Monday, December 6, 2010

Thanksgiving Celebrations 2010

Have a look at Manaia Kindergarten's Thanksgiving experience movie. We were extremely privileged to have Jack and his family - Dad Paul and especially Mum Lynda teach us about the meaning behind Thanksgiving, and to prepare for us a traditional Thanksgiving feast. What a special event that allowed us to learn about a day celebrated by some of our friends and their families, in a real and meaningful way. It is great for us to gain some understanding and insight into cultural events that are important to others from different countries and why.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Whanau Day and Hangi

A fantastic day was had by all who attended our Whanau Day on Saturday 13th November. Whanau is the maori word for family and it was great to have families working together with their tamariki on the Friday, preparing for our Hangi on Saturday.
Whanau day began with speeches from Local tangatawhenua and Beverly. Wonderful workshops were offered in Harakeke (flax weaving), Titi torea (Maori stick games), Poi, Paki Waitara (Maori story telling), and Mau rakau (traditional Maori movement skills). Then it was time to celebrate by sharing the hangi together.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Our stage performance at Show day.

On Saturday a number of Manaia Kindergarten children got up on stage at the Parua Bay Primary school Show Day and performed a poi song called Rere Atu and a Maori dance called Kori kori to tinana. They had been practising all week and did a fantastic performance up on stage. Tino Pai tamariki.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Monkey Bar Madness

The sun is shining and the challenges keep coming. It is still a goal at Manaia Kindergarten to CONQUER the Monkey Bars before going to school. Some of our children even conqer the monkey bars BEFORE beginning Kindergarten. Look at the intense concentration as they use every muscle in their bodies to hold on, and all their co-ordination to move from one bar to another. What awesome persistance!! What persistent learning!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Children's holiday stories.

Take a look at the wonderful holiday stories some of the children have created. See, read and hear about the fun and exciting things they have been doing these holidays.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Trip to Quarry and Native Bird Recovery Centre

Term 3 - 21st September 2010
We had an action packed day out, and ventured to both The Quarry and the Native Bird Recovery Centre. The clay class gave all children an opportunity to have a hands on experience of touching and working with clay, to see inside a kiln, and have their own creations fired. Along with viewing the gardens, the tranquil environment, the interesting buildings and variety of impressive clay sculptures.
We then went to the Bird Recovery Centre to observe birds and wildlife, and visit the injured birds that are being cared for there as they are now unable to survive in the wild. We were presented with a lot of information about birds and animals, incuding the albatross and the kiwi. Also some of the threats to our wildlife, such as traps and other animals. What an exciting and eventful day!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

50,000 on the Blog

Wow - with so many children engaged in the blog, sharing their experiences and skills, we have gained many views on the blog. Many of our friends around the world are watching and learning from our talented children and leaving comments of encouragement and prompting further learning. Now we have reached 50,000 visitors on our visitors counter.
50,000 people globally have visited the Manaia Kindergarten Blog.
What an emense amount of collaborative learning is taking place with the use of technology.

Thank you to our viewers and collaborators. Keep visiting, keep learning, keep sharing. Thank you to the children and families who have contributed so much towards the kindergarten program and being so open to share their talents.

Party on Friday! Come back and visit to see a record of the real life party posted on the blog.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A talented Musician

Today at Manaia Kindergarten, with the support of our fantastic musical itinerant teacher, Gill, we discovered a STAR in our midst. What awesome skills Shyla has developed as a result of watching her sister at Ukulele lessons. There is a lot of inbuilt talent here.

Shyla, your singing at Mat times has been admired, and today you were able to put into practice your awesome skills and knowledge - strumming guitar, using your knowledge of chords and playing the G chord, and singing wonderful tunes - all at the same time!!

Watch this star in action!!!

A Flower for Dee

"It's for Dee a pink flower. There's all the petals and there's the green bits. The green bits were the inside petals. That part is the dirt and the stalk. I'm deciding to put it on the office computer instead. Cos Beverly had my other two pictures on there. I need a camera to take a photo of it so I can do it. We don't want the string (hand strap) in the photo otherwise Dee will think it's a picture of string!"
Ella you pay such attention to detail and have not only created a beautiful flower from our orchid display but have also mastered taking a photo so that you have a record of your work. As well you have developed the understanding that these can be shared with others via the computer, which has sparked your curiosity and has become an interest that is growing each day!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Another picture for Dee

Dee this is another picture for you from Ella J - check out her words and see what she has drawn for you.

Ella's picture for Dee

Dear Dee, This is another picture for you. This is a picture with Reindeer footprints, cause I saw some Reindeer. The Bear and the Elephant just walked on my paper!! And the Bear walked on my paper too.
What are you doing Dee? I want you to show me something you like doing at Kindergarten and then I will show you what I like doing at Kindergarten. I want to show you something that I want to be a superhero when I grow up - a super hero that can fly and that can rescue people. Thats what I really want to be. I might do another bit of art for you today." Love from Ella J. PS - I took the photo too.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Constructing Dee's appartment

An amazing construction has been created in the block corner over the past 2 days.
William you and Dominik began the construction on Wednesday and on Thursday Maxwell, Tai and Zane worked with you as you continued to create Dee's appartment.
You chose to use a variety of different equipment to use on Dee's appartment including dancing ribbons, animals, insects, dinosaurs, cars and trucks. At the bottom of the appartment was an under water cave you told me about William where you and Dominik had carefully placed starfish, shells and kina.
The appartment took up alot of space and there were other things on the mat too, I was impressed to see the spacial awareness knowledge and non-verbal communication skills you used to ensure you were able to move past each other and over and around this huge impressive appartment.
Dee has showed us around her school and appartment in Jakarta, Indonesia when we have skyped her. She certainly lives in a very flash apartment, but I bet she would love to live in an apartment like the one you boys chose to design and build at Kindergarten for her.
Well done, what a great team of tallented designers and builders you are. I look forward to seeing and hearing about the next construction you choose to create.

William said: It's Dee's appartment, it's got a water bit for sea snails, fish and sea animals. It's 20 metres. Zane and Maxwell and Dominik helped me, and it has massive towers, and Jo (Holehan) knocked it over a bit. This bit (pointing to the far end) stops people going that way. It's a zoo as well. It has lots of slopes and shells in the moat. It's from my imagination.

Zane said: That's me, that's for Dee and she will very like it and she will very look at it and think it is very good.

Dominik said: We put the starfish and the shells and then we put the building on for Dee.

Maxwell said: Do you know that's me cos that's my tee-shirt. That's zane and that's me. Guess what, look I have the same trousers what I had last time.

Tai said: That's me the other day I think but I remember it. I put some animals on it and then I put some blocks on it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

For Dee in Jakarta - From Ella

Dee the children have been enjoying skyping you. We love hearing about your adventures in Jakarta. There are a few blog posts that will be put up over the next couple of weeks just for you. We hope you enjoy. Ella J brought these pictures in for you today. I will add her words tomorrow to this blog post.
"I just decided something that I might have wanted to do - at home I wanted to draw another picture for Dee. Maybe Dee can put them on the wall. AAAAaaannd I just thought of sometime I might draw at home. I might like to draw more pictures for Dee." - Ella

Monday, September 6, 2010

Finger Puppets

At Manaia Kindergarten we always appreciate our relievers. Eleanor is a regular - helping out the teachers when we are sick or unable to be at Kindergarten. Today Eleanor was with us once again. Eleanor had already created prototype finger puppets out of felt that had been kindly donated to Kindergarten some months ago. She worked with the children developing charactors for the puppets. What awesome creativity. Children were patient and persistent when they began to create. Have a look at the many different charactors created by Manaia Kindergarten children. We hope that sometime soon we will be able to put on a puppet play with our new puppet friends. Puppets continue to be a huge interest at Manaia Kindergarten and we will endeavour to show you more of the puppetry skills the children are developing.
William developed his own puppet design, creating a hand puppet out of paper. He worked with the other resources available adapting them to the larger model. Always thinking outside the square. Go William!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Spring Begins - Daffodils bloom all around!

