Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Character Description

Your eyes are first stolen by her friendly smile. It launches out through her cheeks and steals everyone's focus. Across her face are wrinkles that slide down around the edges of her eyes, forehead and lips and compliment her happiness. Whenever she goes to the gardens, the corner of her cheeks blend in with roses, making them invisible to the human eye. Her eyes lock into yours and they remind you of the depthless, twinkling sea. She catches you staring and limps slightly closer. The smell of sweet treats draws you into a daze of all things light and bubbly.

She invites you to come bake apple pie with her, and afterwards come and bring them to her neighbours houses. You simply just can't disagree. You enjoy your time with her and she doesn't care if your baking skills are messy. She lets you stick your finger in the dense, warm pie and be a taste tester. You start to go into your bubbly daze again.

You have a look around her house and you can see her family photo with her grandchildren. Underneath the photos, you see wrapped presents; they must be for her family members. She sees you watching and tells you about them; her daughter and her grandkids visit her regularly.

When we walk down her street, everyone smiles and says Hi. They see us holding sweet treats and they ask politely for some. Some people call her peach because of her shape and personality. Once you finish she invites you around another time and her friendly smile fades as she walks away.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Hide and Seek in the Dark

The deep dark sky 
hangs over us 
as we exchange glances
We use are peripheral vision 
to find a hiding spot.
We should hide 
behind that wall.
Make sure were hidden 
before she finishes counting.
As we hide in the grassy hedge 
with black clothing 
we look like long black fish 
in a green sea.
This hiding spot is a bit risky.

Push up to the wall 
and stay there until we get found.
Be still, think fast, stay calm.
Try to whisper quietly, faintly, softly.
We huddle up together 
peeking out every few seconds 
we are Eagles eyeing our prey.
Though if we keep peeking 
we will get caught.

The seeker has given up hope 
she is alone in the dark 
sitting watching.
Our fingers clench into our palms.
Let's make a run for it!
On the count of three we run 
going in different directions.
Keep running!
Run as fast as we can!
Around the block and back again.
A hand manages to come close 
grabbing onto air 
trying to pull at our clothing 
We don't dare look behind
We try to go faster 
Though we’re out of breath
Our feet start to slam.
We've been caught!

Thursday, 22 September 2016

SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION: RUBBISH AT SCHOOL

We read an article about a fleet of research waka which spent two years criss crossing the Pacific ocean, observing rubbish. They noticed that if they found rubbish in the ocean, it usually meant they were getting close to land.  Because of this, we infer that most rubbish in the ocean comes from land. 

We wondered if the rubbish in our playground might have a similar trend.   We decided, before lunch on Wednesday last week, to go and find out. We split the school into 12 sections on a map.  Each section had a group of scientists (us!) to make observations and inferences.

We put a red dot on the map wherever we found a piece of rubbish and collected all the rubbish. After lunch we went back, and noted with a blue dot, any new rubbish found in our area.  We also collected this rubbish.   This is our map, showing where we found rubbish, both times.




We also classified the rubbish we found into types of rubbish and displayed this into this graph.  

Our observations and inferences:  

We observed that most of the red dot rubbish (rubbish found before lunch) was caught up in fences, around buildings and in bushes, especially tussock grass. 

We think this might be because the wind has blown rubbish left on the ground by students into the bushes where it has been trapped.  The spikes on the bushes help to trap the rubbish.  Some children might hide their rubbish under buildings at lunchtimes. Some people might be throwing the rubbish over fences too.  Rubbish gets blown from the field into the ditch and can’t be blown out again. 

The rubbish is spread throughout the school unevenly and mainly concentrated around buildings and rubbish bins.
We think this is because the rubbish blows out from the rubbish bins and under buildings. We could stop this by making signs that say ‘close the rubbish bins’ in bold letters or attaching string so that it will open wide enough so that they can put rubbish in the bins but also so it closes.

