Celebrating Our Writing

Writing is something that the Neinsteins work really hard on.  Today we want to celebrate writing and would really appreciate feedback and suggestions…

We are reading and working towards writing a range of persuasive texts in “Writing Workshop 3” at the moment. These include advertisments, letters to the Editor, written debates, posters and labels. Today we wrote an argument from the Three Bears to Goldilocks explaining why they were going to press charges against her. We had to support our arguments with information… What do you think?

31st July, 2012

Dear Goldilocks,

We have been considering the morning that you broke into our house and whether or not to press charges against you.

Research shows that delinquent behaviours  in childhood often lead to extreme criminal activity as an adult. We are sure that you are aware of the broken chair, the messed up bed and the half-eaten porridge that you left behind. The very least you could have done was apologise and replace the chair!

Some people might say that we are being unfair and too hard on a little girl but we have decided to press charges against you.

As we have shown you have committed a number of offences including breaking and entering, theft and vandalism.

Yours faithfully,




Poppa, Mama and Baby Bear

The Opening Ceremony

What did you think of the opening ceremony at the Olympic Games? Did you go? Are you watching the games? We would love to know what you think of them.

The Olympics are a great way for strong and courageous athletes to show their talent off to the world and even earn prizes and gain world records.

Though fake, the Queen, Queen Elizabeth jumped from a helicopter in the opening ceremony. For some reason she was impersonated by a man. Was there not a woman who looks like the Queen prepared to jump out of a plane? Mr. Bean (Johnny English) was playing the one note over and over again, then the music stopped and he filled in by playing a solo on the piano.

We found out when we skyped Marc this morning that normal people were chosen to perform in the opening ceremony. Marc was of them. He is a friend of Mrs Caldwell’s and he took our flat mascot with him to the Olympic stadium.

All of the pre-dancers had a chance to audition and more than half made it into the dance sessions. It took more than a year to learn the steps with over 100 sessions taking around 45 minutes each to complete, but well worth it because the moves were almost automatic to the dancers.

So far some of the athletes have even beaten their PB (personal best ) by more than 2 seconds. The weights from weightlifting were very heavy and around 100kg. Some weightlifters could only carry for around half of the expected time. Though some failing but still chugging away this year’s olympics will be a very close one.

By George, Year 6

Neinstein’s at the Olympics!

It was so exciting to see our Flat Neinstein not only at the opening ceremony but IN in it!
Flat Neinstein is our class logo/mascot.
He has been on an amazing, top secret adventure in the past week.You see, not only did he manage to make it to London in time for the Olympic Games… he actually rode in the pocket of one of the awesome performers!


Today we skyped with Marc at the start of the day and he told us all about the opening of the games and the many hours that he and the rest of the cast spent practising this. (Watch out for this post tomorrow!)

Neinstein will be off to a few games over the next week and will then be off to the Paralympics! How lucky is he?

We will be looking for hosts to look after Neinstein on his journey home. We hope that he can visit every continent and maybe a few islands in between! Let us know if you can help him get home in September!

by the Neinsteins

Marae Visit

To celebrate Maori language week, Room 9 went to a Marae called Araiteuru Marae to learn about the Maori culture and marae protocol. At the Marae, we did lots of fun things. Some of them brought us out of our comfort zone. Some things like the hongi. The hongi is when two people lightly touch noses. Translated into English, it means the breath of life. We had to hongi all of the staff there and so did the teachers. After that we sang the staff there sang a waita to us. Once we had both sang we got split into three groups and went off to do activates.

On the first activity we did, we all shared our Mihi’s. The first activity that my group did was making whistles out of small bits of bamboo and if you blew into it the right way you could get a good sound. The second activity that we did was the Titi Toreau. Translated into English, Titi Toreau means ‘Stab, stab, rip ’. The Titi Toreau is a short stick that was used by the Maori to kill people. The other activity that we did was the raku (translated into English means stick). It is a Maori weapon that that we used to learn how to hit and block with. It is longer than the Titi Toreau but it was still used for fighting.

The Marae was a lot of fun because we learnt lot of new skills and things about the Maori culture and we are going to teach them to other people in our school so they will know. This was the first Marae visit that St Clair School has had and we hope to have lots more.

By Eleana. Year 6



We’re IT!

The Room 9 Einsteins are so excited to be a part of this global project and think it is so funny that the blog has literally been passed over the hill from Mosgiel to Dunedin in the South Island of New Zealand!

We are a class of 31 Year 5 and 6 students who absolutely love blogging and the audience feedback it provides. It is this feedback that really helps our learning because everything we share is “for real” and we take on board what suggestions people give to us.

We are about to start vlogging and think that we might share the beginnings of our journey here so that we can get some real help and advice.

