Monday, 21 November 2016

Te Reo, Term 4 2016

This term we have been learning all about the Marae. We have learned that…….

  • The Marae is an important focal point for the community.
  • The Marea is a place where tradition and customs can be carried out.
  • The Marae is a place where people can express their values with dignity.
  • There are many kawa ( protocols) that prevail on the marae.
  • Marae kawa (protocols) can differ between maraes and iwi.


We have focused on some key concepts when doing this learning.
These are listed and explained in the table below.

Concept
Definition -
give the meaning of these concepts in your own words.
Tikanga
They have a specific order of doing things.
Pōwhiri
It is a ceremony to welcome the guests that are visiting the Marae.
Tangata whenua
It is like the ancestors that were on a Marae.
Manuhiri
It is the visitors that are on the Marae.
Tūrangawaewae
The rights to stand on a Marae.
Whanaungatanga
The family members that are connected to a Marae.
Manaakitanga
Caring for the elders.
Aroha
The love and giving for others.

See this video for an explanation of the roles and responsibilities of people on a marae.

Something I would like to learn more about the marae is how often are there visitors that come on the Marae.


Monday, 14 November 2016

Maths Assessment

WALT: Find Fractions, Decimals and Percentages
Maths Assessment Task 
Maths Assessment Task Answers
Problem Solving Activity
Maths IXL Screenshots
Something I learnt in this maths goal was to use multiplication to solve percentages.
Something I found challenging in this maths goal was the Use Multiplication and Division to estimate and solve fractions because estimating is more challenging then putting the actual answer in.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

NZ Identity Treaty Of Waitangi



3 Things I Found Interesting:

1. That the treaty is still used today
2. Their are multiples of copies for the Treaty Of Waitangi.
3. Our treaty is between the British Crown and the Maori.

What if you don't sign the treaty and you don't follow it?

Thursday, 20 October 2016

NZ Identity Parliament

This term we have been learning about Parliament. We have looked at the difference between government and parliament, NZ parliament, who is in government, how our government works and we compared democracy to dictatorship.

Three things that I learned are NZ parliament are:

  • That the prime minister sits in the fourth seat to the speaker on the right side.(John Key)
  • NZ is a democracy meaning that we all get a say.
  • The person that sits on the fifth seat to the right of the speaker is the leader of the house.(Jerry Brownlee)

Here is the link to my compare and contrast map explaining the difference between democracy and dictatorship.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Librarian Distinction #4

On Monday the first day of term 4, I had my librarian duty on at lunch. When I first went in the library I saw a lot of books that needed to be returned and put away. Firstly I put all the books back that was on the returned shelf, then I started returning the books that needed to be returned and put away. Once I finally finished putting the books away I went on and started issuing other peoples books. It was kinda loud in the library and not the best for this duty but it got quite at some stage. There were mostly picture books and senior fictions to put away and not that much junior fictions. After it was time to pack up I saw a lot of books on the ground and also some cushions and pieces of papers aswell. The library duty wasn't as enjoyable but I still got some books through.

I showed community by helping put away leftover cushions and books and grabbed pieces of papers and dumped them in the bin. There were a lot of rubbish and books lying around so before I went out I just picked them up. It wasn't a lot of fun but I still did it.

I showed leadership by turning up to my duty on time even though I couldn't be bothered to turn up because being a librarian needs responsibility and I had to deal with it even though I didn't want to turn up to my duty.

I was being a role model by showing up to my duty and doing it with pride and not mucking around talking to my friends a lot. I knew I had to focus and do what I was supposed to be doing instead of playing around with my friends and being off-tasked.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Koru Games Reflection

The sport I was evolved in was Volleyball.

My two highlights of the Koru Games was meeting new people because we got to play a friendly with other people form different schools and I meet a friend called Macy. My other highlight was getting the ball over the net when it was coming back to us.

I was most proud of my serves because I could serve the ball over the net and only missed a few.

