Thursday, 30 June 2011

Let's get Happy home!

Have a read of this article - Bluebird chips is thinking about helping to get Happy Feet home, because of the link to the penguin they use in their advertising.

PS - Happy's managed to get rid of most of the sand he ate (thanks also to his great vets) and is now much more likely to survive.  What great news!  Click here to read an article updating us and questioning why he was left so long on the beach in the first place.

A penguin out of it's ecosystem! Happy Feet

If you've been following the news, you'll know about Happy Feet, the Emperor Penguin that got lost and ventured all the way to New Zealand from Antarctica!

TV3 News has set up an infrared camera in Happy Feet's enclosure to keep an eye on what's going on... only the enclosure is dark all the time!  Why do you think they might be keeping it dark right through the day and night?

There are lots of neat articles and clips from the news about Happy Feet on the TV3 website too - why not have a read or look?  It's certainly not every day we get an Emperor Penguin in this country!

What are the problems he's facing being out of his normal ecosystem?

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Don't break the food chain, no, no, no!

We've been learning the science behind ecosystems recently and today investigated the different roles within a food chain.

We found out that all ecosystems need to have
  • Producers
  • Consumers and
  • Decomposers
to function properly.  For example, if there aren't any decomposers in an environment, there's nothing to break down the dead animals and plants (yuck!) 

We listened to this song to help us learn which was which - (both the song and lyrics)

Here's some of us having fun and singing along!

(Sorry the quality's not very good!)

More delicious baking!

Whoops, this has been sitting in our drafts for a little while now...

The baking has been flooding in (lucky us!) and we've had lots of awesome photos of the process we all went through at home.  It's even spurred thoughts of a LH3 Master Chef!  Jamie is hard at work putting together a proposal (using Google Docs) and will let you know more soon.

Movie Night at Stonefields!

Hi everyone!

It's Dani and Craig here!

On Friday the 24th of June Stonefields School had a movie night. In every single hub, there was excitement going on. Then when school finished everyone rushed home to get ready.

A lot of learners in learning hub 3 helped out on the night. There was Dani, Maddy, Nate, Finn, Craig, Ben, Jamie, Paton, Hossain and Maddy's sister, Abigail. The jobs that we did were, ice cream parlor servers, ushers (door men) and snack shop servers.

The movie that we watched was Toy Story 3. The whole school loved the movie.

The night turned out really well. We got to dress up in our PJ's! 85% of the school dressed up in there PJ's... oh yeah, PJ's were your choice, you didn't have to come in them if you didn't want to. There was lots of food, like ice-cream, toffee apples and lots of other things!
We raised $1000 for the school! YAY!

We would like to thank the FOSS (Friend of Stonefields School) and Mrs Cosford for organising the movie night, we had a awesome time.  Also, a big thank you to Mr Martin, McDonalds Lunn Ave and Pak N Save Glen Innes, Mrs Berge and all the other fabulous people who donated yummy foods and drinks to our night.  McDonalds and Pak N Save were very generous with drinks and we really appreciate it.

Thanks for reading!

Create your own video slideshow at

Oral Language with Dani and Meg

Gosh everyone, it's been a while now since our last update.

We thought we'd give you a little update and share with you our fabulous oral language presenters from today.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Avast, me hearties!

The learners in LH3 have been focusing on creating their own next steps, especially in writing.  We know that even the best piece of writing can probably be made better (though each person has their own preferences so what's amazing to one reader, might not spin another's wheels) so have been trying hard to critique our own work and look for specifics to improve.

We were aiming for a short piece of writing that would include the figurative language devices that we've been exploring.  This time we had to include something to do with a pirate ship just to make things a little more tricky!

