Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Bee Mural finished

Over the last couple of days I have had my teens in at school helping to finish off the bee mural that the year 1&2 Quest kids (and a few year 5&6's) started. We have transferred the children's sketches on to the plywood base coats that the children painted. Hopefully it will be up on the PE shed wall near the bee house by the start of next year.
You need to check out the pictures - they are SO cute - we have put children's names by their one so that they will be able to identify them for years to come hopefully :)

This is a great positive action these children have taken part in - to help raise awareness of bees and their importance for our environment. Well done kids!

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Helping our planet

We have been looking at ways that we can help our planet. Often it seems overwhelming when there are so many issues, but if we all do a little bit we can make a difference. This is a good illustration of that:

We looked at examples of what others have done (Severn Suzuki's speech to the UN summit in Brazil when she was 12, Young Ocean Explorers raising awareness in NZ, the 'black mambas' protecting rhino and educating people in Africa, etc). We discussed what WE could do - use less plastic, use less electricity, pick up rubbish, talk to others about issues, make posters, plant flowers, join an organisation etc. These ideas were from the students. 

The junior groups started making a sign to inform people about bees so that they look after them, as we need pollinators in our world (thanks to those who donated paint).  Senior students practiced some debate skills with a debate on Trump's ruling that trophies from game hunting are now allowed to be imported into America. Some made posters about various things, some researched topics such as looking after our ocean (check out Young Ocean Explorers.com for a great interactive website by Riley and Steve who came to talk at school last year), some discussed ideas with their penpals and shared what they are already doing. 

Hopefully the kids have ideas for making a difference so that their children can enjoy a healthy clean planet.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Moving on - Year 6 leavers

Here is an open letter to the year 6's who are moving on to Intermediate and College next year.

To the year 6 ‘Quest’ students of 2017

You have been identified at some stage as gifted and talented - that does not mean that you are perfect! You have the ability to think and learn well and strengths in some areas. You may learn some things faster than others. You may have intensities in different areas - imaginational, intellectual, emotional, psychomotor(movement), sensual (senses). You are all amazing in your own unique way.

As you move on in life here are some things to remember that you have hopefully learnt at Quest.

PUZZLES / PROBLEMS TO SOLVE - just like the quizzles we have at quest, sometimes there are challenges in life. Some are easy to solve, some take time and thought.

MISTAKES /FAILURE do not mean that you are no longer gifted. They are a natural part of learning. Thomas Edison (the guy who invented the light bulb and many other things) said “I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that did not work.” If you make a mistake or don’t do as well at something as you hoped, pick yourself up and try again, and eventually you’ll get somewhere.

STRUGGLE and EFFORT are also part of learning. Remember the learning pit - if you have to struggle to get out of the pit you will eventually be able to climb out the other side. You may need help along the way - don’t be afraid to ask for help (or to help someone else). If you just lie at the bottom of the pit and give up then you will never get out the other side. It may feel difficult at times, but struggle is worth it.

DIFFERENCES - everyone is different. Respect others’ opinions. You do not have to agree with them, and you can respectfully debate, but ultimately they are allowed to have their own opinion. Often there is no right or wrong opinion, just different points of view. Everyone has different personality types too - so don’t forget to listen so that you hear the views of the extroverts, and ask questions so that you hear the views of the introverts.

BOREDOM - Believe it or not, it is good for you to be ‘bored’ (that is, not amused / stimulated) at times. Rather than sit and wallow in the feeling of being ‘bored’,  use that time to notice the world around you, think about life, create new ideas, ask questions, communicate with someone, try something new. There is no need to feel bored - it is up to you to do something to change those feelings.

CURIOSITY - never lose that amazing curiosity that helps you learn. Ask questions, listen to others, read, research, experiment, wonder and think. Notice the world and the people around you. Share your amazing observations and ideas.

CARING - you all have something that you care about. People, a cause, a passion. Carry on caring - it makes the world a better place :)

DON’T FORGET YOUR ROOTS - Stop every now and then to look back to where you came from. It will help you to see the amazing changes that have happened in your life as you learn and grow, to remember moments that helped along the way, to reconnect with people and ideas that you may have forgotten about.

I have loved working with all of you. You are amazing interesting people - I love our conversations, your ideas, knowledge, personalities. Don’t stop being YOU!

