Murray and student
Working With Under-Achieving Writers

This brand new eBook (written by Dr Murray Gadd) was released on 31st January 2020.

SEE INSIDE ~ READ EXTRACT BELOW  – You can also download the sample PDF (8 pages)

This is an 82-page peer-reviewed eBook resource entitled Under-achievement Is Not Inevitable: Working Effectively With Struggling And Reluctant Writers.

It’s written as a reflection and discussion document for school / literacy leaders & teachers and considers different ways of working effectively with students (particularly Years 4-10) who are not always engaged in writing and/or who struggle as developing writers. 

The Main Questions It Poses Are

  • Why do some students (particularly boys and students from minority ethnic groups) under-achieve as developing writers?
  • What are some key actions that teachers can undertake to help raise student engagement, progress and achievement levels in writing?

Who’s This For?

This resource was developed for two main audiences:

  1. For school/literacy leaders who could use the resource to lead professional inquiry and learning amongst their teachers.  To this end, I have written a reading and discussion guide at the beginning and end of all sections. These often include actions for teachers to trial.
  2. For teachers who might want to use the resource to lead their own inquiry around the key questions posed in the resource.  They could use the reading and discussion guide and trial some of the suggested actions as individual teachers.

How Can It Assist Literacy Leaders & Teachers?

The key actions are contextualised in real classroom situations and cover issues related to strategic use of: 

  • Teacher expectations;
  • Topic selection;
  • Instructional strategies;
  • Classroom organisation and management;
  • Classroom environment.

Have a look at some sample pages and think about how you could use it, especially if under-achievement in writing is an issue at your school.

Price Per School / Institution 

All prices are quoted in NZD

– Individual Teacher / Purchaser: $19.99
– School usage small (2 ~ 10 teachers): $90
– School usage medium (11 – 20 teachers): $160
– School usage large (21 – 30 teachers): $240
– School usage large+ (31 or more teachers): $299



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Picture Books For Reading And Writing

This is a list of picture books (including sophisticated picture books) that I use to motivate and engage Year 1-10 students in reading and writing.

For reading, I use them as ‘read to’ books and sometimes as models of what good writers can do. 

For writing, I use them to establish writing ideas and content for and with students.

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Beginning The School Literacy Year
Beginning The School Literacy Year: Some Notes For Teachers

It is surely every teacher’s desire and goal to seek to enable and create success for their students in the classroom. 

The beginning of the new school year can be daunting for students, as well as teachers, with so many new faces, curriculum changes, excitement and a plethora of other distractions.

With regard to literacy goals, it is important to establish a clear understanding from the outset with your students.

You should aim, within the first fortnight of the new school year, to communicate clearly with your students that: 

  • ‘Our job during the year is to become the best readers and writers we can be’.
  • ‘Reading and writing can be fun as well as challenging’.
  • ‘I need to work with you to find out what you’re already good at and what you need to work on so that I can help you’.

In this respect, this document’s aim is to assist teachers by providing typical questions they can ask themselves when preparing for the school literacy year.