Pokeno School

Sour Lemons

November 2016
Our letter of the week was 'L', Miss Singh bought in some lemons from her lemon tree...

We talked about what they looked like and smelled like. 

We then all got to peel our lemons and asked Miss Singh if we could eat them!

We made funny faces as we tried the lemons. We told Miss Singh exciting words to describe what they tasted like.

Charlotte said "they are so sour! I don't like them!!!"

colourful eggs 

November 2016

Miss Lee has a good friend who has been experimenting with coloured boiled eggs. Today Room 1 received a tray of colourful eggs. We talked about what they looked like, smelt like and tried to guess what they might like taste like. We carefully cracked open our eggs and peeled off the shells, the Room 1 tamariki said they were delicious! 


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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry.


Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry.

Buddy Reading with Room 3

19th October 2016

Everyday after lunch, Room 1 has been going to visit Room 3. We take our books from our book bags and we find  a buddy to read to/with. First we read to them and they ask us questions. Then they will read us a book and we ask questions. This helps our learning because it encourages us to develop more fluency with our reading. We are very proud of our efforts, meaning it helps our self-esteem when it comes to reading. It has also proven to be a great motivator as we are sharing our reading with a peer/friend. 

Well done Ella! 

Ella was the overall TERRIFIC KIDS winner for Term 3. TERRIFIC KIDS is a Pokeno School wide programme where we focus on different values - Thoughtful, Enthusiastic, Respectful, Responsible, Inclusive, Friendly, Inquisitive and Capable.

Growing our plants


NeSt in Room 1          17.10.16


Logan found  a nest at home in the weekend.

Room 1 really enjoyed having a close look and discussing what we could see. 

We talked about how birds make their nests and we wondered why Logan found this on the ground.

Paper Planes

12th October 2016

Today during Action Stations the tamariki of Room 1 began to make paper planes. This turned in to a 45 minutes lessons where they explored mathematical concepts.  We talked about fractions as we folded our paper in halves. There was an element of geometry, as we had to create shapes, like a triangle. We then explored measurement, looking at which paper planes flew higher and further.  It was great fun!

We went outside to fly our kites in the wind. It was great fun! 

We had to work hard, following instructions and creating our own paper planes. 

We took control of our own learning, this is was our idea making it that much more meaningful.

It proved to be tricky at times, but we persevered! .

Invisible Drawings
19Th August 2016

There was a process that we had to follow to create our invisible drawings. 

First we had to draw a picture on white paper...using white crayon!

Next we went to the dye table and chose a colour to paint over. 

Letter of the Week: i

Every week, Room 1 has a new letter of the week. Throughout the week we will focus on this letter and think of all the words we can that start with 'i'. We will also enjoy making crafts and doing activities that relate to that letter. This week we made ice cream names, an iguana and created invisible drawings. 

This was the most exciting part, as the invisible drawing could be seen!

We shared with our friends and wanted to do it over and over, creating different pictures. 

We let our pictures dry in the sun while we wrote stories in our writing books about what we did.

Making Patterns 

16th August 2016

Today for Mathematics, Room 1 were learning all about patterns. We let Miss Singh know what materials we wanted to use; popsicle sticks, small connecting blocks, colourful animals. pompoms and the teddy bears. This was a great motivation because we had a say in how we would learn. We set up each stations on separate tables and on the floor and explored all the different ways we could make patterns! Whilst doing this, we also talked with our peers about what we were doing, sharing our learning. 

What learning is happening?

In order to understand the way patterns work, children are needing to develop a mental skill. Tamariki need to have understanding of critical thinking and logic when recognising patterns. Patterns provide a clear understanding of mathematical relationships later on, for example multiplication basic facts (2x2, 2x4, 2x,6).

Where to next?
Room 1 will be bringing our shapes knowledge together with our understanding of repeating patterns - creating repeating patterns with shapes.

Ella enjoyed making a pattern with the animals. She looked at the colours and made a repeating pattern with white, blue and orange. 

Paris and Tayla worked together creating patterns using popsicle sticks. Tayla said "it looks like candy!"

Ronan looked at only only the colours, but the sizes of the bears he used. 

Logan was able to extend his own learning by trying a three object repeating pattern. 

"I saw a Taniwha!"

Today at assembly we sang a song to celebrate Maori language week.

