Monday, 17 October 2016

Kirsty's writing with Popplet and Clicker

Kirsty used to brainstorm ideas in her book, but last term she has been using Popplet to organise and plan her ideas for writing.  After her ideas are ready, she sometimes likes writing them in her book or using Clicker to write her full ideas with joining words.  As you can see Kirsty is getting more confident using it and is adding more ideas.

William's The BFG Slowchat ideas

William has been thinking about the BFG as he reads.  He has also picked his favourite part of the first few chapters to share with you.  This week we are investigating the interesting vocabulary the BFG uses and trying to use clues to interpret it!  What are some of your favourite BFG words?

James' Slowchat BFG ideas

The Year 4's are taking part in the Global Readaloud this term.  They are reading The BFG, and joining in the #bfgslowchat on twitter.  We're also sharing ideas with some other schools in Canada, Australia and the USA.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Lets hear it for the FANBOYS

Ruma Waru Seniors have been developing a clearer understanding of the purpose and use of different types of words.  Recently we looked at FANBOYS again and have made our own visuals to help us remember them and their specific job.
Here's Stevens FANBOYS using Google draw to create his characters.
Do you think these would help you remember?

 We've added the link here so you can see the full size work and leave a comment.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Kirsty's Orca

Kirsty designed, transferred and indented a fish that she later thought looked like an Orca.  What do you think?

Kirsty showed in her design that she worked hard to control her pencil which she used to make the indented outline and detail inside the Orca.  She didn't miss any parts because her outlines are continuous and show up white.

Jack Newman block printing

This is Jack's first attempt at making a woodcut block print.
He started with a simple, clear fish design, before transferring it to his wood block.
Next he thought about the parts he didn't want ink on (not part of the image he wanted to create) and we started to cut those bits away.
It's important to keep our holding hand behind the cutting hand!  Jack demonstrates this really clearly in his time-lapse video.  Jack is looking at his print and other prints he likes before choosing 1 aspect he would like to change to improve his print image.

These are a few of Jack's first inkings with a single colour.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

On her way to 'Legend' status

Well done to Jess Gallant, our top Year 4 writer.  Well on her way to being a Legend!
You can read her writing by clicking on this link to our Night Zookeeper Blog and looking for jessicag123.

...and after a concerted effort...

The day after our last post about Night Zookeeper Aus VS NZ, we slipped to 21st place, but we weren't having any of that so after a concerted effort by all involved we've made it up to 11th position on the New Zealand rankings with 16,794 words published.  The competition finishes Friday but we have our inaugural Spelling Bee on Friday so for us today is D-Day! (More about the Spelling Bee in coming days readers)

A big well done to the consistent table leaders Team Awesomeness from Opaheke School, who are on 146,969 words.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Moving up the table on NZ Writes

This term we've taken part in the writing initiative from Night Zookeeper, called Aussie Authors VS NZ Writes.

It took a while to really get into the swing of things and how it would work for us. However we've pretty quickly gone from like, 98th place to 19th. Look, here we are...

There are a range of topics we can use to get us started or we can write using our own ideas.  We need to write a minimum of 60 words, which isn't really much when you think about it and look at 60 words of writing.  
Maybe you could go and do that now - find a piece of writing and count up how many words it actually is - and let us know how many words you usually write.
Our focus is really quality over quantity though.  We want to craft writing that isn't 'Yawn worthy'!  We've discovered that some people are at different stages with this.

And how do we do that?  Well we have specific vocabulary that we have choose from to include in our writing and we have to use our writing wall to get ideas to improve the readability of our work. To check we're doing this we have to remember to be able to tick off our Objectives/Success Criteria once we've completed the writing.  If we can't tick it off, we know we still have work to do.

With a week to go, NZ is going strong at 528, 294 words, while Aussie Authors are at 96, 940.  We think this means we're in GOLD position...what do you think?

We post this writing on our Night Zookeeper Blog which you should be able to go and see.
Give us some feedback on here as we don't know if you can on the other blog - Thanks!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Fruit Burst Combinations

Jack and Steven worked together thinking about combinations suing fruit bursts. - We tried certain amounts of colours and then predicted what would happen to the number of combinations and tried coming up with a way to express how we could work out the number of combinations for any number of colours. Let us know what you think.

... and Abseiling?

