Term 2 Update May 2022

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Kia ora In my previous newsletter from February earlier this year, I talked about being ‘in uncertain times’ but also being ‘determined to make 2022 as normal as I can.’  Well, Term One was anything but normal for me, with probably more days postponed or deferred during the term than I actually worked.  I’ve never had a term like this.  … Read More

Feb 2022 update – Welcome to Term One

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Kia ora tatou I want to say welcome to the 2022 school year but I suspect that most of you are ‘well into it’ now.  Although we are in uncertain times – in terms of Covid – I am determined to make 2022 as normal as I can.  I have already undertaken six beginning-of-year courses for teachers as well as several … Read More

Motivating A Reluctant Writer: A Year 5 Story From Stratford School

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Stratford School is a reasonably large, decile 5, full primary school in provincial Taranaki where I have been leading a PLD project in writing since the beginning of this year. As part of this project, I have been demonstrating the launch of writing topics as well as shared writing across several diverse classrooms.  In one of the Year 5-6 classrooms, … Read More

It’s All About The Topic: Two Exciting And Relevant Writing Tasks

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In Term 4 2021, teachers from the two Year 5-6 teams at Golden Sands School (a decile 9 school in Papamoa, Tauranga) shared some writing that super-impressed me.  It particularly bowled me over because much of it was written by students who could generally be described as ‘reluctant writers’.  Some had specific learning disabilities; others were just disengaged with school … Read More

December 2021 Update

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Kia ora koutou colleagues, This will be my final newsletter of 2021 and I hope it finds you all well.  Probably a bit stressed – particularly if you’re an Auckland teacher – but even if you’re not, you’ve undoubtedly got end-of-year ‘requirements’ looming up fast. All’s good with me, and I’m about to undertake my first face-to-face visit to a … Read More

What do students say about writing?

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Most of us would agree on the importance of listening to student voice when developing and implementing a classroom programme.   In the context of an instructional writing programme, this means finding out:  How do my students feel about writing?   How do they feel about themselves as writers?   How do they feel about the writing instruction they receive at school?   Finding … Read More

Being Creative in a Junior Classroom

posted in: Classroom Stories 2

Nicola Blight’s Year 1 classroom at Newton Central School (a multi-cultural inner Auckland school) is a wonderfully creative and vibrant space in which colour, movement, shape and wonderings abound. Nicola – who has been teaching for more than 20 years – continually seeks artifacts and experiences that will challenge her students, deepen their natural curiosity and enable them to express … Read More

Upcoming Security Changes For Membership Subscribers

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Online security is important to us and we will shortly be enhancing our website login security for Membership Subscribers. From 10th November 2021, we will be introducing a technology known as Two Factor Authentication (abbreviated to 2FA). What Is Two Factor Authentication (2FA) When you log in to an account online, you mostly use a simple ‘username and password’ combination to … Read More

A Year 1 Writing Story

posted in: Classroom Stories 0

One of the picture books I use for story writing in my on-line subscription resource (Building Excitement, Engagement and Achievement in Writing with Dr Murray Gadd is Handa’s Hen by Eileen Browne Set in a village in Kenya, it is the story of Handa and her friend Akeyo searching for Handa’s grandmother’s lost hen and it outlines what they discover … Read More

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