First day of Spring and what an absolutely gorgeous day to start this new season off. Tamati presented us with the most beautiful bunch of daffodils that his Nana grew. What a fantastic opportunity to take the time to appreciate their beauty, observe their shape and form, be creative and draw and paint them. Many children were drawn to partake in this experience and have created their own interpretations of the daffodil flowers. What wonderful artists we have at Manaia Kindergarten. Thank you Tamati and your whanau for bringing us this special gift.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wyatt's Skiing Holiday

Wyatt, it was wonderful working with you in creating your skiing holiday story. You obviously had a fun family holiday. I'm sorry it has taken me so long to work out how to get your story posted onto the Kindergarten blog.
I hope your family overseas enjoy seeing your exciting skiing photos and listening to you describe each one. Well done.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ayla's Holiday Story

We have been sharing our stories about our holidays. Ayla brought some photos into Kindergarten and today taught our new teacher Robyn how to make a Manaia Kindergarten movie using PhotoStory3. What a great teacher you were Ayla! Check out Ayla's story about her holidays and come back for more as other children bring in their photos to share their holiday stories with you. Please leave comments, questions, or words of encouragement for our children who love to share their stories with their extended families and the world.

Ayla teaching Robyn how to use PhotoStory3 - what concentration from them both.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Flynn inspires Williams work.

I love this piece of work William, you told me that you had seen Flynn's shark on the Blog and that it inspired you to create "Faline the Deer". You said..."It's just a reindeer Dee!"
Well I think it is a fantastic reindeer. You've used a large piece of cardboard, that must have been quite difficult to cut, and painted it really well. I love the way you got inspired by Flynn's idea and followed through with perseverance to make your own work using your own original idea! It is magic to me when children learn from each other.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Saoirse's Picture of Wags.

Saoirse arrived at Kindergarten today after having taken Wags home for the night. She had drawn a very detailed and highly intricate picture of Wags, Ekko, and Poi reading their portfolio books. What fantastic drawing talents you have Saoirse!
Obviously using the puppets who have their own individual blog sites and portfolio books for the children to look at and revisit is valued and important to the children making meaningful links between the Kindergarten and home.

Flynn's Great White Shark

What a spectacular shark! Made by a spectacular artist!

Flynn you continue to impress me with your ideas, plans, and how you have the determination, patience and persistance to carry out the tasks that you set yourself. You are a goal setter and a goal winner, who completes your work until you are really happy with it and have a sense of personal satisfaction. To be able to evaluate and assess your own work is a very important inner stength that you have. Making this gigantic great white shark involved many processes and skills including planning, gathering materials, drawing it, going over the outline, cutting it out, choosing colours and painting it. You needed a break in between but you came back to finish it off and it is AWESOME!

I loved the way that you used your imagination and thought of a way to hang the shark in your bedroom making it look like it had been really caught. You said...

"I'm gonna put my boat on the roof and bend my fishing rod, and put a hole in the roof, and put the line down, and then it will be like - oooh I caught a SHARK!"

Flynn's shark interest and fascination is continually expressed through a variety of creative media. A year ago Flynn drew an amazing shark and ocean picture telling the story of his family fishing experiences with his Dad and Grand Dad, which was posted on the blog. Look at the growth in the amount of detail and effort he has put into this Great White Shark creation!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


On Thursday 17th June we celebrated Matariki, Maori New Year. We got busy in the kitchen and made a boil-up and Maori Bread. Arvay, our Maori Advisor came to help us make the bread - thanks Arvay. We learned a lot about keeping our dough just right to cook. Next we planted a Pohutukawa tree in memory of our friend and Professional Practice Manager Megan. Caitlin sang a special Pohutukawa tree song for us and Amy was quite moved by the song, tino pai to mahi (Nice work) tamariki ma. We then performed Kotahitanga for our families - it was great and lots of our new tamariki picked up the actions and danced very well. Next up was kai time, we shared our feast with our families which was delicious. What a busy Matariki celebration.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pyjama Party