Here are a few for you to enjoy (the rest are on KnowledgeNET and up on our wall):

The ship was fighting against the wind and sea, that’s spread across the sea like butter on bread. The clouds, spat on my bare face, as I hopelessly cleaned the deck of the tornado. The dark, dodgy dungeon had planks as old as the earth and a dark flag buried deep in rain water. The ship was so big I felt like plankton against the Atlantic Ocean. Then I stopped, stared at the frozen overlapping waves and heard a calm voice that echoed" Please lift your seat-belts and get off at the exit that is located at your right."
By Hana

I was in the rough sea, the waves were roaring like a pride of angry lions.  The wind was extremely powerful that was forcing our boat to fly over the seas. Then out of in the frothy white fog I saw a boat. It was scary, mighty and huge. I told Joey, the main pirate, to get a flare before the other ship came and created the biggest crash in history. The ship is coming towards us. It has a mean captain with one eye, wrinkles all over his face, with a pitch black eye patch.  He is pure gold! If I catch him I’ll be the baddest, biggest, best pirate. "I can scare everyone hahahahahaha!" I yelled "Charge!"  and then... BOOM
By Finn

The wickedly wild ship was rocking rapidly side to side. The scary sharks were bashing the wild westie ship with their rock solid teeth. The clouds were dropping rocks on my bare battled face. As I fell to the ground helplessly hoping to wake up from this terrifying dream I was in. As I forced open my swollen sleepy eyes I could see myself sitting at the top of the pirate ship.
By Courtney

We were also given the task of displaying our writing in the hub - we put our heads together and decided upon a pirate ship... here are some photos of us planning, organising and making it!

Figurative Writing on PhotoPeach

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Winter Solstice

As LH3 are aware, today was the Winter Solstice!

We watched a great BrainPOP video to help us understand what this is all about and even Google celebrated the shortest day...

Who can remember what the Winter Solstice is all about?

Monday, 20 June 2011

We're famous!

Check us out, we've been mentioned on the University of Auckland website!!

Doggleganger - Which dog are you??

Hi there.

Ben and I recently discovered a website called Doggle ganger where it matches a photo of you to a photo of one of the dogs up for adoption. The nearest match is shown and you can click share to email it to someone. It is run by SPCA and shows all the dogs up for adoption.

Here is the address:

By Jamie

Video by Edwin - please keep watching, the first 10secs or so didn't record properly but the video's still good!  This time we experimented with QuickTime instead of Jing.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Oral Lanugage

Miss Smerdon had the fabulous idea of running an oral language programme each day in Learning Hub 3, and we love it!

Our learners take turns at filling each roll and every morning a few people present their on their area of expertise or findings (I'll let our students fill you in on the specifics of each role a little later on.)

For now, enjoy these videos showing off three of our talented presenters.

Damien shares his recent science experiment...

Our other Damien fills us in on roller hockey, his favourite sport...

and finally, Finn investigates a recent news story and shares it with us (you can find one of the original articles on the NZ Herald here)

Math News!! Statistics - Mean, Median, Mode and Range. Confused? We're here to help!

Hi everyone!

Tomorrow the learners who made this video will post about it but I just couldn't wait to share it with you!

Have a look at this, designed to help you remember the difference between mean, median, mode and range.

Aren't they clever!

Christchurch - Can We Fix It? Yes We Can!

Have a look at this video that Maddy's Dad sent through to us, what a neat video!  Please share any thoughts you have for Christchurch below.

You all did such a lot during our Bakesale and mufti day and I'm sure your kind words would be appreciated.

What Buddies! (A Message In Time)

Today in LH3 some of our fabulous learners wrote a Message in Time based on this photo.  

They were set the challenge of writing a short, sharp and appealing piece of writing that included metaphor and personification.

Comforting a Beast by Craig

I ran across the room being chased by a dark brown beast.  It was a speeding car.  I had looked back, the monster was crying hard.  Tears rolled down its light brown cheeks.  I felt like a hero of all cats nursing the beast back to full health.
One year later humans with cameras took photos of me and my friend the monster sleeping together.  Whats wrong with that picture?

Reflection: I think I did really well with my writing, I am very proud of my writing. It includes my favourite animal the cat, a metaphor and a personification.  My next step will be to use all the figurative language to write a even better text.  It will be better because it will have more description and more sense.     

