Meeting Room 14 in New Zealand

It was 7 pm Wednesday night and we were back in the classroom – parents, students and a few siblings.  A buzz of excitement was in the air because we would soon be speaking live on Skype to our collaborative buddies from Auckland, New Zealand.  For Room 14, it was 11 am on Thursday and they had just finished their morning tea.  Each child brought in something to share, either a personal item or something about our life and country, and we took turns talking.  Even after our year long online collaborations, we learned so much about New Zealand in this live session!  Here are some of those interesting facts:

  • New Zealand is made up of 2 islands.  The northern island (where our buddies live) only experiences 3 seasons: summer, winter and spring.  But the southern island experiences all 4 seasons because they are closer to Antarctica.  High temperatures in the summer are around 26 degrees Celsius which would be in the low 80’s here.  Low temperatures in the winter are about 17 degrees Celsius which would be in the 60’s here.   They are the exact opposite of us with July being their coldest month and January being the hottest month.
  • There are 48 volcanoes in their country and a few are still active
  • Their country is very diverse and it is one of the safest in the world
  • With a population of only 4 million people, their country is 1/3 the size of our state! (PA population is about 12 million)
  • Instead of a president, they have a prime minister and his name is John Key.  He lives in a regular house, only has one guard, and can often be found walking the streets talking to residents of his country.
  • New Zealand’s big “boss” is the Queen as they are part of the Commonwealth of England
  • Their country is on a fault line so they do experience earthquakes.  Christchurch experienced a very severe one last year and they have still not recovered from it.
  • Point View Elementary School has 850 students and it goes from Year 1 to Year 6 with 4 or 5 of each grade.  They wear uniforms that are their school colors of green, red and black.
  • They play many outdoor sports including soccer, netball, hockey, swimming, basketball, track, tennis, skiing etc.
  • We like some of the same books but we also shared some different ones.  We like the same TV shows, singers, and computer games.

Thanks so much Mrs. Rivett and Room 14!  We had a fantastic time talking to you and we look forward to our continued collaborations through our blogs for Chiplet and Fantail!


Mrs. Rivett’s class designed some really nice posters to teach us even more information about their country.  Check it out on their WIKI

Collaborations with New Zealand

This year we have been collaborating with Mrs. Rivett’s Year 3 class from the Point View Primary School in Auckland, New Zealand.  In the fall, our students connected through a wiki, exchanging Flat Stanley’s and by chatting in Edmodo.  During the Christmas season, the Kiwi class went on summer break.  For our collaborations with the new group of students in Room 14, we each mailed out a stuffed animal common in our area but not in the other country.  So my class sent Chiplet the chipmunk to New Zealand and Mrs. Rivett sent us a beautiful fantail bird.  Each student takes a turn spending time at home with the animal and we post stories and photos so the other class can see the adventures that each animal is having in the other country.  Click the links below to visit those blogs.  Parents and friends, feel free to comment on either blog to let us know what you think.  Next week we will be Skyping with Mrs. Rivett’s class so check back for photos and video of that exciting event.

Fantail’s Adventures in the USA

Chiplet’s Kiwi Adventures

Stanely’s Return from New Zealand

We were so happy when our package of Flat Stanley’s returned from New Zealand! Because of a mix up, they were mailed a month or so late. So we received a package filled with belated Christmas cards and letters about what fun our Stanley’s had in New Zealand. It was interesting to hear about how they spend a summer time Christmas at the beach or a backyard barbecue, swimming and eating ice cream. While we are spending our winter time Christmas wearing sweaters and sitting by the fireplace drinking hot chocolate!

We received a few New Zealand Christmas ornaments – which included a flip flop – and handmade Christmas cards. The cards explained about an interesting tree called the Pohutukawa.

This tree has bright red flower heads from November to January and is sometimes called the New Zealand Christmas tree.