Sunday, July 30, 2006

Welcome ROom 9 and MisS PReW

this is the room 14 blog - use it respectfully and help the newbies learn how to use our blogs responsibly - keep an eye on their cyber safety and netiquette - but don't be too bossy! [donkeyla]

this is what i look like on the weekends...

so you see - things aren't always what they seem....

Friday, July 28, 2006


we need to plan a topic together for the second half of the term. if you could study anything, what would it be? please don't say broad things like "space" or "history". try to be specific - find an issue that you are reeeEEAALLy interested in.
look for issues, problems, things that get you excited or angry or make you want to do something to make a change.
I hope you can understand what i mean and take up this opportunity for involvement in your own planning.

good luck!


is RESPECT the most important thing there is?

respect for:

your family
your parents
your friends
your elders
your coaches
your teachers
your pets
the environment

what do you think? ask your family and friends about respect and post a comment on what you discussed. what is it? how do you earn it? how do you act respectfully? why is it important?

ow! my back!

take care of your backs, kids. mine has gone wonky and i can hardly get of bed, walk or do anything other than lie still reading about how to teach literacy more effectively.
hope you are well - miss you!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

useful anecdote

how's this for a clever way to communicate...

a tutor of a friend was teaching a bunch of kids in class how to use some new software. The kids weren't paying attention and were using chat software to talk to each other while he was trying to teach them so he disabled the chat server.

The tutor went on talking to the room and after awhile it seemed to the tutor that the kids were finally paying attention. However all was not what it seemed.

The tutor's PC was projecting an image onto the screen behind him showing a windows folder containing files that the kids were creating during the training. The clever kids in the class had begun creating files and copying them into the folder with names like...

"hey Frank meet you in the park at lunchtime"

turns out they had been using the folder to communicate behind his back while his attention was on the classroom and not on the projector

Eat The World!

Why shouldn't the Japanese or the Norwegians eat whales? What about the Chinese nibbling on pandas? How about roasting sumatran tigers? Is it okay to torture pigs in captivity then murder them horribly just because we like the taste?
Under what circumstances should there be bans on killing and eating certain animals? Please be clear about your reason and try to justify your argument. Post links to websites that back up your position.

Think of this as a debate.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Things to use in sentences

When does one use a colon? :
Or a semi-colon? ;
Or a dash? -
Everything has a specific purpose - can you explain the difference between these? I would like to know.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

all email alerts on?

please comment here to say when you have set up your blog to send you an email everytime someone posts to your blog.

this IS a form of assessment.

well done to all those people who have worked it out. get someone to show you. re-read my post before. investigate the settings on your blogger dashboard thingy.
have fun!
see who can become the class blogger champion - the person who writes the best posts.
the person who knows the most tricks.
the most helpful person.
any other categories you want to add???

Sunday, July 16, 2006

ICT in Term Three

In ICT, starting Tuesday, we will be learning to use iMovie to make an advertisement for Hamilton. This to help us round up our inquiry unit before we change it slightly to investigate myths relating to the Waikato and some scientific explanations relating to how the river got where it is.
In iMovie, you will need to use still images, related text and to do this you will need to have an idea of what you want to achieve before you begin, so think it over. What would you include to portray Hamilton as an interesting place? How would you include words to bring the photos alive?
We can use photos we already have from our scavenger hunt. We can use photos from the photo competition we have been part of in the riverside cluster. we can use images from the internet. if you're really nice, you could send me off with my trusty camera to snap away at specific locations on your behalf. you may of course take your own photos, but you'll have to be quick and have to get them to school somehow. can you suggest all the ways that could be done, please?
ka kite apopo

podcasting again

Aha! We are going to get to do podcasting finally - Jenny from Sitech is going to help us with some 'stuff' and Mrs McCullagh has found us these instructions:

All of a sudden it seems possible. Now we just have to decide on the content and format of our podcasts.

Shall we do news reports? [probably not appropriate as they are too quickly out of date]

Promos for Hamilton for our inquiry unit?

Book reviews?

Oral myths relating to the Waikato or other natural phenomena important to us?

We will need to include musical jingles, have a name for our podcast, and follow a format that we can use each time.

OH NO!!!

oH nO! tiger junior is in grave peril! it turns out he is a she and a big ginger tom is stalking her day and night. the neighbour has had enough of her poos on her lawn and tiger junior's days are numbered - does anyone know anyone who would like to give her a new home? she may not be entirely pleased about being moved but it's worth a try. she is still quite little and very cute.
there is also a lovely fluffy grey lady cat who is very smoochy and needs a home.
help! the days are running out for these poor pussies... they are both healthy now that i have fleed and wormed and fed them. both need desexing and i have a voucher for one thanks to your fine fundraising efforts.

Myths, Legends and the Mighty Waikato!!!

Our dear classmate Laffydaffy has inspired me to have you investigating the history of the Waikato through myths and legends, as a language activity, as well as through history, which is more like social studies. We will use inquiry methods to find out about our local history [herstory?] as well as geological facts.