We think that plastic wrap is attracted to fences because it is light and  the wind carries the it and it gets stuck to the fences and it will easily blow out of  pockets and lunch boxes. 
If you don't put your rubbish in your pockets instead you could put it straight in the bin and that way none of the rubbish will blow away and cause litter, and make our school cleaner.
Maybe the problem might be that there's not enough rubbish bins around the school; by some of the playgrounds, on the field and maybe we could put bins around the playgrounds. That will lower the amount of rubbish in our school.


We noticed that the blue dot rubbish was around the ditch and were the kids sit down for lunch.

The rubbish near the sitting area was mabey from lunch time and were the kids were sitting and the must of just drop their rubbish on the ground and not pick it up. The rubbish in the ditch was maybe from some of the rubbish around the sitting area (like light chip packets, plastic wrap, yogurt containers and snack wrappers) and was blown down to the ditch and trapped in the bushes and sandpits.

There may be some problems with our data. Some of the dots may not be accurate as it would be hard to get the rubbish exactly to scale. Some of the pieces of rubbish may have been missed and not written down therefore we don't have an exact fair test. The only time we looked for rubbish was the 27th July 2016 before and after lunch if we tested the rubbish every day we would have a much fair test.

We noticed that there was more rubbish at the playground before lunch than after lunch. The bigger the playground the more rubbish there is. In most of the playgrounds we found the rubbish next to each other What can we do about it? To solve this problem we can put our rubbish in the bins.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

After we made these observations and inferences, we were left with questions as to why people in our school failed to put their rubbish in the bins! Why does so much end up back around the school after one break time? Maybe it is falling out of people's pockets? Perhaps it's the winds fault? Or maybe the students of Waimairi school are dropping it on purpose?

Since then, we have recorded how rubbish was dropped at morning tea and lunch. Basically, we spied on the school! We, as scientists, have completed an investigation into why rubbish is ending up on the ground. On Thursday the 18th of August, we went out at morning tea and lunchtime to make observations of you all, collecting data to find out how rubbish gets on the ground.

We split up into 12 groups. At morning tea we spread ourselves around the whole school to observe. At lunchtime we spread the 12 groups around the lunch eating areas and observed what happened to the rubbish. 
We have made inferences from our observations and here is what we found:


MORNING TEA FINDINGS



At morning tea time, Waimairi school dropped 205 pieces of rubbish. That's 2 out of 5 people on average who dropped rubbish. 110 pieces of rubbish were dropped on purpose, which is more than half of the rubbish we observed being dropped. We also saw 46 pieces of rubbish dropped without the person realising that they had dropped it, often as they were walking.We also saw rubbish being dropped from pockets.

The places we found that rubbish had been dropped the most, were the Te Puna block, the walkway down to Ara Atu and the playground behind room 13. We think this might be because people playing in these areas may not understand why it is important to put rubbish in the bin. We also inferred that since there's big bushes at Ara Atu, people think they can hide their rubbish there.

Also, there is no rubbish bin in sight of the playground in these areas, so people lazily drop it instead. We think that most people do this because they think that they can hide it, or can get away with dropping it, even when they know it is wrong. And they do get away with it! Why don't people take a little walk over to the bin to put their rubbish where it belongs? 


LUNCHTIME FINDINGS



At lunchtime, 219 pieces of rubbish were dropped throughout the school JUST during lunch eating time. That's 2 out of every 5 people in the school on average. that is a large amount of people to be dropping rubbish.
From what we saw, 79 pieces of rubbish were dropped on purpose, and 44 were left where people were eating. 

Just like at morning tea time, we think that around the school most of the people drop the rubbish because there's not enough rubbish bins around. Although there are already some bins, there only a few, and sometimes not in the best places. 
We also think that some children might not be able to reach the bins because we observed the bins are quite a bit taller than some junior children. Younger students also may not understand why it is bad to leave rubbish on the ground.

We could maybe get more and smaller bins to show others that bins are valued around the school but we think most of the kids already know about why we shouldn't  drop rubbish - because it will cause lots of problems for the animals in our environment and make our school look messy.

We spotted some differences between Morning Tea and Lunchtime. At lunch-eating time, more pieces of rubbish were dropped than the whole of morning tea time, even though morning tea is longer than lunch eating time. We think that more rubbish was dropped at lunch because more food is eaten at lunchtime and there would be a bigger chance of rubbish flying out of their lunchboxes. Lunch food is also more likely to have wrappers. However we also inferred that people might deliberately litter so that they don’t get in trouble for walking to the bin - as we are not allowed to stand up during lunch eating time.

