Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Wonderland

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! We will be back next year, blogging from a new classroom with a different look. I look forward to it. A big thank you to everyone who has read, followed or commented on the Tree of PRIDE in 2013! Have a great holiday and hope to see you sometime in 2014.

Our last post is inspired by a task set by our Twitter friends, Palmy Kids. Some of the students used Minecraft, others found their own app to create with.

Here are our Christmas Wonderlands!

Christmas Wonderland from Kieren Moriarty on Vimeo.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Year Six Break Up

Last week, the year sixes of Parkvale had their annual rock n' roll social. It is one of our finest traditions.

Looking sharp, Josh and Sam!

It really was a fantastic night! All the students looked amazing and danced with enthusiasm. The parents even got on the dance floor at the end. Congratulations to Tyler from Room 20 and Charlotte from Room 19 for winning the cup!

Hannah and Olivia have created a great little movie to share some of the fun with you...

Social Movie from Room16 Parkvale on Vimeo.

The Recovery of Chips

Chips on the left, Fish taking the limelight as usual

This morning we got a scare. Marcus discovered that Chips, the smaller half of the dynamic duo, Fish n' Chips was stuck and injured. I got him out from behind the pump, but things didn't look good. However, with a little TLC it seems our fishy friend is on the road to recovery. Thanks Marcus!

The Recovery of Chips from Room16 Parkvale on Vimeo.

Remember the PRIDE award? Good times!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Can I get back to you on that?

Today, we read the last two chapters of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos. Here are our thoughts on the book and our favourite parts. Can we get back to you on that?

Here is a Lego stop motion video created by an American student about the book. We have enjoyed watching this in class.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

2013 Collage

The students have been creating collages of their 2013 year at Parkvale School. Elijah and Lily put this collage together from pictures chosen by each student from their own blogs. I think they did a great job. They even managed to include a Movember mustache! Each student chose two pictures: one of the pictures had to show their face. The collage will appear in the school magazine.

Our learning adventures continue tomorrow with the Year 6 cycling camp and the Year 5s cycling on the road for the first time! Check out the NZ Cycling Road Code and a neat safe cycling post by Room 17.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Mathletics 2013

Here are our five finalists from Room 16 for Mathletics 2013.

We were learning to use geometric designs to create a poster. It involved a lot of accurate measuring and drawing.

Create a Symmetrical Mathletics Poster:

We will know we can do this when:
Used a ruler to accurately measure and draw all straight lines
Our design is symmetrical (balanced) from the centre or rotated
Any curved lines are drawn with a compass
There are no free drawn lines
Has Mathletics 2013 carefully drawn 
Black and white only- (sharpie)
All unneeded pencil lines are rubbed out. 

Joshua, Year 6
Tyrone, Year 5

Elijah, Year 5
Hannah, Year 6

Cameron, Year 5

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Imaginary Cycling

We are learning about safe cycling. These pictures are not examples of safe cycling! Instead, we are using them to motivate some creative writing. Which one is your favourite? Why?

Sky Rider

My First Training Wheels

Your Turn First
Here are some entertaining sentences:

I get pushed on my way! “AHHHH you idiots!” I scream. Ben

I closed my eyes and found that my tummy was feeling a little sick. It felt as if the food and stuff inside it was floating amongst the gravity. Hemani

‘I want to ride my bike, mum,’ I said. ‘Well... ride off a cliff then,’ she replied. ‘Ok, I will then’. Zach

My tummy feels weird like its got butterflies flying around. Imaan

I waited to go to the toilet.4 minutes later. Hurry up! Hurry up!!! Come out. NOOOOO! Shivom

I hope I don’t fall down and get hurt. Emma

This is awesome! Nikitah J.

“Hey,” I say to Elijah, “Do you want to play? ‘I dare you’.” 5 minutes later... Tyrone

I knew I shouldn't of put the helium in my tyres. But there was 10 bucks on the line. Do you know how many cool things you can buy with 10 bucks? Not many, but still it’s 10 bucks. Elijah

Adrenalin rushing. I've just invented the new  MAGIC flying bike!!! Let’s GO! Zeb

“Ahhhhhhh!" I can't believe what I am going to do! Am I crazy? Nakita

I am getting there, I am trying my best to get there. Tracey

Wow this is amazing but there is one problem, how am I going to get down? Bree

I feel like I am going 100 miles per hour! Not. Hannah

I finally reach the top of the ramp, 1km above the ground, adrenaline was pumping, my heart couldn't stop beating. Inderpreet

So I take some deep breaths and say “hasta la vista, baby” as I push off. Marcus

It’s now or never! Cameron

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New Trailer for Joey Pigza Swallowed The Key!

We have been reading the book Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos. It is a very special book because it is funny, moving and really makes you think. It also helps us understand the challenges that people can face.
Bree is a fantastic Joey Pigza!

Last week, Hannah, Bree, Olivia and Lily created a trailer about the book so far. I thought it was great and it really showed their creativity and how much they understood about key events in the story.

Joey pigza Swallowed The Key from Room16 Parkvale on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

How Much Science Can You Fit Into 6 Seconds?

Watch the video below. Which experiments would you like to try? Have you got any ideas to create your own six second science video? Have a try!


Monday, November 4, 2013

Race a Speedboat


Can you make a paper boat race across the water just by gently touching the surface of the water?
Gently does it...

Hypothesis (What I think will happen)

Crighton: "The washing liquid will make bubbles and push the boat along the water."
Hemani: "I think that as you touch the water gently with a little dish wash on your finger the water might get a little bubbly and it might make the water push away. Just like how I wash the dishes at home. As I put the dish wash on any plate or glass the soap starts getting bubbly."
Marcus: "I think that the dishwashing liquid would make bubbles and when the bubbles pop it would let out air and then the air will push the boat."
Bree: "I think the dish washing liquid will make bubbles and the the bubble will make wave and the boat will move."


Coloured card, washing up liquid, pencil or sharpie, scissors, large container of water.

Method (What we did)

  1. Drew and cut a boat shape (bird's eye view) out of the cardboard.
  2. Teva: "We gently put our boats on the water, and tapped the water with washing liquid on our finger." 

Observation (What happened)

Elijah: "When we put our fingers in the water, the boats moved." 
When I did it with Room 18, the boats moved across to the other side.

Speedboat from Kieren Moriarty on Vimeo.

Conclusion (Why I think it happened)

The water surface tension is broken behind the boat. This means the surface tension is stronger in front of the boat and it pulls the boat forwards.

Short Experiment to Follow Up: Make Metal Float

Gently place a paperclip on the water’s surface.
Heavy metal?

What will happen? Will it sink or float?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Does air weigh anything?

A powerful chop!
We have been doing science experiments around air, movement and force. Check out the wonderful science reports on our students' blogs like this one by Marcus. Yesterday we did a fun little experiment to prove if air weighs anything or not.


Ruler, newspaper, table, volunteer (who can karate chop).


1. Place table on ruler so it balances with some of the ruler off the table.
2. Karate chop the ruler (to the side of the table).
3. Pick the ruler up, place it back where it was.
4. Screw up a sheet of newspaper, place it on top of the ruler on the table side.
5. Repeat step 2.
6. Repeat step 3.
7. Place a flat sheet of paper so that it covers the ruler on the table side. Smooth it down so that there is no air between the ruler and the piece of paper.
8. Repeat step 2.


 The ruler will flip with the force of the karate chop. When you put the screwed up bit of paper on, there will be a catapult effect. However, when you flatten the paper down, the weight of the air on the ruler acts like a counter force. When you karate chop this time, your force is met by the weight of air now holding the ruler down and the ruler smashes.


 Look and see!

Ruler Smash! from Kieren Moriarty on Vimeo.

Here is a clown doing the experiment:


Monday, October 21, 2013

Nala and Zippa

On Friday, the Tree of PRIDE were visited by two mischievious labrador puppies. Nala and Zippa are from the same litter. Their owners, Henry and Joshua are both proud daddies.

Nala, Simba's playmate 
Room 16 thought they were so cute, except for Teva who thought "they were a little terrifying." They definitely were excitable and curious. You can see for yourself by watching the video below. Sharyn (Josh's Mum) said that "they are the most photographed puppies in the world." Joshua also wrote a neat story about the arrival of Nala which is definitely worth a read.

Nala and Zippa from Kieren Moriarty on Vimeo.
Music: Don't go down the mine, Dad by Frank Miller used under licence through Creative Commons.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Number Power Lines

For a starter in maths today, we tried playing Number Power Lines. It is a fun game and Room 16 enjoyed competing against each other. The idea is to make each power line match a given total using all the numbers that you are given. Our main strategy was guess and check. However the best learning was to come later...

Look I am on Level 8, Mum!

Play Time

Crighton certainly got ahead of me when we were playing the online game, as he raced through the levels. Then Henry worked out how to get on to Phase 2, using the password that you earn in Phase 1.


Following the game, the students had a go at designing their own algebra power line. For the first challenge, the students had to have three connected power lines that added to 16. You were not allowed to use a number more than once. Here is a collaborative Google drawing of some successful creations.

Look how different each pattern is to each other. Do all the lines add to 16?

The next challenge was to create four connected power lines that all add to 24. Again, not using any number more than once. Do the lines below all add to 24?

One of these patterns is not quite like the others.

What phase or level can you get up to in Algebra Power Line? Can you create your own Algebra Power Line pattern for others to work out?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Holiday Highlights

Get Adobe Flash player


We have enjoyed our holiday and it is great to be back in Room 16! Here are some holiday highlights that the students will be sharing on their blogs soon. Our highlights were pasted into Star Wars Crawl Creator and Tagul to produce the word displays. If you scroll over the Tagul word cloud, the text is highlighted and then zooms out so you are able to read the smaller words.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Gandhi Parts 1 and 2

Gandhi Part 1 Room 16 from Kieren Moriarty on Vimeo.

Please watch our Gandhi movie. It tells the story of two great men and the birth of a nation. The movie was directed by Hannah and Tracey and stars Teva, Sam, Hannah, Ben, Lily, Jessica, Crighton, Dylan and Room 16 as the crowd. It is also screening at the Parkvale Arts exhibition which features our henna hands and Taj Mahal art.

Gandhi Part 2 Room 16 from Kieren Moriarty on Vimeo.

Speaking of the arts exhibition, today I felt privileged to see our hall filled with the sparkling art of our 21 classes, based on many cultures around the globe. It looks amazing.

Here is a great quote from Mr Gifkins which sums it up: "I am blown away by my visit to the school hall. The exhibition is BRILLIANT! AMAZING! FANTASTIC! AWESOME! and UNBELIEVABLE. I am very proud to walk into the hall and look around at the exceptional quality of work achieved by our pupils under the amazing teaching and guidance of you all. You are simply superb!! The hall is exploding with PRIDE."

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Room 16's India

Our India topic has been wonderful. We have been cooking Indian food with Inderpreet's and Hemani's mums. Imaan's mum has created real henna with most of the girls and also shared food. We have learnt about henna, the wonderful architecture and love story of the Taj Mahal, and really enjoyed the music and dance of Bollywood.

Poster by Elijah and Sam

In the last week of term, we are sharing our art in the Parkvale Arts Festival. If you scan our poster for the exhibition using the Aurasma augmented reality app, you will be able to watch our Bollywood trailer (which is also embedded below). Each class will have a poster featuring their own Aurasma for their arts display. All Room 16 students' Indian artworks also have a unique Aurasma video, which you will be able to scan at the art festival.

Room 16 About India from Room16 Parkvale on Vimeo.

