Friday, December 19, 2008

Final Party 2008

Christmas 2008 - the plans had to change due to rotten weather on our booked beach and helicopter party Sunday. This did not deter us and TODAY the weather pulled out all the stops for our magnificent end of year party together at Kindergarten. There was brilliant sunshine, WATER, a sprinkler, and a waterslide, there were sausages, bread and cake. There were parents, friends and siblings. Sweets, presents (for the Kindergarten) and SANTA! It was hard to go home. What an amazing year it has been. Thank you to all the families who have joined in the community of learners, participated, contributed, and gone the extra mile. Have an awesome Christmas, and exuberant and safe holiday.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Active Movement Accreditation - SILVER status

The super fit and healthy children, teachers and families at Manaia Kindergarten have been recognised for their efforts and today were awarded the SILVER active movement accreditation! Jaimee Claxton and Halle Barrett from Sport Northland have been working alongside our team for the past year or so on developing our policies and providing professional development for Teachers and information evenings and workshops for parents. Tania and Beverly were totally inspired by a two day fundamental movement skills workshop they attended last year and since then we have been even more focused on providing our Kindergarten children with a broad range of active movement. Children at Manaia were able to articulate to Jaimee today all of the ways they were active at Kindergarten and at home, we were VERY PROUD of their ideas and responses. They also knew our next goal - working towards GOLD! So, bring it on... 2009 the year Manaia Kindergarten achieve our gold accreditation. Thanks to Jaimee and Halle for their guidance and support.

Look at our Garden Grow!

Our tomatoes are growing bigger each day...

We have already reaped the benefits of our peas and enjoyed eating them straight from the pod at Kindergarten. There are a few left growing fatter...

Our flowers add great colour to our garden!

Our broccoli is slowing starting to grow..
We have taken great care of our garden and it has grown before our eyes! We have remembered to water it everyday and check how our plants are going. Our lettuce and spinach is also ready to eat and we look forward to enjoying it on Friday at our end of term party! I wonder if Santa will like lettuce? I bet his reindeer will...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Flax Weaving together

A month ago I shared with the children my taonga, my flax kete, woven during a weekend workshop with Jo Samuel. The children were fascinated and began to make plans. They wanted to make flax bows - and were eager to teach me this skill.

Unfortunately it was raining - and flax can not be cut in the rain. This is Maori protocol. Cutting flax in the rain can damage the flax bush over time. So we waited for a time that was best for ourselves and the flax.

Today, with sunshine and enthusiasm - a group of us gathered around the flax. The small group saw the structure of the harakeke bush and were shown how its cut. The outer leaves of the flax fan are the ones we cut. The inner leaves are the pepe (baby) - cutting them cuts the life out of the flax bush.

We saw many examples of unhealthy leaves on our flax - an indication that not enough air is getting through the bushes (another working bee?)

Back inside the kindergarten our group grew and the children saw and experienced the grain of the fiber on the flax. We learnt and took turns splitting the leaves and preparing them for weaving. Olivia demonstrated flax bows. Then I demonstrated the weaving of the flax and creation of a putiputi (flower). Everyone was keen to get hands on experience.

Unfortunately we did not have enough time, healthy flax, or supporting adults today for the large and interested group of weavers. If you have knowledge and skills in this area - we would love your help and support.

Watch the slide show and marvel at the children's newly acquired skills.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Jumping for Distance


It all started with a group of children playing with the hoops... we decided to see how far we could jump between two hoops and when we succeeded we made the distance wider. More children joined in and we set up the hoops in a long row so we could practice our jumping for distance. We have to concentrate really hard to get our timing and rhythm right and to coordinate the movement of our arms and legs. This is all good practice for games we will learn later on, like hopscotch, jump rope and elastics. We will also use these skills when we do events such as long jump and triple jump. Tania and Beverly talked to us about landing safely, bending our ankles, knees and hips. We learnt to focus our eyes straight ahead, bend our knees, put our arms behind our backs and then to swing our arms forward and up as we jumped. We practised keeping both our feet together as we jumped and landing on both feet at the same time. There is so much to remember and learn when jumping - we will keep practising next week.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Disappearing Legs!