Next year I want to get better at that same sport and improve more on my serves and try make it for team 1.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

PALS Distinction #3

On Wednesday at lunch, Alex, Wariesha and I, set up a game of small field football for the juniors. At the start they were a bit crazy and excited for the game to start, so we got through with the instructions fast and went on with the game. We had two even teams named bibs and non bibs and paper scissors rocked to see which team had to start. It was a really fun game to whatch and there were no major issues to deal with. Pretty much the whole game they got stuck into it. They made it really easy to ref by following instructions and fair play. They all did a good job and I gave out a lot of pozis to them. This is one of the most successful PALS activities for the year. Some of the juniors helped us out packing up the cones and bibs.

I showed excellence by running the game with pride and representing the leadership role with good attitude. I listened to any coments they made about the game and didn't take sides of what they were saying. 

I showed leadership by being goal focused and not letting anyone distract me because there were a lot of distractions around the game. I was focused into the game making sure the juniors were honest. I also showed leadership by turning up to my duty on time and setting up the field just before 1:10.

I was a role model by setting an example to the little kids how much pride we have to run a PALS actives for the juniors as it is one of the leadership roles. I showed them what behavior they're supposed to have and also making sure they have honesty and fair play.


Friday, 9 September 2016

CARE: My progress so far



The CARE award that I am working towards is Silver


The one area of CARE that I am doing best in is Excellence because i have more ticks in that area than the other ones.


The one area of CARE that I need to work harder in is Community because i don't really have as much in community.


To show my leadership qualities I am a role model to others in the CARE values by doing/showing these leadership traits: Active Thinker, Resilience,Trustworthy, Goal Focused, Integrity and motivational.


On the CARE SOLO matrix below I am at this SOLO level: Extended Abstract because: i can role model to others how to show the care values respectfully.


Prestructural

Unistructural

Multistructural

Relational

Extended Abstract
I am not aware of the CARE values yet.
I know what the CARE values mean.

I need help to use them.
I can use the CARE values.


I need reminding to use them.
I can use the CARE values independently.
I can use the CARE values independently.

I can role model to others how to use the CARE values.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Alex and Tracy's Manderin Counting 1-20

Alex and Tracy's Manderin Counting 1-20

Librarian Distinction #3

On Monday, at lunch, I had librarian duty on.there were lots of books to put away and lots of returning too. The first thing I did was putting the books away. There were mainly senior fictions to put away. Once I've done all the books I did I little bit of the returning. Then I checked the shelves to see if they were right. I fixed some books that were In the wrong place and were upside down aswell. This Library duty is a lot more easier than some other librarian duties. I also help a girl find the book she needed. Near the end there were a few people who wanted books issued and returning books too. I also had a book out for myself aswell. I library was pretty chilled and not much as a catastrophe like some other times.

I showed Excellence by running the library with pride even if I didn't want to do it, I don't moan I went with it and carried on with the job. I also helped out a lot of people who needed help with finding books or issuing.

I showed leadership by being goal focused and trustworthy. I was goal focused because I only did the jobs that needed to be done and focusing on what I'm doing and not mucking around with my friends. I was being trustworthy by showing I can be trusted to work in the library without Mrs Ward in the library.

I was being a role model to others by having the right level of noise for the library and not messing around with the job I was giving. I was setting an example of the correct noise level for the library and not shouting across the room.


Friday, 26 August 2016

Must do Distinction #2

On Tuesday I went to technology in the mornings. I traveled on bus to Lincoln Primary School. I was in the sowing/design group and we made paper patterns. We also talked about safety around needles, machines, pins etc. We all had to do a test before we start making our own textiles creations. I learnt how to thread the sowing machine so we can start sowing. I didn't get it at the start but now I know how to thread the machine with no problems. My favourite part of the lesson was making the paper patterns with the fabric. There were a lot of fabrics to choose from. I got a purple ish pinky indigo color for my fabric to use. First, we had to choose our fabric, then, we had to get a big piece of pear and draw a kind if shape on it, then, cut the shape out and press it down on the edge of the fabric, and finally, cut the fabric out.

