Prize Giving: Celebrating success or stigmatising failure?

boy standing on a rock above the clouds at sunset
On top of the world

It is that time of year; successful students, arms full of certificates, trophies, books and envelopes stuffed with book tokens, stumbling across stages all over the country.  Principals praising the students for their engagement, their tenacity, for overcoming challenges, balancing the pressures of academic study with sport, the arts, community service and coming out victorious and ready to take on everything the world can throw at them.  Student leaders waxing lyrical about the love and commitment shown by their teachers and mentors and the support their peers have provided on the rocky road through school.

It is indeed a time for celebration and well-justified too. But as I watched Prize Giving at my son’s school yesterday evening I couldn’t help but think of the 90% of kids who don’t have their successes celebrated in such a public way.  The ones who are expected to sit through the ceremony to collectively celebrate the school’s successes but who don’t win prizes.  I wondered who it is all for.  What is the purpose?  Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe in celebrating and sharing success but I believe in recognising everyone’s successes in all their guises.  And I’m not convinced that a rewards system is the best way to engage children in learning.

George Couros writes eloquently on the subject in this blogpost “The Impact of Rewards” so I won’t repeat what he has said but I will offer this quote from Alfie Kohn:

“In short, good values have to be grown from the inside out. Attempts to short-circuit this process by dangling rewards in front of children are at best ineffective, and at worst counterproductive. Children are likely to become enthusiastic, lifelong learners as a result of being provided with an engaging curriculum; a safe, caring community in which to discover and create; and a significant degree of choice about what (and how and why) they are learning. Rewards–like punishments–are unnecessary when these things are present, and are ultimately destructive in any case.” (Alfie Kohn, The Risk of Rewards)

And I have severe misgivings about a system that ranks students with a top ten system.  What criteria are used?  Are they open, transparent and fair?  Massey University education researcher Jenny Poskitt says;

“If you want to motivate and inspire kids to strive for excellence in all endeavours, they need to perceive that it’s fair, need to know what the game is and how to play it, to be inspired. If it’s not fair, or they don’t know how to get it, then it’s not going to motivate them.”  (Schools allay fears over school prizes)

In my experience the value of awards decreases for those kids who constantly get them whereas for the kids who never get them the damage to their self-esteem and pride is significant.

One of the things my husband and I had to do yesterday was persuade our son to attend the prize giving evening. He wasn’t getting an award.  None of his friends were getting awards. None of his friends were planning on attending.  The school releases the students at lunch time with the expectation that because they get the afternoon off they should attend the prize giving evening.  He didn’t see why he needed to sit through 2 and a half hours of speeches and a litany of names being read out and prize winners traipsing across the stage (many of them more than once).

He said it made him feel stupid and useless and reinforced his sense of ‘failure.’  We assured him that he is not stupid, reminded him of his skills and achievements.  The things he does like coaching a junior hockey team, and putting himself out there as an umpire, like teaching himself to play the guitar from Youtube videos.  We tried the arguments that it wasn’t about him, it was about sharing and recognising other people’s success, the school’s success and being proud to be part of that collective.   He wasn’t buying it!  And, to be honest, I get it. We have always supported the school prize giving in the past and we have always encouraged our boys to attend.  I have spent 30 years as a teacher attending prize giving occasions and I have occasionally questioned the need for them but, on the whole, just accepted them as a part of the school calendar. But he was so distressed about it that it really made me think.  I wondered as I watched how he was feeling, what impact it was gong to have on his motivation to learn, did we do the right thing in making him come?

The more I heard the word ‘success’ the more I wondered whose success we were celebrating and why we were doing it in the way that we were.  The more I heard the word success the more I wondered about its opposite: failure. If the students on the stage were successful, are all the rest failures?  Of course they are not, but if you are a kid sitting in a theatre who isn’t getting a prize watching those that are being lauded, how would you feel?

The New Zealand Curriculum vision is to develop confident, connected, involved, lifelong learners. The demands of living in an ever changing 21st century world require competencies and capabilities such as resilience, adaptability, communication skills, empathy, flexibility, problem-solving and creativity.  Qualities and dispositions that are difficult to measure.  So no prizes.  But the 90% who didn’t get celebrated yesterday evening or indeed around the country right now probably have them in shedloads.  Who recognises them?  When does anyone tell them they are valuable and worthwhile members of society, that the skills they have are worth celebrating?

