Friday, 20 September 2013

25 Manners Every Kid Needs by Age 9

20+ Unplugged Activities for 9-12 Yr Old Boys

The “tween” age (9-12 years old) can be a tricky time for kids!  Too old for toys, but too young for a part-time job.  Electronics can be a huge pull for this age group because they don’t know what else to do with themselves!  I often hear moms saying that they don’t know what to do with their tween-age boys, and so (she) decided to compile a huge list of things that tween-age boys might enjoy doing.  Included in this list are several ideas for chores, because tweens are ready to take on more responsibility and will probably even enjoy this (although they may feel resistant at first).

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Upcoming Inca History Theme

Next term we will be learning about the Inca Empire.

Here are a few resources and games to play:
My Pinterest Inca board:
National Geographic Wbsite:

Here is what we know so far: There is a faous Inca site called Machu Pichu in Peru
 They ate lots of grains, corn, beans, avo and milk
 They had to travel the very rocky steep Andies Mountains to send messages from the North of the Empire to the South
 They love the colours red and aquamarine
 They build houses of stone
 They had no language but they count count. They used a "quipu"
 They loved bright colours and head dresses
 Potatoes come from Peru/The Incas. There are more varieties of potatoes than just the round ones we eat in South Africa.
Here are some more very good research sites:

Darren Swanepoel

 Short clip of Darren wak-boarding as his wedding entrance!

Longer clip of the entrance and wedding:

 We are doing free choice research projects and Kane and Adin are researching Skateboarding and surfing. Miss Tyler-Smith's cousin chose a very interesting entrance to his wedding. He is also a mountain biker and wake-boarder and surfer. His site is called 1life because he believes that we all have one life to live and that we should make the most of it.

Here is an email interview we did with Darren:

Hello Darren

We are in Miss Tyler-Smith's class (Mandy's cousin Claire) at St Joseph's Marist College.
We are doing a research project on skateboarding. She suggested I write to you and ask you a few questions.
1. What kind of skateboard do you have?
2. We saw your mountain bike video - what kind of bike do you have? Where do you ride?
3. We also saw your wedding wakeboard show, was it hard to learn to do that? Did you get wet at all? What was the trick?
4. What kind of surf board do you have? Where do you surf? Who taught you? How often do you surf?
5. Why is your site called 1life?

Do you have any advice for a young person?
Kane and Adin 


Hi Kane and Adin

No problem :-) its a pleasure to "meet you"

1. I have a custom made Alpha longboard (with trucks and wheels that Stuart Bradburn used to win world champs downhill).
And a Carver from Los Angeles. And an Element street board
2. I have a Specialized Stumpjumper, and I ride in Tokai mostly.
3. I have done a lot of Wakeboarding and wake skating. I competed in SA champs. And thought that would be a fun way to arrive. Also my wife and I met at a time when we used to wakeboard with friends. So it seemed fitting. I didn't get wet, but had a backup suit in case :-) some friends were betting money that I wouldn't make it.
4. I have 6 surfboards, Clayton 6'2, 5'8, 6'6, 6'4 and a DVG 5'11, and a Built 6'4.
5. I surf mainly at Llandudno and have travelled around the world. I got back from my 4th trip to Bali 2 weeks ago. I learnt by myself and did coaching with Clayton- the guy that made most of my boards. I have a lot to learn.  Right now I am not surfing as much as usual. The weather hasn't been very cooperative and I was spoilt in Bali. Normally 2-3 time per week.
5. My site is called D1Life. I have a business called d-one. And when I wanted to create my lifestyle site, I didn't want to have 2 different names and business cards etc. so I combined them and named it D-One Lifestyle Engineer, as it can fit both businesses.

Right now I am talking to some of the leaders in self development about creating an organization that creates flow in other organizations, thereby increasing profit, results and positive energy.
We did a workshop on the weekend with our first client, and got very positive feedback. I'm really excited about it.

I learnt a lot at in Bali and am seeing someone from there tomorrow to learn some more. I do have advice for young people. And I believe very strongly in it:
Stay connected to your heart, and follow where it leads you.
People will give you advice based on the experiences they have had in their lives, let it lift you up, and don't follow it if it drags you down.