I showed excellence by getting the paper pattern done and trying my hardest to complete sowing tasks from the teacher. Even if I found it hard I gave it a go with different fabrics. If I keep practising I'll get better at it. It was my first time working with fabrics and needles and sowing so it was a struggle.

I showed leadership by doing what I was supposed to be doing and not mucking around when I haven't finished. I was being fair to others who needed help for the teacher to come round and not go to me all the time.

I was being a role model by listening to instructions so i will be safe and making sure I'm being safe so I don't hurt myself doing the sowing task. I was also getting on with what I was supposed to be doing instead of talking to my friends so much.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Reading Grammatical Constructions

I can recognize and understand a variety of grammatical constructions and some rhetorical patterns


In this unit I have been learning about:
  • The parts of speech.
  • The types of nouns.
  • The types of sentences.


In this unit, I found challenging the test because its hard to get my revision back from so long.

Something new I learnt was different types of nouns like proper nouns, pronouns etc.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Using a range of multiplicative strategies

In Maths we have been learning to use a range of multiplicative strategies when operating with whole numbers.




The strategies we have been learning are:


- Estimate the reasonableness of large problems like 1 788 – 891. Could 497 be right?
- Use multiplication to solve addition and subtraction problems eg.
  64 – 48 = as (8 x 8) – (6 x 8) = 2 x 8= 16
- Use doubling / halving, trebling/ thirding and adjusting to solve multiplication problems,
 eg.  12 x 50 solved as 4 x 150= 600
- Use an algorithm to solve multiplication problems.
- Solve problems using simple cube numbers .
- Use an algorithm to solve division problems.
- Use standard written form of addition.


Here is a link to my Multiplicative Strategies Assessment which shows that I know why and how I use particular strategies. This doc also has screenshots to show which IXL activities I have completed as part of my learning.



My next step in my Maths Learning is to remember all the strategies and using them to help me figure other maths problems.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

PALS Distinction #2

On Wednesday,1:10 at lunch, Alex, Wariesha and I had our PALS duty on. The field was closed so we had to use the junior courts for our junior PALS activity. We did skipping activities and Wariesha and I did the long rope. When we placed all the ropes down, we had lots of kids come along to get involved which made me happier. I gave out a heap of pozis to the people who were getting involved properly and the people who could jump to 20 on the long rope. The juniors are actually really good at jump rope. We saw a lot of people having fun with the ropes and playing fun games with it too, like helicopter. When the bell rang, all the students went back to their calasses except from a few who helped up pack up.

I showed respect to the other students by being patient with them and giving them pozis for being good or helping out for the activities. I was also letting them have fun while giving out pozis to the children.

I showed leadership by turning up to my duty on time even if the field's closed. I also showed leadership by helping out any juniors who are stuck; wether it's getting untied or something else. This is leadership because we can help out anyone if they're stuck.

I was being a role model by running the skipping activity positively with a positive attitude. I rolled model to the juniors how to be fair and respectful when running an activity like this.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Maths Measurement Assessment

Answers:
1. 4 x 9. Perimeter all added up= 36
2. 6 x 8. Perimeter all added up= 28
3. 3
Rich Assessment Task: WALT:  Use side or edge lengths to find the perimeters and areas of rectangles, parallelograms, and triangles and the volumes of cuboids.

Complete the 3 problems below on a blog post and then press submit on Google classroom. 
The best possible outcome


Problem 3:




Monday, 25 July 2016

Librarian Distinction #2

On Monday, all the librarians gathered up in the library to talk about a new website. It is a library website that we were going to use to teach other students how to use it. Mrs Ward talked us through it and taught us how to use it. She showed us around the website and some cool things we can do on it. Some things I learnt were how to reserve a book on the website and how to search for any book you want. You can also check what books you've got out on a list on the website. We got to play around with it to get us use to it since we're going to teach other classes how to use the website.
After the meeting, we still had time to do a little bit of the librarian job before the bell rang. I helped put some books back and sort out the shelves.