Attacker to Comforter By Fatima

As the toy frowned helplessly with half it's body in a drooling, vampire-toothed mouth, I growled at the at the big, brown attacker walking with deep scratches on his four legs like tattoos.  I looked down to see the floor bleeding but the red blood came from my own leg.  The lumbering dog came over and held me tight not caring about the river of blood he sat on on to comfort me.  My heart overflowed with guilt from attacking him.  I relaxed under his warm, blanket not daring to break the special momment.   

Reflection: I am really proud of my strong piece of writing because I can see I have come a long way since the start of the year.  I think I improved on metaphors but I still would like to get better at it.  I am getting better at similes, personifications etc. Though I still would like to get better at metaphors.

My Learning about Metaphors by Damien P.    

 I learnt about simile and metaphors but metaphor is a bit confusing and then Miss Holland teach me about metaphor and then I finally know how to use metaphor like this :

This is a simile : I am hungry like a hungry lion. The simile is the word 'like'.

This is a metaphor : The cat is under the ear.  The cat is under the blanket.
This is the metaphor because I changed the ear into a blanket and that was the things I learned today and it took me one week to learn it but now I understand!

I feel happy and excited because I finally learnt metaphors.  I was doing lots of thinking and I was determined.

The Best of Friends by Dani

The cat ran like a cheetah in the rain away from the angry dog.  As it skid around the corner, it made a mistake.  CRASH!  The cat ran into the door.  The dog suddenly felt bad.

One month later...

The dog smiled as the cat snuggled under his warm blanket.  They both lay hugging each other near the growing fire.  Such great friends.

Reflection:   When I first started this work I did a factual version of what we had to write about  but I found  it hard to do it that way because I found It hard to fit in some metaphors and personification.  So I started a story version. The first paragraph of my story I didn't like as much as the second paragraph of my story because the second paragraph has lots more figurative language in it.  So I worked with Miss Holland and we talked about what might make it more interesting.  I made some of the short sentences longer and added an adjective (which is a describing word) and made it better.  I am really proud of my story because It really puts a picture in my mind (and hopefully yours!) and I'm really proud with the process that i have been through.  My next step would be to space out my figurative language more and not just put it in just one paragraph. 

Wednesday, 15 June 2011


Hi everyone.

It's Dani, Maddy and Craig here.

We're going to talk to you about BrainPOP today! It's a educational video site that we've been using here in Learning Hub 3 and each day they have a new free video for us to watch! We put the video on our blog (using the embed code) and it's on the right hand side, towards the bottom.

We watch this video most days in the hub during Feed and Read time, and we enjoy them very much. They're very cool!

This morning we were so excited to watch it, that we didn't wait for the rest of the hub. We watched the video on Alzheimers Disease which is a brain disease that affects your memory.

We found out that it can affect your social life and the way you speak too. People who have Alzheimers can very frustrated with it because sometimes they remember things and other times they don't. You might be able to prevent it by keeping your brain busy (doing crosswords, reading and puzzles), staying social with your friends and maybe eating certain spices. There is no known treatment for it and it can run in families so do your best to prevent it by using your brain well!

There are two main causes of Alzheimers, plaque (which is a hard build up of nutrients between your brain cells) and tangles (confuse the pathways) - both of these problems prevent the messages getting through the brain which is way these people forget things. We found out that it's mostly older people (85+) that will get it and mostly men.

We recorded a Jing for you, to show you where to find the video on the blog if you get confused. Here it is:

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

Moving Schools - A Students Guide

Hi my name is Courtney.

I have just recently moved schools I am now at Stonefields School and really love it! We have just shifted to Stonefields because it's much closer to where my brother and I are going to school. I am really enjoying Stonefields School but I know that when you move schools it can be really difficult to make friends and adjust sometimes. My advice for you, if you ever move schools would be:
  • Be brave as maybe your first couple of days might be a bit scary but it will get much better.
  • Still keep in touch with your old friends.
  • Make lots of new friends and invite them over to your house lots to get to know them more.
  • Do your best in your work and get involved in everything
  • Keep smiling!