I would love to hear how you are going if you ever feel like popping in or emailing to say hi. I may not recognise you as you grow and change, so if I look blank please remind me who you are! I have taught hundreds of children over the years, but I still remember students even from my first classes. You are all important to me and I wish you all the best as you move on to your next journey through college.
From Debbie (Mrs Thompson)

P.S: Here’s a good website if you ever want to know more about being gifted and talented…

Monday, 27 November 2017

How can WE help our planet?

This week we continue to look at how we can help the planet.
We will discuss concerns and ideas to help.

Last week we looked at the work of one young students and her Dad - Riley and Steve Hathaway, They have set up 'Young Ocean Explorers'. Many of the students met Riley and Steve when they came to speak at our school last year.
They now have an interactive website, along with their TV series and book, to help children learn about and love the ocean. It is hoped that by inspring others to love the ocean they will also learn to respect it and look after the health of our sea and the creatures in it.
The website is http://www.youngoceanexplorers.com/

This week we will be looking at another young girl who worked hard to raise awareness and help our planet - Severn Suzuki. There are many other children who are working to help our planet - Charlotte Thomas came to talk to our school a couple of years ago to tell us about her work helping Orangutans and raising awareness of how palm oil production harms their habitat.

I hope students will get an understanding of something they could do to help - from simple things like walking to school, using less electricity, recycling, to acts that help raise awareness like posters, speeches, letters, joining organisations etc.

This is my last week with the year 5&6 Quest kids as they are away on camp / EOTC activities next week. Years 1-4 students have another week before we finish Quest for the year (no Quest in the final week of school due to assemblies, class moves etc)

The EPro8 Team are going to the semi-finals this week - good luck team!

Sunday, 19 November 2017

People who help the environment

There are many people around the world who are doing their bit to raise awareness of issues and to help the environment.
Last week we looked at the 'Black Mambas' - a female anti-poaching unit in the Kruger National Park who protect Rhinos. Why are Rhinos endangered? Why are they being poached?

This week we will look at Sylvia Earle and others who champion the ocean and encourage others to love and protect it.

Older students will debate Trump's recent trophy-hunting rule reversal - looking at possible positive and negatives.

When looking at sustainability it is important to help students find ways they can help to give them hope for the future. By looking at others who are helping we can get ideas for how we can help.
Image result for ways kids can help the earth

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Ocean Health


This week we looked at the health of our oceans.
Why is the ocean important to us?
What is affecting the ocean?
How can we help look after the ocean?

We specifically looked at coral reefs, as indicators of ocean health. We looked at how global warming and acidification, due to CO2 being absorbed into the water, is damaging the reefs - bleaching and killing the coral.

We tried mixing CO2 and water with an indicator in it (blowing into purple cabbage water). It turned a slight pink which indicates a weak acid. For the scientists - H2O+CO2 = H2CO3 (carbonic acid)
Oceans are thought to absorb almost half the CO2 from the atmosphere, which is produced by burning fossil fuels.

There are some great little videos that help understand these very difficult concepts.

Importantly, we looked at ideas to HELP our oceans - kids came up with ideas like using electric cars (but what about the electricity stations - they cause pollution, someone stated) So then we looked at ideas for clean energy like solar and wind farms. 
Children talked about walking or biking instead of using cars all the time, using less electricity, not dropping rubbish, using less plastic etc

Back in May I shared the recipe for making indicator solution with purple cabbage. It's a fun way to experiment with everyday substances to identify acids and bases. Here it is again...

Purple Cabbage
Hot tap water

Slice some cabbage into a large bowl and cover with hot tap water. Leave for 5-10 mins, then strain and keep liquid. This is your indicator solution (it changes colour to indicate pH) - it will be blue or purple, depending on how long you leave it and the temp of the water etc -it will work regardless of the colour it starts as. 

Now you can pour some of the solution into several glasses or any clear containers. Experiment with adding different substances to find if they are acidic or alkali. Acidic things around the home are generally sour things - vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice, citric acid etc. They will turn the solution pink. Alkali things are generally soapy - like washing powder, soap, baking soda - they will turn the solution green or blue tones. Don't forget to keep a 'control' so that you can see what colour the solution started as. Kids will have lots of fun with this. Remind them that mixing some solutions from opposite ends of the pH scale could cause a reaction - eg baking soda and vinegar - but they will want to experiment with changing the colour and trying to neutralise the pH again (getting back to the original colour).

