Saying Goodbye to 2020 

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2020 was a tough year for all of us, given the two lock-downs that Auckland educators faced during the year as well as the abandonment of overseas travel.  But I finished it nicely.  I’m just completing six weeks of relaxing (mainly at home), reading, swimming, walking and a little bit of socialising.  I hope your break has been good as … Read More

Update on The Arts: Sept 2020 – January 2021

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At the end of my last Arts Update (August 2020), I was part way through reading Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet and about to start David Mitchell’s Utopia Avenue.  I would highly recommend both of these novels, but especially Hamnet. Set in seventeenth-century Warwickshire (England), Hamnet is a beautifully written fictionalisation of the ups and downs of William Shakespeare’s family and particularly … Read More

Play based learning and junior story writing

posted in: Classroom Stories 1

I was astounded by the quality of a set of stories written by Year 1-2 students at Merrin School (situated in Christchurch; decile 8; a high proportion of ESOL students) and asked the teacher (Jeanne Coker) how they had been motivated. Jeanne talked enthusiastically about the importance of play-based learning in their school and how she had developed Learning /Ako … Read More

Update on Murray Gadd Literacy Term 3 2020

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Kia ora koutou, I do hope you’ve all had a great break, getting yourself ready to take on the challenges of the final term.  Yes, it’s been a difficult year hasn’t it, especially for those of us who live in Auckland.  But, as a professional community, I think we’ve done very well.  We’ve taken risks, we’ve found new ways of … Read More

Murray Talks: Explaining the Components of an Instructional Writing Programme

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In this episode of “Murray Talks”, we present an in-depth guide: Explaining the Components of an Instructional Writing Programme.  This supplements and supports a previous Murray Talk: Timetabling and Organising an Instructional Writing Programme, where reference was made to the six “components” of an instructional writing programme.  The original video from that talk is included … Read More

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Murray Talks: Timetabling and Organising Instructional Writing Programme

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In this episode of “Murray Talks”, Dr Murray Gadd talks about timetabling and organising an instructional writing programme. Dr Murray Gadd discusses several approaches to timetabling and organisation and shares two timetabling models in detail. He particularly focusses on the need to differentiate according to students’ diverse needs when approaching timetabling issues. It is supplemented … Read More

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Murray Talks: Beginning The Writing Year

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In this episode of “Murray Talks”, Dr Murray Gadd talks about Beginning The Writing Year and discusses what teachers need to think about and do to begin the school writing year effectively. The talk covers notions around expectations, programme organisation and components, classroom environment and writing activities. It is supplemented by downloadable teacher notes. Get … Read More

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Murray Talks: Topic & Task Selection

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In this episode of “Murray Talks”, Dr Murray Gadd talks about Topic & Task Selection and discusses: How do I devise topics and tasks for instructional writing? How do I ensure that they are meaningful and purposeful for students? Where do my topics and tasks come from? Do I involve my students in topic and … Read More

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Murray Talks: Purposes Text Types and Audiences

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In this episode of “Murray Talks”, Dr Murray Gadd talks about Purposes, Text Types and Audiences and discusses: What purposes for writing and text-types should my students be covering? How do I get my students to reflect on purpose, text-type and audience when exploring a writing task? How do I ensure coverage of writing purposes … Read More

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Murray Talks: Teaching Approaches

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In this episode of “Murray Talks”, Dr Murray Gadd talks about Teaching Approaches and discusses: Language Experience Teacher Writing Shared Writing Guided Writing Independent Writing It is supplemented by downloadable teacher notes. Download the Teacher Notes PDF here  Murray Talks Video

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