Under the classroom is also a common place to put rubbish. But the reason  that people drop rubbish there is because they think no one will notice. But we did! But if you think that you get away with it, then you are wrong because we see rubbish everywhere, even in sneaky places where people will think you can't see it.

Overall, 424 pieces of rubbish were dropped in the 45 minutes we were observing that day. That’s almost one piece of rubbish per person. If nobody ever picks this rubbish up, then by the end of the week there would be 2120 pieces of rubbish floating around the school.  Many people dropped their rubbish on purpose, but also accidentally, leaving it where they ate or hiding it.

We think if we all work together our school can be cleaner by just simply walking  to the bin, because just doing a simple thing like that will help to make a big difference. But we also think that during lunch eating time we should be allowed to stand up to walk to the bin to put our rubbish in it. We will be discussing this with the teachers. This means people will be less likely to throw it in the bushes, under the buildings, leave it where they were eating or just throw it on the ground.

We also plan to write to the board of trustees to see if we can have more bins built permanently into the areas that we’ve observed to gather the most rubbish. We also need bins that are the right size for younger kids as well.

So what is the most important thing for you to remember from today? Do not drop rubbish on purpose. It’s pretty simple.  Please walk the few metres to the bins, otherwise we will all be swimming in a pool of rubbish.


Monday, 19 September 2016

Poison Princesses

This term at school we have been creating speeches we performed our speeches to the class, after that if we got voted in we went to finals where the judges chose places 1st 2nd and 3rd and highly commended. After that you made it to the rotary competition at Heaton intermediate. I made it to the finals.
My speech was called Poison Princesses it was about Disney princesses being not good role models for young girls.
I was learning to use language examples to hook the reader in we used rhetorical questions, vivid verbs, precise nouns, metaphors, similes, personification, repetition, alliteration, the power of three and imperatives. For example I used an imperative when I said picture this, think back put yourself and imagine.
I think my speech turned pretty well in the end my speech is well organised showing connections and flow between all important parts of my speech structure. May of my ideas connect to the point of view. I used several language devices  to persuade and connect with the audience, my sentences were in the correct tense. Though I was getting quite worried because at first there was lots of describing words. But before the semifinals, Mrs Bentall helped me fix all of that up and after I felt relieved.
Please click here to listen to my speech or read it below.






Who's your favourite disney princess?
Is it Merida? Snow White? Pocahontas?
Think back to their beautiful features. Do you like their long, modest, silky ball gowns that slink to the floor. Or perhaps, their gorgeous pure gold crowns that sparkle as soon as you put them in the sunlight. Or is it their, bouncy, soft, deep curls that froclck in the wind.
Many people idolise the Disney princesses that we love and cherish today. Lots of young girls have themed parties about them, try to act like them, dress up like them and watch their movies over and over again. But is that such a good idea?
I think that disney princesses aren't good role models for young girls.
Imagine you're in an underwater kingdom. The wind whispers, bright birds turn into colourful exotic fish swimming beneath your sides. You recognise a mermaid swimming past, it’s Ariel from the little mermaid. With her long Aqua tail and wavy red hair. You start to remember her story. She wanted to be with Prince Eric so badly she changed her appearance just to get him to be with her. She even replaced her tail with feet after a dodgy deal from Ursula. If a young girl wanted to be exactly like Ariel they might want to change their looks just to be with a man she saw walking past! Which they don't have to because girls need to know they can look however they like whether other people like it or not.

Now picture a grassy field, flowers singing to the beat of the wind, A blonde long ponytail is lowered from the top of a brick tower. You remember the hair as Rapunzel and think about her story. She wanted to go and see floating lanterns but her so called “mother” wouldn't let her, even though she was told not to leave the tower. But still she left the tower and disobeyed her guardians orders. Young girls need to know that they should respect their parents, the last thing we need is children not listening to other people…

Finally put yourself in a faraway kingdom, remember inside the movie, Frozen. Anna, the princess with red plaits gets engaged to Prince Hans, who she only just met. Elsa, her sister, freezes Anna's heart. Only an act of true love would save her. They bring her back to Hans, but he doesn't kiss her so when Anna saves Elsa from Hans the curse is broken.