Sending hi fives

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

We hit 20 000 blog hits!!

Created using:

A Week’s Worth of Food Around the World: The Story in Pictures

 North Carolina, United States: $341.98
 Shingkhey Village, Bhutan: $5.03
 Breidjing Camp, Chad: $1.23
 Tingo, Ecuador: $31.55
 Cairo, Egypt: $68.53
 Bargteheide, Germany: $500.07
 Konstancin-Jeziorna, Poland: $151.27
 Cuernavaca, Mexico: $189.09
Sicily, Italy: $260.11

Friday, 13 September 2013

Math Salamanders

Is your child struggling with Math and needing help?
Looking for some carefully graded math worksheets?
Do you want some fun printable Math games to play and enjoy with your child?
Home schooling your child and looking for great free Math sheets and free math resources?
  • Math Salamanders provide you with a huge bank of free Math worksheets which you can use at home to support your child.
  • The Math sheets are all graded so that you can easily select the right level of difficulty for your child.
  • In addition, there are also many fun Math activities and games to play in the Math games area.
  • We also provide flashcards, practice worksheets, times table sheets and other Math fact sheets to help your child to learn their basic math facts.
The Math Salamanders caters for all Elementary grades, from Kindergarten up to 6th grade.
You can easily find the correct level of Math Worksheets printable to suit your needs by clicking on the age category.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Playful Learning

 I have just discovered a mum in America who homeschool's her children, and her blog/site/pinterest makes my heart so very happy!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013


 Taken by our secretary, Mrs Helen Kloppers and our Grade 5 mainstream teacher, Mrs Terri-Ann Johns at school today.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II

Last year England celebreated the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth being queen. There were massive concerts, parades and celebreations. 60 years ago the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II as monarch of the United Kingdom, took place on 2 June 1953. Elizabeth, then aged 25, ascended the thrones of these countries after the death of her father, George VI, on 6 February 1952. The coronation was delayed for more than a year because of the tradition that such a festival was inappropriate during the period of mourning that followed the death of the her father, the King. 

  Even though the country was just out of food rationing from World War II (1939 - 1945, rationing lasted till 1950), they scraped together enough to put on huge street parties, everyone pooling their food.
 Street parties like this one were a common sight.

 Below is a photograph of my own Great Grandmother (on the right), preparing for a street party in June 1953.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Electronic Pen Pals!

I have signed our class up on the site in the hopes of finding some lovely classes from around the World to chat to, and even another 9-12 Montessori class. 


This is what our profile says:


Claire Tyler-Smith

Profile Name: Montessori 9-12 Class
School: xxx
Region: South Africa, Africa
Language(s): English
# of Students: 19
Age Range: 9-12
Collaboration: Email Exchange

About my classroom:

We are a Montessori 9-12 yr mixed age class of 19 students from Cape Town, South Africa.
We are creative and curious and interested in using technology in the classroom. We have a class blog, as well as a pinterest and a twitter account. We publish our creative writing online and love to share what we do with others. We would love to form friendships with classes/teachers/children from around the world.

We have had three emails from teachers in America so far:


Nicole Jones

Profile Name: 7th Grade MYP Classes
School: JN Fries Magnet School
Region: North Carolina, USA, North America
Language(s): English
# of Students: 41+
Age Range: 11-13
Collaboration: Email Exchange, Project Workspace, Skype / Video Chat

About my classroom:

I teach 7th grade Language Arts and Social Studies within an International Baccalaureate program . I currently teach six classes (on an A/B schedule) and see approx. 100 students every other day. I would like to provide my students with an opportunity to interact and learn from peers in different areas of the world.


My name is Nicole Jones and I teach 7th grade History
and English in North Carolina (USA).  My students are
enrolled in a program that focuses on cultural
awareness and global perspectives.  Communicating with
your students would be a wonderful opportunity for

If you are interested, please let me know!


