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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Week 4 - Year 3 and 4 Sustainable Elective - Caring for our Chickens and Organic Gardening
Living things depend on us for their care.  We are
looking after our growing chicks each day, as they grow so
We sketched the features of our school's chicken tractor.  We
decided that the chicken tractor is great because we can more it
from place to place so the chickens can fertilise and flies and rats
are less attracted to this area.

Inside the roosting box.  There are still weeds to eat.

We have also been learning about organic gardening.  We
picked carrots for our school's Community Table and for
us to eat.  Yum!

Week 3 
After counting down the 21 days that it takes a chicken to hatch, our great day arrived.  There was great excitement as our new additions pecked their way out of their shells.  It's hard work and really exhausts the chick. We were all keen to touch and care for our chicks.  The students in Room 11 really helped us too.  Happy Birthday to our chicks.  They are all different breeds but they are so cute.
Students record their own reflections of their learning

Our first chick to hatch.  When the chicks feathers were dry
and fluffy, we put them into their new home.  

So cute! 

Students in Room 11 made birthday cards for our nine
new chicks.

Right from Day 1, our students looked
after our chicks.

If at one day old, we found our chicks were very good at pooping.
Our gardens will be in good hands.


Learning about the scientific parts of a chicken.  Our
new words included, shank, hock and vent.
Role playing how chickens help us in the garden.

Rolling a boiled egg and an unboiled egg.  An unboiled
egg wobbles because the air sac is free to move and an
unboiled egg, all egg parts are tight, so it rolls straight down.

Making playdough eggs. Students guess whose egg is whose with a series of yes/no questions.

The students in the Year 3 and 4 Sustainable Elective have been learning about how chickens can help with our organic gardening.  They were lucky to be involved in the hatching of our new Hukanui chicks.  Each week they shared their learning and explorations.  The following is a review of this process.

Getting to know our original four Hukanui chickens.
Is four chickens enough? No we would like more.
Learning about the survival needs of chickens
Using thinking skills to find out what we already know
about chickens and what we can learn more about.

Discovering the differences between fertilised and
unfertilised eggs.

Unfertilised eggs from our original chickens.

In 2005 why did our students want to have chickens? They were
on the original Living Room wish list because they help the

We found out that the most important reason
we have chickens at our school is because
they are great organic garden poop fertilisers.
There are other reasons too like eggs, eating
bugs and weeds and putting air into the soil.

Our fertilised eggs in the incubator

The trays in the incubator tun the eggs so that they are
warm all over.

It takes 21 days for a baby chick to hatch from
their egg.  It's hard work getting out of the egg.

An overview of our learning during our first week.

Monday, 18 November 2013

On the 14 November 2013, our students from the Living Room Specialist Group attended the annual Enviroschool's student celebration.  This year the event was called Empowering Students. Over 300 students ventured to Taupiri School to share their learning and to extend their experiences.  What a wonderful day was had by all.  Special thanks to our parent helpers/photographers and video recorders; who we couldn't do without.  Our students presented a play in the form of a news report, on the development of the Community Table.  Once again, our students made us so proud.

Our new addition school chicks have been a hit with the older and the young alike.  They are now three weeks old and a very loved by our school community.  Room 11 and the Year 3/4 Elective have been caring for them and learning about all the great things chickens do for our gardens.  Other classes have written letters explaining to the elective group how they would like to care for the chicks for a day or too.  So our chicks have been travelling around our school.
Chicken poop is wonderful natural fertiliser, chickens give us eggs, eat bugs and weeds and put air back in to the soil. Next year they will join our flock and will all live happily together in the Backyard Gardens.

Visiting our junior classes

Over the last two terms this year, the Year 5/6 Sustainable Visual Arts Group under the creative care of Mrs Fisher have been creating a new mural on the underused wall by Mr Morris' shed in Pickering Cresent.  Wow! It's fantastic and Mr Morris enjoys the likes between him and his portrait.