It all began with a big hole in the sand..... somebody sat in it and next minute they were covered up! No legs Noah we called him! Then everyone wanted a turn at the amazing disappearing legs trick! This called for major team work as we dug holes and had turns to bury each other. What a lot of fun we had - I wonder how many no legs children we could get at Kindergarten all at once! It would be a very full sandpit. I think we'd need a lot of helpers.

The Giant Swing

The swings were very popular today and there didn't seem to be enough swings for everyone who wanted a turn. I asked you if you remembered the giant swing we made along time ago. A few of you remembered, we headed off to the shed to find a long plank to put between our two blue swings. We had to make sure it was safe first and then we all climbed on! WOW so many people at once sure made the swing heavy to push. We had turns at pushing and sitting on the swing and others crowded round for their turn on the giant swing too. You held hands or held on to the plank so that you didn't swing off! I liked the way you sang as you swang! Have you seen the movie on our Manaia blog? It took a lot of concentration to get the giant swing swinging together. You needed to have your legs in time, swinging in and out at the same time. Well done everyone, we will get the giant swing up and working another day... Great team work!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ideas on Cars

As you may have guessed already - Cars are being explored by many of the children at Manaia Kindergarten. Today children recorded their knowledge of cars which will be saved onto their individual DVDs. Below is a snapshot of these interviews.


These interviews were conducted using our new FlipCams. We have discovered that FlipCams have good movie editing software which you can see from the movie above. Click HERE for more info on Flipcams

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oh! How our garden grows

Click here to check out our kindergarten blog post in mid Oct about building our vegetable garden. We have planted broccoli, carrots, spring onions, lettuce, peas and much more. We have been watching and watering our vegetable plants - and the plants have been growing!! See how our garden has grown!!

The flowers are blooming and there are even tiny flowers on the vegetable plants... who knows - soon we might have a vegetable or two!!

Finley and the Monster Truck


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

ABBA at Manaia


It all started on the swings yesterday - Lucy and Milly singing as they were swinging "Super Trooper"... at the top of their voices! I know that your Mum's went to see "Mamma Mia" at the movies - it was an EXCELLENT movie. I guessed they had bought the CD or DVD and had obviously been playing it alot! You knew so many of the songs and the words and I enjoyed listening to you. Meg also came to join us and knew so many of the songs too. Today Wendy and I were thinking the same thing and both brought in our ABBA CD's for you. What a day we had singing and dancing together. I remember singing ABBA just like you when I was a little girl and I know that I learnt it from listening to my Mum's music too. WOW we sure have talent at Manaia Kindergarten.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sand and Water Exploration


We are enjoying the sunshine and warm weather and the opportunities this provides for lots of exploring and experimenting with sand and water. We are learning math and science concepts as we play, we are developing our fine and gross motor skills and we are using all of our senses. We are working together and co-operating and engaging in lots of team work and socialisation. We are using our imaginations and are involved in dramatic play. Most importantly we are HAVING FUN!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Megs day at Adventure Forest

Yesterday, Meg took Ekko home and she went with her family and Ekko to the new Adventure Forest in Whangarei. Meg was a little disappointed that she could not quite reach the 1.5 metres up to clip herself onto the ropes - which meant that this time she had a watching role. Meg certainly enjoyed taking photos of her family on the aerial circuits. This was such an exciting time that Meg decided to share her story of her adventures through this movie.


