Welcome to Room 4

Welcome to Room 4. This year Room 4 is a senior class made up of 16 wonderful Year 4 children taught by Miss Vanessa Belsham and Ms Sharon Quinn. Miss B will be teaching Monday to Wednesday and Ms Quinn will be teaching Wednesday to Friday. We have a wonderful year planned with lots of interesting and challenging activities.

We are learning how to become bucket fillers. Our kind actions and words can fill our own and others' buckets to make everyone happy and feel cared for. As we are Kiwi we decided to be kete fillers instead.

Our school focus for 2020 is Making Connections. This has become particularly useful now that we are lockdown as we are all having to make connections through the online world.

Home Learning Links can be seen on the next page. Click the link to navigate to it.

Ms Sharon Quinn

Kia Ora, I have been teaching for over 30 years and have been at Tauwhare School since 2003. I have taught at all levels of the school but have recently moved into the Year 4-5 area which I love. I am qualified with a Masters of Education (Special Ed), Bachelor of Arts (English & Education), DipTeaching and more recently Google Certified Educator L 1 & 2, as well as my Apple Teacher qualifications and Seesaw Pioneer. My passions in teaching are Digital Technologies as I thoroughly enjoy the exciting visual projects which the children can create to show their learning and I also love Literacy; if I can join Literacy with Digital then I am super excited. I have 3 children and 7 grandchildren, enjoy gardening especially my roses and I am also learning to play the guitar with the children at school. As well as being one of the teachers in Room 4 I am also the Deputy Principal and Lead IT and Digital Technologies teacher.

Hi, my name is Miss Vanessa Belsham (preferably Miss B). I taught for just over 5 years before having my own children. During this time I taught Year 2 students at Piopio Primary School and Year 4, 5 and 6 students' at Glen Massey School. I thoroughly enjoy teaching at rural schools, where I am able to get to know all of the students. I have a Bachelor of Teaching Primary degree from The University of Waikato.

My passion is Art. I really enjoy setting the students a task and seeing how each child develops their own unique piece from the same set of instructions. My other passion is literacy and instilling a love of language, reading and writing in young learners.

I am a mum of two beautiful children, Ollie who is nearly 5 and Lucy who is 3 and a half. I enjoy fishing and being at the beach. I also enjoy making and decorating cakes, which is my personal creative outlet.

I am looking forward to spending the year working in Room 4 alongside Ms Quinn and getting to know all of the students and families at Tauwhare School.


You can choose whatever you like to write a poem about Poems

The childrne love having a choice for writing and their choices for this poem were extremely varied. The writing is stunning, full of high level vocabulary, literacy devices (gems), descriptive detail and personal voice. Enjoy their poems here

Colour Poems

We all have our favourite colours which have meaning for us as individuals. Room 4 chose their favourite colour and wrote beautiful poems about it. Click here to read their Poems.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle with X-Man from Zerowaste Education

We have spent 4 sessions with X-Man learning about how to choose wisely when we are buying, reduce waste going to the landfill via the 'lazy bin', reusing and repurposing items which are old and broken and givijng them a new job. Have a look at our activities here. We made a useful toy or pencil holder using items which would have been thrown in the landfill or in recycling. We used Chatterpix Kids to record our ideas and to let our creations speak for themselves. Check out our creations here.

Bridge building

Bridges are a very important connection in a city like Hamilton so the children have been studying bridges, their design and construction with the goal in mind to build their own model bridge. The parameters of the brief were to design a functional but beautiful bridge which would be part of their narrative which they are writing using Book Creator. Have a look at our bridges here.

You can enjoy the design and building process through our photos here.

We have also used Stop-Motion to retell our story digitally using bluescreening and the illustrations for Book Creator. Our e-books are here.

Check out our stop-motion videos here. Coming soon.

Grandparents poems

Following our family connections focus the children have all written beautiful poems showing how they value and appreciate their grandparents. You can read their poems here.

St John's Ambulance Visit- Term 3 2020

Room 4 thoroughly enjoyed our visit from Jane at St John's today. Jane talked to us about the DRSABC and how to follow these steps if we find ourselves in an emergency. Jane also showed us how to keep both ourselves safe and the person who is hurt.

Our Family Connections - Term 2

This term we have been focusing on our concept of Making Connections but through extended family and whanau. The children have researched their family trees, learned their pepeha and written poems about their families. Lockdown was a fabulous time for connecting with family and enjoying each other's company and the poems the children have written reflect the feelings in all the families and how the children view the members of their extended families.

Please enjoy their poems here


The children have researched, written and learned their pepeha. They created a visual pepha using chalk pastel to represent all aspects of the pepha, their maunga, awa, iwi, kura and whanau. Enjoy their pictures here.