Nicole Jones


Amy Steadman

Profile Name: Mrs. Steadman's Students
School: Derby Sixth Grade Center
Region: Kansas, USA, North America
Language(s): English
# of Students: 21-30
Age Range: 11-13
Collaboration: Email Exchange, Project Workspace, Skype / Video Chat

About my classroom:

I have 22 students in 6th grade. They are the ages of 10-12, depending on what time of year it is. These students see me for Gifted services, or services for students with higher abilities than most. I would love for my class to participate in a project with another class from around the world! My students speak English as their primary language, and I know they'd love to talk with students from other languages with the aid of an online translator. We are looking for a project that we can spend about 30 minutes each week on and it can last anywhere from a quarter of a school year to an entire year. Our students have iPads and we are very interested in learning of others' cultures, so I'd like something that would mix the two, maybe one where we shared pictures from our culture.

Are you still looking for ePals? I have a class of 22 students, 11
years old in America. We are looking for ePals from across the
world. Let me know if you are interested as my students would love
to begin soon!


Valerie Shaw

Profile Name: Eastern Hemisphere Students
School: West Intermediate School
Region: Michigan, USA, North America
Language(s): English
# of Students: 41+
Age Range: 11-13
Collaboration: Email Exchange, Project Workspace, Skype / Video Chat

About my classroom:

My 7th grade social studies class studies the eastern hemisphere. Would you like to teach us about where you live? We would be excited to learn about your favorite foods, your school, things you like to do and everything else where your live. Please email us if you would like to communicate. We are in the USA and are ages 11-13. I have 4 classes of 30 students. However, we can match up as few or as many students as you wish. We could also communicate from class to class so the whole class would communicate as 1.
We are very interested in communicating. Please let me
know if you are still looking for students to
communicate with.

Thank you,

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Maths and emails

Today we (the Grade 4s) did very big sums and sent emails to our Mums and Dads about it.

Rizwaan's letter:

SENT: Thursday, 5 September 2013 09:47
SUBJECT: Letter from Rizwaan

Dear Mom and Dad

Today I worked out a multiplication sum with 4 digits all by my self on the board.
This was the sum: 2456 x 1554 = 3816624. It was very hard but it was also fun. I had a little help from Miss Tyler and I am very proud of myself.


FROM: Dad;
SENT: Thursday, 5 September 2013 09:47
SUBJECT: Letter from Rizwaan

Wow! Well done Rizwaan. Always believed you are amazing!

Love mom and dad


Skye's letter:

Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2013 10:00 AM
Subject: Letter from Skye

Dear Mom

Today I worked out a multiplication sum with 2 digits all by my self 
on the board. It was fun and hard but I did it!


Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2013 10:00 AM
Subject: Letter from Skye




Seth's letter:

Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2013 9:54 AM
Subject: Letter from Seth

Hello Mom and Dad

Today I worked out a multiplication sum with 4 digits all by my self on the board.
My first try was wrong. We used a calculator to check. Then i tried again and it was right!
5291 x 4589 = 24 280 399
It was hard but fun!

Love Seth "The Maths Wizard" Beukes


Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2013 9:54 AM
Subject: Letter from Seth


Well done buddy!!!
All your books need to be brought home the weekend in order for me to check them. (DON'T FORGET)


Hello Seth!

I am super proud of you honey!!!  Great job!!!!! I love you to the moon and back!!!

Jawad's letter:

SENT: Thursday, 5 September 2013 09:58
SUBJECT: Letter from Jawad

Dear Mom and Dad

Today I worked out a multiplication sum with 2 digits all by my self on the board.
I guessed the answer before I worked it out and I was right! Miss Tyler-Smith says I must have magical powers I am the only one who can guess the answer. Now everyone in my class is asking to guess their answers. :)



Matthew's Letter:

Sent: 05 September 2013 09:57 AM
Subject: Letter from Matthew

Dear Mom and Dad

Today I worked out a multiplication sum with 4 digits all by my self on the board. It was very confusing in the beginning but in the end it was actually quite easy. This is the sum I worked out: 5423 x 164 =  889372

Love Matthew


Sent: 05 September 2013 09:57 AM
Subject: Letter from Matthew

Hi Matthew,

Well done !!!!!! We are very proud of you Matt! Keep up the good work; and enjoy your day :)
Be good :)  Bye for now

Love Dad & Mom

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Just So Festival

 I have just found the place I want to go to more than anything in the WHOLE WHOLE World...
It's a creative weekend festival for families in Cheshire, England.
Here is the festival's site: