My goodness it's been busy in Manuka over the last few weeks. We've had visitors come and share with us about their passions, and it's been so interesting for us to listen to and ask some questions!
Gemma McCaw is an olympic athlete and plays hockey for the Black Sticks, the New Zealand team. She spoke to us about the importance of striving for excellence, which is one of our PRIDE values, the importance of trying your best and friendship. Lots of us brought along our hockey sticks for her to autograph. We are looking forward to watching her and her team mates play at the olympic games.
Garden to Table is one of our most favourite things to do and this term it was even more exciting. James from Natural New Zealand Honey brought along some boxes of honey and some queen bees for us to look at. He was pretty jolly impressed at what we knew about bees (but we are the Busy Bees of Manuka!) and we had LOTS of questions for him. Did you know that a worker bee only lives for 6-8 weeks and makes about a teaspoon in it's lifetime, but a queen bee can live two years? The frames full of honey were very heavy, and were dripping on the floor. We were allowed to scoop out the honey with our fingers. It was REALLY messy but such great fun.
What a treat we've had in Manuka! Mrs Mason has spent a few days with us doing all things piratey. We've written pirate storys and made treasure maps. Check out our pirate paintings and the amazing finger and peg puppets that we made. We gave them all suitable names, and praticed our pirate voices. "Ohhh arrgghhh", "shiver me timbers" and "walk the plank you scurvy dog!"
During the week Manuka share each day a poem linked to something that we are learning about in class. On Fridays we share our favourite poems with a buddy, using our very best expressive voices (some are even sung!). We then get to be illustrators. After gluing the poem for the week into our poetry books we get to illustrate them in any way we choose, as long as it is linked to the poem. Each week a 'judge' critiques our illustrations and announces a winner, who then gets to the be judge the following week. This is then popped in our bags for sharing at home.
We took the opportunity in Manuka to do a little 'data analysis' after Pet Day. We created a pictograph based on what animals Manuka brought to pet day. We found that the most popular pet Manuka brought was a dog, but there were lots of lambs as well. However, there was only one spider - a truly unique pet. We explored what a pictograph is, it's features and purposes, before trying it out ourselves. When asked what sort of other graphs there are, Mrs Webb was expecting answers like 'pie graphs' and 'bar graphs' but she had a wee giggle when one clever cookie answered with 'photograph'! We then moved onto bar graphs. Question forming, tally charts and making conclusions kept us busy during this unit and we learnt lots about how to make general statements about the 'data'.
Another thing we do each week is Basic Facts. Usually we do them first thing on Monday morning, and work on them at home (and at school!) during the week before we do them again on Friday morning. The goal is to improve our score by 4 or more which is sometimes a real challenge. During Week 5 we were only at school for three days as there was a Teacher Only Day followed by Show Day. Instead of Basic Facts Mrs Webb gave us a Basic Facts activity. We had to make our way through a series of mazes by calculating the answers to a number of maths problems. This was a lovely change to our usual routine, but there were a few students who were pleased to be back to the usual Basic Facts Challenge!
BUT..... one of the highlights of our week is when we get to do 'Garden to Table', and we were so lucky to get to have both a kitchen and a garden session in Week 5. What a treat! The 'silverbeet' group went out on Monday afternoon to harvest some delicious looking vegetables from our gardens. Hats on, gloves on and off they went to discover what wonderful produce had been growing. Then on Tuesday it was 'all systems go'. We are so lucky to have Cherry and her team of helpers who have everything laid out and ready to go when we arrive at the kitchen after our smoko. This time we were preparing spinach pancakes, broad bean dip, vege sticks, and to top it off there was apple crumble and ice cream! What a treat! The pancakes were a very definite green colour, the perfect size for spreading with the broad bean dip and they went down a treat. Not a single one left! And nobody said no to crumble and ice cream. Delicious!
And then on Wed we were off with Rachel and another wonderful team of helpers to work in the garden. We planted our sunflowers that we had planted earlier in Literacy Hour, mulched, weeded, watered and tended our vegetable beds. It was a beautiful day and a lovely way to spend an afternoon. It was also a special occasion as Emma and John were presented with their prize packs that they had won from Young Gardener of the Year. They looked pleased as punch and we are all very proud of them! Did you see them in the paper a few weeks ago?
It's athletics time of year and we have been making the most of the beaut weather to get out and practice our running, jumping and throwing (and just quietly, we're getting pretty good!). We'll keep practicing for a wee bit yet, but you're more than welcome to come and see us display our talents at our Junior Athletics celebration! Make sure you're prepared to be impressed! It's on Friday 1st Dec at 9am.
It's been a great start to Term Four! Students arrived pleased to be back, rearing to go, with big smiles all round. What a delightful bunch of children we have in Manuka.
Mrs Webb finished reading us 'My Father's Dragon' and it inspired us to head to the iPads and get creating! We created a scene/background from the story which was based on a remote jungle island, and then drew and imported characters from the story onto our background. We learnt to make these characters move, dance, get bigger and smaller. We are going to record ourselves retelling a section of the novel using the iPads. It's been quite a long process, but we've learnt lots about how to be creative, problem solve, and learn from each other.
This term is all about the Power of People! As a Green Gold Enviro School we know how to make powerful decisions to make a difference in our school and community. We have been focusing on three things that happen at NLS: paper recycling, plastic recycling and worm farming. Throughout the term we are exploring these practices, demonstrating how we can be 'Eco-Warriors'. In Manuka, tiger worms are our focus. Check out the worm farms we made with Lesley Ottey (we love when she visits)! We've learnt lots about the good things that worms do, as well as some interesting facts... Did you know that worms don't have teeth or lungs - they breath through their skin!