It's raining, it's pouring ...

let's eat hot chips!  Yum!

Oral language friday

Room 1 has been enjoying oral language experiences every Friday.  These experiences are often activities or involve hands-on learning where the children are doing something. When the learning involves children using more than one of the five senses, they can connect with what is happening while trying to think critically about how and why. The oral language aspect is also powerful as children talk and learn new vocabulary (words) to describe what is happening. This vocabulary supports both reading and writing as children gain deeper meaning for words.

Today Room 1 made sand dough with Miss Singh and puff paint with Mrs Watson. The children were divided in to two groups and then rotated between each activity. They used their hands to touch, their eyes to look, their ears to listen and their noses to smell. The children made predications, guessing what they think might happen. We talked about what we were doing during the process of making the sand dough and puff paint. It was a great learning experience that gave us some valuable discussions. 


Every week Room 1 focuses on one letter from the alphabet. We look at the shape of the letter and the sound that it makes (phonics). This encourages us to brainstorm all of words we can think of that start with this letter. From here we will often make crafts and complete engaging learning activities based around the letter.

Today we used tape and watercolour paint to create art.

We had to follow a process made up of four steps. 

Using the tape helped the tamariki look closely at the shape of the capital 'M'.

Using paintbrushes and tape also encouraged fine motor development. 

I (Miss Singh) have my beginning teacher release every Friday, some weeks I also have professional development courses (workshops for furthering knowledge). Room 1 is very fortunate to have the expertise of other teachers on these days. 
Today Mrs Ruck was the Room 1 teacher. The tamariki really enjoy the hands-on learning experiences that she provide.s Today, as I walked passed Room 1, I saw the children sitting in two lines playing a game. I could see them working together to pass the ball along to the last person before they would get up and run to the front of the line. The purpose was to move your line further than the other team's line. The children were talking to each other using encouraging words. It was great to see that they could all work together in such a positive way! This is a great team building game that I can't wait to play with the tamariki.


The Room 1 tamariki had to work together, solving a common goal. 

Problem Solving

When things didn't go to plan, the tamariki would need to think about where to next?


There needed to be positive and clear communication between teams.

Snail on the loose


Today Bruno found a sneaky snail outside, he kept it safe in a ice cream container on the science table. When it was time for sharing, Bruno went to find his snail and made a discovery... The snail had gone! All of a sudden, Room 1 was on a snail hunt. We looked under things, on the top of things, in buckets, on the ground. We thought we saw a snail trail heading towards Room 2, we went and checked but there was no snail in Room 2 either.  The tamariki (children) of Room 1 decided that the snail had gone and we would not see it again.

Next, I (Miss Singh), saw the children creating a wall using the blocks. When I approached them, I was told "it is so the snail doesn't escape!" It also came to my attention that I was now standing in a building site. I could see the children working hard measuring the wall and drawing plans to ensure the snail would not get out. They all had their pencils behind their ears like real builders, while discussing what they should do next. 


It was great to see the children take responsibility for their own learning by deciding what to do next. This was a spontaneous learning experience that was guided by the children themselves.


Eventually, we found the snail... it had been camouflaged amongst the pine cone. Bruno went outside and put it in the garden so he/she could find it's family




This morning we went looking for bugs!

We found a few in books ...

We wrote some cool stories too!


Mrs Campbell in room 1 

We are learning to:

create SENTENCES using high FREQUENCY words 

We have been very fortunate to have Mrs Campbell in our classroom every morning from Monday - Thursday. Mrs Campbell has extensive knowledge and experience in Literacy (reading and writing). 

In Room 1, we have a new reading rotation system that involves three groups rotating around stations. The three stations are reading with Miss Singh, high frequency words with Mrs Campbell and Action Stations. 
Room 1 look forwards to seeing Mrs Campbell after reading everyday as they learn through engaging activities. I (Miss Singh) have noticed a huge jump in their understanding of letters, words and sentences. This has shown not only in their reading, but now in their writing!

2nd June 2016 
Room 1 really enjoyed celebrating Samoan language week this past week. We found Samoa on the map and we also learnt that it was takes nearly four hours to get there on an airplane! We researched the culture of Samoa, learning a traditional sasa dance. 
Throughout the week Room 1 made their own passports. We talked about the importance of a passport as a form of identity. It was a great learning experience and the children were very enthusiastic. On Thursday, Room 1 packed their suitcases and flew to Samoa. We had some great pilots on board that made us feel very safe. We made it back just in time for the 2.55pm bell. 

