Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Tuftie's Attempt to get a job at a Chocolate Factory

*THIS STORY IS BASED ON MY SOFT TOYS*

“What do you mean, you’ve got a job at a Belgian Chocolate Factory!?!” Naima yelled.
“Only the most skilled workers go there!” Lily-Grace agreed.
“Exactly,” Tuftie said.
“But that means you’ll have to fly all the way to Belgium!” George, one of Naima’s other soft-toys, argued.
“Exactly,” Tuftie repeated.
“Have you ever made chocolate before?” Naima asked.
“Nope!” Tuftie grinned.
“Then how did you get the job?” Lily-Grace enquired.
“I said I was a bright young boy who had got 93% in a school test about chocolate.”
“You mean you lied,” George said bluntly.
“No!”
“Well, one thing, you’re a dog, a toy dog at that, not a boy.”
“Same difference.”
“And did you really get a 93 in the test?”
“Yup! -93, anyway.”
“When does your plane leave?” Naima asked.
“Oh, in about ten minutes.”
“WHAT! Have you packed!?” Lily-Grace shrieked.
“Nah. But ten minutes is a lot of time!”
“It isn’t when you need to go to Belgium and you haven’t got anything ready! Come on, I’ll help you pack.”
*****
Ten extremely rushed minutes and twenty-four boring hours later, Tuftie jumped off the plane. He looked in his wallet for some money and found $2. Great, he was starving. Fortunately there was a vending machine close by. He shoved the $2 in the slot and punched in the number for a chocolate bar. Nothing happened. Tuftie shook the vending machine, and nothing happened. Suddenly his money fell out of another slot. Roughly 7 tries later he remembered that the money he had was New Zealand money, and that it was useless in places like Belgium.
Tuftie made his way to the Chocolate Factory where he was destined to start his new job.
“Bonjour, comment puis-je vous aider?” the receptionist asked.
“What?” Tuftie asked.
“Oh, you speak English,” the receptionist said, suddenly speaking in perfect English, “Can I help you?”
“Hi, I’m Tuftie and I have started a new job here,” Tuftie said.
The receptionist looked through a book. “Good. You can be in charge of adding the decorations on the chocolates. Maxime will show you through that.”
A huge, muscled man walked into the room. He held out his hand for Tuftie to shake. Tuftie stared at his hand in a confused manner. The man sighed and led him into a huge room, where tiny delicious-smelling chocolates were lined up in neat rows.
“Your job is to add chocolate sprinkles on the chocolates on the far right and coffee bean shavings on the ones next to them. Call me when you’re done.” With that, Maxime left.
Tuftie looked around, and saw some big tubs of chocolate sprinkles and coffee bean shavings. “Coffee beans on the far right, chocolate sprinkles two to the left, or was it three? Eh, I’ll just make it four.” He started clumsily chucking the toppings all over all of the chocolates, then saw a large tub of whipped cream.
“Oooh! I’ll be even more helpful and add whipped cream to them!” Tuftie said happily. He grabbed pawfuls of the cream and started dumping it all over the chocolates.
Half an hour later Maxime came back in to find the whole room covered in whipped cream, sprinkles and coffee bean shavings. And Tuftie was sitting right in the middle of the room, licking the last of the chocolate from his paws.
“Oh, hello!” he said cheerily. “Just test-tasting the chocolate.”
*****
“So you got sacked on your first day on the job.” Lily-Grace said flatly.
“Yes,” Tuftie conceded.
“OH WELL DONE,” George said sarcastically.
“Yeah, not many people can get fired on their first day,” Tuftie grinned, not getting the sarcasm.
“Well now that that’s done, we can get back to our normal thing,” Naima said. “No more jobs. Deal?”
“No deal.”
“Huh?” Everyone said at once.
“Yeah,” said Tuftie. “I’ve already started looking in the newspaper for another job!”
Naima facepalmed. “Oh bummer!”