WEEK FOUR - there will not be Quest next week sorry as I am taking the TravelWise Team to a TravelWise Celebration on Wednesday, and two teams to the EPro8 engineering challenge on Thursday (instead of working Tuesday). Year 3-6's can look at their penpal information - watch the video, read information and discuss next week's topic 'A Groundbreaking Crisis' with their penpals. 

WEEK FIVE - we will be looking at people who are helping our planet - starting with the 'Black Mambas' who are working to protect Rhinos. 

SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGE - Wenderholm Regional Park 31st October. We took 3 teams to participate in this - a fun day full of map reading, team work and problem solving while learning about caring for our environment. There were about 350 students from many schools there - a great day! Here are a few pictures of our day - complete with a couple of the challenge stations - predator recognition, and first aid. 

Friday, 13 October 2017


This term at school we will be looking at Sustainability. This is a topic I feel strongly about and I know a lot of children I teach share my passion to care for the environment. This is a tricky subject to  look at with gifted children as many are very sensitive and if we focus too much on the problems and not the solutions then it can become very overwhelming. So we will be looking at what concerns the children, introducing a range of issues to learn about, and most importantly looking at people who are helping to look after the planet and thinking about what we can do.

Free illustration: Question Mark, Question, Help - Free Image on ...

The year 3-6 students will also be completing 
a longer project with penpal schools this term (they did a 1 week trial last term, with varying degrees of success!). I will be guiding them more so that they can get more out of it. Some of them did a great job with our introduction to Penpal Schools, some of them will learn how to be more regular and clear communicators! We will be learning how to introduce ourselves clearly and ask good questions to get information.

Free photo Bridge China Nanjing Fuzimiao Surroundings - Max PixelWe are going to mark the location of our penpals on a map and find out more about where our penpals live.

Our next penpal topic is “Protecting the Planet” and we will be looking at what we can do to help look after our planet.

We will be researching different issues that our planet faces, and looking at people who are finding solutions, and discussing these with each other and with our penpals.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Breakout challenge

Last week I gave the year 5&6's this digital breakout - made by a teaching colleague at another school. It was looking a little at elections - a fun challenge and they will hopefully learn something along the way. It is a challenge that some parents might like to try - they are lots of fun! You need to find the codes for the digital 'locks' (in the panel on the left of the page), and enter them to 'break out'. All of the clues are on the page. Hint - some pictures are links that can be opened in a new tab for further clues...

Only a few children have broken out so far - can you???


End of term 3

Well this term has whizzed by in a flash and is almost finished. We fitted a lot in but also had some interruptions this term with camp, shows, me being unwell etc, which meant we didn't do as much as I had planned.

There is no Quest this week due to show rehearsals and performances. I am hoping someone videos the show so I can get to see the talent in action, as I am supervising students in a holding room so won't get to see the performance.

Last week at Quest with the year 3-6 students I tried something I heard about from a teacher at another school. The students all signed up for 'Penpal Schools' online. This looks great, and for those who are communicating well seems to be making them think and consider others' opinions.

Children can log in at any time to their account to discuss the chosen topic with their penpals (and also to chat to their penpals.) Our topic is "joining forces for the environment". Children firstly fill in a profile (no last names or other identifying data), and are matched with a penpal from somewhere else in the world. They then get to watch a video and read some information (in our case about the environment) and then discuss that with their penpal. They are awarded points for the amount they write. As the teacher I get to see everything the children and their penpals write and can comment, report or delete if anything is not good. They have all done a great job so far and it is fascinating to get a little insight into their opinions. Today I have commented on each child's work so far - so hopefully they will see a little message from me. Please encourage them to sign in to their account and chat to their penpals and show you what they have been learning. It is a learning journey and some have cottoned on to the idea more than others. I would like to try this again next term when I have the chance to have a follow-up lesson once we have started the topic, so that they can look and discuss more in depth. You can find out more here:

The juniors looked at earth movement - layers of the earth (crust, mantle, core) , tectonic plates (we did a puzzle), how the earth moves, and how it is measured (Seismographs). They then had a challenge to design a building that was strong enough to withstand our fake earthquake (desk moving) using just spaghetti and marshmellows. This is always a fun technology challenge and a good one to try at home sometime. I was impressed with their team work, perseverance, and ideas. And just look at the concentration on those little faces! :)

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Links to our local College

At this time of year those with year 6 students will be enrolling them at Intermediate and Colleges. I have had queries from a few of you about provision for gifted and talented students at our local school, Whangaparaoa College. So I asked their GATE coordinators - Aleisha Hazlewood and Michele Duggan.