It is great to see the tamariki of Room 1 responding to new cultures and experiences. We hope to celebrate more language week throughout the year. 

Room 1 are ready to fly to Samoa with their passports! 

Our pilots kept us very safe

Room 1's Teacher!

Kia Ora! My name is Sharin Singh (Miss Singh) and I will be the New Entrant teacher at Pokeno School for 2016.   I am extremely passionate about working with and alongside children. I am trained as both an early childhood teacher and primary school teacher. When I am not in the classroom or preparing exciting lessons, you will find me painting, reading, exercising and spending time with my whānau and friends. I enjoy the outdoors and you will often find me on the family dairy farm milking cows.

Term 1 2016

Tena Koe

We sing this waiata (song) every morning after the roll. Have a sing along. 

Jolly Phonics

In Room 1, we use the Jolly Phonics Programme for learning our letter sounds. We sing the Jolly Phonics song daily and work on each sound one at a time. 
  • The sounds are taught in a specific order (not alphabetically). This enables children to begin building words as early as possible.
  • Children are taught the 42 main letter sounds.
  • Listening for the sounds in words gives children the best start for improving spelling.
  • Each sound has a action that goes with it, this helps the children remember the sounds while doing the actions. 

Below is the Jolly Phonics song we sing, encourage your child to make the correct sounds with their mouths while also doing the actions for each letter.

High FREQUENCY words

also known as sight words 

High frequency words are quite simply those words which occur most frequently in written material, for example, "and", "the", "as" and "it". They are often words that have little meaning on their own, but they do contribute a great deal to the meaning of a sentence.

Why learn the High Frequency Words?

Researchers say that learning just 13 of the most frequently used words will enable children to read 25% of any text. Though that 25% wouldn't make much sense on its own, it is a very good start!

Learning 100 high frequency words gives a beginner reader access to 50% of virtually any text, whether a children's book or a newspaper report.

When you bring together immediate recognition of the high frequency sight words with a good knowledge of basic phonics (letter sounds), that's when a child's reading can really take off.

Some High Frequency Words:
  • Look, at, I, am, is, to, are,
  • the, and, a, he, she, we
  • on, said, of, it, in, as

Action stations.

Actions stations is learning through discovery. We learn a range of skills that help us with every other aspect of our learning at Pokeno School. Some of these skills include independence, collaboration, problem solving, planning and expressing our ideas. Look how busy we have been! 

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We are learning to use our pointing fingers. 

We are learning to sound out the first letter of each word. 

We are learning to recognise our sight words (I, am, look and mum)

We are learning to make sense of what we are reading. 

I can write my name

Teachable moment: While using the counters for Maths, I used chalk to draw a circle on the mat for the tamariki to sit on. Logan said "Miss Singh! You could write our name and we could use counters on top!" Suddenly, our Maths lesson was out the window and I was writing all the children's names on mat. They sat for 30 minutes, placing one counter at a time on their names. I observed children sounding our their names, making sure they start from the left and went to the right. Some children were first tracing their names using their fingers. The counters were very fiddly, so they had to work carefully to place them right on top of the chalk lines. They worked together, sharing their counters if they needed more or had too many. There was problem solving when Bruno ran out of counters and decided to use pom poms instead. This was a great teachable moment directed by the children of Room 1!

We are learning how to write our names using counters. This helps us recognise the letters of our names while working on strengthening our fine motor skills. 

Swimming Sports 2016

We have been working really hard on growing our confidence in and around the water. Some of the exciting things we did in the pool included: 

  • egg and spoon race
  • kicking using flutter boards
  • balancing bean bag on our heads
  • walking through water
  • swimming free style 
  • doggy paddling
  • free swim!

It was really hot! Luckily, we had some shade while waiting for our next race. 

We showed our whaanau our hard we have been working on our swimming skills.

Actions Stations

Another busy day in Room 1 with Actions Stations. We are all enjoying taking responsibility for our own learning. We enjoy making choices everyday about the way we learn best. 

Click the link below to find out more about Action Stations: 

150th Jubilee

Room 1 really enjoyed making the jubilee bags 

Teddy Bear Picnic 

Room 1 and Room 2 had a great day with their whaanau. We held a Teddy Bear Picnic, everybody was invited! We played games and had teddy bear races before enjoying a shared picnic. 