You can find out more about the Adventure Forest in Whangarei at

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Monster Trucks at Manaia

Cars and trucks have become a real interest at Kindergarten. We have made roads for our cars and engineered all sorts of tracks and pipes that our cars can race through. We have new monster trucks at Kindergarten that have also been raced and enjoyed by all. We are extending our knowledge about cars and are trying to find out the names of the cars our family has. Today we tried out drawing monster trucks. We used a monster truck as a model and looked very carefully at all the details. Can you see the mag wheels we have drawn? Can you see the numbers we have written on the side of the cars? Can you see the steps up to the car? What amazing work at Kindergarten today!

Elliott persisting at the monkey bars..


"Tania, Tania I can do the monkey bars, I have lots of energy" you called out to me Elliott. I went to get the camera to make a movie of you in action and take some photos. You tried and tried but couldn't get right across again. You had obviously used all of your energy getting across the first time! I am impressed that you kept trying though! Keep practising Elliott and very soon you will be able to make it across everyday! I took the photos and videoed you with the camera and everytime you had finished you wanted to see what photos I had taken and look at the movie. "Let's make a movie" you said to me. That's exactly what we have done Elliott. Together we made this movie and now it is on the blog for everyone to see!

Monday, November 3, 2008

2008 Cross Country


The Cross Country movie has been a very long time coming! Our apologies - we were back to dial up speed after exceeding our broadband plan for the month! Impossible to work with a blog at dial up speed!

THANKS HEAPS to all our supportive parents and whanau for joining us for our annual cross country at Parua Bay School. The children had trained hard and eagerly awaited the event after its postponement due to wet weather last term. It was great to finally put all that training into action. What amazingly fit children we have at Manaia - all of them enjoying the competition! Next year there will definately need to be a parents race! We look forward to your comments.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Room 6 Whangarei Heads School Visits Manaia Kindergarten


We were very excited when we found out 8 children from Whangarei Heads School and their two teachers, Mrs Humphries and Mrs Bidois were coming to visit us today. They arrived just in time to sit down and have morning tea with us. After they had all finished and had an explore around Kindergarten we had a mat time together. The school children joined in with our singing and dancing and then we sat down to have a look at their new class blog on the projector. WOW how exciting - now they have a class blog too! We will be able to keep an eye on what they are learning at school and they can look back and see what is happening with our learning at Kindergarten. Mrs Humphries talked to us about a special book and DVD they had made together on starting school at Whangarei Heads. Mrs Humphries showed us the book, the pictures they had taken, and read us some of the story. It will be a great book to keep on our Kindergarten book shelf. We will know all about starting school and what to expect when we get there. Thanks heaps to Room 6, Mrs Humphries and Mrs Bidois for coming to visit us at Manaia Kindergarten.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Whangarei Heads and Parua Bay Primary - and their Blogs

After leaving Manaia Kindergarten, our children most often attend one of two schools on the Whangarei Heads. Our closest school geographically is Parua Bay Primary. Their older children have a blog that informs their families and the community about the great things they are learning. You can find them at This friday we will be visiting Parua Bay Primary and watching the new entrant class contribution to assembly.

Whangarei Heads Primary - Later this same friday we are having a visit from the new entrant class at Whangarei Heads Primary. WHP is further down the road from us - however we continue to build our relationship up with them through visits from them and trips on buses from Manaia Kindergarten children. AND Mrs Bidois and Mrs Humphries and the children in their new entrant class have set up their own blog. We look forward to keeping up with their news, learning, skills and excitement and sharing our learning together online. Check out their new blog at -

Monday, October 20, 2008

Police Officer Belinda Visits - MAKE IT CLICK!


Today we were lucky enough to have Police Officer Belinda come to Kindergarten in her Police Car. Belinda came to talk to us about wearing our seatbelts and to check that we all "made it click" when we traveled in the car. Belinda read us a story about a car that wouldn't go because the people inside hadn't clicked their seatbelts. We learnt how important it is to ALWAYS wear your seatbelt and to be sitting in a carseat or booster seat until we are really tall! We went out to have a look at Belinda's Police Car and to have turns at showing Belinda how we "make it click" in her booster seat. Check out the photos...

