Thursday, December 02, 2010

Awesome year 2010

Yay! What a great year 2010 has been.
Thanks to all the Peachgrove, St Andrews, Knighton, Vardon and Matangi kids who made my year a pleasure. It has been great keeping in touch with wonderful young people through my relieving as well as enjoying more freedom and happiness doing my own creative ventures with my darling wife Sasha.
Manny, Lionel and the chooks all say woof, meow and sqwawk to wish you a very merry xmas and all the best for the coming year !

[please god let the All Blacks win  the world cup in 2011]

!!!Hasta la victoria siempre!!!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Film making and digital storytelling

Hi team, I'm loving these hols with all the good weather, a chance to get in my garden and having time to film and edit an interesting project or three.
How are you all using your school holidays?
It's time to get out and plant your vege gardens too.
Enjoy! :-)

[p.s. I'm planning a covert trip to Marseilles to steal back this lovely taonga from the Frogs.]

Friday, August 06, 2010

Room 3...

I have just noticed that after two weeks work [nearly] no kids from Room 3 have bothered to post a comment on any of the last few blog posts, despite being in a digital class...
Oh well

Teaching Fractions

If at first you don't succeed, draw all over a kids face ;-)

Well done this man :-)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Brilliant Mask Making :-)

Well done Team Room 3!  I was very impressed with your Japanese mask making expertise.
Here are some of the marvellous creations.

Don't give up on your narrative about being whisked away to Japan -I will keep helping if you keep writing!
Sorry - I won't be back on Friday as I'm working somewhere else.
Write your day one experience up on your own blog then comment on my blog so I can go and read it. I will then add information about day two and what happened after the ninja attack!

Make a mask

You are stuck in Japan, having been kidnapped by your evil reliever. You need to disguise yourself so you can blend in to the traditional Japanese land you have found yourself in.
Create a Japanese styled mask to hide behind...

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

During the night of our imprisonment...

You survived a shocking days events to find yourselves imprisoned in a massive Japanese castle.
As you slept uneasily upon your single tatami, you sensed creeping in the halls... then violence erupted!

What do you do!

Osaka Dialect

Learn to speak the dialect of the Osaka people in Japan:

maido - hello [any time of day]

okini - thank you

o genski desu ka? - how are you?

genki ya ta - and you?

honma? - really?

aho chau? -  are you stupid?

genki yata - how are you?

majide? - seriously?

hai, maji maji - yes, seriously

ja matane - bye

ho na - bye bye

Day One Fujiyama

Mr Woody arranged a troop carrying ex-aircraft plane to take us to Mount Fuji in Japan.
we experienced the flight, a landing on a wildeness airstrip, a trip overland in a troop carrying vehicle, entry to a majestic Japanese castle, a traditional greeting ceremony and being surrounded by tradional samurai warriors. It's almost as thought we have gone back in time...
After a delicious meal of traditional food and tea, we slept in separate rooms with shoji walls, tatami mat floors and uncomfortable wooden pillows.

You need to write up your day one experience with descriptive lanaguage, your feelings, reactions and predictions.

Look out for unexpected adventures on day two...

Room 3 Fujiyama trip

Your crazy billionaire reliever Mr Woody has kidnapped you and taken you to Japan on a survival field trip to practice Japanese, learn martial arts and survival skills.
You need to make a post on your blog stating what you will take to survive on a tramping trip. No modern electrical appliances will be useful and no modern weapons are allowed. You can take knives, hatchets, etc. No guns.
List your 12 items. Your pack is a freebie and you have to take a sleeping bag as one of your items.
Remember you need water, food, shelter, heat to survive in the outdoors. You need to be self sufficeient or working in pairs to cover all your needs.

Room 3 Fraction Maths

Hi squiddlers - try out these digital learning objects from NZmaths:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Beaut Mid Winter Weather to Make a Lizard House

This lovely sunny weather has invigorated me and i am dealing with my garden, and noticing lots of wildlife around town - bats, tui, bellbirds, etc.
I love our native flora and fauna and would like to keep chipping away at my impact on the earth and it's resources so as not to contribute to the destruction of more habitat and species. Afterall, there is only one earth and we need to look after it - especially as our consumption and population growth spiral out of control.
Check out this website for practical advice on how to live more sustainably.