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Attack of the Crazy Popcorn Creatures

I looked at the strange box that had arrived in my post. I could tell it was for me, because it said:
“To: Queen Naima,
Naimrarian Palace,
South Naimraria”.
But it didn't say who it was from anywhere.
“Maybe if I open the box it will tell me who it's from,” I wondered out loud.
I got my pocket knife and tore it open. Inside was a bag of popcorn, you know, the ones you put in the microwave and then you eat the popcorn out of the bag. But anyway, the bag said on the front, ‘MAGIC POPCORN!’
I grinned. Probably someone sent me this for a prank.
“I hope it's sweet and salty popcorn,” I said, putting the bag in the microwave anyway.
I put it on for a few minutes, and went into my living room to get a good book to read while I ate the popcorn.
I was halfway down the stairs with a book under my arm when I suddenly heard a smash. I dropped the book and rushed downstairs.
There, frowning and looking very menacing, stood some Popcorn. I mean, giant popcorn. As tall as myself.
“Hi!” I said cheerfully. “What are you?”
Then an especially ferocious-looking piece of Popcorn (I'm guessing he was the Chief Popcorn) came up to me and said,
“We are the Popcorn Creatures.”
Crazy Popcorn Creatures,” I laughed.
“HOW DARE YOU!!!!!!” The Chief Popcorn howled.
“I'm only telling the truth,” I argued with my most innocent smile.
The Popcorns were going as red as an overripe tomato.
“But what are you doing here?” I asked, quickly changing the subject.
“We want to take over this castle and have it for our own!” They laughed.
I was prepared for this. Lots of people wanted to take over my palace.
“Ok, first of all you can't because this is mine, second it's a palace, not a castle.” Ha!
“Whatever. It's ours now. Gimme the crown.”
“I don't have a crown,” I raised an eyebrow. “I lost it.”
“What an excuse,” the Chief Popcorn sneered. “Come on, hand it over.”
“I really don't appreciate----”
“Hurry up, stupid human!!!” they sniggered.
“RIGHT!” I bellowed, suddenly losing my temper. “THAT WAS THE LAST STRAW!!!” I grabbed a butter knife that was on the table and pointed it at the popcorn. “Get back in the microwave where you belong,” I snarled.
Shakily, the Crazy Popcorn Creatures hopped back into the microwave. I picked it up and opened the window, hurling the microwave outside. I saw it splash into the lake. A gardener looked up.
“Tut tut, Queen Naima, littering again!”
“Sorry,” I yelled down sheepishly, and closed the window.
I never saw the Crazy Popcorn Creatures again.

One day, a while after that, I was sitting at the table eating breakfast when a parcel arrived...

Thursday, 10 November 2016

The Day My Hands Turned Blue.

(Believe it or not, this is a true story).

It was a blustering, rainy Wednesday. We were miserably walking towards Waimairi School. We had been at Athletics in St James Park, but the drizzly rain had started to pour. The cloud gods were tipping buckets of water down on us. 
Carys and I were trudging along, getting our feet wet and muddy in the puddles. I kept on tugging my hat further over my head, even though it was soaking wet. I felt like ringing my hat out, and I thought lots of water would come dribbling out of it.
Mrs Bentall was telling us to keep up with the others.
So there we were, hurrying along in the rain. Suddenly Carys said,
“Hey, what's that on your hand?”
I looked at my hand. Part of it was blue! Dark, navy blue!
Brr! It was so cold, my hands were turning blue! 
“It must be so cold my hands are turning BLUE!” I said.
Just then Mrs Bentall joined in the conversation.
“Maybe it's your bag or your jacket!” she said. True. My bag and my jacket were both dyed navy blue. 
Mrs Bentall wiped her hand on my bag. “Not this.” She wiped her hand on my jacket. “Nope, not that either.”
Then she squeezed my hat in her hands. When her hand came away, it had a navy blue smudge on it.
“It's your hat! It's the dye in your hat!” she said.
“Hah!” I said. “And I thought it was the cold!”

The End.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Hide and Seek

“98, 99, 100!”
Meep.
Please don't find meh.
I'm innocent!
Playground speaking,
Em is as loud
As a bullhorn,
I'm squished!
“Shhh!”
I hiss.
Why did I wear a
Bright red T-shirt?
AAH!
She's so close!
No, Mrs. Pageot!
No!
NUUU!
PLZ!
OK, calm down.
She hasn't got you yet.
Slide off the playground and
Onto the bark below.
Behind a tree.
She's basically got me.
Why did I move?
I was safe before!
“Found you!”
Ugh. 
Trudge back.
While others are hiding
I'm stuck with my book
NOT playing,
NOT squealing with delight,
Basically being bored.
Uuuuuh.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

SCIENTIFIC OBSERVATION: RUBBISH AT SCHOOL



We read an article about a fleet of research waka which spent two years criss crossing the Pacific ocean, observing rubbish in the Pacific Ocean.   They noticed that if they found rubbish in the ocean, it usually meant they were getting close to land.  Because of this, we infer that most rubbish in the ocean comes from land. 