Fantail, Fantail by Margaret Mahy 

The tamariki really enjoy sharing stories with each other. It gives them a powerful sense of ownership and belonging.

Fantail, Fantail is a favourite in Room 1. 

R - R - Rain!

This week, the letter of the week was R. As an oral language experience, this a hands on learning experience to encourage speaking and writing. We made our own rain, following a few numbered steps:

     1) Fill glass with water
     2) Put shaving foam at the top of the water
     3) drop several small drops of food colouring on the top
     4) watch it rain
The children watched closely, helping along with each step. We made predictions before starting, the children thought "the colours will go in the water" and "they might drip down". These predications were spot on! The colours slowly dripped through the shaving foam, mixing as they got to the bottom. We talked about the experience, using describing words, Bruno said "it looks like a explosion!" After this, each student in Room 1 wrote their own story about making rain. 

Room 1 loves sensory play! Today we mixed shaving foam with food colour, creating green monster hands! 

Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates the senses: touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing. 

Sensory activities encourage exploration, children use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore. 

Action Stations 

We have been busy learning through discovery play...

Learning mathematical counting and co-operation through snakes and ladders

Literacy learning through chalk writing/drawing on the concrete outside. 

Problem solving, counting and oral language learning through building blocks. 

Term 2 2016

Starfish in Room 1! 

9th May 2016

Room 1 was very lucky to have some water visitors. Flynn went to the beach during the weekend and he found starfish, fish, seaweed and mussels! 

The children of Room 1 sat in a circle outside, carefully waiting their turn to look inside the bucket. A few children got to hold the starfish! The discussions that came from this experience were amazing! 

Oral Language Roster 
Here you will the oral language roster for Term 2. Oral language is important because it encourages children to gain confidence in speaking with an audience.  Listening is just as important as children learn to ask questions for more information. 

 The students of Room 1 really enjoy sharing with each other, it gives them a sense of belonging as they make connections between their home life and Pokeno School.

It is great to see that the children are researching their topics and coming well prepared to share information, ka pai! 

Fire drill Term 2 2016

We enjoyed a visit from the local Pokeno firefighters. We got to look at their truck and ask them questions about being a firefighter...it was AMAZING!

Speech Snatcher 

at pokeno school

The children of Room 1 really enjoyed the Speech Snatcher show. They laughed throughout and were are a great audience, sitting for a very long time!

Shows and performances are valuable experiences for children as they learn to appreciate language and movement as a form of expression. In the New Zealand curriculum, this is called drama! 

"Can I please order some pizza?"

Ashton C 

Ashton was very fortunate to win a 'what's in the bag?' prize. To be eligible, he had to first win a 'gotcha' award, this can be won when a child at Pokeno shows initiative and does something the Pokeno way. Once a 'gotcha' award is won, it goes in to a box and is drawn  out at the next fortnightly assembly. Ashton's name got drawn out and he decided to play 'what's in the bag?' Ashton was lucky enough to win Mr J's principal desk and chair for one whole day! 

Ashton sat here for his learning day, taking (pretend) phone calls from the pizza man while working on his learning activities. Ashton, you were a great principal!

Chalk people

The learning:

Social skills:

working together, taking turns and encouraging one another.

Measuring and understanding difference of heights. Tayla said to Aroha "you arms are really long!"

Spatial awareness. What different ways could they move their bodies in a small space?

Library Visit: Thursdays 

Room 1 goes to the Pokeno School library every Thursday. Not only do the children get a sense of empowerment when choosing their own books, they also are learning to appreciate books. Their love for stories will not only motivate them to read more, but they will also gain valuable lessons and ideas from exploring different books.

Milk Bottle Caps 

The Pokeo School Art Club are creating a piece of art using milk bottle caps. Today Room 1 had a big job, to help sort all of the milk bottle caps!

Please continue collecting milk bottle caps for Room 1. 


We were counting all of their bottle caps to see who had the most and who had the least. 


We decided ourselves to sort the bottle caps by colour. This is an early stage of math development. 


We had to match the correct colour bottle caps.This is also an early stage of math development. 

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Perseverance brings success - Ma te pãuaua, ka whai hua