Here is my PMI that I made using Creately.

(Click it to make it bigger)

I think Creately is a very good website. It is difficult to use but it is worth it because the images turn out looking really effective. I was surprised by how effective my PMI turned out considering it didn't take me much time to make!

Our Brilliant, Bopping Bakers!

We've extended the Choice Challenge for another week to give us all more time to bake and cook.  The things that are being made are amazing!!  Here are some of the photos brought in from home - keep an eye out for more to follow.

Choice Challenge - Baking! on PhotoPeach

PS - what do you think of the song??  ;)

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Look Harder, You Might Just See Something New!

Good evening everyone,

I came across this awesome imagine that focuses on ducks - something we see all the time, but have you ever noticed a dog on their beak?? 

What do you think the message for us to take away from this is?  

(From this site)

Or you may have seen this one before.  Is this a young woman?  Or an old one?  Take a second look!

(From this site)

Have a great night!

Miss Holland  :)

Yum, Cupcakes!

Last night Mum and I made chocolate cupcakes and this morning I brought them in for Miss Smerdon and Miss Holland to try.

Keep an eye out for more information from me....

Breaking News! Cupcakes from Sarah Holland on Vimeo.

Hi everyone the recipe for the cupcakes are


100g unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 large free-range eggs
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup milk
¾ cup cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water
Chocolate icing:
1 ½ cup icing sugar mixture
150g butter, softened
120g chocolate, chopped
¼ cup thickened cream
Chocolate drops, to decorate
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake papers and set aside.
Sift together flour, baking powder in a bowl. Mix cocoa and boiling water together until smooth and allow to cool completely.
In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy then stir in vanilla. Add one egg and beat for one minute, then add the second egg and beat in again for another minute.
Add flour mixture and stir until combined. Add milk and cocoa mixture then beat entire mixture until smooth - for about 3 minutes with an electric beater.
Fill cupcake papers 3/4 full and bake for 13-15 minutes. Stick a butter knife into a cupcake. If it comes out clean, the cupcakes are ready. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

then make chocolate icing with soft butter and beat with an electric beater for 3 minutes

Monday, 13 June 2011

Posting online - Net It Quit? Nope, Netiquitte!

Hi everyone,

We've been blogging for a while now and are getting some comments which is awesome!  It's now time to check that we're responding to them and encouraging new people to follow our learning by using positive netiquette.

Have a look at these suggestions by Jacqui Sharp.  

This ruberic/matrix could also be helpful to consider when we post our own entries.  Do you think this might help encourage great quality posts?  

It could be a handy thing to reflect against when doing entries in our Learning Journals about our blog posts?

Collaging our Ecosystems!

The learners in Learning Hub 3 have been hard at work, investigating what goes into different ecosystems.  They've all decided upon which ecosystem they're going to make and are now collaging.

Check them out - they're starting to look fab!

Create your own video slideshow at

Friday, 10 June 2011

The difference at Stonefields School!

Hi, I'm Maddy.

Today I'm going to talk to you about the different furniture in hub 3. We have all different sized tables and we also have beanbags and a big ball that we can sit on. We also have all different sized chairs for the different tables.

Hub 3 is very different from my old school and it's lots of fun. You can chose to sit on a beanbags, at a table (they're all different heights), on the floor or on the couch. We don't have our own desks because we can chose to sit anywhere to help our learning.

We have lots of technology so we can have lots of people on the computers at the same time.

I think that having all the different pieces of furniture helps me in my learning. It's much better having space to move about and I'm not squashed like I have been sometimes in the past. I like being able to move about if the area that I'm in doesn't help me with my learning. It's also great to be comfortable which helps me focus more!

Here is a animoto of our learning. space showing how we use the different chairs, tables and things.