We wondered if the rubbish in our playground might have a similar trend.   We decided, before lunch on Wednesday last week, to go and find out. 

We split the school into 12 sections on a map.  Each section had a group of scientist (us!) to make observations and inferences.

We put a red dot on the map wherever we found a piece of rubbish and collected all the rubbish. 
After lunch we went back, and noted with a blue dot, any new rubbish found in our area.  We also collected this rubbish.   This is our map, showing where we found rubbish, both times.

PHOTO OF DOT MAP HERE

We also classified the rubbish we found into types of rubbish and displayed this into this graph.  

Our observations and inferences:  

Well our group noticed that the red dot rubbish was everywhere Because some people just drop it and hope it blows away or dissolves.  

In some places there is more rubbish than other places because some rubbish gets stuck in fences and buses and some just blow away in big clear spaces.

Rubbish gets stuck in certain areas and stays there like fences or places where the wind throw the rubbish about  .

Our data may have some mistakes. Some areas we can't reach the rubbish and we can't fit all of the dots in the same place  because some are under buildings and some are in the same spot so we have to spread the dots out to count it. 

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

After we made these observations and inferences, we were left with questions as to why people in our school failed to put their rubbish in the bins! Why does so much end up back around the school after one break time? Maybe it is falling out of people's pockets? Perhaps it's the winds fault? Or maybe the students of Waimairi school are dropping it on purpose?

Since then, we have recorded how rubbish was dropped at morning tea and lunch. Basically, we spied on the school! We, as scientists, have completed an investigation into why rubbish is ending up on the ground. On Thursday the 18th of August, we went out at morning tea and lunchtime to make observations of you all, collecting data to find out how rubbish gets on the ground.

We split up into 12 groups. At morning tea we spread ourselves around the whole school to observe. At lunchtime we spread the 12 groups around the lunch eating areas and observed what happened to the rubbish. 
We have made inferences from our observations and here is what we found:


MORNING TEA FINDINGS

PIE GRAPH OF MORNING TEA OBSERVATIONS HERE

At morning tea time, Waimairi school dropped 205 pieces of rubbish. That's 2 out of 5 people on average who dropped rubbish. 110 pieces of rubbish were dropped on purpose, which is more than half of the rubbish we observed being dropped. We also saw 46 pieces of rubbish dropped without the person realising that they had dropped it, often as they were walking.We also saw rubbish being dropped from pockets.

The places we found that rubbish had been dropped the most, were the Te Puna block, the walkway down to Ara Atu and the playground behind room 13. We think this might be because people playing in these areas may not understand why it is important to put rubbish in the bin. We also inferred that since there's big bushes at Ara Atu, people think they can hide their rubbish there.

Also, there is no rubbish bin in sight of the playground in these areas, so people lazily drop it instead. We think that most people do this because they think that they can hide it, or can get away with dropping it, even when they know it is wrong. And they do get away with it! Why don't people take a little walk over to the bin to put their rubbish where it belongs? 


LUNCHTIME FINDINGS

PIE GRAPH OF LUNCHTIME OBSERVATIONS HERE

At lunchtime, 219 pieces of rubbish were dropped throughout the school JUST during lunch eating time. That's 2 out of every 5 people in the school on average. that is a large amount of people to be dropping rubbish.
From what we saw, 79 pieces of rubbish were dropped on purpose, and 44 were left where people were eating. 

Just like at morning tea time, we think that around the school most of the people drop the rubbish because there's not enough rubbish bins around. Although there are already some bins, there only a few, and sometimes not in the best places. 
We also think that some children might not be able to reach the bins because we observed the bins are quite a bit taller than some junior children. Younger students also may not understand why it is bad to leave rubbish on the ground.

We could maybe get more and smaller bins to show others that bins are valued around the school but we think most of the kids already know about why we shouldn't  drop rubbish - because it will cause lots of problems for the animals in our environment and make our school look messy.

