Welcome to Room 4

Kia ora koutou

This year Room 4 is a Year 4 classroom taught by Ms Sharon Quinn and Miss Vanessa Belsham.

Ms Quinn teaches on Monday to Wednesday and Miss Belsham on Thursday and Friday.  Our class focus is on Being Bucket (Kete) fillers so we can build kindness and caring within the classroom. We will also be focusing on our Pause Breathe Smile programme, learning mindfulness so we are in tune with our bodies and how they are feeling and reacting, we will also be using the Wilding Aroha's books to help us understand and manage our feelings and reactions. 

Ngā mihi nui

Ms Sharon Quinn

Kia Ora, I have been teaching for over 40 years and have been at Tauwhare School since 2003 and have taught at all levels of the school.   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 Literacy & Digital Technologies as I thoroughly enjoy the exciting visual projects which the children can create to show their learning;  if I can join Literacy with Digital then I am super excited.  I have 3 children and 10 grandchildren, enjoy gardening especially my roses, I enjoy biking, walking and swimming and also make crafts using glass.  As well as teaching in Room 4 I am also the Within School Leader for Curriculum Development, Lead IT and Digital Technologies teacher.

Kia Ora, My name is Vanessa Belsham known as Miss B to the Tauwhare School community. I am thrilled to be back at Tauwhare School and to be a part of your childs learning journey in Room 4. I have been a qualified teacher, with a Bachelors degree in teaching Primary for the past 14 years and have completed all of my teaching practise in Country Schools. I am also a mum to 3 children of my own aged 3, 7 and 9 which has added to my enthusiasm for children and their learning.

I will be teaching in Room 4 two days per week, these days will be Thursday and Friday. I am passionate about teaching your tamariki and scaffolding their learning to become confident, enthusiastic, proud life long learners. Learners who understand how to manage them selves and continue their love of learning. 

In room 4 we are developing an environment where your tamariki take ownership and care for their learning and the work that they produce. 

I look forward to meeting you all and please feel free to pop in to Room 4 anytime or email to set up a time to meet.


Becoming Authors

This term we are becoming published authors as we learn  how to plan our ideas into paragraphs, to make a word bank of interesting vocabulary, to include gems (literary devices) in our sentences to make a picture in the reader's mind and how to recraft,  proofread and edit our work and publish on the ChromeBook.  As we publish our work throughout the year it will be included in this folder.

2024 Term 1  Writing

Eat Right Be Bright - Vas Kovalski

We were fortunate to have Vas, the magician visit us at school with a very important message, conveyed through magic, about the need to eat a variety of foods - a rainbow of colours to keep healthy and have a bright and active brain and  body. Vas chose a few of room 4 children to help him deliver his message. The videos and photos are in this folder here.

Super Smash Cricket

Thanks to Northern Districts Cricket we were given a crash course in fun activities while learning to play cricket. The children showed their small ball catching, throwing and batting skills. Photos of our session here.


Our School Veggie Garden

Room 4 have weeded and planted the veggie garden with potatoes, carrots, sweetcorn, pumpkins, chilli and sunflowers. we can't wait until next year when we can harvest, cook and eat our produce.

Polynesian Migration - Aotearoa NZ Histories Curriculum

We have studied the Greatest Migration of all time, that of the Polynesians through the largest ocean of the world, the Pacific, until they landed in Aotearoa. We read and retold the legend of Kupe and Te Wheke (illustrations here) and retelling on Book Creator here. We have shown a possible migration route through the islands which Kupe and following waka hourua may have travelled and then used our Coding Mice to code the journey

Science Explorations through House of Science Kits

Bubbles - this was a great fun activity learning the properties of bubbles, making large bubbles, bubbles inside bubbles, bubbles on hands, desks - in fact bubbles everywhere. Photos and videos here

What Do You Think? - learning to Think like a Scientist, photos here

Float My Boat - learning the properties of floating, sinking and flinking, photos and videos here

Te Ahi Ora visited our school to show us how to manipulate long sticks as well as when they are lit as firesticks. With perseverence everyone in the class managed to perform many skills with the sticks and then at the evening performance repeated the skills with fire on one or both ends of the sticks. Photos here

Matariki...The Seven Star Fishes legend

We read and retold the Legend of the Seven Star Fishes as part of our Matariki study, published our work in Book Creator and also narrated our stories. We also produced some beautiful art work for our calendar art and to illustrate the cover of our books.

