Dry paper towels in water – Science

Science paper towels dry (400x225)In room 5, we had a science lesson for the year 5 & 6s while the year 7 & 8s were at technology. The current focus is water, so why not do a water based science experiment and learn how to write up the process. Together we wrote up the experiment below, to help model for students.

I asked the students if a paper towel would stay dry in water? No it won’t, it will get wet was the overwhelming response, not one yes! Well, Mr Madge weaved his magic, and would you believe it, (Alex couldn’t) I put a paper towel in a bowl of water pulled it out and it was dry. They were a few amazed faces. How did I do it?

I think the paper towel will get wet in water because that’s what they are designed to soack up water.

A bowl
A glass cup
Paper towels

Fill the bowl with water.
Put the paper towels inside the glass cup.
Put the glass cup into the water.
Took the glass cup out of the water.
I took the paper towels out to see if they were wet or dry.

When Mr Madge took out the paper towels from the cup they were all DRY.

My prediction was wrong because paper towels were dry when Mr Madge pulled them out of the cup. I think they stayed dry because…

What next?
We could use different materials, different cups, warm water.



In room 5 today we are continuing to learn waiata. You can listen to our attempt here. The second waiata we’ve learned is called TENA KOUTOU. Mr Madge played it on the ukulele, with Pirita the lead singer while the rest of the class backed him up. This waiata is used to greet and welcome people at a pöwhiri or used just as a welcome song. It is easy to learn
because each line is repeated or echoed. It is often performed with one person leading.Tena Koutou

Coordinate Challenge

We’ve been working on coordinates in class as part of our geometry work. Here’s a problem for you to try out. Don’t give up – persevere!Coordinate puzzle

Can you position these ten letters in their correct places according to the eight clues below?

Coordinate puzzle 1


The letters at (1,1), (1,2) and (1,3) are all symmetrical about a vertical line.

The letter at (4,2) is not symmetrical in any way.

The letters at (1,1), (2,1) and (3,1) are symmetrical about a horizontal line.

The letters at (0,2), (2,0) have rotational symmetry.

The letter at (3,1) consists of just straight lines.

The letters at (3,3) and (2,0) consist of just curved lines.

The letters at (3,3), (3,2) and (3,1) are consecutive in the alphabet.

The letters at (0,2) and (1,2) are at the two ends of the alphabet.

Want to try it out online? Click here, and scroll down the page.



Aboriginal art

Aboriginal Turtle (400x400)In room 5 we’re continuing to create Aboriginal art. In the pictures we’ve been colouring a sea turtly. We’re now working on a frog to stick with our topic theme – water. We’ll show you more as they’re created.

Maths evening

Maths evening (400x225)

What strategy would you use?

Last night we had a very successful maths evening with parents and their children. The evening was for parents and students from years 5 to 8. The evening focused on looking at the various strategies that students are being taught to answer maths problems. There was lots of engagement and participation. We’ll be organising a maths evening for the junior school next.

Kiwi Fit – triangles

FitnessTriangles (400x225)

Triangle from Kiwidex in action – catch that ball! 

In room 5 we’ve been doing a lot of fitness activities this year. Here’s a game we played today. It was fast, fun and was helping improve our coordination and fitness.


triangles.JPGEquipment: One large ball per group.

Area: One square per team – marked by lines using cones or chalk markings – as in diagram.

Formation: Teams of 4, 1 child at each of 3 corners, 4th child inside the square

Instructions: The ball must be passed along the sides of the square – no diagonal passes. The player without the ball must move to the vacant corner to give the player with the ball the option of 2 passes. The player in the centre attempts to intercept passes – if successful she changes with the passer e.g. Number 1 can pass to 2 or 3, if 3 takes the pass she can pass it back to 1 or to the vacant corner – so 2 must sprint to the vacant corner in case the pass is made there. If 2 does receive the pass at what was the vacant corner then Number 1 must run to the vacant corner and be ready to take a pass.

Variations: Can you create some?