Here is what Aleisha sent me:

The provisions currently available at Whangaparaoa College include:

·         Withdrawal groups (1 hour per week) for gifted learners in Year 7 and 8. Each term we focus on accelerating different skills including literacy skills, numeracy skills, and scientific/problem solving skills. We plan on using science badges next term.
·         We are also providing a withdrawal programme for our gifted visual artists in Year 7. They will be illustrating the stories written by our gifted writers. This will be published in a book at the end of the year.
·         We have a separate gifted programme for Mathematics. Learners attend weekly on Friday mornings before school with one of our subject specialist teachers – David Godfrey. He focuses on extending their mathematical problem solving skills as well as acceleration when needed.
·         Code club with Gary Mueggenburg after school on Thursdays.
·         EPro8 competition with Gary Mueggenburg (engineering and problem solving).
·         Mathex from years 7 – 10. The Year 7 and 8 Mathex programme includes weekly practices over the course of Term 2.
·         For those learners interested in social justice issues (particularly relevant for those sensitive learners who worry about issues going on in the world) Erin Lowry and I run Justice League. We open this up to year 7 and 8 learners every few weeks.
·         Our gifted Maori and Pasifika learners (as identified using Maori and Pasifika definitions of giftedness) are catered for with opportunities to lead in kapa haka. We also make the most of opportunities run by external organisations that develop leadership skills, such as the Sisters United Conference that’s coming up in October.
·         At a senior level, gifted learners develop leadership skills through Prefect and House Leader roles. They are given opportunities to participate in Model United Nations conferences, lead the 40 Hour Famine, and the Justice League group. Many of our gifted leaders also take part in the Duke of Edinburgh programme.
·         Learners who are gifted in music/art/drama/dance are extended through opportunities run by the specific departments in those areas.
·         Those gifted in sporting abilities have ample opportunities to excel through our sports department. I can send you through more details about our gifted learners in sports later.
·         Debate club is run through the English department.
·         Michele Duggan still runs a Shakespeare club.

There are many more extracurricular activities that come up during the year that are open for our gifted learners to take part in. In addition to this;

·         We will be starting the Ethics Olympiad later this year.
·         We are in the process of planning a gifted and talented ‘club’ which will provide opportunities for gifted learners to get together with like-minded peers and socialise. We plan on having a tuakana-teina approach to this so that some of our senior learners can help mentor the younger ones.
·         Acceleration is used on a case by case basis when necessary.
·         Each teacher is expected to differentiate for their gifted learners’ needs.

In terms of next year and subsequent years, we are moving to a cluster group model for our gifted learners. There’s plenty of research that shows this model can help meet the social and learning needs of our gifted learners (and we will be continuing all the other methods outlined above e.g. withdrawal groups, extracurricular activities etc.). Palmerston North Intermediate School has successfully implemented this model. As far as I know, any streamed classes that are already in existence are continuing on and being phased out over time.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Kindness - thoughts from children

Last week at 'Quest' we looked at social movement and how many people joining together can help to change the world. As it was Random Acts of Kindness day on Friday we started by thinking about kindness as a social movement. I asked the children 4 questions - they jotted their ideas down. I love hearing their views and seeing what lovely human beings they all are.

I know they spread kindness where they can - this was a good reminder for them all (and me!).

1. HOW do you feel when someone is kind to you?
Happy, Bright and happy, great, grateful, yayish, I get a shiver and say something back, Awesome, motivated, I feel honoured, That life is good, Makes me want to be kind to that person, Warm and mushy inside, good, all smiles, a lovely tingle, happy loved and liked, happy tears, I want to smile and laugh all day, cheerful, joyful, proud of the other person, excited, cool, happy and special, all the good feelings there are, better than ever, glad, super dooper happy  

2. WHO can we be kind to?
Anyone except bad people (this raised some debate - and it was decided that we should try to be nice to bad people as well to show them how to be kind and to make them feel better), Family, Friends, Mum and Dad, anyone, homeless people, Anyone because you never know what people are going through, all living things, anyone and everyone, teachers, anything that is alive, people who are kind to you, Anyone - even if you don't want to, caretakers, nice people, the world, humans.

