Writing Diary Entries: Year 5 Students Responding To Anthony Browne’s Voices In The Park

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Watching me using Anthony Browne’s wonderful picture book Voices in the Park as a catalyst for character writing, Sue Fennell (a teacher of Year 5 students at Lower Hutt’s Eastern Hutt School) was inspired to use the text as a way into diary writing by her students.  Sue loved the book; she assumed her students would love it as well … Read More

Exploring Your Inner Self Through Writing: A Year 7-8 Classroom Story

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Earlier in 2022 I was in Robert Raynes’ Year 7-8 class in Howick Intermediate (a decile 9 school in Howick, Auckland) when I noticed some very attractive and interesting student texts hanging from the ceiling.  I asked Robert (a provisionally registered teacher) what they were about and he introduced me to a picture book called My Shadow is Pink by … Read More

Creating A Matariki Wish: Some Writing From Ne-Year 1 Students

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In September last year, I described and illustrated 3 creative and highly motivating writing lessons that Nicola Blight from Newton Central School had undertaken with her New Entrant and Year 1 students.  I was in Nicola’s class again last term and I saw something else that bowled me over. Like many teachers across Aotearoa, Nicola was using the occasion of … Read More

Term 3 2022 Update

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Kia ora tatou As challenging as it was, I hope that you had a reasonable Term 2 and that Term 3 (which we are well into now) will be a good one for you. Contents Term 2 Recap Exciting New Resource Launched ! New Video Lessons, Classroom Story & Arts Blog Looking Ahead Term 2 Recap Term 2 was good for … Read More

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

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