After our epic ski day we got up early again and headed off with the polytech to go abseiling at Charleston on the Coast Road.  The Year 6's came with us this time as they didn't come skiing.  While we were skiing they were busy at West-a-Maths competition in Westport (so they'd been up that way twice in 2 days!  And then Wil and Jack had to go back up there on Saturday for Rugby rep games.)
Once again it was an AMAZING day up the coast and we got such amazing views abseiling next to the ocean.
These are some of what the kids thought about abseiling:
  • Alex Muir:- I felt scared and I had butterflies and at the start I thought I was going to fall but at the end it was fun.
  • Jack Fayen:- I had a lot of fun and got a good view. I got bored from having to wait in line for 1 turn.
  • Sophia Keown-Well at first I was a little bit scared thinking of the bad things that could happen on the bus. As we got there we had to put on gear and helmets then walked off onto a path. It was fun to walk through a forest then be taught the history of Charleston. As we learnt how to tie or our knots etc, I was first to walk of a cliff trusting the rope and the person holding the safety rope. I was terrified, shaking thinking if I would fall. Finally I started walking down it wasn’t so bad after it all in fact after that it was really fun.
We all had a lot of fun and hope we can do it again.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Did we tell you that we went skiing?

Last Wednesday we headed off early to Porter Heights ski field.  Even though it was early everyone was really excited and chatty (some a lot more than others).
We went in the 2 vans (with Miss D and Miss J) and a car (thanks heaps Mrs Lane).
It was an absolutely stunning day on the field!
Once we got ourselves sorted with boots and skis we headed off for a lesson then some of us hit the 'intermediate'/platter and tried to get a bit more finesse with turns and overall control.  This sort of happened in varying degrees for some people.
There were some really fantastic crashes and some skiers were actually pretty graceful about how they lost control and Miss J got quite a few chuckles on the 'sidelines'.  Mr Weavers actually skied almost right across the field to 'join' another ski group and their instructor.  It appeared to be the orange fence that stopped him heading off to the car park : )
Towards the end of the day some skiers were ready to try the real intermediate slope called Easy Street (it's not easy if you're a learner!!!).  Thanks to Miss D and Ray who patiently helped us down the big slope.  A few people were so close to being able to go down Easy Street but just needed a bit of extra time.  Good job to Eilish for giving it a go and to Ray for being such a good skier he could piggy back Eilish down while skiing!
We had such a huge day and finally handed in our gear at 4pm and got ready to head home.
We had Britney in the van with us coming back and she entertained us all with a made-up-on-the-spot story (about Steven).  She started at the Inchbonnie intersection near Rotomanu and Miss J asked her to "make it a to-be-continued story thanks Britney" at Aratika.  And if you look on google maps, that's quite a long way to be making up an entertaining story, so ka wani kē Britney!
Thanks to Rob, Leonie, Ray, Paul, Miss D and Miss J. More photos to come.

Super view from the Beginners field
Taking a quick break from ski practice

How we start the day

In Ruma Waru we usually try and start the day with some thoughtful time.  Sometimes we kōrero e pā ana whakaaro, sometimes we practice mindfulness. Grab a buddy or have a go yourself and see what you think about these problems

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Searching for local stories

We did this work last year for the 100th Anniversary of WW1.  It has just been published on the Walking With An Anzac site, so it's nice to see it again and re-read our work and remember the brave young men and their stories.

Click here for the link to our site we made

This is just a screenshot of the article about us published on the 'Walking with an ANZAC' site, so the writing is tiny.  Click on the picture for the link to the article about our work : )

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

...because I hears your lonely heart.

We're doing some narrative writing at the moment and looking at what it is about the words we choose that captures the readers mind.  We think there's some good ones in the BFG.  What other ones do you like?  What is it about the words that makes you like it?

Check back soon to read some of our stories and watch our 'trailers'.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Vexing Vowels

How many 4 letter words could you make using the letters s, t, p + 1 vowel (a e i o u)?
Plurals are OK to use.
Do you notice anything about word families that helps you?

How many 5 letter words could you make with 2 vowels?

Post your ideas in the comments : )

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The chocolate problem

This is Hayden's first go at making something that shows how he solved a problem.