The children have also been using iMovie and bluescreening to record their digital pepeha which will be available here when they are finished. Pepeha iMovies

Self Portraits-Term 1

During Week 1 and 2 we created our self portraits. We followed a youtube (click the word youtube to check it out) video to make sure that our proportions came out correctly. We enjoyed using the mirrors to check out what our own faces look like, and transferred this onto a portraits. Once our faces were drawn in pencil we used pastel on parts of our portraits to add some detail and colour. Our background was looking a little plain so we decided to die them to make our faces stand out. It is awesome to see how close we came to what we look like.


Statistics on Google Sheets Term 1 Week 1

Today Room 4 learned how to logon onto their own Google Drive, join a Classroom and work on the google sheet to produce charts using their information: What's In Our Lunchboxes Today? Have a look at their work in the very beginning stages of the year. I am very proud of their ability to follow instructions and give it a go. See our work here.

We also used google docs to insert a chart, write 3 questions about the chart and 3 statements about the information. You can see our work here.


TeeBall Personal Recount Term 4

We have played many games of teeball this season and the children have improved in their batting and fielding skills. For our personal recount writing they had to imagine one exciting part of a teeball game and recount the event using literary devices, interesting vocabulary and correct punctuaiton and grammar. They have written some fabulous pieces so please enjoy here

Geometry Digital Unit Term 3

This term we studied geometry and decided to show our learning through Keynote on the iPad. We have Keynotes for Polyhedrons, Symmetry and Tesselations. It was a fun unit of learning as we learned all about the different aspects of geometry as well as learning how to use Keynote to showcase our learning.

Geometry Unit

Science Roadshow - Term 3

In Room 4 we have been conducting many experiments using kitchen ingredients as our chemicals and having a lot of fun 'blowing things up'. Each student chose one experiment to perfect and learn more deeply about using the Scientific method in preparation for our Senior School Science Roadshow. Have a look at our videos and Google slides presentations showcasing our experiments. The students will be turning their videos into iMovie presentations to explain the science behind the experiment.

Google slides (stil being completed)

Science Roadshow videos

Bubbles - Term 3

Room 4 had a great deal of fun and excitement blowing bubbles and playing with bubbles. Some students could blow bubbles within bubbles, they could make bubble families and bubble milkshakes. In all our bubble play we learned about the science of bubbles, how they were formed, why they always revert to a sphere and why they pop. Enjoy our photos of our bubble play and our beautiful bubble poems. Following soon will be our videos using Keynote and greenscreening to explain our learning.

Bubble Fun

Bubble Poems

First Rain - Term 2

Our focus for this piece of writing was to use personification when writing about the rain. We made some stormy artwork to go with it using crayons, dye and black paper.

First Rain Writing

Stormy Artwork

Autumn - Term 2

This term we have written a poem about autumn using our senses and then created some lovely autumn artwork using autumn colours and drawing autumn leaves.

Autumn Art

Autumn Writing

Term 2 - All About Me

The children wrote some beautiful descriptive pieces about themselves at the beginning of the year, so using Pixaloop, they animated images and then in Clips they have joined their animated images into a video and have narrated their descriptions. This is a great example of the app smashing we do in Room 4 and the integration of Digital Technologies with Literacy and Oral Language to produce a digital product.

Watch our videos here

Term 1 - Raglan Rocky Shore Art and Animated Art

The children drew some beautiful pieces of art using chalk pastels and the techniques of smudging and mixing colour. The Art is stunning but then Stevie-Lee suggested that we animate the art using pixaloop. The results are brilliant. Check out our work here.

Chalk pastel art

Pixaloop animated art

Read our Recounts of the school trip and also our reports on a sea creature.

Term 1 - My Favourite Place

To begin the year the students wrote a description about their favourite place for a holiday. We published using Google Docs, then copied it to Apple Pages, inserted a photo behind and then recorded the audio to practise our prosody (reading aloud fluently). Ms Quinn then published the work as an electronic, audio book. Click the link below to enjoy our book.

My Favourite Place

Term 1 - Statistics and Probability

This term we have been focusing on statistics and probability. All the children have learnt to collect, display and interpret data using tally charts, bar graphs, dot plot graphs, line graphs, stem and leaf graphs and pictographs.

This week we have worked in groups of three, they had to decide on a question, collect the data using a tally chart, display the data using a graph that will best represent the data they collected and then interpret the data by asking and answering questions.

Here is the groups projects.