Visit Kiwidex



Staying afloat


Swimming lessons at the Aquatic Centre

As part of room 5’s Physical Education programme, the students have participated in swimming lessons at the Kapiti Aquatic Centre. They are being taught by qualified instructors, whose aim is to develop confidence in the water and the development of stroke technique.

Grettel takes them out!


Grettel the Jujitsu champion

Grettel from room 5 had a busy day on Saturday. Here’s  her recount of her day. On Saturday the 4th of March I had a Jujitsu competition at Kapiti College. There were 5 people in my division. Ev’a who is part of my club had the first fight, I fought the person she lost to. Then I won that fight through an Americana which is a submission. Then there was a fight between two girls from up north. I fought the winner of that fight and I won which meant  I won our division. I felt proud and couldn’t wait to tell my hero Mr Madge on Monday.

Greetings #2 – Spanish

Learning with ZEAL

We are learning Spanish this year? In our second lesson, we have been learning more greetings. We are using Spanish lessons with Paco. Main concepts covered today:
Buenas tardes = Good afternoon.
¿Cómo te llamas? = What do you call yourself?
Me llamo _____. = I call myself ______.
¿Y tú? =And you (familiar)?
Hasta mañana = See you tomorrow.

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Coding in class – Moana


Today in room 5 I taught the students more about coding, and we used Moana from the recent Disney movie as our motivation. There was lots of collaborative work and fun happening. We were learning to:

  • Define “coding” and “computer science”.
  • Identify key computer science vocabulary.
  • Make connections between computer science concepts and the real world.
  • Identify places to go to continue learning computer science and coding.
  • Be inspired to keep learning!

Using a compass – mathematics

using-a-compass-400x225As part of room 5’s geometry unit we’ve been working on the theme of position and orientation. The students in the photo have been learning how to use a compass. It was a new learning experience for this group and worthwhile. They found it a fun thing to do, and said it should help them on school camp later in the year.

If you want to learn how to use a compass and map, try looking at this webpage or watching the video below:



In room 5 today we started learning waiata. The first waiata we learned was called E TORU NGA MEA. My Madge played it on the ukulele while students sang. This waiata is about the importance of guiding your life by the principles of faith, hope and love – aroha. We discussed the concept of aroha where it means more than love, and the values of whakapono, tümanako, and aroha. You can listen to our first attempt here.

Home School Learning Connection #3

I thought it would be a good idea to also add the home school learning connection tasks to the website too. You’ll find a paper copy in your child’s communication book.

Room 5, Home School Learning Connection

Term 1, Weeks 5-6, 2017

Home on Monday, completed by Friday of week 6

Hi parents and families of Room 5.

If you would like your child to share their learning with you and or practice their skills at home please complete any or all of the 4 tasks below and sign/ date them.

Also please comment on the programme and give any feedback in the box below even if you do not participate so I know you have seen this programme at home.

Thanks, Mr Madge

Learning Completed Parent Signature
Times tables

We need to know our times tables to help us with our maths learning – continue practising.

  • Call out the times tables, 2, 3, 4 & 5s.
  • Answer quick questions like 7 times 4.
  • Look at the class website and find the times tables games and play on a few.
Talk Moves

We all have talk moves sheets stuck into our books. These are prompts to help us share our learning. Use some Talk Moves with your family.

Learning with Zeal class website activity

Take a look at our class website and complete the activity in the post ‘The treasure map – mathematics’. Show your map in your communication book.


Learning our spelling words.

We need to keep learning our spelling words. You need to write ten of your spelling words in your communication book and copy them out five times. Get someone at home to test you on those words.

Parent Comment/ Feedback:







Relay for life – Alix

alix-225x400Alix from of classroom was pictured in the local newspaper participating in the local Relay for Life event. Alix created a collage of photographs in memory of her grandfather who died from cancer earlier this year.

The treasure map – mathematics

In this maths problem We Are Learning To: Follow instructions using grid and compass references on a map.

Can you recreate the treasure map from the information below? Why not adapt the names or numbers to personalise it to your class.

The treasure map

treasureCaptain Madge buries his treasure but loses his treasure map! But all is not lost. His trusty crew remember different bits of the map.

