Week 11 Team Whanau Koru Blog

We wish you all a very happy restful holiday with the little ones. No doubt  they will be more than ready for a break after one term at school.

We are thrilled to announce that Andrea Swanson will join Team Koru in Term 2. Rowena will be teaching 3 days a week and Andrea will release her for 2 days a week on Thursday and Friday. This is so Rowe can continue her work as Mutukaroa Co-ordinator. Andrea has many years teaching experience including teaching New Entrants last year at Beckenham. Many families will know Andrea already as she worked in Team Koru last year.

Drink Bottles
Next term it would be great if all the children remembered to bring a named drink bottle to school daily. Please encourage your children to put these in the tray provided as part of their morning routine.

Thanks to all of you who made it to the picnic yesterday. The children had a lovely time on the adventure playground and were so excited to see you. It was a nice informal way to get together. A trip or trips out in the future are definitely on the cards.

The Three Legged Cat by Margaret Mahy
Tom the tabby cat dreamed of seeing the world, but he had only three legs. Mrs. Gimble was a boring widow that wished Tom would just sit still. Mrs. Gimble's brother Danny loves to travel the world, but his trusty hat is getting old and it isn't as warm. It is only by chance that all three get their wishes. Danny mistakes a sleeping Tom for his fuzzy hat and takes off to travel the world. His new "hat" is very warm and Mrs. Gimble's new "cat" is very still. Tom finally gets to see the world. The funny story of chance shows that anything can happen.

The visuals in the story aide the reader in making guesses as to what will happen next. The first page shows Tom all curled up sleeping. A few pages later, the reader gets to see Danny's hat, that looks a lot like Tom. When Danny visits Mrs. Gimble, he takes off his hat and there is an orange fluffy ball on the top of his chair. This makes the reader question whether or not the fuzzy item is a hat or a cat. On Danny's way out, the illustrator reveals Tom's face on Danny's head. On the following page, Tom is awake and his peg leg is showing. This type of crazy situation would make kids laugh a lot.

The characters in this book are very realistic. Mrs. Gimble is a grumpy lady who enjoys the comfort of her home and cares very much about what others think of her. Danny on the other hand is a wanderer. He loves to travel and has no permanent address. The illustrator makes the differences in their personalities very clear through their clothing. Mrs. Gimble wears conservative pink clothing that blends in with the rest of her house, which is also pink. The similarity of her clothing choices and house decorations show her narrow-mindedness. Danny's clothes contrast Mrs. Gimbles house well, with bold colours like red, black and blue. His vest and choice of hat show his love for travel as they look like they belong in a different culture. This story uses funny characters to introduce different types of people to children in an appropriate way.

Camp is nearly done.

Just when we thought the days couldn't get any better, they did.

We spent this morning at Carisbrook School, in friendly competition and creative expression. Firstly the competition. The basketball was fiercely fought and deservedly won by Carisbrook. Next up was touch, where Beckenham dominated. The decider was the softball, and yes we were victorious. The trophy will be coming back with us to Christchurch. Carisbrook were fabulous hosts and it was awesome seeing the children interact so positively with each other. The real bonus of the morning was the Brophy Ariel Silks programme which is running at Carisbrook.  Jenny very kindly offered to run a session for our children (and some adults) and they absolutely loved it! The morning wrapped up with a delicious lunch provided by Carisbrook.

Waving enthusiastic thanks to the children and staff at Carisbrook, we climbed aboard our buses and headed into town. Our next destination was the long awaited Cadbury's visit, which lived up to everyone's expectations. With chocolate lining our tummies, we went on to explore the beautiful railway station and sports museum. Our final visit was to the Otago Early Settler's Museum. By this stage, we were all pretty bushed, but the interactive nature of the museum had everyone buzzing again. It has been a lovely evening here in Dunedin, so we headed off back to the beach for some more fun in the sandhills to wrap up the afternoon. Yet again, our wonderful parents put on a fabulous spread for dinner, then we settled down to be entertained at our camp concert. We laughed, we wowed and some of us even cried; what a talented bunch we have in Te Whānau Kauri!

That's it, we are nearly done. What an awesome week it has been. A huge thanks to all our fabulous parents. We have loved spending the week with you and have hugely appreciated the contribution you have made, especially in the catering dept. Tomorrow we head to Oamaru to experience the steam punk culture and have fish and chips for lunch. We should be back in Christchurch by 5ish, but will send a more accurate time through to you once we leave Oamaru.
Friendships forged over the chessboard.

Giving our all on the basketball court.

Victorious in the touch.

Sandy showing us her graceful side.

What flexibility!

Thanks for the delicious lunch Carisbrook!

Admiring the beautiful railway station.

Chocolate filled tummies.

Experiencing life in the 'olden days'.

Leaping for joy in the sand dunes.

Jarred shared his sign language talent with us all. 