In schools all over the world  the ‘industrial model of education’ is being shunned because it is no longer fit for purpose.  Is the end of year “Prize Giving” ceremony just a hang over from the industrial age?  Do we see the tradition of it through rose coloured spectacles?  Is it the tradition that we hold so tightly on to?   Because we’ve always done it that way?  We live in a knowledge economy where content is freely available, the way we learn is changing, the things we learn are changing, the way we assess is changing.  What does ‘success’ now look like?  Will the way that we celebrate ‘success’ change?   I wonder.

 

 

Rātū, 19 o Hōnongoi 2016

This week our task in Te Puāwai is to record and share our journey integrating some of the classroom commands into the classroom or home. Our kōrero must include the following:

1. A list of the different commands in te reo Māori that you have been using

2. What challenges you faced integrating these commands into everyday conversations

3. What benefits or growth you may have noticed as a result of speaking the commands in te reo Māori rather than in English

4. What are your next steps, what will you do next to continue learning and using more te reo Māori in your class or home

Over the last few weeks I have been working on integrating as many Māori kupu into my mahi as possible.  Working at home doesn’t make that easy – I can hardly talk to myself! Well, actually, I do! I have post it notes all over my office with kupu and kiwaha written on them and I say them out loud to myself whenever I look up and see them.  We have a morning coffee Skype group and always start off asking each other ‘Kei te pēhea koe?’ and responding appropriately. Renee helps us work out words we don’t know, which is great.

20160630_193331When I send emails to schools and colleagues I try to use the appropriate greetings for the time of day such as ata marie, morena, kia ora…  Last week we ran a workshop for a group of schools and we incorporated a few of our greetings and commands. e.g. saying hello and introducing ourselves, e tū, e noho, whakaporowhitia, he whakaaro anō ā koutou, kuamārama koutou.  I think the main difficulty was that the group of people were all Pākeha and so using Te Reo sounded quite unnatural and the teachers didn’t respond until we repeated in English so we didn’t get the immediate feedback which encourages more language.

The use of the target language followed immediately by English has been a constant tension in my world as a language teacher.  It is generally accepted that immersion in a language is the absolute best way to learn but, of course, that leads to people, however open they are to learning, frustrated when they don’t understand.  My life in the classroom has been one of hand gestures, role play and generally looking bonkers as I jump around acting out my own version of charades to try to get across what I am trying to say to my students!  By following up with an English translation, accepted wisdom is that learners don’t bother working out the target language as they know that you will say it in English eventually. But I guess that at the moment the aim of my using Te Reo in workshops is not necessarily to teach others but to learn myself, become familiar with using the language and to develop ways of working which are culturally responsive.  And although I still feel a bit awkward using Te Reo, as I become more confident, it is getting easier.  A positive by-product is that by integrating Te Reo in my everyday and working life it becomes embedded not only for me but for others, and starts to become more of a ‘lingua franca’ in this supposedly ‘tri-lingual’ and ‘bi-cultural’ country!

Next steps are to keep going and using Te Reo when and where possible.  I had an interesting situation last week when in my role as a BOT member I had a meeting with some Māori students and their whānau.   I was very conscious of the fact that the BOT are all Pākeha and I wanted to greet the students and the whānau in a culturally appropriate way. It is difficult to know what the impact was but I would like to think that it made a difference.  I have decided too, after reading one of the “strategies for learning” posts in the Moodle course that I will write the date in Te Reo in my notebook each day and as I am trying to post a photo a day this year on my blog, that I will start writing the date in Te Reo – could be a challenge but it will make me think every day!

Here is today’s blogpost – Ra 201, Rātū, 19 o Hōnongoi 2016

I also made a video to practise and embed the commands into my (very slow) brain!

A school without walls

The #edblognz challenge for March is to imagine my ideal school.  The challenge asks me to consider the following:

  • What would it look like,
  • How would it function?
  • What would be its purpose?
  • What would its vision be?

I am going to start with Purpose because I think everything else follows on from that. Alfie Kohn suggests that a school’s purpose is to:

purpose of education 2

 

I am not so sure about number 4 especially the bit about corporate profits, but the reality is that we need to prepare students for life and work is part of life, and we need money to buy the things to sustain us, so wealth has to be created and someone has to do it. I would just hope in my ideal world – getting beyond myself now, that that wealth could be shared a little more equitably than it is now.