“I remember drawing it with 5 squares each way”, says the Captain.
“There was a row of three trees running due East from the square (1,1)”, Peg Leg Pirita says. “You put each one of them on a different square.”
“Weren’t there four granite boulders going due South from (5,5)?” Cezar asks. “I think you put one of them each in a square too.”
“Ah!. Now I remember!” yells the Captain. “I buried the treasure half way between the first rock and the most western tree!”
Where is the treasure?
Extension to the problem
Write clues for your own treasure map. Post as a challenge for others to solve.

If you’d like the problem in Maori:

treasureTe Pouaka Taonga
Kua ngaro i a Kāpene te mahere e whakaatu ana i te wāhi i
tāpuketia tana pouaka taonga. Ko tōna
waimarie, kei te maumahara tonu ana
kaimahi i ētahi wāhanga o te mahere.
“I tuhia te mahere ki tētahi tukutuku,
e 5 mā te 5 ngā tapawhā rite” te kī a
“E toru ngā rākau e rārangi mai ana, mai i te wāhanga (1,1), o
te tukutuku e anga whakaterāwhiti ana. Kotahi te rākau ki te
wāhanga tukutuku kotahi.” Koirā te maumahara a WaewaeTotitoti.
“E whā hoki ngā toka nui e rārangi ana ki te tonga,” te kōrero a
tētahi. Ko te mea tuatahi kei te wāhanga (5,5) o te tukutuku, ā,
kotahi anō te toka ki ia wāhanga.”
“Kei te maumahara au ināianei!” te umere a Kāpene. “I tāpuketia
te pouaka ki waenganui pū o te toka tuatahi me te rākau kei te
taha uru.”
Tuhia te mahere, ka whakaatu ai i te wāhi e tāpuketia ana te
pouaka taonga a te hunga nanakia nei.

Adapted from NZmaths.

Ukulele group starts for 2017

UkuleleGroup2017 (400x225).jpgLast Thursday after school we had our first ukulele lesson for 2017. We have many new students who’ve chosen to learn the ukulele and a few players from last year. We learnt how to hold the ukulele, count in time, play a C chord and sing a song while playing. We’re off to a good start and looking forward to learning lots of songs and performing in front of others.

Aboriginal art

pixlr_20170217125741507In room 5 we’ve been looking at and attempting to recreate some Aboriginal art. In the pictures we’ve been colouring a barracuda. We’re now working on a sea turtle and sea snake to stick with our topic theme – water. We’ll show you more as they’re created.

Stories from other cultures – Zahra

In our current writing sessions we are learning to use adjectives, adverbs and language features to describe the land, the tree and the girl in the short movie Zahra.

Zahra spends all day collecting water in order to help her tree grow so she can get some shade.  She travels back and forth to the water pump but to no avail.  The tree won’t grow.  It is not until a bead of sweat falls on the roots that the tree springs forth and grows protectively in order to protect her from the sun.
Lots of discussion points about the little girl.  How we know she is in a different country, clothes, houses etc.

Writing opportunities:

  • Writing ‘A day in the life…’ from the little girls point of view.
  • Write a narrative based in the girl’s village.
  • Adverts for ‘Water aid’ type charities.
  • Write a persuasive letter to the government to support funding water supplies in Africa

What is water?

water.jpgAs a school-wide focus we are learning about water. Today we completed brainstorms answering a variety of questions about water. The question, ‘What is water?’ prompted these responses by students: River, sweat, nutrition, a liquid your body uses, clouds, it’s healthy; snow; bubbles; ice, lake, it keeps you hydrated, pool, liquid, rain, sea, droplets. It’s a good start to our brainstorm, I’m sure we’ll add to it.



Greetings #1 – Spanish

We are learning Spanish this year? In our first lesson, we have been learning greetings. We are using Spanish lessons with Paco. Main concepts covered today:
Buenos días. = Good morning.
¿Cómo te llamas? = What do you call yourself?
Me llamo _____. = I call myself ______.
¿Cómo estás? = How are you?
Bien, gracias. = Fine, thank you.
¿Y usted? = And you (formal)?