Learn how to attract lizards to your home - but beware of your cat!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Matariki Mysteries

Mr Woody wants to know more about Matariki. Which school will be the best at informing him?
Today St Andrews have a head start. Can anyone beat them?
Answer my questions on your own blogs and leave me a comment here telling me something you've learned. I will then visit your blog and check out what you have discovered for me. Please create a quality post on your blog with information written in your own words to answer my questions. Also include anything interesting you find out. Then put the url's of your internet sources after each fact you include.
I bet no one can achieve this!
Who will be best? Peachgrove? St Andrews? Tahaaroa?


1. What is Matariki and what are all its other names?
2. How did Maori use it in more traditional times, like when they were travelling the Pacific or trying to survive in early Aotearoa hundreds of years ago before Pakeha came here?
3. What significance does it have in other cultures from history?

Ask your teachers for help to understand these questions if you need to.

Good luck!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Marmite or Vegemite?

Do you like Marmite or Vegemite?
How about crunchy or smooth peanut butter?
Jam or marmalade?
Lakes, rivers, or beaches?
Mountains or forests?
Water skiing or snow skiing?
Movies or music?
Union or league?
Cricket or softball?
Kayaks or dinghys?
Meat or veges?
War or peace?
Conservation or consumption?
Battery farms or free range?
Wood fires or gas heaters?
Rice or pasta?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Opportunity to Learn about Digital Story Telling from the experts

Hi everyone - teachers especially!

We are running Digital StoryTelling workshops for educators.
Our next workshop is:

14–16 JULY 2010
WED (5-8pm)
THURS/FRI (9-5pm)  

University of Waikato

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Art and Learning through NZ History

Hi Squiddlers! I am very excited ...

I am buying this painting by Scotsman, artist and Kiwi, Liam Barr and am going to read more about the character portrayed by searching online. Liam's art is amazing! Check out his website

Free e-book online about John Rutherford here

Government information site, Te Ara, has more here

What are you learning about in your spare time? Our best learning is fired by our interests, needs and passions...

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Peachgrove Yr 7 Bilingual cool dudes

I had the pleasure of hanging out with my good friend Whaea Mana's class today. They are very interesting young people. We discussed maori and pakeha culture as well as some geography from around Aotearoa.
One of my favourite parts of NZ is the East Coast from Te Kaha to Gisborne. My wife and I fell in love on a road trip around that region and we found the Ngati Porou people to be very welcoming.
I later got to know a teacher from Rangitukia called Tepu Houia. He gifted me a special carving which I have looked after for several years. Today I discovered that his nephew is in this class so I have gifted it to Whaea Manawaroa and her students to look after.
Their job now is to find out about the history of the clock carving. Tepu's nephew, Aiorangi is in the class so they should be able to find out all about the carving. They can post comments here explaining what they learn.
Also, I would like to introduce the Big T Surfers from Tahaaroa to the Peachgrove Bi-lingual class, Room 24. Please get to know each other and share your differences and the experiences of living in town, country and coastal areas.
Ka kite ano

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Foreign spammers leave us alone

We are trying to educate children here - please do not interfere with your phishing. We welcome any genuine bloggers but don't need people trying to trick us into going to sites with viruses or anything like that.
Thank you. Please do contact us in English if you would like to learn with us and you have content on your blog so we can see who you are.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Taharoa School Centennary Video Challenge

Your fine school is going to turn 100 next year. I think you should get used to making videos and blogging about it. Try making a 20 second Flip video now about something unique about your school. Post it on your blog and leave me a comment here. I will judge it and name the ultimate winner!

Taharoa Tips

Hi Taharoa,
I had another great day atyour cool school.
If you get stuck with your blogging setup, try this online tutorial ...

How to Blog

Have fun!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My wicked friend

My wicked friend lurks and does not comment.
My wicked friend pontificates and does not contribute.
My wicked friend judges from her safe, private world.
My wicked friend is reading this and knows who she is.
My wicked friend is a good friend... 
I hope she's laughing. 
Too bad if she's not!


Friday, April 02, 2010

Cybersafety, Games and Social Bookmarking

Thanks to my Diigo account, which allows me to save my bookmarks online instead of just one computer, I also share resources with others online. today I received an email update that includes resources for learning cybersafety through games. The lady who shared it is helping others simply by saving her bookmarks online. Her community of followers then receive notice of what she has saved in case they want to share some of her findings.

Check it out here

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hooray for the gardener!

