Friday, 24 November 2017


We have been very busy this term. We have been out in the garden and planted many plants as well as making signs to make the garden even brighter.

A day in the garden Blog post

Te Ara Hauora Blog 1
Te Ara Hauora Blog 2

The Sombrero
The Ice Tray

Computer Science

We have been unplugged for our computer science topic. We looked at using a problem-solving task to brainstorm improvements. Our task was to make a boat out of tinfoil that would hold as many marbles as it could before it sunk. 


This term we have written a number of poems using a variety of poetic forms. We enjoyed Haiku and clerihew. Our task was to describe a member of the classroom in a fun way. 

Extension Maths

Kyle and Caitlin have been working on Trigonometry and Pythagoras theorem. Let's let them explain, shall we...?

Caitlins DLO
Kyles practical Presentation


Last week we went to Shantytown to explore Law & Order on the Goldfield. We dressed up and attended the Marsden Valley school, we were robbed on the train

and had a courtroom drama. The day was very much fun. When we got back to school, we wanted to write more courtroom dramas. Here is one by Caitlyn, Ben, Connor and Autumn

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Computer Science Discoveries- Aluminum Boats

Today we began our Computer Science Discoveries course. Our goal today was to build a boat that holds the most marbles, using a piece of tin foil. We were to build two boats and try to improve our design between the first and second attempts. The structure of the activity foreshadows different steps of the problem-solving process that students will be introduced to in more detail in the following lesson. At the end of the lesson, students reflect on their experiences with the activity and make connections to the types of problem-solving they will be doing for the rest of the course.

 The aluminum boats problem could easily be substituted out for any number of other problems that require students to define their goals, devise a plan, try a solution, evaluate their results, and then iteratively improve from there. The fact that the problem chosen is "non-computational" is intentional. Computer science is fundamentally a problem-solving discipline and staying away from traditional computer science problems at this points helps to frame this class as one about problem-solving more generally with computer science being a new "tool" to help attack certain types of problems.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Kalebs Boxes

It just goes to show, that learning in Totara 1 is not always confined to the classroom. Kaleb has a particular strength when it comes to using his hands. Kaleb made all of the planter boxes for the Kumara, and these have turned out to be pretty good seedling boxes as well!

 Kaleb took my simple design and has started making planter boxes for the senior classrooms. We hope to be able to grow things outside our door so we can pick and graze on healthy seasonal food. Kaleb wants to make these as kitsets so that the classrooms can put them together themselves.

This earned Kaleb, gardener of the week. Wel

l done Kaleb

A day in the garden

Since the weather has begun to warm up a bit, Totara 1 decided to spruce up the garden, and plant out the many seedlings we started to grow the last term. 
Seedlings ready to go!

Planting out the peas
Many jobs needed to be down. Plenty of weeding needed to happen as well as sweetening up the soil. Kaleb was amazing at making sure the beds were ready for those coming in behind with the seedlings.

Jessica was such a workhorse. Not only did she plant out all the pumpkins, she singlehandedly weeded an entire box and planted out all the red cabbages. 

All of the green manure (lupins and mustard) needed to be dug into the soil as well. Corianna may be small in stature but worked very hard.

Richard looking after the garlic
All in all, it was such as a fantastic day. We achieved so much. I don't think I've ever seen such a hard working class. 

Adding sunflowers to Jordie's garden

Friday, 1 September 2017

Assembly Week 6

Welcome to Team B Assembly


In T1 we've been writing arguments. Xav & Kyle will read theirs

We have been making so much mess in the classroom lately...but our Wearable arts costumes are finally starting to come together. Here is a preview of a couple of them.

Kaleb (start at 2.10)

Caitlin & Corianna have begun their speeches for the Rotary speech competition. They are still working on them and they are not finished, but they are going to read them to you.

Friday, 9 June 2017


Welcome to Totara 1 assembly. 2 weeks ago we went to Hanmer for our camp. Here is a short video Mason made.
Mason's Video

The concert was really funny. We'd like to play you a couple of videos
Mr Woods Magic Trick

We made ads persuading people to go to Hanmer Springs

Richard would like to read his poem

Kyles Mandarin post

For art we have been learning to use line and colour to create depth.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Triple Whammy

Harry and Mrs O
Wow! Totara 1 was certainly on top today at assembly! Congratulations to Harry who was recognised as a role model learner at GMS. He got to hand out the certificates with Mrs O. Good on you Harry!

Not to be outdone, Caitlin and James were both recognised as role models in displaying empathy and kindness. Both received the Act of Kindness awards. Caitlin's was for rescuing a wee girl who had got stuck in the toilet! James was for showing concern for a boy who had banged his head. Well done you two!
Caitlin receiving her Act of Kindness


Well done to Cal and Levi for receiving Key Coms this week.

 Cal's was for persisting with the Maths pickle problem. He was able to find a very large sequence of numbers, but eventually plummeted to his death!! (numerically of course!).

Levi's was for his project work and maths. He was very accurate and tidy in his maths book, setting out his work well. His Learnz
project is looking good too.

Well done boys

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Buddy Reading

Lots of fun reading to our buddy class...funny how the brothers and sisters all teamed up. Very cool.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Week 5 Assembly