Anyway, if the purpose of school is to do all of those things, then the vision for my school is going to be something like:  “Dream Big, Aim High but Keep it Real and don’t forget your Mum”.  Okay then, a bit tongue in cheek but I would encourage my students to try their best, aim to be the best that they can be, recognise their talents and those of others, be humble but be proud, care for each other, their family and friends and the wider community, be empathetic, courageous and always remember where they have come from as they strive for what they wish for.  I would encourage them to learn widely, not limit themselves to a narrow experience of subjects, be curious about nature, the world, science, arts, languages, make connections with the past and create pathways to the future, build relationships, laugh, sing, run, jump, make time for themselves to be quiet, to reflect and to talk to as many different people as they can.

I would encourage all members of the school community to make connections with the land in which they live, both the physical geography and also the people who have shaped it, the conflicts they have endured and the relationships they have forged.  I would  help students understand that the hub of all cultural locatedness is the ‘marae’ or the spiritual centre of a place.  Depending on the country and its cultures this could be a church, a mosque, a ring of stones.  As citizens we have a  responsibility to find out and use correctly the names of local landmarks such as mountains, rivers or lakes and buildings.  We also should gain a basic understanding of the different protocols and language that enable us to interact in culturally sensitive ways. 

My school would not have any walls.  The world is my school.  Learning is everywhere.

I haven’t really thought about how it will actually function yet – this is an ideal, a dream isn’t it? So I have made a ThingLink to illustrate how learning can happen. (It is still under construction, but thought I’d share anyway).  Hope it works!!

 

What will it mean to be educated in 2050?

Today I was lucky enough to be at the first of 2016’s Core Breakfasts in Hamilton. Derek Wenmouth challenged the thinking of a group of Hamiltonian educators and inspired them to question their practice.

By way of recording the conversations I have created this Storify.

What will it mean to be educated in 2050?

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Teachers as Learners First

Sheryl Nussbaum talks about schools being “Future Ready” and there are four elements to being future ready 

  1. learning is student centred
  2. the technical infrastructure will easily support the learning,
  3. distributed, collaborative leadership which happens when many people share leadership functions. 
  4. remembering always that teachers are learners first

The final element of “teachers as learners” has been an important part of my last few weeks. They have been a whirl of learning.  In my new role as a Connected Learning Advisor I have been in a team running Professional Learning days for leaders.  First we headed to Whangarei, then Hamilton and finally, yesterday we were connected with educators in Christchurch.  Principals and eLeaders travelled from the far north and the deep south to engage in rich conversations, challenging thinking and robust questioning over the three days.

The sessions dealt with strategic planning, shifting teachers’ thinking and managing change through professional learning, and exploring how social media can build connections between schools and the wider community.

But the focus was on collaboration and connectedness and teachers as learners. Providing time to have conversations, share stories and good practice, plan and make connections was a key element of the days and it seems that it was appreciated by those who attended.

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 I know that I have learned as much as the teachers I have been working with. There is such power in conversations and I have been inspired by so many people and the work they are doing in schools, grappling with overwhelming change with commitment, positivity and open minds.  Thank you.

After each event we “Storified” the days and published posts on the VLN to encourage the participants and those who couldn’t make it to continue or join in the conversations.

The links to the Storifies are below.

Whangarei

Hamilton

Christchurch

We also used Todaysmeet to “chat” and record the conversations. Here is the transcript from some of the discussion in the sessions on Professional Learning.

Are you a Connected Educator?

Last week as part of the CLA webinar series we met up with 5 school leaders who chatted about why being connected provides them with such powerful professional learning.

Here is the Storify of the twitter back channel. Why not have a listen to the Webinar on the VLN and join in the conversation by posting your comments and answers to the questions posed to our panellists?

  • koru - unfurling frond of fernWhat does a “connected leader” look like?
  • How would you encourage a reluctant teacher/ leader to get connected?
  • In your role as a connected leader, what do you do to support/model/advocate/facilitate e-learning?
  • What attributes do you think you need most, to make this role successful?
  • As ‘time poor” senior leader, “What’s in it for me”

#edblognz Week 2 Challenge 1

Rather late in the piece because my head is buzzing so this will be a quickie! Just waiting for my breakout to start the morning after the night before! And what a night it was. Ulearn15 put on the razzlemadazzle once again out on the high seas with cutlass wielding pirates, rum tipsy sailors, shimmering, glimmering jellyfish, the “undead” of the Titanic and the crowd favourite “out of the box” thinking Pavarotti. He got my vote and the Twitterati vote – almost trending for the evening!

tweet

But this post isn’t about the Gala Dinner.  One of the challenges was to find two blogger I admire, take a selfie with them and then write a blog.  The first blogger I met as I entered Sky City on Tuesday morning was the MAGICAL Anne Kenneally who amazes me with her passion and excitement. This comes through in her tweets, her FB posts and her blogs.  I didn’t buy her a coffee but I did get her safely to the Twitter Dinner!