Coming soon: Our Mahatma Ghandi movies (in two parts)!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Basic Facts

Room 16 have been practising our basic facts (number knowledge). We have had 10 tests. Each test has 25 questions. We put our daily results into a stem and leaf graph. At first we would do this for our raw scores out of 25. We would also find the middle score (the median). Then times the raw scores by 4 to get a percentage score. This works because 25 x 4 = 100.
See my example below for converting a score of 20 out 25 into a percentage.

We then worked out the mean (average) and the range, to go with the median (in percent). Here are our stem and leaf graphs for our percentage scores on days three and four.

Stem and Leaf Graphs from Days 3 and 4

The students used Google Spreadsheet to record their scores and create graphs (charts). Here is one I created for the class results.

The students achieved their highest mean score of 80% on day 6. They managed a mean (average) score of around 70% from day 3 on. I am very proud of them because the questions were not predictable. On day 9, you can see the mean score dropped to 64%. Some questions that many found difficult on this day involved place value or fractions. These are areas of number knowledge we will continue to work on. Our mean score rebounded back to 71% on day 10.

Note: Maths Dictionary is great website for helping you remember how to use the words in bold on this page.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Henna Hands Art


We have been learning about different Indian cultural practices for our topic. Recently we created henna hands art. Watch the video below to see the students art, annotated with their labels for meaning. Explore the student blogs to the right to see posts on their henna art.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Dead Harry Trailers

Room 16 finished reading Dead Harry by Ken Catran last week. We really enjoyed the story. It made us laugh and also gave us a little scare now and then. As the mystery unfolded, we liked predicting what might happen next.

Most of the class wanted to create trailers so we borrowed a few iPads and gave it go. Watch them below (if you dare!). Which trailer do you think is the best and why? How do they advertise the book and make you want to read it?

Remember to vote for your favourite trailer in the poll. (Poll closed - thank you. Trailer B won a very close vote.)

Trailer A: Joshua, Shivom, Jessica, Inderpreet and Ellis.

Trailer B: Hannah, Lily, Teva and Zeb. Guest starring Liam as Mr Dombroski and Ellis as the unknown criminal.

Trailer C:  Tyrone, Nikitah J, Emma and Crighton. Guest starring Zach as Mr Rudd.

Trailer D: Tracey, Cameron, Dylan and Olivia.

Trailer E: Samuel, Zach, Bree and Hemani. Guest starring Joshua as the unknown criminal, Lily as Primula, Ben as Mr Rudd and Teva as the spooky Elias Milton.

Trailer FMarcus's trailer using GoAnimate. Technical assistance by Teva.

Update: Student letters to Ken Catran (click on the links):

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Three Dice Multiplication Game

Room 16 love playing this multiplication game. It is very simple and involves addition, multiplication, number sense and written recording of equations in a simple table. Here is how to play:

  • 3 dice
  • Pencil and paper
  • A buddy
  1. Draw a t-chart table with your name on one side and your buddy's on the other.
  2. Take turns at throwing the three dice. When you throw the dice you use addition and then multiplication to get your score for that round. For example if I rolled 2, 6 and 4, I would go (2+4) x 6. That makes 6 x 6 = 36.
  3. You keep a running total of your score. For example if I got 24 the next round, I would add 24 to 36 which gives me 60.
  4. The first person to 200 is the winner. 
  5. You could adapt this game in many ways, for example changing the target score.

Today, I played Nikitah J. I was in the lead early. Unfortunately, she finished the game stronger than me and deserved the ultimate victory. Hopefully, I will beat her next time. 

Update: Check out Nikitah's blog post (using Explain Everything)!

Nikitah's famous victory.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Football for All

Today we had our second session learning football skills with the Napier City Rovers. Aaron and Harley are excellent coaches. Today we developed the skill of passing and last week we worked on dribbling.

Sam and Inderpreet ready for the next instruction.