Please enjoy our Book Creator Legends here (extract them to your computer) or use the QR code on this doc and our Art work here

Kakapo Report Writing

As part of our study of Maungatautari Sanctuary Mountain we studied and read a lot about one of our most precious taonga - the Kakapo! We researched, gathered and sorted our facts and information into categories and then wrote our report in paragraphs. I am very impressed with the children's reports and I think you will be too! Enjoy reading them here.

Connected just like a game of scrabble

We made our names using scrabble letters and joined them all together, then we thought of some adjectives using the letters of our names to describe our personalities and interests. Our Scrabble Poems are a beautiful result.


Digital Projects using iPad

This year we have studied our Maori and Colonial History, including our family trees and the immigration routes of our ancestors and we have written and learned our Pepeha.  This term the children have learned how to use the Clips app on the iPads to bring their Pepha to life and turn it into a small movie. As the children finish their movies I will add them to the folder so please keep coming back to have a look. 

Pepeha Clips

We also wrote poems called Signs of Spring which we hav ewpublished using Clips and used photos from the school grounds.

Signs of Spring Clips

Our Colonial History

Our school trip to MOTAT in Auckland was an excellent provocation for our Past and Present Topic Studies. Room 4 were very ingterested in how writing implements have changed over time. I explained tdo them how I had been a child at school with ink wells and fountain pens which we had to fill, then progressed to cartridge pens, then ballpoint pens (Biros as we called them). We had the opportunity to write with a quill at MOTAT which was great fun and also to be horrified by the toileting arrangements of chamber pots and long drops outside. It's very hard for modern children to understand a world without plumbing and electricity. We have learned how to write in cursive script and enjoyed the challenge and the artistic nature of handwriting as a skill. We have also had fingernail inspection, stood up for all adults who entered the room and would really love to know what the strap and the cane look like...I might have to demonstrate on a pillow!

Enjoy our handwriting here

The Cane and the Strap photos a lot of fun and laughter as the children tried out the cane.

More photos to follow throughout the term.

Planting the Scooter Park Gardens

Our Scooter Park had some gardens between the tracks which needed some beautifying so Room 4 have been busy adding soil, plants and mulch to beautify this area of our school. The rain was welcome to give our plants a drink. We have planted chamomile and native grasses, succulents and calendula marigolds. A cottage garden selection of seeds will be our next garden and then native grasses in the largest garden.

Enjoy our gardening efforts here

Te Ika A Maui

As part of our Planet Earth & Beyond study we have been looking at Planet Earth, plate tectonics and Maori myths and legends explaining our Shaky Isles. the children were very interested in Te Ika a Maui, the Fish of Maui and how this myth explains why Aotearoa is mountainous, volcanic and rugged and also whys the North Island is shaped like a stingray. we read many versions of the myth and then retold the story in our own words. We used challk pastel to illustrate the story trying to incorporate Maori techniques of koru and swirls. the children have worked really hard on this so please enjoy their myths and their art. More work will be added as it is finished.

Te Ika A Maui Art

Te Ika a Maui retold narratives

Autumn Poems

Enjoy our beautiful Autumn poems and colourful finger painting to illustrate our ideas. Autumn Leaves and our illustrations here

Rain poems

The rain was very welcome this week and was a great opportunity to explore the use of similes in writing. We looked at active verbs which compared rain to other objects using appropriate verbs. We also learned how to use the word processing tools on Google Docs to publish our poems using centre, a variety of fonts and text size. Enjoy reading our similes here.   Rain simile poems

Hundertwasser Pepeha Art

Having spent the summer in Northland and being absolutely wowed by the Hundertwasser Centre in Whangarei and another visit to the toilets in Kawakawa I decided that 2022 was the year to study an amazing artist who made New Zealand his home. His bright colours and quirky, innovative techniques highlighting our natural world made his style a perfect way to show our Pepeha. The children had 'the best time' exploring colour mixing and using paintbrushes correctly to unleash their creativity to express themselves.  Please enjoy their paintings here. (More will be added as they are completed)

Hundertwasser Portrait Art

When entering  the toilets at the Hundertwasser Cafe I was greeted by unusual and unique signs on the doors which led to another art project at the beginning of the year.  Our portraits were drawn first in chalk and then pastel and adorn our classroom with their quirky personalities. Please enjoy our portraits here.


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