We spotted some differences between Morning Tea and Lunchtime. At lunch-eating time, more pieces of rubbish were dropped than the whole of morning tea time, even though morning tea is longer than lunch eating time. We think that more rubbish was dropped at lunch because more food is eaten at lunchtime and there would be a bigger chance of rubbish flying out of their lunchboxes. Lunch food is also more likely to have wrappers. However we also inferred that people might deliberately litter so that they don’t get in trouble for walking to the bin - as we are not allowed to stand up during lunch eating time.

Under the classroom is also a common place to put rubbish. But the reason  that people drop rubbish there is because they think no one will notice. But we did! But if you think that you get away with it, then you are wrong because we see rubbish everywhere, even in sneaky places where people will think you can't see it.

Overall, 424 pieces of rubbish were dropped in the 45 minutes we were observing that day. That’s almost one piece of rubbish per person. If nobody ever picks this rubbish up, then by the end of the week there would be 2120 pieces of rubbish floating around the school.  Many people dropped their rubbish on purpose, but also accidentally, leaving it where they ate or hiding it.

We think if we all work together our school can be cleaner by just simply walking  to the bin, because just doing a simple thing like that will help to make a big difference. But we also think that during lunch eating time we should be allowed to stand up to walk to the bin to put our rubbish in it. We will be discussing this with the teachers. This means people will be less likely to throw it in the bushes, under the buildings, leave it where they were eating or just throw it on the ground.

We also plan to write to the board of trustees to see if we can have more bins built permanently into the areas that we’ve observed to gather the most rubbish. We also need bins that are the right size for younger kids as well.

So what is the most important thing for you to remember from today? Do not drop rubbish on purpose. It’s pretty simple.  Please walk the few metres to the bins, otherwise we will all be swimming in a pool of rubbish.


                                                                     







Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Rise of the Doodle (Speech 2016)



My speech is about how kid should be able to doodle in their books. 
When writing my speech I was learning to over-react (which was rather easy,eg 150-20,000,000. The real thing is 150-19,999,999. And to use repetition-thing-a-ma-jig, which means repeating. Eg, the word ‘kawaii watermelon’.
Also I was learning how to speak SLOWLY (which I am not very good at), when I was delivering my speech. I think I still talked a bit fast when I was sharing it with everyone.
It went well, because even though I didn't get a placing, I got into the finals. And it was fun sharing my speech to everyone, even though I got that feeling when nothing is real and you feel like you're in a dream, you know that feeling?
Anyway, enjoy the speech!  You can listen to it here

ZE SPEECH...

So, you're in class. The sun is shining, and you should be outside, playing, but no. You are being forced to do- *ugh* -maths. Your mind is blank. The next page in your book is also blank. You look around the classroom to make sure the teacher isn't near, then grab a pen. A few seconds later your page is teeming full of drawings. THE ZOMBIES DRAGGED THEMSELVES TOWARDS THE DOOR, MOANING, “BRAIIINZZZZ!!!” A HUGE MONSTER TRUCK ROARS INTO ACTION, FLYING ACROSS THE BUMPY GROUND. And in the middle of the rumpus is an adorable kitten, purring softly. 

So yeah. We all doodle. Well, most of us, anyway. In our books. But really, you should see my planning book. You will never guess how many wolves, cats, and crazy nincompoop stuff I have drawn. Somewhere between 150-20,000,000.

Literally.

I think kids should be allowed to doodle in their books.  Remember that time when you were in class and you should've be writing about ‘how Brussel sprouts were created’, but you had no idea what you were doing (because you weren't listening to the teacher; be honest, you weren't, were you?). Then you start doodling; it's a random diagram of a Brussel sprout. And your teacher comes up behind you and says, “Why, GABRIELLA! That is the most INCREDIBLE diagram of a Brussel sprout!” And then she shares it with the class. And doodling saved your life from being told off. Hallelujah. There we go.

Or you’re in maths, and you are trying to figure out the hardest question in the world: 729 x 28, and you just draw a random number, and start doodling all around it. And your teacher comes up to you and says, “Why EMILY, how did you know the answer was 20,412? And I love your doodling, you get 10 points for your group because of that AMAZING doodle!!”