What started as a tumultuous stormy day turned into a fabulous evening! It was wonderful to combine our astronony and star gazing experience with our masterchef culinary delights - sausages! A really sucessful event which was supported amazingly well by the children and families. Great to see most of us got into the spirit of the night and wore our pyjamas! Much fun and excitement followed playing games, having stories, showing families around the Kindergarten, and eating all the delicious food! Getting spectacular views of the moon through the telescope topped off the night. Thanks to all the families who were involved and assisted in making this such a success.
Check out the movie.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Salon revisited

Ayla brought is some bright yellow nail polish today and everyone wanted to decorate their fingernails. Luckily we found more nail polish at Kindergarten and we could explore different colours. It was tricky painting our own nails - you had to have a very steady hand, and wipe the brush on the side of the bottle so the nail polish didn't pool on your nail. THEN we found the hair spray and gel. What fun we had with that. The single bottle at Kindergarten didn't go far, so THANKS to FourSquare for having more bright orange and yellow hair spray in stock. Mohawks were the order of the day - it didn't matter how long your hair was. We explored colours and designs to go with our nails. There was lots of laughter and practicing some of the skills we have seen some of our Mums try at home. Enjoy what looks like a very wacky day of nails and hair....

Monday, May 24, 2010

Making Sausages

On Thursady 20th May we made Sausages at Kindergarten. We have been doing a bit of cooking lately and Saoirse wants to be in the master chef competion! We talked about what was on the master chef programme and making sausages was one thing that Saoirse had seen. It just so happens that Saoirse's Grandfather makes sausages and he agreed to come and make some sausages with us - fantastic! Thankyou so much Ian for sharing sausage making with us .We had a great time mixing everything together and watching how the meat gets into the casing. We learned about what goes into sausages - onions, garlic, pork mince, lemongrass, salt and pepper. It was great fun and we learned a lot. I am really looking forward to trying our sausages out tonight.!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Worm farming and composting

It has been a hard summer for our garden. A drought, water restrictions, and copious amounts of sunshine the veges bolted for the sky. There will be many seeds in the soil for next spring!!! Despite the disappointing vege growing there has still been a huge amount of learning recently about recycling our food, composting, and worms - We have also discovered that some things DID grow in our garden and we enjoyed exploring to find hidden vegetables.


This is something a little different. Thanks to Luca and his family for sharing. here is a story about true freindship. Maybe we can all learn something about what it is to be a friend from the Orangutan and Hound Dog

Adverts are not endorsed by Manaia Kindergarten.

Ukulele Jam

Ukulele is big in Whangarei and Manaia Kindergarten has joined in the fun. Today, Rochelle, Arla and Maddie brought along their own Ukuleles and as we began our song others collected instruments and joined in the JAM. We are learning the Aussie song - kookaburra sits on the old gum tree. There are some cool new verses we hadn't known before and heaps of fun to sing along to.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Flynn is David Attenborough

Flynn noted something of interest. He worked with Dee to find a way to record it. The digital camera is a tool that is familiar to Flynn though the movie function is relatively new to him. He was however able to create a movie documenting his interest in nature. Flynn's Mum stands next to him supporting explorations and learning alongside him.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sharks versus All Blacks

Today rugby world cup fever started at Manaia Kindergarten! It was a wet stormy day and in a fine break the children decided to play rugby. Of course good Kiwi rugby matches begin with the haka! The haka is a Maori traditional dance often performed before rugby matches. Our haka needs some developing but you can see that the strength of the dance is inspiring and we will learn the words - Keep following our blog as the season develops. We were impressed to see an understanding of the game developing in the children, some awesome ball handling skills, passing and tackling, and team collaboration are evident. The children knew how to keep themselves safe while using some of the tactics of a real rugby match. Enjoy our movie.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ayla shares a story of her piglets

Awesome movie Ayla. You know so much about farming. Thank you for sharing your knowledge in such a great movie.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Walnut Shell Boats

