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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 days of classroom modelling.  But, like all of us, I am aware that what I am able to do may change from day to day so I need to be flexible.  However it turns out, I hope you have a good year though.

I look ahead to the year and I note that I’ll be working in-depth with 19 schools between Auckland and Christchurch.  I also note that I’m scheduled to lead 7 workshops on ‘being an effective teacher of writing’ for Learning Network NZ across the country.  It would be great to see some of you at these workshops – look at their website and find out when and where they are.  I’m also scheduled to lead at least two sessions for local literacy associations during the year.

I have, however, sadly postponed my working trip to Europe between March to May – for obvious reasons – but have my fingers crossed for 2023.

I have spent several weeks during January and early February working on lots of new documents for my website, principally for those of you who subscribe to my on-line resource.   If you are not yet a member of the subscription resource, you can find out more information here.

New Subscription Resources

Video Lessons:

Three new videoed writing lessons based on three beautiful new picture books:

Teacher notes for all of the above lessons are also now available online.

Murray Talks

Two new linked videoed Murray Talks on the effective teaching of writing:

Downloadable PDF notes to go with the new Murray Talks include templates that could be used for planning, monitoring and assessing.

Updated Previous Resources

I have also added teacher notes to go with two of the reading-writing lessons that I made available to everyone last year through YouTube:

Note however that I have decided not to write teacher notes for the straight ‘read-to’ lessons that I posted last year during lockdown.  I just don’t feel that these need Teacher Notes – and for the time-being, these have been left as “free-to-air” for anyone to use via Youtube.

Also New On

  • A well and fully illustrated new classroom story.  This is a story of how a group of Year 5-6 teachers (in Papamoa) inspired a group of diverse reluctant writers to write about environmental issues.  When the teachers shared the student texts with me, I thought, ‘Wow, I’ve got to capture and share this classroom story’ and I’ve titled it It’s All About The Topic.
  • A new Update On The Arts post detailing  what I have been reading and viewing over the past few months.  This includes the fiction that I have nominated as my ‘best for 2021’.

Finally, I want to conclude this newsletter with a tribute to my oldest and dearest educational mentor, Mr Jim Milburn of Silverstream, Upper Hutt, who passed away at the end of December, aged 97.

Jim was not only the co-founder of Price Milburn Publishers (responsible for the PM Readers so many of us still use) but he was probably the most passionate literacy person I came across in my early career.  To the day he died, I loved talking education with Jim.  Haere ra taku hoa.


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