I showed Active Thinking by helping keep the library tidy and using my inishitive to pick up any dirty bits on the floor in the library. I picked up books, cushions, rubbish and fixed some shelves.

I showed leadership by showing I can do this and not mucking round the library when mrs ward was showing us the website. I was listening well so I know what to do when I have to teach the other classes about this website.

I have been a role model by sitting quietly and on the mat and not interrupting what mrs ward was saying. I showed others how to be respectful and listening to the instructions.



Friday, 8 July 2016

Term 2 Te Reo Reflection







Unistructural

     


Multistructural


Relational

Extended Abstract
I can say 1-5 words about celebrations in te Reo Maori.  
With help, I can ask and answer several questions about celebrations, using te Reo Maori.
I can ask and answer several questions about celebrations,using Te Reo Maori.
I can ask and answer a range of questions about celebrations,using Te Reo Maori. I can teach others these questions and answers.


In Te Reo this term I have been learning about using vocabulary around food (Kai) and celebrations (Ngā hākari)


Here are some sentences, with english translation in brackets, that I can say confidently (list 3-4).

  1. He pai ki a koe te/ngā _______?    Do you like _______?
  2. He pai ki a koe ngā/te aporo?- Do you like apples?
  3. He aha te mea pai, ki a koe kei to pāti?
    (What do you like about your party?) 

I describe a what an adverbial clause is

For reading I have been learning about adverbial clauses. I have found this learning pretty easy because I knew what it meant pretty fast and the activity was quite easy.


In this activity, I had to highlight the adverbial clauses in the sentences to show that I can understand it.

Librarian Distinction #1

On Monday at lunchtime, I had my librarian duty on. When I first walked in the library, I saw a lot of books needed to be put away. So that's what I did, in fact every time, we start the duty by placing books back onto the shelves. After all that was done, it was time for issuing and returning. Quite a few people wanted books out. I helped them issue it. I also went to the back if there was any problems but nope, no problems. The library was pretty quiet. Okay, now it's time to pack up. At 1:20 we pack up the library and let the people go. My duty was pretty easy.

I showed community by helping others issue their books and cleaning some parts of the library. I placed a lot of cushions back to where they belong and helping others pack at the end of library time.

I showed leadership by making sure everyone was doing the right thing and not being too loud in the library. I didn't really have to talk to many people about noise level because it was pretty quiet in the library as usuall.

I have been a role model to others by respecting the library how it was supposed to be respected. I also showed pride in my duty an how a responsible librarian should be like.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Must Do Distinction #1

On Tuesday, we had technology in the mornings and I did food technology. When we first got there, in the food technology space, we had to sit down in our groups of four and wait for the next instruction. My group of four was me Lachlan, Alex and James. Mrs Weston, our food tech teacher, let us choose our own recipe to cook. We chose kiwi fruit cinnamon scones. After that, we had to get out the utensils needed and the ingredients. It was really fun cooking because I got to roll out the dough and rub in the mixture. At the end just before we baked it, it looked revolting; but after it got out of the oven, it looked way better.

I showed Active Thinking by listening to the teacher when she was giving out instructions. I was doing very good and helping others listen so we can get on with the cooking, or we wouldn't know what to do. I was quite happy at the end because I follow the instructions carefully.

I showed leadership by not mucking around and doing what I was supposed to be doing. I follow the instructions very carefully and to get the most of it.

I have been a role model by helping others when they needed help. I tried my best to help others with measuring and other stuff. I wasting attention and not messing around with ingredients and utensils.

PALS Distinction #1

On Wednesday at lunch, I had my PALS duty on. Before 1:10, we got the gear set up ready to go. Alex and I had junior PALS, which that meant we had to play games with juniors or Kakano. We played Small Field Football and surprisingly ALOT of people came to play. During the game, more people came to give it a go. We had a fair play and the students enjoyed it. They were all happy and got on with the game when there was an issue. At the end, I gave out a lot of pozis to the students.