In the meantime, here is a “window” to our classroom…

Learning with the Neinsteins… on PhotoPeach

A HUGE thank you to Deputy Mitchell

Thank you so much for the wonderful opportunity to be part of this global project.  We have loved the chance to share and tell our stories.  We have loved the feedback and comments from around the world.  We have loved the chance to connect with educators and set up future skypes and collaborations!

We loved the chance to share a little of Maori Language week, to share the loss of the true New Zealand treasure, author Margaret Mahy, and we loved the countdown to the Olympics.

We love the idea of pass the blog and we have started our own to pass a blog around our e-teach group to share our professional development.


Our school is on the move…


Yes, it is official, the tape has arrived to seal the boxes, our school is on the move.  We are moving our school buildings over the road and putting them back together in an innovative way.  Five of our classes will open onto a collaborative hub, or learning corridor!

We have the opportunity to future proof our school, moving to a large open green space, more space for play, and space for future building if the need arises.

It will be very exciting to completely refurbish our school.

What an exciting time for us all!  I wonder if any of you have experienced a school moving!  Would love to hear your stories….


Life long learners…

Today we helped our teacher Mrs K! She is presenting her first ever IGNITE talk! This is a talk to ‘ignite’ an audience.  Mrs K was really nervous.  She presented her talk to us and we were able to give her so much feedback and feed forward.  She was very grateful for our help.  She was able to take our suggestions and present to her e-teach friends.  She was much more confident!

Last term we all prepared speeches for our annual speech competition.  It was a lot of fun.  We have now decided we will have a go at mini ignite talks.  We will all present something from our space learning…

What a wonderful learning journey we are on together.



Olympic Games Opening

What an amazing celebration – the opening of the Olympic Games.  We all learnt so much about Britain.  We loved the journey through time.  The music was really cool.  Some of our very favourite parts were Mr Bean playing and the “Queen” parachuting in.  We have been watching the Olympics a lot this weekend.

Mason has started a wonderful record of Olympic results on a page in our wiki!  Well done Mason.

New Zealand has made a fantastic start.  Glen Snyders set a New Zealand record in the swimming – 100 metre breaststroke.

Hamish Bond and Eric Murray set a world record time in the heats of rowing.

Kiwi athletes get a surprise visit from the Queen.

We need to really think about the messages in the Olympic Games… everyone is gathered in peace to compete. It was very exciting to see all the teams parade in. How exciting to see this is the first Olympics with a female competitor from every country.

It was so special to see the lighting of the Olympic flame. It is so symbolic to see a copper petal from each country all burning together.

There were so many wonderful moments in the opening ceremony. What was your favourite?



Counting down to London Olympics 2012

Today was an amazing day in class.  For Funky Friday time we prepared for the start of the London Olympics 2012.

Today room six made a wall which was to do with the Olympic Games. First it was a plane old wall but soon it wasn’t, because room six decided to decorate it with pictures of either people who are starring in the Olympic Games or words that describe it. This afternoon I bet it would be all filled up with more facts and pictures.     By Lorie

It was great to see the wall grow…

We are excited to follow the results!  Mason has started a page in the wiki to record results as they happen.  We have also downloaded the London Olympic Result apps onto our devices.

10 Aside Rugby Tournament

Today we had our second gathering with full primary school’s around the Taieri, Green Island area.  We went there expecting to play rippa, but were very surprised to find it was a tackle rugby competition.  We could not play tackle because we did not have mouth guards or head gear.

We had two great games of rippa on a very sunny afternoon.

On the Marae…

We have been learning with the Maori NIE for Maori language week. (NIE stands for Newspapers in Education.) We acted out visiting a Marae. It was lots of fun. First of all Sam did a haka. We walked forwards and Sam put down the koha.  The tangata whenua picked up the koha.  We sat down and we were greeted.  We sang.  We spoke.  We greeted each other.  It was interesting because we have only been on a Marae once.  We would like to visit one again.


Leading Jump Jam

Today we led jump jam because the year 7’s and 8’s were at technology. We danced to Mambo #5, Hey baby, and the new song Keep on moving. These are some of our feelings about Leading Jump Jam

I was excited and pumped up. I learnt a lot. And I had a great time and a great experience. I can’t wait for my next turn. – Zara

I was really excited.  It was really fun. I liked being the leader.  I can’t wait to my next time.-Georgia

Doing Jump Jam was really fun and I had a lot of energy going in to it. I was excited. I hope I have another opportunity to lead again and I am so relieved that I got it right.-Ciara

Our whole school gets together every day for fitness.  In term one we do skipping, in term two we do running, term three we do jump jam and in term four we play co-operative games.  We are in our whanau groups which means we are grouped from age 5-13 in one whanau.  We get to know and work with children right across the school.  Every second Friday afternoon we get together in our whanau class for a learning session together…  These are our whanau groups!  They are all New Zealand birds, Kotuku, Kereru, Tui, Piwaiwaka, Hoiho, Kakariki and Pukeko.  We stay in the same whanau group for the whole time we are at school.