Which kids will I join to get the biggest share of chocolate? (block of 6 pieces)

1 kid - 1 block

2 kids - 2 blocks

or 3 kids - 3 blocks

What do you think the answer will be?
I did the video back to front with 3 kids first

I think I'll go with 3 kids and 3 blocks of chocolate because we'll get 4 1/2 pieces each.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

3D Art and paper mechanisms

Have you ever taken a look behind the picture in a pop-out book?  If you do you might see some really cool mechanisms that make the paper picture do what it's meant to.  We have two Matthew Reinhart books with amazing pop-outs, and we have been looking behind the picture.

One mechanism we have looked at over the last couple of days is the V-fold.  We've been practicing making the internal v-fold... harder than it first looks...

Here are our first efforts

Now we are looking at how we could add v-folds to create extra bits at the sides.
Check back in soon to see how we get on!
Let us know if you've ever made any pop-up art yourself.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Pac-man or Camp-man?

Here's our second game based on the novel HOLES.  It's still being developed because as we use it we come up with more ways it could be improved.  Let us know your ideas and thoughts.  Once again please make a copy before you start to play.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Snakes & Ladders or Holes and Shovels?

The Year 7 & 8's have been enjoying reading the novel Holes by Louis Sachar.  We worked together and talked about our ideas and understanding of the story.  One of our final tasks was creating a game that utilised some of the parts of the story like maybe characters and their traits or events from the story.  Here's our first game. Please make a copy before you start to play, thanks.  PS let us know what you think.

Check back soon for the second game!

Tuesday, 12 April 2016


We've been using ideas from Andy Griffiths for our writing this term.  The last two weeks we've worked on 'Nutty News' stories.  It was quite tricky to do something a bit nutty, but still carefully tie our ideas into the main theme like character names had to indicate what the character was without necessarily saying it outright, but they still had to be a bit kookoo!

We had seen a class use the Chomp app for poetry so, after we came up with some initial ideas, we looked at the app CHOMP and saw what characters we could incorporate into our stories.  Some people worked in groups, others worked on their own.

When we felt our script had all the good elements of Andy g's nuttiness, we used CHOMP to record ourselves.

Our first one is the Year 7 & 8's : )

Friday, 1 April 2016

Room 8 Introductions

Better late than never...meant to post our Introduction before starting Tuhi mai, tuhi atu!

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Papatuanuku - The Geology of Blackball

This term we have been working with Mr Maunder (local famous person who writes plays and knows a bit about the history of stuff) on a exhibition for the local Museum.  The theme is PAPATUANUKU - The Geology of Blackball.  Papatuanuku is 'the land', the 'earth mother'.

We have been making models of the plateau that Blackball sits on and investigating the native flora and fauna.
We also had a visit from Mr Gallagher a geologist/science teacher so we could learn more about the creation of the area and what the land and stone is made of.

Writing Poems about Blackball has been another thing we have done.  Some of our poems are below for you to read.

Today we started writing up the information for the panels and making a clay model of Blackball and the surrounding land.

Friday, 18 March 2016

If You Learned Here - Global Project

This is our second year taking part in 'If You Learned Here'.

We totally love making videos of ourselves and all the different things we do at school, and sharing them with our Green cohort buddies around the globe!

Each week we have a different theme/topic and we share our information to teach others about us and we learn about other kids lives in the countries they live in.  The Year 7 & 8's are responsible for us participating in this and they get groups of us each week to help make the videos and add our ideas to the Padlet.

We use Seesaw and Padlet to share.

Check out the other schools in our Green cohort and see what the school life is like in Mexico, USA, South Korea, Egypt, Canada and Thailand.

You can view the map of everyone participating here

Monday, 22 February 2016

Did we make the impossible possible?

We have been looking at the idea of struggle.  Do we think it's good or bad?  What purpose does it have?  Is it like doing an exercise class for your muscles - exercise for the brain muscle?
We looked at this piece of paper and we had to not look at it and try and work out how to make it ourselves.  We only had a piece of paper and scissors.  It was really hard and Miss J said she hadn't cut anything out of the paper and she didn't use glue or sellotape!!!
Our comments changed as we started to struggle.  We started saying things like "oh, yeah we know how to do this",  "yeah I've seen this before", " oh yeah this is easy."  Then we started saying "aaaarrrrgggghhhh", "this is IMPOSSIBLE", "I can't do this!."  Most of us kept going even when it seemed like there was nowhere else to turn and no other solution.  We reminded each other to use our Growth Mindset too.  Let us know if you've tried this problem before : )