I showed excellence by running the game with pride and turning up to my duty on time. I didn't miss my duty even though I couldn't be bothered. 

I showed leadership by playing fairly and making sure everyone was honest. There were no injuries as we took care of everyone and helped them play safely. They all know and agreed on the rules so I think I did a good job at explaining 

I have been a role model by doing my duty properly and not mucking around. I was focused on the game and not letting any distractions come to my head. I was demonstrating the important traits of a leader.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

WALT apply the techniques of improvisation to a range of different scenarios.

Improvisation TECHNIQUES that I have used successfully are, to always say yes because if you don't, it ruins the scene of whats happening.


Improvisation TECHNIQUES that I would like to have more practice at is body language because I don't really face the audience much.


The thing that I enjoyed most about this unit of learning was the improvisation games because it was fun and it helps you build more confidence in Drama.


The thing that I found most challenging during this unit of learning was coming up with ideas in the improvisation because if someone steals your idea its hard to think of another one.


My favorite improvisation game was the Doorbell one because its funny to see different accents and its a great acting one too.

My next step/ something I need to work on further  in improvisation is to make more eye contact with the audience so then they feel connected to the scene.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Librarian Excellence #10

On Monday, at lunch, I went to the library to do my duty. As always, I needed to put the books back on the shelf to start with. After putting them away, I issued some peoples books. A few people asked me where to find the books they were looking for. For example, Rainbow Magics, Beast Boys and Bear Grylls.There were also a lot of returning going on, as the children enter in the library. I liked issuing and returning so that shouldn't be a problem. 

I demonstrated respect by answering people's questions respectfully and showing them where to get the book.

I was an active thinker by doing the right thing and sticking to the job.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

PALS Excellence #10

On Wednesday, at lunch, Wariesha, Alex and I, grabbed out the skipping ropes for the juniors for our PALS duty. Firstly, a lot of juniors came to us when we were holding the skipping ropes. We told them to wait on the junior courts ready for us to come. When I put a bunch of skipping ropes on the ground, a lot of juniors rushed to grab one. We also did two stations of long rope where people skip in the middle while two people twist the ends. There were a lot of people involved in it so I was really happy. Although, they did make a mess in the end, but we cleaned it up.

I showed community by cleaning up the skipping ropes at the end and putting them back away.

I showed integrity by making sure everyone gets a rope and not left out, and I think I did pretty good on that.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Student Led Conference Reflection

The things I enjoyed most about my student led conference was showing my parents the tests because I got good results and it was easy to do that step.

I thought my writing went well because they understand what I'm trying to show them and some of it was my best writing from terms 1 and 2. 

What were the challenges you faced when preparing and presenting your SLC?
Trying to get them to listen and not to laugh. 

I would try to improve my slides so it will have more information so I wouldn't get stuck on what to say next.



Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Librarian Excellence #9

On Monday, I had my librarian duty at lunch. As always, I start placing books away back onto its shelf. There are always a lot of books at the start, but then we get through them at the end. My favourite type of books to put away are the senior fiction ones. I also helped with some issuing, returning and reserving. After that, I wondered around the library to see how everything is going. It was going pretty well. I looked at the time, and it was time to pack up! I went over to all the people in the library and asked them politely to pack up. There was a big line of people who wants their book issued.

I showed Active Thinking by doing the right thing and getting on with my duty. 

I was resilent because I kept on going even though I had a lot of stuff to get through in the library.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

PALS Excellence #9

On Wednesday, at lunch, I played a game of small field soccer for PALS. We only had one person at first, but en during the game a lot more people came to play. Alex, Wariesha and I, joined in the game and had lots of fun. At the start, I thought this game would fail with this less people. Thankfully it was a success and we got on with the game before the bell rung. Success!!