Building our Garden

Thanks to Scott for carting planks and soil and motiviating the children to create our very first large 'proper' vegetable garden. The children helped to place the planks into a rectangle, screw the planks together, nail some support, load the soil and full the garden with compost and soil - ready for our seeds and seedlings. It was a hot day, with hard work - we can't wait for all the vegetables to start growing - and then for the day we are able to taste our own kindergarten grown food.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Kidpix in Action

After a great week learning about our new Big Mac we introduced the Wacom Bamboo Board and Pen.
This along with KidPix has been a fantastic learning tool today... a skill that has been picked up easily by the children of Manaia Kindergarten. After just a few minutes they were teaching their friends and when parents arrived at the end of the day - they too were being taught. Today it has been all about the process - and there were some pictures the children wanted to save (that is they did not want to wash them away with the digital water pump). Check out the learning, experimenting, and teaching...


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mac Mania at Manaia


What fun we had today exploring what our new apple mac is capable of.. we experimented with photo booth and had a real laugh creating strange and wacky faces! There are lots of different effects to choose from and each one makes our face look totally different! We have learnt how to change the different effects and then how to take the photo. All we need to do is click on the camera, watch the numbers count backwards, 3,2, 1 and then smile for the camera... I imagine we are going to have heaps of fun with this programme and I look forward to a wall display of all our very strange faces!!! What an excellent way of learning as a team and then being able to share our new skills with others.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Poi and Jakob back from holidays

We are all back from wonderful holidays. Jakob is first to tell his story about Poi's visit with him over the last two weeks.

This is the last Poi Movie we will be posting on this blog. Poi now has his own blog. Make sure you keep checking Poi's blog to see whose house she is visiting and what adventures she is having...

Friday, October 10, 2008

ULearn08 Conference and Presentation

What an amazing experience ULearn08 has been! It has been fantastic to catch up with ECE teachers on this project again. Our e-lationships have been deepened to true friendships. The encouragement shown between the teachers for the numerous breakout presentations has been amazing. We certainly felt hugely supported for our keynote presentation which was part of the finale at conference. Our nerves built up as we considered people's reactions to our message. As representatives for ECE it was a huge honour and challenge to showcase what is happening with ICT in our kindergarten as well as highlighting what is happening in ECE across the board. Our knees shook, our throats went dry, and the time arrived. It was great to see many ECE friends out in the audience supporting - and away we went. It was over in a flash - and the message was out. We had wonderful feedback from all sectors - many of whom conveyed this reaction - "wow - if ECE children are getting that skilled in ICT we in the other sectors are going to have to keep up and fast."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pinocchio - At Ulearn

After a fantastic holiday to Italy (see my blog), I am at the ULearn08 Conference in Christchurch with Tania. My preconference workshop has taught me how to use "I Can Animate" - a fantastic programme we will all explore further in the new term.  Here is a taste of Italy, and the animation I created with Shayne from Greenwood Kindergarten.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Our Tamariki in Action - Our CONCERT!

A much anticipated event - our end of term concert. We had thoroughly enjoyed our time on stage at Parua Bay's Talent Quest and decided we needed more. The children discussed the songs they would like to sing and the dances they wanted to share - a huge list was created.... The invites were organised, the excitement was building... The day finally arrived - we worked together to set up our stage with seats for our audience, WOW what a turn out. We danced and sang our hearts out for our friends, family and whanau. A special thanks to everyone who came along to watch and a VERY SPECIAL THANKS to Wendy and Eleanor our amazing relievers. We enjoyed a shared lunch afterwards to farewell Wendy from Manaia Kindergarten.