20151006_095552

My other inspiring blogger is actually one of a special groups of people: my fellow #efellows14. Marnel Van der Spuy is such a passionate teacher. Her sheer joy of teaching and learning is infectious and inspiring.

efellows 14

Have a read of their blogs, and connect with them on twitter @annekenn @1mvds. Be inspired!

Is school toxic to learning?

whirlpool editLast Thursday I went to a lecture by Guy Claxton at the University of Waikato entitled,

“Topsy Turvy Education: The Challenge of Embodied Cognition”.

To be honest, I didn’t really know what the title meant.  I mean, what is “embodied cognition”?
However, I have read and enjoyed the ideas in Claxton’s book “New kinds of Smart“, and was interested in hearing what he had to say.  He is an easy person to listen to, softly spoken, but clear, fluent and engaging.  He seems down to earth and he speaks knowledgeably and convincingly.  A small, discrete venue helped – there were maybe 40 people at most in the lecture theatre in the Education Faculty building – and so the discussion after his talk was dynamic and uninhibited.

The thrust of his idea is, put very simplistically,  that there is a disjunct between school and the real world.  That school does not prepare its learners for life beyond the four limiting walls of the classroom, that we are not equipping our children to be “lifelong learners”.  That in school we still follow a Victorian, industrial model of education that focuses on content,  learning “about” stuff, and that there is a natural order in which content should be “learned” (“elementitis”).  The brain or the mind is seen in isolation from the body, the senses, our environment, our experiences, our culture, and we assess “intelligence” by how effectively students regurgitate content and disembodied “knowledge”.  Claxton suggested that “Teaching is toxic for Learning” – I can’t quite remember who he referenced that quote to, but he referred to Sugata Mitra who said,

The Victorians were great engineers. They engineered a [schooling] system that was so robust that it’s still with us today, continuously producing identical people for a machine that no longer exists.

victorian education

Claxton talked about “Interoceptive awareness“,  the idea of neural connectedness, that the body is the brain, and that intelligence is dependent on more than just knowledge.  

One of my favourite ideas was that of thoughts “unfurling” or “welling up” –  they don’t just happen, they arrive as a gradual unfurling like a leaf.  Emotions trigger responses, thoughts and ideas take time whilst we get on with other, often mundane, repetitive things.  Then ideas or solutions to problems may pop into our heads “out of the blue” – like a bud bursting into flower. In reality, the process has actually been happening for a while but that “pop” is the culmination of the thought process – see Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind.

I also liked the idea that the skin is a constant site of trading, it is not a boundary – our knowledge is not something that can be picked up and put down somewhere else because it is part of our experiences which help shape what our knowledge is and who we are. Our knowledge is also dependent on the people we interact with, the ideas we interconnect with, the places we live and work and play.  A great analogy was that “You can’t take a whirlpool home in a bucket” – it might look like an object but it is dependent on its situation, it is a part of things that are happening around it and they are a part of it – the repercussions, reactions, sparking of ideas bouncing around like a pinball game.

This made me wonder, as I was writing up my notes, whether knowledge can be taken home or into an examination hall? Or, if knowledge is connected with so much else, if it is contextual, experiential, dependent on understanding and if our understanding of concepts is dependent on the interconnections with our experiences, our culture, our senses, with how we percieve the world to be and with our instincts …  where does that leave teachers who “impart knowledge”?  

My notes are somewhat erratic but I have endeavoured, at least, to put them into some order.  If you want to read more and access the links to the many references Guy suggested, here are my Evernotes

Measles…..or what are you waiting for?

Hamilton is in the grip of a measles “pandemic”.  Well let us not exagerate;

dictionary definition of the word pandemic

 

Advertising Campaign poster 1940s by H E Bateman showing people in a railway carriage with someone coughing and not using a handkerchief
Advertising Campaign poster 1940s by H E Bateman

The total cases in Hamilton on 18th June as reported in the New Zealand Herald was 60.  However, the panic that has resulted may well be described as “pandemic” as schools scramble to accrue evidence of immunisation from students and staff and, I suspect, but only have anecdotal evidence, that Dr’s surgeries are scrambling to get supplies of the MMR vaccine to administer to those who are currently unimmunised.