Wow - Mrs Barham must have saved the day by getting the gardener to mow down the yucky weeds that were/are strangling parts of the potentially fabulous Peachgrove native bush gardens.
These latest pics show an elite band of keen eco-warriors who are keen to help look after the native gardens.

Wow - it's so lovely to see the plants again now that the weeds are mostly gone. Now tese kauri have a chance to grow up tall and strong like mighty Tane Mahuta.
I'm sure the rest is soon to follow. Once it is down to mulched up weeds and grass who will maintain it? Surely the Peachgrove students could. Many hands make light work.
Well done Mrs Barham.

Below: Head and shoulder height knightshades still to be dealt to...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pork = Cruelty

Sadly, despite it being delicious, pork products like ham and bacon almost invariably come from a reality that would be horrifying to most people if they actually witnessed it.
Pigs in the majority of farms in NZ and abroad are treated with extreme and unnecessary cruelty. They are treated in ways that no reasonable person would treat any animal, yet they are as sensitive, sentient and intelligent as dogs [who are also often treated with absolute cruelty by many evil and ignorant people].
I say young people should be educated about what really goes on in the production of the meat they eat so they can make an informed decision about whether or not to actively support the torture of thinking, feeling creatures like pigs.
Would any of you take Babe [from the movie], put him in a cage that he couldn't turn around in and leave him in the dark to suffer for his entire life before then lining him up with his neighbours to be killed one by one as the next one in line watches?

Check out the SAFE site to see how you can help and to read about how Mike King turned from promoting pork to promoting animal welfare once he visited a pig farm in NZ.

Mike King's 45-minute ordeal of pig horror included seeing:
• a dead female pig inside a sow stall
• lame, crippled pigs and others that could barely stand
• pigs either extremely depressed or highly distressed
• bar biting, scars and injuries
• pigs excessively frothing at the mouth
• a lack of clean drinking water and food.

Can you identify which pigs are happy and which pigs are suffering needlessly so you can have bacon, pork chops, ham, etc?

It's difficult to face unpleasant facts that inconvenience you, but can you continue to encourage such cruelty to continue by buying and eating inhumane pork products?
If you simply can't give up pork, try encouraging your family to buy kindly farmed pork products like from  Freedom Farms

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Coolest school in the world!?

Wow! I went to Tahaaroa school on Friday and it was sooooooo lovely. Great kids, onto it staff, everyone friendly. The school is well resourced and the kids are ready to learn. The staff are big-hearted, warm, friendly, relaxed, open, and hungry to learn and lead their community in to a bright future for their whanau/tamariki.
I can't wait to go back!
Check out their new blog at   The Big T Surfers!!!

Aroha mai

Peachgrove Garden Travesty

Peachgrove Learnscapes committee and EnviroAgents spent years planning and fundraising to get an amazing native garden designed and planted around the otherwise empty back field. The gardens are something to be proud of and to nurture so they will live for many generations to come.
Sadly the school is neglecting the gardens and they are being over taken by noxious weeds such as knightshades and strangling vines. To my horror I found one corner was particularly bad and all the young kauri trees were almost dead from neglect. I fixed the problem in five minutes, so the story that no one has time to do it is rubbish. I think the school should be ashamed and should get organised to allow the students to weed their own patch and protect what is a wonderful example of something environmentally positive.
I know most of the staff have no interest in environmental issues [the exceptions being Mrs New and one or two others to my knowledge] but this garden should be something precious to Peachgrove and the loud negative voices should be silenced. At the very least the $40,000 [I think that's about right] investment should be saved.
Stand up Peachgrove and do the right thing!
The photos below show some before and after shots of two weed entangled kauri and an astelia. One struggling young kauri was even bent over to the ground!
These two thoughtful students gave their time willingly to rectify the problem. It's the staff who need to get on board. Maybe some of you keen young citizens should take a leadership role and make a positive difference.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Vivaldi was born...

There is some great music you should know about. One of the great composers is Vivaldi. He created "The Four Seasons" - music that you may well recognize if you hear it. It is very popular classical music.
Today is Vivaldi's birthday so maybe you would like to find out more about him...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hi Room 3

I have put a post on my Woodmonstas blog for you. It includes the instructions for your blogging assignment.
As far as my interests are concerned, I enjoy studying animals and nature. Fo rmany years I had an active involvement in the life of several frogs...

This is an image by my favourite cartoonist, Jim Woodring :-) I also enjoy drawing.