AS clever GATE kids, I challenge you to find where the mythical ["The River That Ran Away"] and the scientific explanations overlap regarding the formation of the Waikato River. It is quite surprising how similar they are. Was it really Earth Giants rolling over that made cracks in the Earth for the River to follow??? How does a geologist explain the same phenomenon?

Also, we will prove our understanding of myths by writing our own to explain how a natural phenomenon came into being. Start thinking about a place thatis special to you.
For your personal mihi [described in term two], you should feel a connection to a river and mountain. Think about how you might make up a story to explain the creation of those places.
ALso, think about how to create a piece of artwork to represent your special place and the mythological creation of that place. Perhaps that will form the basis of your artwork for your clothing design...

We may go on a field trip walk around the riverbank to discover clues as to the history of our city.

MAths MAte

In Term Three, everyone will be doing maths maintenance homework. We will use the Mathsmate programme. Each sheet follows the same pattern and reinforces each area of maths. There are fun problems and puzzles as well as basic practice items. [Let's see if anyone can out problem-solve Mohamed the Champion!]
Your results are recorded each week and there is a test in the middle of and at the end of term.
If it is too easy it is maintenance. If it is too difficult, think of it as a challenge and a chance to learn. We will go over problem areas in class on Fridays.
Good luck!

Term Three Word Study Guidelines

In Term Three you will be working hard on word study.
You will learn to spell the top one hundred most frequently misspelled words.

They are available here with explanations....

Monday - choose any words from the first ten words from this list that you can't already spell. Add extra words to your list from corrections in your written work, or from the interesting words list on the board. You should have fifteen words altogether.
Learn them at home Monday night.

Tuesday - in class during word study time, write out the words neatly in your word study book. Use them in sentences that show you understand their meaning. Highlight each list word in their sentences. Ask a neighbour to check that your sentence does this.
For homework, construct a wordfind [or crossword if you are feeling diligent] in your word study book. Bring it to school on Wednesday to share with a partner.

Wednesday - share your wordfinds [or crosswords] at school during wordstudy time. For homework, learn the words again. Use a method that suits you.

Thursday - Learn them at home, including the meanings. Discuss the meanings with your parents. Be tested by your parents. Have them sign your notebook.

Friday - testing day - Notebooks will be checked by me for signatures. Complete partner testing straight after assembly. Record your results in a grid at the back of your spelling notebook. This will be used to show your progress to parents during parent interviews.

Be proud of your ability to spell difficult words AND know what they mean.
Using vocabulary well is a way to demonstrate your intelligence to others. More importantly, language is precise and it becomes fun to use interesting words appropriately.

Ask MR Stevens or Mrs Brown how they feel about using interesting language.

Who Rules the World?

Who does rule the world? What does that mean? Does anyone or anything rule the world? Perhaps it might be better to ask, who or what is the most powerful or influential entity, force, company, country, group, person, or idea that has an impact on human existence in the 21st century.
Ther have been times when you might have said the British Empire was most powerful, or earlier, the Roman Empire. Perhaps now it might be America - but is it George Bush, or his political party, or the US military, or the people of America who vited for him? Maybe it's not people or political groups. Is it Microsoft Corporation, or Bill Gates, or Google, or Coca Cola, or MacDonalds, or simply the idea of capitalism?
To answer this question, you have to decide, how do we decide what power is and what will help us decide what is th emost powerful 'thing' around at present? What is capable of making the biggest impact on your life without your permission?
PLay station? School? Your parents?
Try to think creatively of what if scenarios and post your ideas as you have them. You don't have to be right straight away. Just share thoughts about it. Generate a discussion and we'll see if we can work out what we think.
The people who come up with the best posts will be the news team for week one and have computer time to construct a news programme to be viewed on Friday.

Happy thinking....

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Scientific photography

For the photography topic, I think it is a reeeeaallly tricky topic - photographing sound has got to be tricky. How will you portray the feeling that sound is being made, rather than just photographing a particular scene? It is very challenging and I can't wait to see successful entries.
Some clues to help your project more detailed:

1. Record the conditions of light that exist when you take your photos
2. Record any camera settings you make or change, as well as the make, model and details of the camera you used.
3. Describe any decisions you made regarding the way you framed or composed your photos. For example, if you felt you needed to use portrait or landscape. Whether or not you needed to change your position to include or exclude certain details from a photo.
4. The general ideas you tried to develop and achieve relating to the topic - the difficulties you experienced and how you overcame them.
5. State what you like about the images you selected for inclusion.

SO, be thoughtful about your photography. Enjoy it. Be creative. Be conscious of what you are doing. Think about how you would explain it to someone else and be prepared to state what is successful about it.

Have fun!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Read this!

Dear students, your beloved teacher - me - is going away for a few days with his beloved wife.

While I'm away, enjoy yourselves, collect resources as proscribed onprevious posts, use the blog to answer questions i've posted here and help each other with science fair. If you can't understand what I'm saying get your parents to interpret.
I will give you time in class to do it in week one, but you must have most of the work actually done. I recommend you bring your nearly completed work to school on monday so we can look it over, put it together and make any changes or additions that need doing.