However, I am being flippant because measles is a very unpleasant disease – I do know that because I remember suffering from it as a child in the 1960s, and it is a killer.  And it is spread very easily especially in busy places where “coughs and sneezes spread diseases” such as classrooms, hospitals, conferences, cinemas, in fact wherever we go to lead our daily lives.  Already two schools in Hamilton have sent staff and students home who are unimmunised, reduced their timetables, cancelled all sporting fixtures and withdrawn groups from cultural competitions.

So what can we do if we have a measles outbreak and students, or even you, are stuck at home in quarantine?  I wrote this handout for our staff at school and thought that it would be useful to reproduce as a blog – who knows where measles will go next given that the trend has been, over the last few years to either choose not to have our children immunised or to be in a marginalised section of society where access is not easy.

 

There are many staff with young children who may not yet be fully immunised and if the pre-schools and primary schools that they attend are hit they may well find that they have to stay at home with children who need looking after. There are possibly also some staff who are vulnerable because of the time they were born when the MMR vaccine was not yet universally offered, and if we have an outbreak of measles, they will possibly have to stay at home.  Not just teachers either, think of the ground staff, the cleaning staff, the administrative staff; schools may well have to close for at least two weeks but we still have a responsibility to provide opportunities for learning for all those students.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options for providing work to students whether you are in school or at home but  unfortunately, they will require some extra effort on your part and on the students’ part. Here are some suggestions of what we can do. I think it is important that departments pull together on this so that the load does not fall on individual teachers.

Google Docs

If you are already using Google docs and your classes are set up then you can provide all your resources to those students who are quarantined.  You can upload photos of notes on the whiteboard into your Google docs or save pdfs of smartboard notes. Students can continue to work on coursework and you can provide feedback using the comments function or if you would like to use verbal feedback try using the Kaizena add on.

You can see how the students are getting on by creating quizzes using Google Forms which you can grade using Flubaroo.  Goobric is a great way of providing formative feedback.

If you are feeling brave have a go at using Screenr or Jing to create videos of key teaching points and upload them to your Youtube channel and share them with students. Keep them short though; research shows that students lose interest or don’t even start watching if the video is more than eight minutes long.

Edmodo

Some people are using Edmodo which is a great way of communicating with students and sharing resources. You can set up quizzes and assignments and share all your Google docs and videos from one place. Make sure that you share your docs as View only if you don’t want students to edit an original.  If you want students to write on a document remind them to make a copy of the doc, name it and share it back to you.

Google Sites

Google sites are relatively easy to set up but you need to think through how you want to structure it. I have created a template which you can find in the template gallery called “Creating a Google Site” to help you think things through. The Google help sheets are relatively straightforward if you are happy following instructions and have enough time to experiment.

Intranet

In the short term using and intranet might be the easiest option for sharing resources if most of your current resources are Word docs or ppts. Of course these do not have the option of easy feedback or discussion but in a pressure situation at least you are providing the information to your students.

Other students

Why not also use the students in your class to help you share resources? They might be able to video a science experiment and share it with a friend, or they can record discussions on their phones that they have in small groups in class to share, they can take photos of work that they brainstorm on paper and upload them to a shared Google doc or to Edmodo. You can also get the students in the class to create a shared document and add notes to it from the lesson so that those at home can read them alongside the resources you have shared with them. If there are things that they don’t understand they can ask using the comments function which will encourage those in the lesson to reflect and explain what they learned. Real higher order thinking!

Skype and Hangouts

Maybe you could also Skype or Google hangout your lesson to those stuck at home? Then they really are a part of the lesson and can ask questions and contribute their ideas in real time.

Google Group

You could set up a Google group and have a conversation/discussion that those at home can join in with in real time or use Twitter, Facebook chat or TodaysMeet to involve everyone in a lesson in real time.

Web Tools

Learni.st or Blendspace are great tools to create lessons that students can follow anywhere. You can add resources, links to webpages, videos and your own explanations to create a series of lessons and activities.

I ended up also turning this original google hand out for teachers into an Eduignite presentation and it got me thinking – all these things are what we have been trying to encourage other colleagues to do anyway, why does it need  the threat of a “pandemic” to spur them into action?  But that is a whole other story!

seagull hovering against a clear blue sky with text that saysLearning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all dreamers, learners, doers and teachers. Richard Bach, Illusions

Poets, one and all!