Frozen is a very good, well known movie. But it has a negative message, because Anna gets engaged to Hans, even though she has just met him. Can you Imagine meeting a guy, and in ten seconds you decide to marry him? Girls need to be independent.


What kind of world are we living in if people treat made up characters as real role models and encourage their kids to watch them? To prevent this bad behaviour I think Disney should work on the character's personalities.
Make princesses that are all different shapes and sizes, princesses that aren't perfect and don't worry so much about how they look. Have girls who listen to their parents and respect them.

Have independent girls that know they will be ok without men. I would like to see a princess like this. Or maybe we could assure people to idolise someone in the real world, not just brainwashed Disney princesses.
Still I think that current Disney princesses aren't good role models for young people.

However, there is a new princess coming next year, she is one of the not very many Disney princesses with a culture. Her name is Moana. She will have thick brown hair, wear native island clothing and be a strong, independent adventurous princess. I'm very excited to see her movie. I think there should be more princesses like her, princesses that don't have to be so superficial. Think about it for a second. Now who’s your favourite Disney princess?


Thursday, 7 July 2016

How can we make a change

Imagine this. Children squabble in a foreign language and everyone points and whispers. It terrifies you, especially when they mutter under their breath. Your legs are paralysed so they are all brittle, your blood drains cold and you feel your hair decay as you pull at it. The buildings loom over you making you feel small and cramped. You want to go home.

New Zealand has an unknown problem, a very serious problem. 6% of people believe racial discrimination was a reason for them being treated unfairly. A very common way of someone being discriminated is by their skin color, race, ethnicity or nationality. This could be the case because of the way we think about others, and find hurtful stereotypes online in movies or from our community. 

Being prejudice means to judge someone before you have any personal experience with them, and put a label on them, based on how they look before you actually get to know them. Normally this happens when you meet someone and give false ideas towards their personality because of their looks. You might not know that what you’re thinking or saying is hurtful, but it is, and even if you keep it on the inside it can still be mean all the same. An example of being prejudice is if you meet someone tall you might think they’re a basketball player, or saying things like girls like pink and boys like blue. A really hurtful comment though is saying mean things to a migrant or a refugee like, “Go home” or “Do you have a bomb?” Sometimes it doesn't have to be saying something mean, just ignoring them is just plain mean too.
The ideas we have about people are sometimes influenced by social media, family or friends or seeing things happen in movies or the community. Wherever the idea is from, it can be hard to prevent. Discrimination causes unhappy people. They can feel as though they are an entrenched victim. In class we were reading an article about how people are still being prejudice towards ethnic cultures. Some people still feel like their cultures aren't being valued in Christchurch so they're feeling different to everyone else.
During my observation of prejudice I've realised that sometimes the effects on someone can be feeling sad just about the culture not been presented and valued in New Zealand enough. It wouldn't hurt just to learn their language and sometimes have a celebration for them. Sometimes this isn't the case, sometimes we need just stop and think, because immigrants need a good change, so be a role model for change.

There are many ways to make an immigrant feel welcome. If you see someone sitting down alone, isolated and looking sad what would you do? Would you walk away or would you sit by them and help them? The nicest thing to do would be to help them and have a chat. This is why I'm going to give you some examples so you can go and help people yourself.

You could just simply go up to them and smile, say hello and have a small chat. Help them if they need help with anything. If you knew them a little bit and they were from a different culture maybe you could ask them how to say hello in their language. This doesn’t only make them feel good but it makes them feel as though their culture is valued in New Zealand.
This stuff is all very good if you don't know someone, but if you see there is someone sitting alone this stuff might not work as well. That is why I have came up with someone other things you could do after you get to know them. 
Something good to do would be to invite them in to do something whether it's a party, a play, a club or just a cup of coffee. This would be good for them to show they’re part of the community and it makes them just feel good and confident to try new things around the city as well. There are somethings that the community can do for migrants too, like special services that can help migrants to feel included, but make sure you are including them in what you're doing.

