plant life.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Rule of Three

We have been using the rule of three in our writing. The rule of three is when we add three examples that show what we are talking about. This adds important detail to our writing. It helps paint a picture in the reader's mind.

Do these follow the rule of three?

  • Give three examples to show the reader what you are talking about
  • Paint a picture in the reader's mind

1. The waves crashed on the shore, seagulls circling overhead, hats blown off heads, and sand stinging eyes.

Image result for rough waves

2. My sister excitedly prepared for the party, changing her dress three times, curling her hair, and putting on makeup from Mum's drawer.

Image result for girl preparing for party

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Showing Our Multiplication Strategies

We are using Screencasify to try and show which strategy we are using to solve a multiplication problem. 

Screencastify is a cool extension that records what is happening on the screen and what we say. You can find out more about Screencastify here...

I am demonstrating how to use the Tidy Number strategy. I forgot to stop my recording in time, and it goes on a bit too long after I have finished talking. Oops, sorry.  😞

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

March 15

March 15 2019 will forever be remembered as a dark day in New Zealand's history. Fifty people murdered in Christchurch by a terrorist as they prayed to their God is a tragedy we struggle to comprehend. 

Why people can't accept each other's differences is bewildering. This is something we try and teach our Tamariki every day at school. We try and accept and celebrate our differences. We acknowledge that it is good to be different. We don't want everyone to think and act the same. 

Our school values at Papatoetoe West School are that we value ourselves, we value others, and we value our environment. Hopefully, that means that we can accept each other's differences and live together in harmony.

We made cards and shared messages of love and support. We left them on the fence of the Masjid Manurewa Mosque in Maich Rd in Manurewa.

We all wore brightly coloured mufti on Friday and donated some money. Our school raised over $1000 for the Christchurch appeal.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Donating Blood

I have just completed my 100th blood donation. I donate blood once a fortnight. 

A nurse puts a needle into a vein in my arm. The needle is attached to a machine. The machine removes some of my blood. It then separates all the plasma and platelets and collects them in a bag. The rest of my blood is returned to my body.

It takes about an hour. I get served with coffee and biscuits or crackers and cheese.

The whole process is painless.

I made my donation last Thursday. The day before the terrible terror attack in Christchurch where 50 people died, and 50 other people were seriously injured. That event reminded me of how important it is that people choose to donate blood. Many people need these blood products to stay alive.

Thursday, 7 March 2019


Being able to work together is a key goal in most classrooms in this day and age. Collaboration with others is essential for our learning and our mental and emotional health. By nature, we are social creatures. Good collaboration skills are vital in our modern workforce.

In Room 14, we look for opportunities to solve a problem together in a team. We also try and work together to complete a task. A lot of the time, the groups are organised by a random group generator. That way, we get used to working with different people, not always our closest friends. We  mix our groups up... gender, abilities, year level, interests, and skills.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Keeping Ourselves Safe

Keeping Ourselves Safe

WE are doing the NZ Police unit, Keeping Ourselves Safe

This unit helps us all identify, avoid, and report physical, emotional, sexual, and online abuse and neglect. This abuse can happen anywhere. This abuse might come from all sorts of people in our lives.

We have been learning about the importance of being confident.

We talked about a situation where you go to a mall and some bigger kids from your school start hassling you near the toilets. How can you keep yourself safe?
We decided...

  • We could make a loud noise, and call out.
  • Make up an untruth and say, "I'm waiting for my Dad who's in the toilets. He'll be out in a minute."
  • Make contact with a member of the public and follow them out.
  • Be confident, and say, "Leave me alone."

Friday, 16 November 2018

The Run on A Seven Part Thriller

That awesome website, recently had a seven part thriller, The Run,  that we followed. 

A plague had infected the world, turning humans into zombies. Our heros, Dennis and Mac, are searching the world trying to find survivors. They have to avoid swarms of zombies in their search.

They pick up two kids, Anna and Jeremiah. Anna has been attacked by the zombies, and she is caught in a between world, half human and half zombie.

If your teacher hasn't discovered Readworks, ask them to set your class up on The Run.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Writing - Point Of View

Through Animal Eyes

We have been working on writing from a point of view. 
We wrote as if we were an animal. 
All animals would have a different point of view in any given 
situation. The tiger stalking and sneaking up in it's prey has 
a different point of view to the deer, who is cautious 
and on guard at all times.

We wanted the reader to feel what the animal is feeling. 
We wanted to carefully set the scene.
We wanted to share what the animal was sensing.
We wanted to provide a purpose to what the animal is doing.
We wanted to use strong, specific adjectives to highlight the types of action.
We wanted to write in present tense. The action is happening now.

The Eagle

Wind ruffles my feathers, as I scan the dusty, dry horizon. Rising warm air currents make circling the skies easy. My stomach growls, begging for food. I haven’t seen anything larger than a mouse in days.

Vultures up ahead have it easy. Animals are dropping in this oppressive heat like flies, exhausted, and hungry for food. Vultures always have it easy; never having to kill their next meal, always having it handed to them, like on a plate.

A scurry in the dust to the right. I turn for a better view, cocking my head to one side, focusing my keen eye on any movement. I fluff my tail feathers out, slowing my progress. I sweep around for another look.

There! A long way from shelter, heading for the dried river bed. A hare, limping, dragging a hind leg.

I pull my wings in closer to my body. My smooth, sweeping  glide turns into an accelerated nose dive. At the last split second I thrust my talons out, ripping and tearing at the flesh of my victim, my next meal.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Community Pantry

We have a new brightly coloured stand on our fence line. It is a community food pantry, The concept is, that anyone from our community can donate food for others who need it. People are donating extra cans or packets of food that they purchased from the supermarket. Other people are donating fruit and vegetables that they have grown in their garden.

Every year, millions of dollars worth of food is wasted and thrown out because some people have too much food, and they can't eat it all.
This is a great concept. Any surplus food can be donated. There is always someone else who needs it more than you.

Thank you Lawton (2 cans of spaghetti) and Erin (a head of broccoli) for being one of the first to donate...