Releasing frogs - the farm on our road

Last week we read the story - The Frog Search by Julia Crouth. Our frogs stayed at Arla's house over the holidays and when we returned to Kindergarten, Arla and her family told us that the frogs were going to the bottom of the tank and sleeping. Just like Josie in the story, we decided to let the frogs go. It is coming on winter and the frogs need to hybernate, to sleep. But first we had to find a pond. Luckily Luca had a pond on his farm just across the road from Kindergarten. We had to walk across a few paddocks before we found the pond. Many parents wanted to help out and be part of the frog release. Check out the movie and discover what other animals we met at Luca's farm. Luca, Flynn and Wyatt tell the story.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Learning Waiata

Dee and Rochelle attended a waiata workshop over the holidays and are teaching us new songs at Kindergarten. This one is cool - the batman song!! Dee and Rochelle demonstrated the song and a few of us stood up to give it a go. We sung it three times and eventually we were all joined in - what a cool song. If you want to teach your family this song the lyrics (words of the song) are listed below.

Kori kori to tinana
whati whati to hope
Batman, Batman

Kori kori to tinana
Whati whati to hope
Batman Batman

Peke Peke Matou
Peke Peke Maui
Huri Huri to tinana e

Hikoi whakamua
Hikoi whakamuri
Waewae takahia e

Kei runga
Kei raro


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wonkey Donkey

Hi there,
I know you love this story - thought you may like to watch Craig Smith singing it:-)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wacky Wednesday.

Flynn's suggestion of a Funny Friday or Wacky Wednesday at Manaia Kindergarten again was a brilliant idea for the end of term. What fun we had. Children came up with suggestions on Tuesday and by Wednesday our whole Kindergarten world was WACKY. See if you can find 10 things wacky at Wednesday at Manaia Kindergarten.

Dr Suess's book Wacky Wednesday is a favourite at Manaia Kindergarten. If you haven't already read it, check it out at Fishpond.

Thanks to KSOnline (an Aussie Kindergarten blog) for their comment which led us to their blog and

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Jonathan and Beverly go fishing

What an awesome experience. Jonathan and his family invited me to go fishing with them. It was the Whangarei Heads Primary School Funky Fishing fundraiser. I met Jonathan's family at Pataua Bridge early in the morning and off we went - through the estury and out to the deep blue sea. What a fantastic day it was. The water was a bit choppy but the sun shone and shone. And the fish took the bait.

Jonathan tells the story in his own words. Watch and then using the comments section, share your Funky fishing Competition stories.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Screen prints

We worked on screen printing last week. Often we use shapes but last week we tried drawing pictures to print. What great ideas you all came up with. You drew some very neat pictures and I helped with the cutting out so that we could capture the uniqueness of your art. Screen printing is great for teaching us all of the steps in a process.

1 We need to draw the picture
2 That picture is cut out
3 We place the cut out picture on some paper
4 We lower the screen
5 We put paint on the screen
6 We spread the paint with a squeegy so that it covers the whole screen
7 We lift the screen and watch the masterpiece emerge!

It is great for us to explore working with a process, learning the steps involved and enjoying the result of taking a bit more time to complete the work. I think that your screen prints are awesome!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Our New Teacher - Rochelle

Last week our new teacher Rochelle began at Manaia Kindergarten. We held a Whakatau to welcome her. A Whakatau (informal powhari) is a special Maori welcome for a new person in a community. Our tangata whenua, along with our community, felt that this was a fitting process for the welcoming of our long awaited new teacher. It was wonderful to have our tangata whenua support our community in this process as we learnt about the protocols and practices of Maori alongside them. Danny, a Dad in our community, was our Kiakorero (speaker), and Arvay from the Kindergarten association and related to the tangata whenua of this area, was our Kaikaranga (caller). She called our visitors, Rochelle and her Kindergarten - the people of Te Timatatanga o te Matauranga (kindergarten) into the School Hall. Danny spoke on behalf of our community and we all sung a waiata to support him. The kaikorero from Te Timatatanga o Te Matauranga also spoke and they too sung a waiata. We were priviledged to have the kindergarten association's general manager, Richard, and our senior teacher, Barbara supporting this special event.

It was a great time for our two kindergartens to get to know eachother, for the children and families to learn more about Rochelle before she began her work with us, and for Rochelle's old Kindergarten to know where Rochelle was going to work, and to farewell her.