Create your own video slideshow at

This also shows you what our learning hub looks like.  We've moved some of the furniture around but it's pretty close.  We have two teachers that teach us and as you can see, it's a very big space!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Planning our Ecosystem by Courtney, Hana & Albert

Hi everyone!

We've been researching about ecosystems here in Learning Hub 3. We could choose from any ecosystem in the world we wanted and we chose to do a coral reef.

At the moment we've been planning what animals and things should be in our ecosystem and researching to find out what eats what. We've been thinking about what happens when a shark dies and have realised that the small types of fish actually eat the shark after it has died. Things in an ecosystem help each other and without a certain type of animal the ecosystem wouldn't work properly. We've had to think about these links between creatures and things as well (the sun, seaweed etc.) and have had to make sure everything the ecosystem needs is planned for.

Here's some pictures of our plan so far. We're going to make this into a collage next and we'll update you with some photos then.

What do you know about a coral reef ecosystem? What do you think shrimp eat? Where does seaweed get it's energy from?

By Hana, Albert and Courtney

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Helping out Gramps (and maybe you!) with Commenting

For the people that do not know how to post a comment on our blog then here is a little video for you so that you make comments on our hub's work as well as mine. Just have a browse around our blog and see our cool learning. This video was made for my grandad who is all the way in South Africa. He has been trying to make a comment and I made this video for him so that he can make a comment because he's been having trouble making a comment.

This video shows you how to make a comment in the easiest way, using 'anonymous.' Keep an eye out for another video that shows you how to make a comment using your name. Don't forget to tell us your name in the comment box, so we know who you are!

I hope that this video helps you all.

From Paton
(Hi Gramps)

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

If you need some practice, have a play with commenting below this post! You can use anonymous like I've just taught you or you can have a go at using your name/URL if you're brave!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Inferencing by The Brilliants

For the past two reading lessons the Brilliants have been doing a presentation on inferencing using fotobabble

We've been using the language from our Inquiry Model on this blog and you might be wondering what it's all about!  Here's a copy of the reading one (they'll all the same, it's just that the words that are especially helpful in each subject have been bolded to help us.)

This is what we did...

Building Knowledge.  First we brought what we knew about inferencing and found that all of us together had enough information to do it ourselves, though we found some more information and brainstormed together. 

Then we moved to Making Meaning, where we summarised it and considered how to organise it all. We negotiated what we would include in our presentation and who would say each part and we knitted some ideas together where possible. Then we began to plan and assemble our script.

Finally we moved to Applying our Understanding where we created our fotobabble. We created the script and applied our understanding by creating our own example of inferencing and we justified why it was inferencing. We solved the problem of writing our everyone's parts seperately by working off our original piece of paper. We also solved the problem of running out of time on fotobabble by taking out the dictionary definition we had - it was too long and we thought it actually made things quite confusing! We replaced it with our own definition which we thought was better anyway. We considered the possibilities of how to make a member of the group stay quiet (this was quite difficult) and came up with a solution to help them. Last but not least we applied what we learnt to our blog and recounted all the steps.

Break Through!

By Jamie and Alex

Edwin's Flower Experiment!

This is what I did: First I got a cup and put quite a bit of food coloring in it. I peeled the leaves carefully off the rose and then I put the white rose in and left it for 24 hours.

This is what happened: When I checked the rose in the morning the whole rose turned blue! Because I chose blue food colouring. I also saw blue colouring where we had peeled the leaves off and in the sepals (I found out what this part of the flower is called from this website. Here's the information I used...)

This is what I learned: I learned that when roses suck up the water, they suck it up through their stems and it comes out in the flower. The stem is kind of like a straw and when a flower is in the garden the stem takes the water from the ground and takes it to the top. I had to take the leaves off because if I didn't take them off, all the leaves would turn blue first and it wouldn't go to the flower petals as clearly because it would go through the leaves too. This made the colour more obvious.

I noticed that one petal didn't turn blue. I think this might be because we didn't put it in for long enough. We did it for approx 12 hours which might not have been long enough. Or it could have been that that petal wasn't working properly or was dead. What do you think?