This year, I have added the role of English teacher to my repertoire.  Despite my concerns and anxiety about teaching a subject that I have never taught before, I have had a great time.  I love teaching English. So far. I teach my Yr 9 form class so it is an excellent way to get to know them better.  They have embraced the first term’s unit on poetry and I have been amazed at the poems they have produced.  I am sure that this is nothing to do with my teaching and everything to do with their enthusiasm.  Anyway, I thought it was worth sharing some of their work.   There were so many great ones to choose from and I can’t post them all here but I have chosen three.

The first one is from an activity to explore personification.  The students had a list of nouns and a list of verbs that they had to match up and then craft into a poem.

The sun rising behind a hillside with the beach in the foreground
Dawn over Tapotupotu Bay

Personification Poem by Olivia

Dawn awakes
Splashing colours all over
The blank canvas
Creating an oasis
That smears itself across the sky
Like an artist blending all sorts of colours
Together
With just one simple stroke

The morning sings
As the birds
Begin
Their well-rehearsed song
Tweeting peacefully
Splitting silence
Lingering in the air

As the heat of the day increases
The sun dances across the skies above
Shining it’s rays down
Over the cities below

Crash
The waves smash themselves forcefully
Yet so softly
Against the damp sand
Leaving a splash
Of cold salty spray
Clinging onto particles
Of the dusty golden goodness
The sea whispers softly
Words of encouragement
Filling the ears
Of scared little children
Taking their first steps into the water
Liquid licking their toes
Parents clutching their tiny hands

One mountain
Stands tall
Looking over the green countryside
Like a king overlooking his kingdom
The sky brings a beautiful bright blue
Contrasting with the trees
Dotted over the mountain

A stone sleeps
After a long day
Of hopscotch
As the sun gently melts away
Into darkness
Enveloped by long grass
Slightly swaying in the cool air

Night takes over
Shadows forming
A pitch black darkness spreading
Only once being brightened
As the moon comforts
Murmuring campers
As they await sleep to fall upon them

Stars guide the way to the morning
Leaving a sparkling trail
Like a snail
Twinkling against the black duvet of the sky

This one is Rosie’s final poem. She chose to have a go at a nonsense poem.

two statues of llamas on a traffic island
Llamas in Wellsford

The Llama who thought He was a Man

Stop! Wait. Go back.
Eating grass!
Cut some slack
you’re nuts

I’m not a llama
I don’t eat grass
At least, I don’t think
I have in the past

I am a llama?!
Seriously, cut the joke
You’ve said nothing but tosh
since first you spoke

Oh stop it!
I’m quite sick of this game
You don’t know a thing about humor
You’re jokes are laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame!!!!

Nope, I’m not listening
What childish behaviour
I’m going away now
See you later!

Stop following me, I say!
Please go away!
Can you not hear me at all?

I do believe
You don’t understand
Your listening skills are poor

But perhaps, I wonder
If you do understand
Then why do you insist

On insisting
I have a fury coat
Which my eyesight
Has somehow missed!

Fine, I shall prove it!
Come here to this puddle
I’ll prove I’m no animal
Your brain’s in a muddle

You see, you nutcase
My reflection is fine
I am a huma-
Wait! That face is not mine!

How can it be?
Things shouldn’t be as they are
Something is wrong!
Something is- AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!

I’m a llama! I’m a llama!
What a dreadful sight!
I’m a llama! I’m a LLAMA!
Goodness help me, YOU WERE RIGHT!!!!!!

And finally, Sophie’s poem about camp is full of energy and paints a great picture of what camp was all about.

girls at a campground in a circle trying to sit down on each others knees.
Mass sit down

Year 9 Camp 2014

In bushcraft we made manuka tea
Which I had to skull down on 1, 2, 3
At archery we aimed to hit a bulls eye
But I did not I just hit nearby

In rock climbing we had to climb a big wall
While trying not to think what would happen if we’d fall
If your group didn’t work as a team in ABL
You would realise you were going to be unstable

Mountain Biking had its ups and downs
Which made some of us end up with the browns!!
At raft building we had to float our team
Which in some cases was a bit extreme

You had to be good at mountaineering
To complete the challenge of orienteering
Waka Ama was a race
And we had a hard time to chase

In kayaking falling into the muddy water
Was like watching a lamb at the slaughter
I finished my week with the tramp
Which was a great way to finished such a good camp!