Paired writing…

In class we have been learning how to tutor someone with Jill. When we have a tutoring session  Mrs K  and Jill demonstrate for us and then we go off with our tutoring partners. Brya and I are together and so far we have written about a day in the life of an elephant, what we have done in the holidays and heaps more. We love it because it is a new way of learning.

By Mia

We are learning soooo much about the role of the tutor and the role of the tutee!  Can you see how focused we are on our writing?  What comments can you make about what is going on in these photos?

Our wonderings…

This term we are moving off planet earth.  We are taking what we know already about Space and wondering!  Wonderings are our curiosity, things we are eager to investigate and learn more about!  We are using a Google Doc to share our wonderings.  As we develop a wondering wall, we will work as a class to investigate and take our learning further.  During this early start of our learning we continue to wonder and develop our curiosity.  Can you please have a look at our wonderings and let us know what you think?

Click on the question mark to watch our wonderings develop!

Bottle Bivy Build

We have been working with a group of teachers around New Zealand to build a bottle bivy. You can check it out on the Bottle Bivy Build Blog or our class blog.
When we got to school on Monday the bivy had collapsed again. We do not know why? Maybe we didn’t have it balanced correctly, maybe the glue gets brittle in the cold over the weekend?
Today Zack’s dad came for a visit. He works for Ullrich Aluminium and he is very clever. He is going to help us with a framework to start all over again. We think it will be even better this time. What do you think?

Winter in New Zealand…

Walking on the ice.

On Tuesday Georgia and Ciara walked on the ice. It was really cold and our ears were nearly blue. The puddles that were there that night were frozen. All of the ground was white with frost. Our legs were nearly stuck together and our fingers were numb. When we got to school the sun was shining it was nearly warm.  We wish it would be like that when we walked.

By Georgia and Ciara.

What is the weather like in your part of the world?

New Zealand loses a treasure – taonga

Margaret Mahy

Yesterday on the 23rd of July Margaret Mahy sadly passed away. She died in Christchurch. She has written more then 100 books. They are all very great to read. They suit all ages. You can read them whenever you like. Today in Room6 they read The Moon and Famer McPhee. It was a finalist in the children book awards. It was a really good book because of the describing words used and the awesome pictures of animals on the pages. Brya and Chelsea like all of the books but mostly The Witch in the Cherry Tree and Adventures of the Robber pig. Laura likes The Lion in the Meadow but she mostly likes the three legged Cat and The witch in the Cherry tree. Everyone around the world will miss Margaret Mahys new books but they will have her old books. Margaret Mahy was famous for her writing and the pictures that go with the stories. In St Mary’s School library they have lots of Margaret Mahy stories. There is a great range of chapter books for the older kids and picture books for the younger kids.
You will be sadly missed Margaret Mahy.

By Chelsea, Brya and Laura

Today our whole school gathered in the foyer and we remembered our wonderful author.  We talked about her books and shared her most recent award winning book, The Moon and Farmer McPhee.

Check out this wonderful site to find out all about our fabulous author!

What is your favourite Margaret Mahy book?

We were really interested to look at the two copies our school has of her first book, A lion in the meadow! The hardback copy was published in 1969 and the paperback was published in 1996.  One book our parents grew up with, the other we grew up with.  The story is the same but soooo much has changed.  The book, the print, the illustrations have all changed over the years but the story has always been a favourite.


Watching Kapa Haka

Kapa Haka was in the hall on Monday showing us what they learn and some of the songs they sing. Also earlier that day they went to the library. They showed us lots of different Maori songs. They sang clearly and you could see all of their mouths open. Their actions were very strong. I can’t wait until I can see their costumes.

By Ciara and Georgia


Skyping with Melville Intermediate

Today we had a Skype session with Melville intermediate school.  We talked to two girls from the te ao upurangi class.  We showed them our mihis. At first we had a chat with them and asked some questions about Maori language. We had a talk for about their Maori language, their waiata and their karakia.  At the end Bridget shared her mihi. We had alot of fun.

We told the girls they are amazing ambassadors for their school.  They are fluent Maori speakers and they helped us with our pronunciation.  Mr Webb and his amazing class help us with our pronunciation and our mihi.  They have been recognised nationally for the wonderful work they do supporting Maori language learners across New Zealand.  You should check out their amazing blog!