We hope you are all enjoying your holidays. We are now in Christchurch and FREEZING! A wee bit colder than the North. We are looking forward to sharing our learning and inspiring others with the amazing abilities of the children at Manaia Kindergarten.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Last Blog Post for Term 3 08

What an amazing term it has been. Term 3 saw the brief introduction of our new teacher, Dee Myhre before she set off on her big adventure to Europe. We have been lucky enough to have Wendy Small as our reliever extraordinaire. Wendy has become a valuable part of our teaching team and our Manaia Kindergarten family and we will miss her heaps! Our amazing blogging ripple as spread far and wide and with Beverly's family spending time in Tuscany, Italy, blogging, it was all too much for Beverly! Seeing their photos and reading their stories of life in Italy was just too good an opportunity to miss - not to mention it was her Father's 70th Birthday. Off Beverly went on her adventure to the UK and Italy. In comes Eleanor - Eleanor is simply amazing. Our valued and reliable reliever throughout the year steps up yet again to join us. Tracey, like Eleanor, continues to step back in when needed, fitting us in alongside her family life and studies to be a midwife! Beverly and I absolutely appreciate that we have incredible relievers who are such a part of our Kindergarten team.

It's been an incredible term - will definitely be remembered for the rain and mud! (Was absolutely wonderful to actually PLAY on the grass today!) We have welcomed new children and their families and enjoyed an incredible amount of learning together. Thanks so much to all of our supportive families and friends. A special thanks also to our families and friends far and wide who keep in constant touch through our blog. Your comments are truly valued and inspirational to the children and team at Manaia Kindergarten.

During the holidays I will work on getting our concert movie and photos on the blog so keep an eye out... Wish us luck for our presentation at "Celebrating Northland's Tamariki" conference and for our keynote presentation at ULearn08 in Christchurch. Enjoy your holidays.
The Manaia Team

Look Beverly - The grass is dry!


Jessi and Poi's adventures


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Have you heard???

Guess what these children are working on??? Invitations for a very special event! On Friday we are planning to have a Manaia Kindergarten Concert, followed by a shared lunch to farewell Wendy, our VERY SPECIAL Teacher. Have you got your invitation? The children have been thinking hard about what they would like to perform at the concert. We came up with lots of different ideas today and then decided to make the invitations. The words for the invitation were all decided on by the children and made by a team of Daniel, Milly, Lucy, Freya, Holly and Noah. We will practise for our concert this week and look forward to sharing our songs and dances with you all on Friday. Come along and see us in action and farewell Wendy with us.

Poi at Megs


Monday, September 22, 2008

Parua Bay Talent Quest 08

A long time ago we heard Parua Bay School were planning a Talent Quest and we were invited to enter... We thought hard about the songs and dances we would like to perform - it was a tough decision. We practised lots of songs and dances, especialy Poi E, Te Aroha, Gorillas in the Zoo and Knees Up Mother Brown. We found out we could only do two songs so a decision needed to me made. We decided on Poi E and Knees Up Mother Brown so everyone who wanted to could join in. WOW what a night, 17 Kindergarten children up on stage and ready to share their talents with the Parua Bay community. We were VERY PROUD of our Manaia Kindergarten children as they sang and danced their hearts out on stage. It was great to then watch the children of Parua Bay sing, dance, play instruments and tell jokes. A great family night. Thanks to Parua Bay School for inviting us. Perhaps we can have a Talent Quest of our own next term and invite our families along to watch...


Poi and Noah's adventures

Poi had her first bike ride at Pataua Beach with Noah. How lucky to explore our amazing Whangarei Heads Beaches. Thanks Noah for taking Poi on such a great adventure. Have a listen as Noah tells us all about Poi at his house...


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Toasting Pizza in Tuscany

Ok - so it was a bit cool on our first day - thus the jacket. But read more about our evening of pizza here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cruising the Thames

I have had a very nice time with my Mum and Dad on their Canal boat in the UK. We had wanted to cruise the Oxford canals but first they had to get up the big Thames river to get to Oxford. Unfortunately there was a lot of water and it was rushing down too fast. They had red warnings up and we were told not to travel up the Thames. We did move a little bit, but it was sometimes a bit scarey. So in the end we stopped in Addingdon. There were some beautiful spots along the Thames on our long canal boat so I thought I would share some photos with you... here they go.
Steering from the back of the long boat.
Holding the boat in the lock (more on that on my own blog - later)
Moored beside a meadow of cows in the early morning mist.
Hope all is going well at Kindergarten. It looks like Poi is having some great adventures.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Poi goes bush with Ari!

