My class blog- 2016


I am a class teacher for year four students and a team leader for the middle school. My class and I are also a part of the Manaiakalani ClassOnAir.


Saturday, 27 September 2014

Three hours without Internet



This happened when my husband switched from Spark to Vodafone. He had been talking great lengths about the deal with free international calls and free Sky for a limited period of time.

It was the last Friday of the Term. I had heaps of things on my mind that I had prioritized to complete while the children were at school. PMIs for the Term, dropping our ‘Being Sea Smart’ brochures, anniversary reports and last but not the least putting all the furniture in the middle of the class. This is usually accompanied with a discovery of articles that were lost and you would think that you would never find them again. Finally it was time to go home.

The next Term is a short Term and lots needed to be done during the Term. I decided that I would try completing the things that I can during the holidays. So I collected all the books and handouts and arrived home. It took me two rounds to the car in the garage to bring everything inside. I dumped my pile of books in a corner of the room with a big sigh. This was when suddenly it struck to me that I had not completed the assessment grid for the Term. No Worries! I thought. I have all the data and all I have to do is transfer it to the School Assessment. It would just take10 minutes.

As I opened my laptop, I discovered that there was no internet. Usually when I have such hick ups, my first course is to yell out to my superbly smart technology daughter. “Why is the internet not working” I said in an authoritative voice. It almost made me sound as if it is all her fault for no internet at home. Out came a frustrated voice “ Dad has changed companies”. “Then why did you not install the new modem?” I yelled out again. “Because we have changed from ADSL to VDSL and someone has to come from the company to install it. It cannot be done by us” replied my daughter from her room. Immediately I picked up the phone and called my husband. He was unavailable! I did not know what to do? I felt so unequipped without internet.
Oh I know I thought, I could post all the blogs: No! I cannot, came the thought the very next second. I could start doing my unit plan for Next Term! But the framework for it is on Google docs. Oh I know I thought to myself, I could relax “ watch my favourite series” Oops no internet again. Do baking I decided finally. Chocolate cake for everyone! Last time I made one, did not come out soft enough. So decided to accurately follow the steps and the measures in the recipe. I particularly like one by Jamie Oliver. What did I say “Jamie Oliver” Disaster! The recipe is on his website. Right Skype mum: She has been complaining ever since. She cannot hear clearly on the phone so prefers Skype. Oh No! No Internet. By this time I was beginning to feel like an absolute handicap. Oh I’ll ring her I thought. She delivered her long as blessings to start with and then said “Come on Skype” I told her that my Skype was not working. She chuckled and said, “Why I thought power cuts are only in India”. I was so tired that I did not want to explain her my plight because she would anyway not understand why internet is not available in my house.

I went to bed and thought, how incapable we are without technology in today’s world.
Being a teacher of this changing era, where technology is required at every step, is it not important that all students should have access to the gadgets that will assist them in knowing and learning about the world?
Guess what! I have found a vision for my year 3-4 team. It is to get fully digital in the next two years.
My next Step: Start fundraising for netbooks in the middle syndicate!






Film Festival

Each Year The Manaiakalani school participate in a film festival. in this festivals movies made by students are shown in Hoytts cinemas at Sylvia park. This years festival is on 12th November 2014.  I have up loaded two of my movies to have a feel about the festival. For more information visit the website given below.


  https://sites.google.com/a/ptengland.school.nz/film-festival-2011/home
A better tomorrow 1 from Tamaki Primary on Vimeo.
zoo film from Tamaki Primary on Vimeo.https://sites.google.com/a/ptengland.school.nz/film-festival-2011/home

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Skills Flow Activity


All those who have been following my blog know that I have been focusing on the 4 skills of Language. I just happened to talk to a PRT (Provisionally Registered Teacher) at our school who mentioned how he was using a lot of repetition into his programmes. This got me thinking.  Is repetition always meaning focused? How could we have a task that would allow repetition and help students learn the structures of target language and topic vocabulary. This is when a Skills Flow activity struck to my mind. I have done this a number of times in the past but not recently.  This is an activity that was introduced to me by my lecturer Marie Jurissen. This activity allows students to Speak, Read, Write and Listen to the contents of the text a number of times. As students engage in all the 4 skills of Language Learning, they get familiar to the structures and the content vocabulary of the topic.
To model this to my colleague I picked up my favourite book ‘Rainbow fish to the Rescue’. 







For this we need to have
  • ·      Pictures of different events in the story that are not in right order.
  • ·      Titles for the pictures.
     Appendix 1



Appendix 2 ( Teacher reads this while students number the pictures)

Once there was a school of fish that lived together in the reef. They loved to play flash tag.

One day a little stripy fish swam through their game of flash tag and asked if she could play too.

But the fish with the jagged fins said that it was necessary to have a special scale to play flash tag.
The Rainbow fish knew that the stripy fish was in danger. So she sped to save it along with the other fish. They all swarmed straight at the shark.

The little stripy fish floated all alone at the edge of the reef and sadly watched the other fish play.

Suddenly a shark shot like an arrow into the middle of the school. All the fish hid inside a narrow reef. They were all safe but the little stripy fish wasn’t.

The Rainbow fish knew that the stripy fish was in danger. So she sped to save it along with the other fish. They all swarmed straight at the shark.

This confused the shark and the Rainbow fish led the little stripy fish to safety.

When all the fish returned they cheered for the Rainbow fish.

Archana Sharma




 Appendix 3 (Used when students match pictures to the titles)

Once there was a school of fish that lived together. They were so happy together that they had no interest in other fish. They loved to play flash tag.

The Rainbow fish knew that the stripy fish was in danger. So she sped to save it along with the other fish. They all swarmed straight at the shark.
When all the fish returned they cheered for the Rainbow fish.

One day a little stripy fish swam through their game of flash tag and asked if she could play too.

This confused the shark and the Rainbow fish led the little stripy fish to safety.

Suddenly a shark shot like an arrow into the middle of the school. All the fish hid inside a narrow reef. They were all safe but the little stripy fish wasn’t.

“ You need to have a special scale to play flash tag” said the fish with jagged fins.

The little stripy fish floated all alone at the edge of the reef and sadly watched the other fish play.


 Steps to do Skills Flow


  • ·      Read the story to the students. Ask lots of questions as you read the story to keep the students engaged into in the story. (Listening)
  • ·      Provide students with the jumbled up pictures. Ask students to number the pictures in order as you read out the events in the story. Appendix 1. (Listening and thinking)
  • ·      Ask students to glue the pictures in order. (Thinking)
  • ·      Students now use their pictures that are glued in a sequence to narrate the story to their buddies. It is always good to be able to tell the story to at least 3 buddies. (Speaking)
  • ·      Now ask students to look for the titles to each picture and glue them besides the picture. Appendix 3. (Reading and Cognitive thinking)
  • ·      Students now write their story in their own words. You may provide sentence starters under each picture to support your students.


After modeling to my colleague the feedback was very positive. He enjoyed every aspect of the task and was eager to design such activities using other stories. I hope you enjoy doing this activity too. 



*All teachers interested are most welcome to use (Appendix 1, 2 and 3) provided in the blog for the purpose of teaching in their class.