Welcome to Room 13's Learning Journey blog. We are a class of Year 7-9 year olds in Auckland, New Zealand.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Question from Project Crimson (Learnz)

How do the pohutukawa and rata cope so well when they grow in sand and lava rock?

All the sand and lava rock has no nutrients but when it rains the water drips down on the leaves  then trickles down the trunk and to the aerial roots  and when the water gets to the roots it fills with nutrients.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

R13's Trip to Tiritiri Matangi Island

In week 2 of the term our class went to the amazing Tiritiri Matangi Island to see how the native bush on the island has been replanted after decades of farming, and how the island has become a a sanctuary for some remarkable NZ endangered birds. Many birds have been translocated there and we were amazed to see many birds up close. The following pictures show some of these birds and the fabulous bush on the island:

Two tui...look closely!
Windswept harakeke (NZ flax) that tui love to sip nectar from
when they flower

Some of the R13 students in front of the lighthouse that was transported
in sections from England

The NZ Cabbage Tree (Cordyline Australis) in flower

Walking down the road on the island
Quietly lifting the lid on the baby blue penguin nests....amazing

They are so cute....

Meeting Tiritiri Matangi's famous takahe, Greg

Greg can be a wee bit naughty... he thinks he is ready for an extra lunch
-we didn't feed him because it is not healthy for him

Brown sugar and water make a real treat for tui and bellbirds
and other birds
What an amazing island. We learned that planting native trees certainly helps create a great habitat for native birds. We can't wait to finish our plan for the back field at our school!

ICT-Virtual Learning with Learnz

In the last three weeks R13 has been taking part in a virtual learning project, with Learnz, called Takahe. Below is a descriptor of this topic on the Learnz website.

It has been an exciting journey going into the Murchison Mountains in Fiordland, NZ in search of the remarkable takahe birds. We have taken part in an audioconference with Learnz teacher Andrew and it was great to have our questions answered by a scientist working to save these critically endangered birds.

Two R13 students using the speakerphone for the audioconference

Our next virtual tour is to Northland, New Zealand to learn about the "NZ Christmas tree":

Clay Flower Tiles

We finally opened the box with our flower tiles... and the results are lovely.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Readers' Theatre

This Term we are just getting into Readers' Theatre. There are lots of benefits. Room 13 students, please post a comment explaining these benefits.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Celebration of Learning Day

This open day for parents was lots of fun...
In Maths we were exploring 3-dimensional shapes and learning about faces, edges and vertices.

How many R13 students could fit into a one square metre cube??? Guess and find out below...

 Did you guess??
9 small to medium students!

Thanks to some of our parents who dropped in for a while to see what we were learning...

Enviro Learning

We have been inspired by some of the work in leading Enviro Schools... we have done lots of reading from our School Journals:

And lots of books on the saving of New Zealand birds:

 Just two of our favourite books...

Tiritiri Matangi Island Trip Re-scheduled

It was sad that we couldn't go to the island to see the way the island habitat has been restored...but we have another date to go in Term 4. We are going on Thursday 21 October. Let's keep our fingers crossed that the weather is settled so the ferry can run.

We have done a lot of reading about the history of the island. We looked at a timeline and we made inferences from the timeline's notes. We can identify all the birds that have been translocated to the island so it is going to be wonderful when we get there!!

Here is the link to the Tiritiri Matangi Island Homepage:

(Image from Tiritiri Homepage)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Our Interview with Arborist, Mr Webb

Important information we learned from Mr Webb:

Where should we start on our planting project and important things:
  • Start on the southern side of the back field.
  • Remove the pine and the eucalyptus trees (keep the oak trees).
  • Save the wood from the felled trees as this can be used for making benches etc.
  • Be careful what we plant near the lizard garden and the swimming pool- not good to shade the lizards and to have leaves falling in the pool.
  • We can plant in Summer if we mulch well. Tree Fellas are able to supply lots and lots of mulch free of charge. Mulch is chipped trees and shrubs; it smothers the weeds and keeps in the moisture to keep the trees alive in the Summer.
Planting Information:
  • Don't plant new trees on old tree sites - problems with roots from old trees.
  • Best size to plant is PB95- This size tree is usually about 1.5-1.8m in height. The trees need 4 stakes to keep them secure. Trees should be planted about 400mm deep- we need a hole about 400 x 300mm. Plants need to have a slow release fertiliser. We can plant bigger trees but they will be more expensive and they need more mulch or a watering system.
  • We need to plan for specimen trees around the field (the large, native trees that give good shade and provide food for native birds throughout the year), with companion plants planted around the specimen trees for extra protection. Some of the companion trees can get thinned out in the future. Good companion plants include kanuka, manuka and trees in the coprosma family.
Possible trees to plant and ones we may avoid:
  • Good trees to plant include: puriri (great food for wood pigeons and tui), pohutukawa (on banks or steeper ground), taiare (on level ground) and nikau palms on the banks.
  • Karaka trees are good for birds but the kernel on the seed is poisonous so we may need to avoid this tree in a school. The titoki tree also has toxic seeds.
We are still looking into other trees that could be good.

We want to thank Mr Webb for answering all the questions we prepared in advance.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Making Pudding to attract birds!!

We made a bird pudding in our class to take to Tiritiri Island to feed the birds. The recipe came from the Tiritiri Island Handbook. We made the pudding to take as a present. If it works we can make one to use  at school as well.
We put in broken bacon rinds and meat scraps, stale crackers and bread and bird seed. We put it in a bowl and then poured melted fat over it to make it set. We put it in the freezer but it is a mystery as to what it is going to look like when we take it out...
The pudding gets put into a recycled bag (we used an onion bag) and it gets hung up for the birds to peck.
(by GC, H-M S, LH, and GC)