Poi is having so many amazing adventures with the children of Manaia Kindergarten. I hope Madeline is keeping up to date with Poi and his sleep overs at everyones houses. It must be time to create a blog for Poi too!


Poi visits Jack's Farm


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Feeding the Birds of Manaia

We have two bird houses at Manaia Kindergarten - we hoped by feeding the birds in their very own houses they would stay away from our kai table...

Everyday children climb the ladder to put food up for the birds in their little house. Sometimes bird seed and other days bread...

Then, we have to stand back and wait patiently for the birds to discover our offerings..

Yesterday Wendy thought she was a National Geographic Photographer as she caught this photo of a bird in flight with a piece of bread in its mouth...

This is another photo taken by Wendy - the view from the birds house! Aren't they lucky! Unfortunatley no matter how much we feed the birds they still like to flock around our kai table and pick up all of our crumbs!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hi from Brunei

I am sitting in an internet cafe in Brunei. I have just been on a free tour around the city and seen mosques with real gold domes on the top (you can see a picture here - I took some photos but am not able to put them onto the blog yet). I have one coming in the post to you.
I have 10hrs in Brunei and then a 15hr flight to the UK. Hope you all have a great week. I will try and post again when I can.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Glorious Mud!

What a lot of fun we had today at Kindergarten! Check out the movie below to see...


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Poi visits Zara's house...


Meet Poi - our new friend at Kindergarten


It was Madeline's last day at Manaia Kindergarten and her family wanted to buy us all something special. We talked about what we needed and thought another "take home friend" would be great. Ekko is in great demand and it's a long time to wait to have a turn... Now we have Ekko and Poi the Panda to have turns at going home to our houses. Poi the Panda spent her first weekend at Madeline's house to celebrate Madeline's 5th birthday party. How lucky! Check out the movie of all the fun Poi had. THANKS HEAPS to the Whittam family for bringing Poi along to our Kindergarten. We will take extra special care of her. Good Luck at school Madeline.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mary IS a little lamb

wow - Mary followed Jack to school one day - and we were all delighted!
Thanks to Jack's family for sharing this awesome experience.


Joshua's Fiji Holiday

Thanks for bringing in your Fiji photos to share with us Joshua. How lucky you were to fly to the sunshine and enjoying swimming and snorkelling in Fiji. You were very keen to put your photos into a movie for the blog.... I know your family and friends will enjoy listening to your story. Great movie making Joshua.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Introducing Ekko

With the departure of Nutkin to Bali, and the arrival of Ekko from Indonesia we have begun a new blog and new adventures with the Orangutan. Check out the adventures of Ekko at Manaia. I'm sure Ekko will be visiting your home soon!

Monday, August 25, 2008

"I love my Dad coming to Kindergarten..."

It was great to be back at Kindergarten after spending Thursday and Friday in Auckland on our continued learning journey. What fun everyone had while we were away working hard!! We hear there was a special visit from Mary - the baby lamb and we had lots of children tell us about the medals they had made.... we talked some more and found out Gary (Maz's Dad) had spent the morning at Kindergarten inspiring the children of Manaia Kindergarten to become Olympic Athletes! The children created and designed medals and wore them proudly around their necks. The photos told the story - busy children and a dedicated Dad helping and encouraging them in their work. Check out the photos and listen to Maz talking so proudly about his Dad. Listen carefully as he only talks to some photos...

We are so lucky that we have many Dad's at Manaia who play a huge part in their children's education.

Keep a look out for the upcoming movie of Mary the Lamb visiting Kindergarten!