Because this was a sacred event photos were not taken. However below is a short movie about our time as two kindergartens together, and Rochelle's first week at Manaia Kindergarten.
Rochelle has settled into our Kindergarten with the full support of the children and the community and we all look forward to getting to know Rochelle better and for her contributions to our learning and development.

Monday, March 22, 2010

TJs Campervan Holiday

Last year TJ brought his Campervan to Kindergarten for us all to see. We were able to go inside and check it out. We talked about how wonderful it would be to have a holiday in a campervan and TJ shared with us some of his holiday stories.

This year TJ and his family had a summer holiday in the campervan and they shared the photos with the teachers at Kindergarten. Now you have an opportunity to hear about TJs Campervan Holiday as he tells you about it in his movie with his photos.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Rocket takes off - with vinegar and baking soda

Thank you Flynn for sharing your rocket experiment with us. It was OUT OF THIS WORLD - or at least it almost went out of this world. We watched as the mixture of backing soda and vinegar bubbled and fizzed in the rocket's cylinders. It looked just like our volcanoes in the sandpit. But this time the mixture was contained in the rocket and had no where to flow out. The pressure built and built until - PUFF Bang wizz. "Check it out for real" as the saying goes at Kindergarten. Watch the video and feel welcomed to leave a comment to help explain this scientific wonder.

There is a large group of children interested in science experiments - so keep a look out for more on the blog and families feel free to come to kindergarten to share other ideas.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Let it Rain, Let it Rain...

An unusual event occured at Manaia Kindergarten this week. In the middle of mat time the rain began to fall. It began to fall so hard we could hardly hear ourselves talk. This might not seem that unusual... but it hasn't rained at mat time for over four months. AND it is only the second time it has rained at Kindergarten in three months. It was a hot and sticky day. And the best way to explore this unusual event was to enjoy it!!

It has been a magical summer - a hot dry New Zealand summer. After the holidays children compared notes - how many had had to refill their water tanks, who was running out, who was on town water (how lucky are they!). Now we don't have to worry for another few weeks...

Perhaps we need to invest in a rain gauge to measure how much water we have for the month of March. Maybe other Early childhood centres can do the same and we can compare notes. The challenge has been set!!

Discussion on Stars

Many children have been interested in rocket ships, space, planets and stars. This generated some great discussions at mat time as we explored some ideas about space. Stars seemed to be the flavour of the day and children came up with their own theories about stars. We share a little of those with you...

What are stars?
Amy - "You can see stars up above"
Jonathan and Saoirse - "You can sometimes see satrs in the morning"
Morehu - "I can see one at Kindergarten"
TJ - "In Australia I saw stars - they were very pretty"

Stars are made of...
Luca - Clay
Cam - Rocks that fall off the earth
Isla - They grow
Saoirse - They are made of sparkle
Tony - the Sun is made of fire
Isla - the stars are made of light
Amy - They are made of golden
Flynn - rocks painted with glow paint and thrown hard or maybe taken up in a rocket.
Luca - lots of balloons make a wish and let it go into a star.
Stella - a shooting star is a special star
Jayden - When my poppa died he became a star and we can talk to his star.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Puzzle Boys

The puzzle began with Leon. Soon Dominik and Seabren joined in. It did not take long for a large group of boys to begin discussing the puzzle, the shapes, patterns, pictures - coaching each other, laughing with each other and persevering together until the job was done. What amazing team work and determination!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Preying Mantis vs Frog

The frog is in the middle of the screen in the water. A small preying mantis stands on the rock to the lower right of the frog. They stand checking eachother out for some time - so be patient. Half way through the movie the frog and the mantis take a step towards eachother... find out what happens seconds later...

If you are feeling sorry for the Preying Mantis - check out another Manaia Kindergarten classic
Preying Mantis vs Cricket

Christmas Party 2009

Apologies for the lateness of this entry - we were endeavouring to create music for this movie through Garage Band. Thus the music you hear on this clip was created by the teachers. We hope to work with the children throughout 2010 using garage band to create our own music for our movies.