Koru Newsletter, Term 1 Week 10, 2016

Koru Picnic on Thursday
Join us for our Koru picnic on Thursday 14th at 12.00.  We will have a play on the adventure playground in the park and then eat on picnic rugs. If raining, we will have an inside picnic, fun activities and story session. Parents, Grandparents or other whānau are welcome. BYO packed lunch. Children can bring normal lunch-box lunches.

We Get There Together!
Over the last fortnight, we have been more collaborative across both classes. As well as our daily Maths sessions, we work together in reading too. Students have been showing great self-management as they move to different rooms to work with different teachers. The collaboration means that children get to work at their exact point of learning. They are getting to know and make friends with different children too!

In our wellbeing sessions, we talk about our key Kete values of 'getting there together' and 'showing we care'. We've practised this by pairing children from room 10 and 11, and working on our phonics pictures and songs. 


Reading next week
On Wednesday and Thursday, we will be working through letter sound and word assessments with the children. On these days, your child will bring home a book they have read previously. Enjoy reading this with them. You may also like to practise reading your first 30 words and letter sounds (flash cards provided by Rowena during Mutukaroa interviews).

Parent Helpers
We are looking for parent helpers who can assist with putting reading books away, making resources and games. If you are able to help out, please talk to Amanda, Rowena or Charlotte. Thanks to those who have already volunteered to parent help!

Have Fun Reading with Dr Suess!

“If you never did you should.
These things are fun and fun is good”
~ Dr. Seuss
One sunny day, while swimming in a pool, my husband and I overheard a lady proclaiming to the world that Dr. Seuss’ books were absurd and should not be read to children. Her reason: incorrect use of the English language. Oh lady, you’ve really missed the whole point, haven’t you?! Here are five reasons you should love Dr. Seuss, including his absurdity:
1. Great for Beginning Readers and Mastering Phonics
A child who is learning to read is learning to connect the sounds that go with letters so that he can then put them together to make words … which then become sentences. Repeating sounds frequently, help a child master this skill. Dr. Seuss is the master of repetitive sounds and engaging stories, while using limited vocabulary—an ideal combination for a beginning reader. A good example: Hop on Pop.
2. Great Read-Aloud Books
Thanks to his clever rhyming, Dr. Seuss’ books sound great when they are read aloud. Did you know that reading to an infant helps with brain development, speech skills, and bonding between parent and child? There are a lot of Dr. Seuss books available in board book format (Bright and Early, Board Books), which are the perfect size and durability for little hands and curious mouths. Example: Put me in the Zoo
3. Great for Reluctant Readers
Sometimes the hardest part of reading is getting your child to read. I think you would be hard pressed to find a child that would not be entertained by the sheer absurdity of Dr. Seuss’s wacky plots and zany characters. Example: I Wish that I Had Duck Feet. Sometimes a little fun and excitement is all that is needed to get kids reading.
4. Great for Teaching Life’s Lessons
With enchanting worlds and wonderful creatures, both familiar and unfamiliar, Dr. Seuss teaches readers many admirable life lessons. Example: The Lorax is a great book for teaching children the importance of taking responsibility for the earth.

Three days at camp under our belt.

Today felt like our busiest day yet. We hit the ground running with a quick trip up Baldwin St. The keen ones raced and the rest of us followed. Forest were victorious in the Jaffa roll, Mountains cracked in half a few metres into it and Coast disappeared into the gutter. Next it was off to the Otago Museum. Over the next four hours we walked through the university and down iconic Castle St to the botanical gardens and bird avery, and explored the museum and butterfly forest. We greeted our friendly bus drivers again at three and then it was off to Moana Pool. At the rate the children rushed up and down the hydro-slide, they weren't as tired as we thought they were! After a nourishing dinner, it was evening activity time. The little blue penguins were well worth the 45 minute wait, as we watched them waddle up the beach towards us. Andrew from Hair-Raiser Tours entertained, educated and spooked us, as we toured the streets around the Octagon, learning about it's darker history.

And they're off!

Our five fastest finishers.

We all made it!

Ready, set, roll ...

Otago University

Playing in the gardens.

Butterfly encounters.

These pics are self-explanatory. It was fun on that slide!

That's them down on the sand. Safety in numbers.

On their way to their nests, right under our feet.

Andrew tells us of the fate faced by Mr Ward when he opened an explosive parcel.

There were a whole raft of responses to the stories we heard.

Spectrum Art Trip

We all had a wonderful time on our trip yesterday to the city to check out the Spectrum Art Exhibition at the YMCA. The trip gave us all an opportunity to discuss street art and the message the artist is trying to send to the public. We are very lucky in Christchurch to have numerous amounts of beautiful street art in our city, which seems to have multiplied since the earthquakes begun. My personal favourite is the ballerina on the back of the Isaac Theatre Royal!

A big, huge, massive, gigantic thank you to all the parents who supported us on the day :)

Check out some awesome photography one of our incredibly talented students, Sam, took of the exhibition below.