3. WHAT can we do to be kind?

Help people, smile, give someone flowers, hug, be a friend, use manners, make everyone smile, greet them, make them laugh, handshake, say hi, helping with someone's problem like depression, be nice, give money, if someone drops something help them pick it up, give a gift, smile and say can I play with you, tell jokes, say nice words, if someone falls over help them up, do someone's chores, care for them, help people, help someone when they are hurt, go to someone's birthday if they invite you, don't bully, play with them, anything good, don't be rude, give sad people a compliment, help them when they are sad or scared, not be complete idiots! compliments, open doors, hug someone, help someone in need, give homeless people money, be nice to someone even if they are not nice to you, help homeless people as in give them a bottle of water, smile, be helpful

4. WHY be kind?
To show love, because we want everyone to smile, because it is nice, to have friends, because it is polite, to make the world better, to make others feel good, to spread happiness, because it is nice to be kind, to make the world a kinder place, it makes life better, 'cos why not? To brighten up someone's day, if you are kind then others will be as well, because when you make someone feel good it makes you feel good too, to cheer them up, to make someone feel loved, to make someone's day! to make people smile, because it is respectful, to make people's life better, it's a good thing to do, do what you want them to do - be kind, because it makes people happy.

These are all simple but powerful ideas from children aged 5-10. Imagine if we all had hearts like theirs - our world would be wonderful! Thank you parents for raising such caring children. :)

Thursday, 31 August 2017

If laughter was a colour, what colour would it be?

Laughter and smiling are contagious - you only have to hear somene laughing and you often smile or laugh too. 

This week we talked about spreading smiles and kindness with social movement, as it is Random Acts of Kindness day (RAK) on Friday.

What colour do you think laughter would be? Smiling? Would they be the same or different? 

We looked at Orly Wahba and the work she is doing to encourage people to spread kindness and make the world better.  This is a great video if you haven't seen it - all about spreading kindness. Very inspiring.   Orly Wahba has also done a TED talk too if you are interested - It's only 10 minutes. In it she talks about how she used kindness cards to encourage people to spread kindness.

                                                                 Here's the TED talk.
And here's another little idea for RAK - spreading smiles via post-it notes. My Quest kids loved this simple idea. The grammar / spelling on this video is not the best - but you get the idea!  

Next week we will be looking at ocean currents - movement in the ocean. The good and the bad effects of currents, and how they work (eg thermohaline circulation - temperature and salinity of the water). 

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Writing Competition

Do you love to write? Would you like to see your work published in a real book?
Here is a writing competition for anyone up to year 10 (14/15yr olds). This is run by Zee Southcombe - the author who visited the year 5/6 Quest kids in week 1 this term.

The competition theme is NATURE. You can write a story, report, poem etc. Have a go! Remember to edit your work - don't just send in your first draft - check it, improve it, re-read it. Good luck writers!

Details are on this website: https://nzyoungwriters.com/submit/

Monday, 14 August 2017

Animals and Movement

Last week the year 3-6 students looked at animals and movement. The year 1&2 students will learn about it this week.

The year 3-6 students have a fun movement challenge this week - Quizzes and activities to do with movement that we have learnt about so far this term.

We looked at LOCOMOTION - how animals move in different ways - the language of movement eg soar, flitter, creep, stretch, walk, glide etc We tried to classify animals into movement types.
We also looked at MIGRATION - when animals move to different regions. We looked at the reasons for this, some of the animals that migrate, and how humans can affect migration.

This elephant is walking through a hotel lobby. The hotel was built around mango trees that the herd has visied for years on their migratory trail. So the elephant just walked on in to get to the trees.

Here is a fun little video on Wildebeest Migration.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Movement of hands

Hands move in so many ways, and we use them a lot daily. This week we looked at how we use our hands, which hand is more dominant, how the brain controls our hands. We also looked at anatomy of a hand, and children completed a variety of choices. We looked at artist studies of hands, sign language, imagining if we didn't have hands, writing about hands etc.

Below is a fantastic story by Olivia - year 5, written from the point of view of a hand.