Term 1 - Computational Thinking and Guinea Pig Mazes

Room 4 have 2 beautiful guinea pigs in the classroom so we decided to use them as part of our coding and computation thinking project uisng mazes to work out directions. The students designed their own maze as a maths activity, wrote the directions, used coding symbols to write the directions, built a full size gunea pig maze in their house groups and used the Code & Go Mouse to check their instructions. check out our photos and videos of our work.

Watch Scruffy find his way through the mazes, Orio was not interested at all.

Code & Go Mouse testing and debugging

We have also learned about the language computers use to 'speak' called Binary and have had fun learning how to solve codes using binary patterns.

Term 1 - Self-Portraits

This term we started with painting our self-portraits. We took photos of ourselves of our upper half and then from the photo we painted ourselves. We had to first sketch ourselves then paint. We did the painting in stages. We all had a lot of fun and we are pleased with the end product. You can view them here or in the classroom.



What is Rain?

We looked at a beautifully illustrated cameo called 'What is Wind?' and decided to write our own poems titled, 'What is Rain?' in rcognition of all the rain we have had in the last month. Have a look at our beautifully illustrated and published poems. We used Google Drawings to publish our writing inside the rain shapes. What is Rain?

How a child can make your day!

I arrived at school today to be greeted with a beautifully written letter which I just have to share with you all. It is working with children, being appreciated by them and the lovely things they say about us as teachers that really does make teaching a very rewarding career.

Narrative links to Book Creator


Room 4 were very busy writing narratives in Term 2. In Term 3 we began using an app called Book Creator to publish our stories online. Click on the photos in the doc to access the book, then click on the speaker to listen to the author read their story to you. As our books are finished they will be added to the doc.

Please enjoy our writing, the children have worked very hard as authors, illustrators and narrators.

App smashing for Matariki

In Term 2 we began app smashing to retell our Matariki legend the Seven Star Fishes. The art work was produced using ArtRage, the movement on the screen of all the characters was done using Explain Everything and then we imported it all into iMovie for the narration and sound effects to complete the story. The children have worked really hard on their project and it has taken one and a half terms to complete. Click ont he link below to enjoy their movies.

Matariki movies


The children in Room 4 did drama with Mrs Robinson last week. They acted out the story of 'The Fish of Maui' in groups of 3.

Here are the clips. We hope you enjoy.

The Fish of Maui

Jabberwocky - by Lewis carroll

For those parents who missed our performance on Thursday for Grandparent's Day I have attached our dress rehearsal performance for your pleasure. I am so impressed and proud of the children with their enthusiasm and dedication in learning the very difficult and nonsensical words in the poem. I think you will agree they have done an awesome job.


Autumn poems

All the children wrote a fantastic poem about Autumn. They used their senses to describe what autumn is like to them. We hope you enjoy.

Autumn Poems

Mood writing and art

We were learning to write about our feelings using similes and then we created a colourful piece of art to go with our feelings. These are displayed on the wall in the classroom.



2018 Self-Portraits and Descriptive Writing

Room 4 have been working hard on drawing and painting themselves. From a photo showing movement they had to sketch themselves then they painted their self-portrait. They had to mix colours and think about which colours would make their self-portrait stand out against the back ground. We think they look amazing, I am sure you will think the same. All the children have also written a description about themselves. I hope you enjoy reading them.

Self Portraits

All about Me

Holiday Writing

We started the year with Ms Quinn setting the challenge to complete our first piece of writing straight onto the chromebooks using Google docs. We planned our writing as a personal recount and then used google docs where we learned how to make capital letters, speech marks, paragraphs, how to rightclick to correct our spelling and also to insert a photo of the place we had spent our holiday. Ms Quinn thinks we did a great job.

Please follow this link to read their beautiful writing: Holiday Writing

Statistics - Graphing

To start the new year Room 4 have been gathering information about our holidays to learn how to make graphs (charts) using Google sheeets. We have learned how to setup a spreadsheet and then to insert a variety of appropriate graphs to suit the information. By using all the chart options we learned which ones showed our information in a useful way and those which were of no use at this time.

By reading the graphs we were able to answer questions and make statements.

Take a look at our graphs on this link : Gathering Information

Life Cycles

We started looking at Life Cycles of a variety of animals as we knew the Water Cycle and the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly but Ms Quinn challenged us to find out about the life cycle of an animal that we did not know anything about. We used reference books to find out the basic information and then we added detail by researching on the internet. We used Google Drawings to format the life cycle and to insert an image behind. One the 'paper based' information was completed and we understood the life cycle we used Puppet-edu App on the iPads to use images and our understanding to make a video of the Life Cycle.

Take a look at our Google Drawings here

Life Cycle videos