I was resilient by not giving up even if we thought the game wouldn't work.

I showed integrity by joining in the game to make the teams fair.

Monday, 20 June 2016

WALT use a range of multiplicative strategies.

In Maths we have been learning to use a range of multiplicative strategies when operating with whole numbers.
The strategies we have been learning are:
- Estimate the reasonableness of large problems like 1 788 – 891. Could 497 be right?
- Use multiplication to solve addition and subtraction problems eg.
   64 – 48 = as (8 x 8) – (6 x 8) = 2 x 8= 16
- Use doubling / halving, trebling/ thirding and adjusting to solve multiplication problems,
  eg.  12 x 50 solved as 4 x 150= 600
- Use an algorithm to solve multiplication problems.
- Solve problems using simple cube numbers .
- Use an algorithm to solve division problems.
Here is a link to my multiplicative strategies assessment which shows that I know why and how I use particular strategies. This doc also has screenshots to show which IXL activities I have completed as part of my learning. 
My next step in my Maths Learning is learn strategies for long division. 

Librarian Excellence #8

On Monday, at lunch, I ran to the library to do my duty. When I first went in, I saw there was ALOT of books to put away. I thought in my head, that I'm going to be busy today. So I placed all the books back with a little help from Alicia. There were a lot of senior fiction books to put away. After all the books are put away, I issued and returned a lot of people's books. I like the issuing part because I liked using the scanner.

I showed communication by communicating with others and getting on with it.

I was showing active thinking by doing my duty first and then talk to my friends.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

PALS Excellence #8

On Wednesday, just before 1:10, Alex, Wariesha and I, set up a game of Cones Up, Cones Down with the kakano. It was a quick and easy game to play. They listened to the instructions but didn't really follow them. For the first round, the boys won, but the second round, the girls won. It was quite fun running the game. There wasn't as much issues. We quickly snuck in a quick game of octopus just before the bell rung. The octopus was a bit better Thant the Cones Up Cones Down game.

I was being self aware by being at my duty at the right time.

I was an active thinker by thinking of different strategies to make this game go well.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Librarian Excellence #7

On Monday, as soon as I finished my lunch, I headed straight to the library to do my duty. There were a lot of books to put away. I started with the senior fictions since there was a lot of them to put back. It took me quite a while. There were a lot of kids who wanted some books, so I helped them issue it. I also read to some little kids who wanted me to read to them. I also went around the library to see if everything is going okay. There were a lot of people in the library and there were no problems.

I was being self aware by going to the right place at the right time. 

I was goal focused by working on the things I needed to do instead of things that are not necessary.
 


Wednesday, 8 June 2016

PALS Excellence #7

On Wednesday, at lunch, me, Alex and Wariesha, set up a game of Capture The Flag for the kauri PALS activity. We used cones for the flags and the setup and we used bibs to separate the two different teams. I was quite happy about the amount of people who came. There were a mix of boys and girls from different kauri year levels. Although the amount was good, but the instructions and rules needs improving. The boys wanted to do a boys vs girls round, and we were fine with it. Me and Wariesha joined in and Alex would stay and watch the game. It went pretty well and a lot of people enjoyed too. I gave out heaps of pozis to the people who were playing fair.

I was connecting and sharing ideas with my group on how this is going to work when we were stuck.

I was resilient because I kept the game going even if I didn't want to do it anymore. The end was more successful.


Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Year 7/8 Standard: Reading Assessment task

WALT: I can use a wide range of comprehension strategies to understand text such as: - using their prior knowledge, along with information in the text, to interpret abstract ideas, complex plots, and sophisticated themes - gathering, evaluating, and synthesising information across a small range of texts - identifying and resolving issues that come from competing information in texts
Complete both texts and write the answers in your own words.
TASK 1 - read the text about Sneakairs

TEXT: EasyJet's Smart "Sneakairs" Makes Sightseeing Effortless

What I already know about navigating with maps?
  • It can be accessed on a device.
  • It is useful for going to far away places.
  • Can be on paper.
Who created “Senakairs?”?
EasyJet
How do the “Sneakairs” work?
  • you enter in the place you want to go and the the sneakairs will take you there using the GPS.
How do “Sneakairs” help tourists visiting a new city or town?
  • you don't need to look at a map.
  • it allows you to explore new cities and towns.
What challenge does easyJet need to overcome before “Sneakairs” can go mainstream?
  • The EasyJet team, still needs to adjust the prototypes. The smart shoe has a 3 hour use and is hardly enough for a tourist to explore cities and towns.
Can you think of any other uses for smart shoes like Sneakairs? - (give at least 2)
  • Improves your running.
  • good for sport that involves a lot of action.
Can you think of a better invention than Sneakairs to help us navigate places? Why is that invention better than Sneakairs?
  • mini bending tracking device that can lead to any place at all and can fit in your pocket easily. You dont have to worry about breaking the sneakairs and the mini bending tracking device comes in all sorts of colors, any color you want.


TASK 2: The purpose of this task is to identify details that support a main idea.
A main idea that the author David Hill often explores is: New Zealand's natural environment, and how awesome (impressive and amazing) and powerful it can be.
Read the following passages from pages 7, 8 and 9 of "The Sleeper Wakes" by David Hill.
a) Find details in the text that support this main idea. Underline these details.
b) Think about what the 'sleeper' is, and how it would 'wake' up. Highlight details in the text that suggest this development.
Two girls stood with their parents by a car, watching him. So Corey tried to look cool and expert, and he started up the track behind his father.
The blunt pyramid of Mt Taranaki lifted into a blue winter sky. Snow softened the cliffs where lava had flowed, thousands of years ago. High up towards the summit, the ridge of The Lizard showed where more lava had crawled downwards before cooling and setting.
Corey lowered his gaze to the 4WD track twisting up the mountain's north-east flank. Packed grey and green trees rose on either side. After just ten metres, all sounds from the carpark faded away. Only the crunch of their boots broke the silence.
Three steps ahead, his Dad walked steadily. He wore a woollen hat and green Gortex jacket to keep out the June cold. Warwick Lockyer, Department of Conservation Field Officer; expert on Mt Taranaki; tramper and climber.
His father loved this mountain. He loved its silences and stories, the way it tested people. Corey felt the same way. Being up here was the greatest feeling in the world. Pity some other people couldn't see it that way.
* * *
After 30 minutes' climbing, they paused, took deep breaths, and gazed around. The trees were lower. Tangled, waist-high shrubs had taken over, crammed together for shelter, tops flattened by the wind. In summer, white and yellow flowers blazed here, flowers that grew nowhere else in the world. Now everything huddled beneath winter snow.
Far below, the towns glinted like little grey models – New Plymouth, Inglewood, Stratford. Off to the left, the Tasman Sea was a sheet of grey steel.
On the horizon, blue-and-white shapes shouldered upwards: the peaks of Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe, Tongariro. Corey thought of Riki, the other DoC Field Officer. From Riki, he'd heard how Mt Taranaki once stood beside those other volcanoes, fought with them for the love of beautiful Mt Pihanga, then marched away in anger after losing the fight. Hardly any Maori people lived along the line between Ruapehu and Mt Taranaki; they believe that one day, Taranaki would head back in the fire and smoke to find his love again.
Corey stood listening to the silence. A puff of wind slid past. A pebble, loosened by the morning sun probably, dropped from an icy bank nearby.
'Awesome day,' Corey said.
His father nodded. 'Pity Dean couldn't make it.'
Corey glanced up at the dazzling white summit. Dean was a volcanologist who monitored New Zealand's North Island volcanoes to see if any eruptions seemed likely. He came to visit two or three times a year, even though nothing ever happened on Mt Taranaki.
Corey's father was gazing upwards, too. He stretched, and grinned at his son. 'Come on, mate. We're sleepier than this mountain.'