I am a hand. Yes, a hand. My life is tough. I am the Left hand, I live with my brother, Right hand and my master, Olivia. I awoke abruptly, I was slapped on the alarm to make the beeping noise stop. Owch! I see my brother still sleeping. Suddenly, Master sat up in bed, my brother was used to wipe sleep out of Master’s eyes. Plop! A big drop of porridge just dropped on my finger. I was then washed, I got soap in my eyes, painful. Then suddenly, I remember I have to write an essay today!! Right hand is lucky, he doesn’t have to write anything! I feel Master pick me up, Oh No! Not the nose, Not the nose! No No No No nooooo! I was shoved up Master’s nose I felt, dirty, I need a shower! A slimy booger stuck to my nail. At school, our teacher says to get the essay books out. I am shoved into Master’s desk, with Right Hand. We have started writing now, I already am in some pain. An hour later, after the essay, I can hardly move!! I guess life is better than my cousins, Left foot and Right foot, they sweat inside old smelly shoes!!

Some students watched this TED video by a neuroscientist. They asked me to share it so they can show parents. It's really fascinating - using signals from one brain to move someone else's hand!

Next week we will be looking at animals and movement.

Thursday, 27 July 2017


CHESS COACHING - we have an accredited chess coach coming to school on Thursday lunchtimes again this term to run lessons. Term 3 classes start next Thursday 3rd August. This is paid for by parents as it is run by a private outside company.
Here is the info / enrolment form if you are interested. 

 We also have chess club on Tuesday lunchtimes in B9 - that's free but much less formal as I run it and just supervise, and teach bits where I can - I am nowhere near the skill of the accredited coaches! But any child is welcome to come to that. Parents always welcome too if you want to pop in for a game or three :)

SCRATCH CLUB - I have some wonderful year 6 boys running a club on Wednesday lunchtimes teaching scratch programming - any year 3-6 children welcome. (younger children can come too but they would need their own device). I supervise this in B9. If your child has not done scratch before here are some good easy tutorials to walk them through the basics in their own time - the first one is on setting up an account.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThryP6bINxA  Scratch can be found at www.scratch.mit.edu
 There is huge scope for programming using scratch - children have programmed games, presentations, animations etc  I would love more girls to attend - the class is mostly full of boys - if anyone has ideas on how to get girls involved please let me know! 

SHARING KNOWLEDGE - This term we are looking at the concept of movement. If anyone has knowldege that they would be willing to share with the children in any of these areas please let me know - we love visitors! You do not need to be an expert in the field - just any knowledge or interest in the area that you could share is always appreciated :) Kids get so much out of hearing accounts of real people and real experiences / knowledge / jobs (and so do I!).  
Topics: Robotics; Plate Techtonics / earth movement (seismology etc); Animals and movement - how they move and migration patterns etc (vets / scientists??); social movements eg forest and bird, greenpeace, other change organisations; art movement (dance , artists, mime etc); sign language; ocean currents; animation / puppetry etc etc. If you have any areas at all that you would be willing to chat to the kids about (even other than those listed above), please get in touch. It could be as simple as chatting to one group (15-25 students) or to several groups, or a larger group of children - whatever you are willing to do. And it doesn't need to be long - the author who visited my year 5/6 groups this week chatted for about 30-40 minds with a slideshow, and then had about 20 mins of kids asking questions. You could do shorter or longer - whatever you are comfortable with.

Monday, 24 July 2017

MOVEMENT - Term 3 Concept

Welcome back to another Term of School. :)

This term the concept is Movement. Children will be looking at this in their regular classes too. I will be introducing a variety of topics under the concept of movement to show children links and hopefully some new ideas.

We will be looking at movement with maths (speed of things), Science (how things move), Geography, Social science, language, arts, health etc. We will also look at feelings, thoughts, different perspectives, how movement can have knock-on effects - for example, human settlements can affect migration patterns of animals. Well, that's my plan anyway! Sometimes children have ideas that mean we go in a different direction...

This week we will be looking at muscles and how they help us move.

The year 5&6 groups have a special visitor coming on Tuesday - nothing to do with the topic, but an author was offering to visit school groups for free, so I snapped up the opportunity! Zee Southcombe is a writer and an illustrator. She likes to encourage children to have a go and has written several books. I have a couple of her books at school called 'I am a writer' - lots of advice from authors on how to become a writer - and another called 'I am an artist'. 

Friday, 30 June 2017

Mistakes are ok!