DO NOT TRY to StaRt on MoNDAY!
USe the internet and your parents for advice.

I will check the blog on Friday.

GOod luCK, take care, have fun and be clever.

READ my instructions and clues.

[you have until tomorrow morning to ask questions....]

innovative students

if you are a high flying student who wants to investigate interesting science projects, check out this website for project ideas.
By searching the net you can find all sorts of opportunities. You may even be able to win scholarships or get assistance with projects that tickle your fancy.
if you need advice, ask me.

Friday, July 07, 2006


for some reason i say this a lot - or more precisely, i tend to write it in emails, etc. the thing is, i don't know where i picked it up from... well, i have an idea, but i'm certainly not sure of its derivation.
so guess what i did to find out...
i checked out our free friend, wikipedia...

learning is such fun - and it never stops.

what are interesting words or sayings you use that, upon closer inspection, seem a bit weird? Like "rule of thumb" - look it up

Thursday, July 06, 2006

experts in your family

hey - we are a very lucky bunch of squiddly diddlies because you guys have experts in your own families that we may be able to convince to come and talk to us about their field of interest.
we have had many fabulous parents helping us with their specialist knowledge. can we get more?
anyone have a climate change specialist [we do! we do!], or a fashion designer or anyone who can tell us about power generation, or animation or anything that we might study?
if so, mention it here and let's get them in in term three to help us learn -afterall - current expert opinion is more valuable than something written in a book years ago.

another intriguing question... no nukes, or ...?

i am very proud of our nation's stance against nuclear weapons - i think former prime minister David Lange was a legend to stand up to american foreign policy and his debate against jerry falwell on the topic was one of our proudest moments as a nation.
NOW - consider our modern times and reliance upon various forms of energy and power generation. if you take any notice of the news, you may be aware that we seem to face the threat of power cuts each winter and costs are constantly rising. gas is running out. damming rivers for hydro electric power destroys ecosystems. burning coal at power stations like huntly causes air pollution and big ugly holes in the ground. what about nuclear power generation? should we as a nation consider using nuclear energy to solve our energy problems? it may mean amending our anti-nuclear policy. is our proud anti-nuclear stance now out of date? did you have any idea part of our self image as a nation rested on this stance? remember, there is a big difference between nuclear power and nuclear armaments.
what are the pros and cons [for and against arguments] of using nuclear power IN NEW ZEALAND. Not anywhere else. I'm only talking about our situation.
I will post some urls to sites for info after i've done a quick search....

[you might also ponder - what does it mean to be a "KIWI"] you guys understand any of this?

Nuclear Energy Prospects in New Zealand
Briefing Paper # 97

April 2005


New Zealand is one of very few developed country not using electricity (indigenous or imported) from nuclear energy.
As hydro-electric potential was progressively utilised, nuclear power featured in national power plans from 1969 to 1976.
Concern about global warming due to carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels, especially coal, coupled with impending electricity shortages in Auckland, has put nuclear energy back on the agenda in New Zealand.


Background [see urls supplied by my cousin, the friendly spy]



interesting question...

hey kids - what is the cost of water....?

think about it and discuss it with your parents before you answer.
i'm interested to see who has deeper answers than may be apparent.

[clue: what do i really mean by 'cost'? Please note I didn't say 'price'...]


Resources to lookout for...

Find info on greenhouse effects, greenhouse gases, government plans and related articles or websites. We will be doing a short unit on greenhouse gases to see if there really is a problem that we humans can influence.

See if you can post some fat questions relating to the topic - think about human impact and whether or not we have any.

holiday design task

Over the hols you might like to collect images, drawing, photos, make sketches, etc of things you like or relate to. It could be World Cup football images, cute animals, outdoor scenes, Hamiltron icons - anything you like. When you come to school in Term Three you will be making pencil sketches of these items and developing them into patterns or designs suitable for printing onto paper or fabric. After that you will look at clothing and work out how to make a patterm for an item of clothing. You will eventually construct a model of a clothing item and use your design on it.
We will have a mini model fashion show to showcase your designs and judge winners. Winners will be sent to Milan to extend their talents... [not]
Sound good?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


oh nooo!! the neighbour has it in for tiger junior - apparently he poos on their lawn and endangers the lives of their children - what are we to dooo!!!
perhaps its a job for 'the kitties of doom' - [ a new secret society possibly in existence and maybe hidden within one of your classmates blogs...

or maybe the forces of sOg could come up with a plan. jessica's army of feline liberators?


who will save my little friend?? [incidentally, he is not toilet trained, particularly friendly or all that tame]

>:>[ hmmm.....


blog tricks

hey you lot - it's time for you to start sorting your blogs out to a more professional standard. check out the settings in the dashboard.

make sure your time is on NZ time.

set it up so if someone posts to your blog it is emailed to you - this will mean you always see comments when they're added and you won't have to search for them. as your blog gets bigger it will become harder to keep track of everything unless you do this.

any other practical ideas for improving your blogs, please share them here for others to read.

you are doing really well! 8>)