Thursday, 19 June 2014

Stanley's Tree

For Stanley’s 7th birthday he wanted to do something a little bit different...he wanted to plant a tree. "There are too many trees being chopped down," he told me. "Planting a tree is good for the environment." So yesterday Stanley, his brother Jack, and a couple of friends went to the Esplanade and planted two Pseudopanax ferox trees.

As Stanley gets older he will be able to go back and visit his tree. They tried to get a tree that is almost the same size as him. That way he can go back every year and see which has grown the quickest - him or the tree.  The lady who is in charge of landscaping around the playground area, Janine, gave the boys some information about the trees. She showed them the right way of planting and watering trees, and lots of information about planting trees in winter. 

The boys cheered with hot chocolate. (Stanley is the one on the left). They had a wonderful time. What a terrific idea Stanley!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

It's Gifted Awareness Week!

I found this a number of years ago in a Tall Poppies magazine. It always makes me smile and reminds me why I love to work with students who 'think outside the square.' You can find copies of Tall Poppies in the parent's section of our Library...

“25 Things I’ve learnt from my children (honest and no kidding).”

  1. A king-size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 3 bedroom house about 4inches deep.
  2. If you spray hairspray on a nylon duster and then run over it with roller blades, they will ignite.
  3. A 3 year old’s voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.
  4. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a large room.
  5. You should not throw balls up when the ceiling fan is on, using the fan as a bat. You have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can then hit a ball a long way.
  6. The glass in windows (even double glazed) doesn’t stop a ball hit by a ceiling fan.
  7. When you hear the toilet flush and the words uh-oh,” it’s already too late.
  8. Brake fluid mixed with bleach makes smoke. And lots of it.
  9. A 6 year old can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36 year old says they can only do it in the movies.
  10. Certain bits of Lego will pass through the digestive tract of a 4 year old.
  11. ‘Play dough’ and ‘microwave’ should not be used in the same sentence.
  12. Super glue is forever.
  13. No matter how much jelly you put in a swimming pool you still can’t walk on water.
  14. Pool filters do not like jelly.
  15. VCRs do not eject toasted toasted sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.
  16. Rubbish bags do not make good parachutes.
  17. Marbles in petrol tanks make lots of noise when driving and are very expensive to remove.
  18. You probably do not want to know what that smell really is.
  19. Always look in the oven before you turn it on. Plastic toys do not like ovens.
  20. The average response time for the fire brigade is about 20 minutes.
  21. The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.
  22. It will however make cats dizzy.
  23. Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.
  24. The mind of a 6 year old is a wonderful and amazing thing.
  25. 60% of people who read this will try mixing the bleach and brake fluid.
Updated from Rosemary Cathcart, 2005

There are a number of things happening around the country as part of Gifted Awareness week. These include:

*  Rose Blackett, educational Psychologist, teacher and parent was interviewed on Radio NZ on Saturday. You can hear Rose online here:

* Our local gifted network group 'CenGATE' is now hosting 2 meetings a term: the first is open to parents and caregivers. If you would like to go on the mailing list for this (meeting dates, upcoming events, minutes from meetings etc) please email me:

* There is also a blog tour as part of gifted Awareness Week: Blog Tour 

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Exciting event for gifted Education next April

A major announcement for gifted education in this country!
Who are the Columbus Group? They are a group of ten leading figures in the gifted field.  Collectively and individually they have made huge contributions to our understanding of gifted children. Their names resonate throughout the literature on giftedness. The definition of giftedness they wrote continues to be amongst the most influential ever written.
And now they are coming to New Zealand - all ten of them! They have chosen us for their first-ever presentation outside the US, which will be in the form of a two-day symposium. This is a huge honour for our country, and a unique opportunity for all of us interested in this field.

A symposium, as you will know, generally consists of a series of panel discussions, with opportunities for questions from the floor, guided by a moderator. That's the format we'll be following too. But we're sure you'll all want as much direct contact with the individual panel members as possible. In conferences, this usually involves "break-out" sessions with individual presenters. But the problem with that is that having to choose between sessions often means you miss some of the people you really want to hear. So what we're hoping to do is to have a "French lunch". That's to say, the lunch break will be two hours long. Everyone will be seated at a table. Delegates will stay at the same table for the full lunch period. One presenter will sit at each table and engage in discussion with you. Then, at pre-arranged times, the presenters will change tables. The aim is to allow you to have at least some direct interaction with as many of the presenters as possible - hopefully all of them!
  1. The dates are Monday and Tuesday, 13th and 14th of April, 2015. This is the second week of Term 1 holidays next year. The time frame is yet to be precisely finalised, but we are looking at a full day on the Monday and at finishing around lunchtime or early afternoon on the second day.
  2. The venue is Auckland Normal Intermediate. This is a centrally placed school, basically next door to the old Auckland College of Education. Closer to time, we'll send you maps and information about local motels, etc.
  3. Earlybird bookings will become available as soon as costs have been finalised. This information will come first to you as mailing list members.
Bookings for this event are bound to be heavy, so we're inviting those interested to join our mailing list for more detailed information and priority access to earlybird bookings when these open later this year. To join, simply email us at
We look forward to hearing from all of you!!!
REACH provides the Certificate of Effective Practice in Gifted Education
Endorsed by the Institute for the Study of Advanced Development (US)

Monday, 26 May 2014

Letterboxes by Design

A group of year 1-2 students have been investigating letterboxes. There certainly are some unique creations out there so we set off to design our own. First we took pictures of ones in our neighbourhood and then we talked to NZ Post about what a letter box needs. This is what we came up with:

We then got busy planning the ultimate letterbox and creating a prototype out of Dukit. We displayed our models as a street scene with blurbs about our design.

Here is Stanley's...

'This is a turtle that was running away from a fox in the rain. He slipped in a puddle and fell over on his shell. The fox didn’t get the turtle because a boy was running past. He didn’t see the turtle because  the turtle was camoflaged. Some builders came over and they didn’t see him either. They poured cement by accident because they thought he was a rock with grass on top. When the sun came up the cement had dried and he was stuck there. So they decided to paint him and turn him into a letterbox. They decided the number should be 22 because it was nearby a house that was 20.'


Liam's orangutan documentary goes international!

Liam's Orangutan documentary has been voted 'Best foreign Documentary Kidzflicks 2014 at the Sydney International Festival of Films by Children.  Well done Liam! 

Liam also features in Massey University's Annual Report about his passion to save the Orangutans. They have given Liam two tickets to see Jane Goodall at an upcoming workshop in Wellington, what a special experience.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

NZAGC Gifted Conference is coming to Palmerston North

Welcome to the 2014 school year! I have been busy reading up a storm over the break of highly recommended books for our parents section of the library. Themes include anxiety,  giftedness, perfectionism, and intensities to name a few. These are currently being prepared for borrowing and should be available very soon. A list of titles can be found under the tab 'is my child gifted?' 

Other exciting news is that Palmerston North is hosting a NZAGC gifted conference  from 21-22nd March. There is an amazing line-up of speakers and workshops for students, whanau and educators. Primary student workshops include Robotics, using art and music to inspire writing, maths, politics, Pompeii, achieving your dreams and leadership. Adult workshops include, EPIC minds, social and emotional needs of the gifted, differentiation, among many others! Workshop blurb and presenter bios are in a spiral-bound booklet at the office for further reading or you can contact NZAGC at