Many gifted children fear making mistakes. Either they have perfectionist tendencies, or if they'fail' at something they may experince imposter syndrome (the feeling that they are somehow a 'fraud' and probably not really gifted).

This week we used the America's Cup races to discuss failure / mistakes. We talked about how we feel when we make mistakes, the fact that people all handle this in different ways, and most importantly what we can DO if we make a mistake or if something doesn't go to plan.

We looked at items that were invented by mistake - silly putty, iceblocks, potato chips, microwaves etc. 'Mistakes are the portals of learning'.

We read a great little book called 'Beautiful Oops', which is all about making the most of our mistakes - changing them into something good.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Out of the mouths of babes...

Out of the mouths of babes…
At Quest last week we looked at changing the world. Firstly we discussed strengths, weaknesses and opportunities in the world. I love hearing children’s opinions – often they think about far more than we realise. Ideas are from years 1-6 students (5-11 yr olds). The future of the world is in good hands with these kids I think! 😊
                                            (I can change the world)

                                           (make more friends, stop littering, take care of the rainforest)

People and places:
We have a home. We’re friendly. Collaborating. My family and my mum and my friends. A home. Cars. Nice people. Random acts of kindness. Free stuff for homeless / foster children/ poor people. Foundations. Me. Good people. Tall Buildings. People helping others. Kindness. Adopting animals. People who care. Family. Friends. Happiness. People being kind. Kindness and caring. A brain. Fun. Family. Smiles. Mr da Vinci. Mrs Thompson. Teachers. Shelter. Where we live. School. Friends. Life.
Activities / interests:
I can do art. I go to Quest. Boxing and All Blacks! Swimming. Japanese video games and arcades. Technology. T.V. Science. Food. Chocolate. Books. Education. Pie. Football. Music. Good schools. Playgrounds. Electronics. Quest.  Pokemon. Reading. Quest. Learning. Fudge. Math. Space. Moon. Art.
The environment:
Having the earth. Animals. Plants, trees. Ocean and wind and trees. Eco friendly stuff. Nature. Trees. Eco-friendly groups. Solar panels. Rubbish bins. Wind power. Geothermal power. Hydroelectric power. People planting trees. Looking after the environment. How we care for animals. Sun. Trees. Land. Water. Plants.

People and places:
People throw rubbish. People kill things. Donald Trump. ISIS. North Korea’s president. Sadness. All Superpower countries. Bill English. Trump. People who are NOT NICE. Bad people. Robbers. Being hurt. Bullying. Beggars. Mr Trump. Cruelty / abuse.  Terrorists. Disease. Not everyone is kind.
Guns. Bombs. Memes. Shooting. Stealing. Wars. Money. WW3? More war in that poor country. T.V. Money. Food. Vegetables. School. Being inside.  Fighting. No food. Square eyes and device addiction. I can’t read books. Getting out of bed. I can’t ride my bike really well.
Rubbish in the sea. No trees. Pollution. Logging. Global warming. Death. Pollution. Cutting trees down. Cutting down trees for money. Car pollution. Littering. Land fills. Litter. The sun melting the ice and flooding the world. Rubbish. Green House gases. Animal cruelty. Litter. Pollution. Extinction of animals. We leave rubbish. Floods. Leaving rubbish.

People and places:
Vote out Trump. Have a different NZ Prime Minister. Give more respect. Donate. Living on Mars? Make houses smaller. I can change the world! Make more friends. Give kindness to the world. More homes. Show kindness.
Lego shop. Bikes. Double decker car. Stop everything bad!! More technology. Stop doing wars. Don’t use petrol cars. Get kids to go outside. Be sporty. More free wifi. Time to do stuff. Not as much electronics. Less people playing on devices. Jobs. Play outside more. Stop battles.
More animals. Whales. Stop oil ships from killing whales!  Stop using palm oil. Use less paper. Stand for trees. Plant more trees. Pick up rubbish. Recycling. Eat bugs. More medicine plants. More animals. Stop cutting down trees. Don’t use electrics as much. Stop polluting the ocean. Do not put rubbish on the ground. Don’t waste water. Re-use. Take care of the rainforest. Stop littering. Plant more plants.

Parent Evening - 'Gifted 101'

What is giftedness? At a recent parent evening I talked about the different domains (areas) of giftedness and how we identify and cater for ...