Those are the ways to welcome someone, but there are also many ways  to make someone feel unwelcome or alienated. Sometimes people whisper, point and ignore them. That makes them feel unwelcome in New Zealand society. Or people could laugh and tease them about their accent, their name, their clothes or their food. This makes them feel as though their culture is not valued in Nz and they want to leave. 

In order to make immigrants feel welcome in NZ we need to make a change. This is important because we want to make New Zealand a more inclusive society where everyone is valued for who they are, and who they want to be. I strongly believe that New Zealand is able to make a change on how welcome migrants feel in our beautiful city. We can change our minds through all this prejudice and all live together in peace. Tomorrow, you should make a change. If you're walking down the street and you see someone with a different skin color to you, in a bad area, would you still judge and keep away from them? As Rosa Parks once said 
“Each person must live their life as a model for others.” Even small difference can make a change.


Thursday, 2 June 2016

The Big Jump

Ava bursts out of the tight cocoon of her dress into a butterfly, flying off the wharf into the water, creating a whitewash wave. I wish I could be like that.
Another girl surfaces to the front of the wharf, a bit younger than Ava and I, her face wrinkled like she's been in the water for too long. The way she trembles send aftershocks all throughout my body. What it would be like if I ever jump of the wharf?
She starts to whimper, petrified, her face chalky white. All she can do is look, eyes glued to the water. I can't imagine her jumping.

Everyone tries to coax her, talking about how they will jump with her, reassuring her, but she still trembles. I've nearly lost hope. 
She starts to shake her head as she limps off, her teeth jittering. 
Edmund, Paris and I just carry on in our boat, bobbing off into the distance. I can only glance at her now. She has put me off, I could never do that.




In this piece of writing I was learning to put punctuation in the right places such as instead of using words like and, replacing them with either commas or full stops to make the writing more effective.
I think I did pretty well but I think I still need to work on making sure it sounds right and an example of me using punctuation is “Ava bursts out of the tight cocoon of her dress into a butterfly, flying off the wharf into the water, creating a whitewash wave.” At first this had a lot of unpunctuated words.
My next steps are to keep working on this goal because it's still not quite right. I feel like I'm doing some things right using punctuation but some bits aren't sounding right.


Thursday, 14 April 2016

Term 1 Art Learning


Reflection
This term I have been learning about different elements of music, what they are, and what they mean and how we can use them in pieces of music. To show my learning, I created a soundscape based on a poem I wrote.

My soundscape is a relational, because although I had trouble finding sounds that would fit with my lines, I also kept using the same elements such as ostinatos a few different tempos, patterns and a warm tone colour. I used a pencil sharpener to represent a tram, giggling to represent my sister and I having fun, a hissing sound to represent my cat, stomping to represent my beat, playing G and the strumming to just make it feel more upbeat.

Overall I feel quite proud about my soundscape, but I could of worked on my sounds a bit more. I helped other people on the soundscape for a bit too long.


This is my artwork of my Waka, Mountain, Family and River.

Tucked away to the side of my 
chaotic 
garden lies the 
pergola, very durable and strong 
standing tall and 
proud. 

From outside in her basket
Lola
starts barking, a deafening 
ROAR
a lion, 
protecting itself,
my cat’s 
loud hiss 
silently creeps back to the shadows.

Hiding from beneath 
the bed, 
Lily 
and I test the camera 
chuckling and giggling,
letting 
jolly 
laughs out.

Behind 
where the tram goes 
far 
out at 
Ferrymead
the  musty old 
radio station smells of 
old vanilla,
a warm
friendly smell.

Lying 
engulfed 
on top of my body,
my cow blanket,
covered with petals, 
is silky soft.

Hidden inside the waves 
me and my friends,
jump
up and down 
giving 
a squeal, 
squeak, and 
shriek 
through the distance.

This is Christchurch, 
Christchurch is my home.
 
This is my Christchurch is my home poem.

This is a link to my soundscape I made for my poem.