Once in a while we are lucky enough to be invited to join with Rimu and Kowhai for their discovery sessions on a Friday. We love being able to choose activities that are creative and hands on, and it's lovely to be able to work alongside, helping the younger children in our school. Mrs Green and Mrs Hassall arranged a Discovery Time that was all about nature as part of our Eco Warrior unit. What fun we had hunting ants and spiders webs, using the magnifying glasses, painting with leaves, and weaving with recycled paper. What a treat!
Wow! What a busy term that was! This was certainly a term that required lots of 'Participating and Contributing' - one of the Key Competencies in our curriculum. In terms of performance, we started with speeches, and finished with the production but in between we had sport coaches, swimming, and lots of learning in Maths and Literacy. Check out what we have been up to!
Swimming was another highlight! Each Monday we hopped on the school bus and headed into Rangiora to develop our swimming skills. Choosing a buddy to sit next to on the journey was a pretty big decision! We practiced lots of different skills needed to swim and at the end we all hopped into the deep pool to practice our water safety skills. This made some of us very nervous, but with some encouragement and a whole lot of courage we found we could do it!
Sport coaches visit North Loburn every second Wednesday and it is a highlight of the week when they do! We've enjoyed learning about how to successfully pass, dribble and shoot basketballs and more recently we have been working on Athletics. Did you know that to successfully sprint you need to 'pick your nose and put it in your pocket'! (Not really, but thinking about it helps us to get our arms right!). We've got Athletics next term so we'll be ready to run when it rolls around.
And finally... our production! Productions only happen every second year, but when they do they are certainly memorable!! 'Yet' was the name and we learnt all about the power that we can find when we use that word at the end of our sentences. 'I can't do this!' becomes 'I can't do this yet!'. Manuka's item was themed around the board game 'Twister'. We learnt to twist (it's just like squishing a spider, and drying our back with a towel), developed our singing voices and had such a great time. For some of us the stage is a fun place to be, and for others it gives us the 'worry tummy'. Either way, we were proud of the way we listened to advice and feedback, practiced and practiced (and practiced some more) and got better and better with each and every run through. We were dazzled by lights, amazed by the other classes items and we had smiles a mile wide as our family and friends clapped, hooted and hollered for us. Check out how wonderful we looked!
As part of our Enviro Time we had some very helpful Enviro Leaders help us to paint some new vege markers for the garden. This was a fun way to spend our Friday afternoons, and we hope that it will brighten up our garden. We found drawing the 'fat, bubble writing' quite tricky and we needed lots of practice to make it big, bold and beautiful.
We have shared lots of interesting things with each other during News Reporters time. We've listened to the news reporter, learnt lots of interesting things, and checked that they have included a 'who, what, where, when, why and how'. We have quite enjoyed dressing up! Speeches were another Oral Language challenge! The the theme was 'Have I Got Something to Teach You!' and we were wowed with facts about scorpions, horses, writing speeches and even learnt how to hunt a roaring stag, skin and gut it. Not for the faint hearted!
With quite a number of wet days, Mrs Webb has been super impressed the quiet things we've found to do in the mornings before the day begins! Check us out!
And... we are currently super busy preparing for our School Production 'Yet'. We are very proud of the work we have done preparing for this, and hope that you are looking forward to this wonderful event! We certainly are!! Here's a sneaky preview.
We were lucky enough to have Lesley Ottey visit Manuka with her 'Rubbish Hat' on. She brought a bag of plastic rubbish and as we went through it we discovered different types of plastic, and how we recycle them. Did you know that the Green Bins at the supermarkets that are for recycling soft plastics are for more than just single use shopping bags! You can put any clean plastic that can be scrunched into a ball in there - including foil lined plastic like muesli bar wrappers.
Term Two has been a wonderful term, filled to the brim.
Here are some highlights from the busy bees in Manuka!
We're pretty lucky to have had Kauri come and visit us on an occasional Fridays for 'Book Buddies'. We love finding a little space around the class or playground to share our reading with our buddy. After we've read to them, we love to sit back and relax, and listen to them read us a story. It's a great way to practice our reading and make friends with some of the bigger kids in the school!
We spent quite a bit of time at the beginning of the term training our bodies for our annual Cross Country. We focused on starting well, keeping going and setting a good pace. We were lucky to have a fine day to show off our skills. We cheered on those who were running while we waited for our turn to shine. Mrs Connelly did a great job of warming us up before Mr Ward positioned us at the start line. Check us out!
We have had two visits to the gym in Rangiora this term and we had such fun jumping, tumbling, balancing and laughing. There was lots of activities to challenge us and if you check out the photos below you'll see us hard at work (tongues out and all!). The trampolines and the foam pit are always a bit hit, but there was some challenging beam work (we had to walk backwards on it), swinging on the rings and round the bars. Mrs Webb found it hard to take photos that weren't blurry!
Garden to Table is such a treat and we look forward each time to seeing what delicious dishes we get to create. We've made rhubarb muffins, flat breads, 'whatever fritters' (a favourite of many!) and a delicious potato and leek soup. It's amazing how many veges Cherry crams into the recipes. We're very grateful to the helpers who come to guide us in our gardening and our cooking. Those of us in the flat bread group got pretty floury but it was such fun! The highlight for those making soup were wearing Cherry's fancy 'onion goggles' (although we did think they looked just like swimming ones....). Thank you to all those who come and help us learn about growing, cooking and celebrating with food!
Next term we look forward to showing off our talents in both class speeches and our school production. Make sure you keep an eye on the newsletter for when tickets come on sale! There will be lots happening again in Manuka, so keep checking in here to check out our blog!