Here is a video from last week's session:

Music: Virus from the Sea by Digi G'Alessio ( Used under Creative Commons.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Simple, Compound and Complex Sentences

Today we used this cute dragon photo to inspire our writing. At first, I pretended I had a new pet.

Personal Dragon Pet

In writing, we are learning more about sentences. Sentences are a group of words that express an idea. They have a subject and a verb.

A simple sentence has one idea.
The little dragon wriggled on my fingers.

A compound sentence has two ideas joined by a conjunction.
The dragon is learning to breathe fire and it has lit a candle.

A complex sentence has two or more parts. One part has the main idea and makes sense by itself. The other parts contain information which builds on the main idea. The extra part does not make sense by itself.
The dragon's nostrils billowed smoke as if it was real.

Watch our Explain Everything which we recorded as we created our sentences.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What is Culture?

We have a new topic this term. We are learning to explore and communicate through the arts. To do this we are learning about different cultural practises. We will be appreciating the arts of other cultures as well as our own. Yesterday, we asked "what is culture?". After lots of discussion and a little research, our learning buddies came up with these suggestions.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Wildebeest Writing

Yesterday we used this animated video as a writing prompt.

We discussed ideas about the structure of the story.

There was a lot of direct speech coming through in our writing, so we had a mini-lesson on punctuating direct speech.

The students' writing is very entertaining so far. Many have chosen to completely change the characters. Look out for their presented writing on the student blogs (links on the right).

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Holiday Toontastic Fun

Estelle and Abby created this amusing animation on Toontastic.  Iris was watching them closely. What creative things might you do in the holidays?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Book Character Day

The Book Characters from Kieren Moriarty on Vimeo.

Today is Book Character Day! Check out the great trailer Hannah and Lily made, showcasing the characters in Room 16. We sure like to dress up!

Friday, July 5, 2013

A Digital Classroom

A Digital Classroom from Kieren Moriarty on Vimeo.

Room 16 talk about one thing they like about being in a one to one computer classroom. Learn, create, share!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Alaskan Adventure

Mr Simon Evans taught the class the other day, while I was learning and sharing with enthusiastic teachers and the "rich kids" in our ICT group at Richmond School. He guided them through the fantastic shared writing activity which produced this story. As he messaged me on the day "Collaborative writing in real time. You should hear the discussion as they type." I have put it together into an e-book using the students' illustrations. Please read Room 16's adventure story!

Here are Simon's rules of participation:

  • Stay in your own chapter area
  • Work together with your group
  • Make constructive comment when you need to
  • Check the language you use
  • Leave the SHARE option alone

Monday, July 1, 2013

Room 16, A Ship of Friends

Earlier in the term, Room 16 created topic art based on friendship. Some students found excellent friendship quotes through  research, some created their own quote or used a quote from their reading. The art lesson was inspired by this site and is based on the artwork Over and Above, by Clarence Carter

I finally got around to finishing this video about the artwork. I am proud of it because I have learnt and practised some new techniques using the iMovie app on our iPad, including creating my own music on GarageBand. I was lucky to be in a lesson by the fantastic music teacher, Ieremia at Richmond School. Afterwards, I tried the techniques he taught us, until it sounded okay.

The students' artworks look fantastic on the wall together. I love the idea of us all learning to be friends together as a class, celebrating our differences and helping each other grow as individuals. When things go wrong, the artwork on the wall reminds us how we can fix it and get it right.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tweeting Adventure

This is what the Twitter chat looked like (click to enlarge)

On Friday at 12, we connected with two classrooms through a quick Twitter chat. Cameron and Nikitah J volunteered to be our tweeters and they did a fantastic job representing @Room16Parkvale. They were chatting with @Rm1HNS from West Auckland and @Room2Smarties from Whangarei. Here is one minute video capturing Cameron and Nikitah on Mission Control.