Or you're SUPPOSED to be writing a story on Safari (even though you were planning to go and watch something on YouTube), but instead you find a website, and it is actually a doodling competition, and you win and become a world-famous animator and win an iPhone73s, a golden Labrador puppy, $5,000,000 and an ice cream. And your Mum and Dad are so proud they say, “Why, IRIS! We are so proud of you, HONEY BUNNY DARLING SWEETHEART BO-BA-CHO-KA-CHO!!!” 

Okay, the last one didn't really have anything to do with doodling in your schoolbook.

But about doodling. Doodling is a creative activity, where you can draw ANYTHING you want. ANYTHING. There's no wrong answers in doodling. Unlike maths, where, when you figure out a question, there is only one answer. 100 + 100 = 200. And 200 ONLY. 57 x 17 = 969. And yes, I did need a calculator to figure that out. Basically, doodling is the best thing invented since sliced bread. 

If you're wondering, ‘how does doodling help learning?’ Well, what are things that stress you out? Tests? Maths? Your parents telling you off for ‘hurting your little sister’ (even though it was your little sister pulling half your hair off your head)? And how do we fix all  those problems? No, not ice cream, no, not superman, doodling! Reason? It calms you down! Because when you're really nervous about something, say a test, and you doodle, you forget about the scary things because you're so into drawing that epic picture of a kawaii watermelon! And at the test you don't worry bout a thing, and you share your picture of a kawaii watermelon, and you get an A+.

Plus doodling gives inspiration. Sometimes I watch animations, and it inspires me. Then I draw lots of pictures and put them together, and hallelujah, I have an animation. And now I animate all the time. And then, with my animations, I inspired my friends to animate, and now we all make awesome animations. And my animations are doodling, just doodling on an iPad.

So that is my proof that doodling is better than everyone thought. True, it does distract people from learning (a little), but it also teaches, makes the world (and your book) a more creative place, and gives ideas. And I hope this 2-page-long speech is enough proof. So what are you doing? Get your pen and paper and start doodling!

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Poems!

SWAGGER DOGGY
Once there was a Swagger Doggy
He was really cool and fun.
He loved going to the beach
And playing games while in the sun.

One day he met an Unicorn, 
The Unicorn was not nice.
He smelt of mouldy socks,
And 6-day-old dead mice.

The Unicorn made fun of him,
He pointed, laughed and sneered.
The Swagger Doggy was very sad,
And thought that it was weird.

That night Swagger Doggy went home,
And thought about that day.
And how the evil Unicorn
Had barged into his way.

Next day Swagger Doggy came back
To play on the beach with his friends,
The Unicorn was there as well,
Driving everyone round their bends.

“Hi there, stupid Swagger Doggy!
How you doing? Hey? Wassup?
Where’d you get those silly shades?
They make you look like a pup!”

Swagger Doggy felt hurt and alone,
His friends had run away;
But he knew he couldn't let this bully
Ruin everyone’s day!

So he ran after the Unicorn
And bit him on the bum!
The Unicorn shrieked and screamed and yelled,
For he was so very dumb.

Swagger Doggy laughed and laughed
Until all the tears came,
And all the other doggies
Came out and played a game.



SUPER KITTEN
Super Kitten woke up one day
To find her house a mess.
“Oh my goodness, what happened here!?
Someone’s stolen my favourite dress!”

Super Kitten phoned 111
And screamed “YOU’VE GOT TO HELP ME!!!
SOMEONE HAD STOLEN MY FAVOURITE DRESS
AND LEFT SO UNTIDILY!!”

Unfortunately the thief had visited 
The cops as well as Kitty,
And stolen their cars and keys
The sight was not very pretty.

Super Kitten ran out of her house
Stopping for breakfast; very brief,
She looked left, right, up and down
But no sight of the sneaky thief.

“Oh no! What am I do to?
I can't find the thief anywhere!
I guess I'll just give up 
It's disappeared into thin air.

Just then she saw a flash of pink
It was her favourite dress!
But somebody was holding it,
Super Kitten started to stress.

“Give me my dress!” She yelled at the thief,
Who was an unicorn,
“No! I like it!” He shot back,
Looking at her with scorn.

Super Kitten flew at the unicorn
On him before you could say 10,
And tickled him until he cried
“Stop! I won't do it again.”

He returned the dress, the keys, the cars,
And another bit and bob,
And the he sulked and skulked away,
For he was just a snob.

Super Kitten was happy again,
And wore her favourite dress,
Because she was a Super Kitten,
She wanted to look her best.