Before we chatted, we had started discussing and generating our own ideas about adventure learning. We had looked at this video from  NZ Adventure Learning which happens to be Simone Gentil's blog, who is the teacher of Room 2 Smarties. Her students certainly knew what Cameron and Nikitah were talking about! The video is taken from the movie Up.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Building Exciting Sentences

The other day we were writing about our caving experience. We have built up our signs of success for moment in time writing. These are to make it exciting to read. For example beginning in the action, short sharp sentences, strong verbs, using the senses and showing personality. As the students typed their first sentences into their Google document, some of them read them aloud into the Explain Everything app on the iPad. We listened back to the sentences and chose our favourite words. Check it out!

Caving Sentences from Kieren Moriarty on Vimeo.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Rufus Escapes

Today, I was lucky to learn together with lots of enthusiastic teachers and some wonderful students at Richmond School. We got to explore many ways iPads can be used to enhance learning.

One app we had a quick go with was Toontastic. Mrs Roil thought my attempt was very silly and dared me to put it on the blog... So here it is!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I Infer...

Today, we discussed the reading strategy of inferring or making inferences. It means reading between the lines to wok out hidden meanings in the text. You need to combine good thinking with clues in the text and your own prior knowledge. We had a go making inferences from descriptive sentences using Padlet. I think the students did very well! Here are our first two examples.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Waterfalls and Rain: Aniwaniwa

Aniwaniwa from Kieren Moriarty on Vimeo.

Looking at the map, we gain an idea of the places we have been and the places we will go. Rain falls quite heavily, but we are all dressed for it. I say for the 100th time, "well, it is a rainforest" and we head into the bush. Sure enough, the canopy of the Te Urewera rainforest cushions us from direct rainfall, as our enthusiastic troop hikes up the damp track. I love the smell of the forest - I can't quite describe it. Almost nourishing or spiritual. I take a giant whiff like that boy in the story "Beans".  It spells out to me A-O-T-E-A-R-O-A. I feel at home.

First stop, a weta house. Unexpectedly, there are two at home. Maybe they are wiser than us and know when to take shelter. The students converge on the superstar wetas, like rugby players after the loose ball.  A couple of kids manage to annoy each other in their excitement. Time to move on. We can hear the waterfall loudly now and glimpse it through the forest. Piwakawaka (fantails) follow our footsteps, no doubt enjoying the insect snacks we are inadvertently providing them. The track comes to a detour. We stop. This is where we descend to catch a great view of the waterfall. It's slippery and the track will be a challenge. I know Room 16 are up to it. Carefully, we step down, clinging onto roots and looking after each other.

At the bottom is a big flat rock. It makes the perfect viewing platform.The noise is loud and wonderful. It matches our excitement. Everywhere, I see smiling, laughing , enthusiastically chatting faces, with eyes wide open. Children and adults. My camera tries to capture some of the magic. It's good to be outside, in the bush, in the rain, at the bottom of a waterfall. Aniwaniwa translates to rainbow. For a moment, it feels like we have found our own pot of gold.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Explaining Subtraction Strategies

Subtraction Strategies from Kieren Moriarty on Vimeo.

Yesterday in Maths, I used the iPad app Explain Everything as we were going through some subtraction strategies. It is a great app and this was my first go - I can see immediately it could be used in much more wonderful ways than I have here. In our class, we can also use AirPlay and put what is happening on the iPad onto our class widescreen. It's great how you can pause and play back learning and this app suits it very much.

Anyway, hopefully there is something in the captured video that you can play back to help you understand and use subtraction strategies. Thank you to Inderpreet and Tyrone for their contributions on the last slide!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Perfect Pancakes

On the second day of camp the children cooked all their meals. Each meal was part of the Master Chef competition. We had a Master Chef competition for the groups throughout the day. There were even special judges from Italy and the USA. Watch the video below to see some highlights from the brunch part of the competition. Although it is simply titled "Good Pancakes", these pancakes were in fact perfect!

The extra music in the video was created on GarageBand by a teacher (me) playing with the app and by a student (Samuel) using his guitar skills with the app.