Faye and Murray Gadd at lunch
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Getting Ready for 2020

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The beginning of the school year fast looms and, like all teachers, I am getting ready for it. Almost all working days for the year have been allocated already and I am now taking tentative bookings for 2021.

During 2020 I will be undertaking in-depth LPD projects (mostly around writing) in 17 schools around New Zealand:

  • 6 in Auckland
  • 1 in Tauranga
  • 1 in Hamilton
  • 1 in New Plymouth
  • 2 in Wellington
  • 4 in Christchurch
  • 1 in Ashburton
  • 1 in rural Southland

So it’s a big series of Teacher Only Days followed by classroom modelling sessions coming up.

I began my teaching year yesterday (23/1) by working with 81 Year 0-9 teachers in Invercargill for a day (organised by the Southland Literacy Association) on ‘running an effective writing programme’. I really enjoyed the day. Here’s a response from one of the attendees:

This is my third year of teaching, and I have done a number of workshops in that time, but yours was by far the most engaging, practical, common sense one that I have been to.  Thank you so much, Anne Smales.

I’ve also got a similar day coming up for Auckland teachers, organised by Learning Network NZ Ltd for Saturday 28 March. I love running these days for Learning Network – Faye and her team organise them so well and the food is always excellent!!

Here’s Faye and I organising the day – well, pretending that we are organising the day…

Faye and Murray Gadd at lunch
Faye and Murray Gadd at lunch


And then I leave for Europe 5 days later where I’ll be until June 9. I’ll mainly be in Sweden continuing my contract with the University of Stockholm (on teaching literacy to students with disabilities) but will also make contact with my mates in the UK-based Writing for Pleasure Centre. I have so much time and admiration for these guys (Ross and Phil) who are totally committed to encouraging the love and joy of writing amongst students.

Speaking of overseas, a new book on the teaching of writing across the globe has just been published in the US: Preparing globally minded literacy teachers: Knowledge, practices and case studies.
I was honoured to write Chapter 9 which I’ve entitled ‘Becoming a proficient writer in New Zealand’s primary schools’. Worth looking at, even if I do say so myself 🙂

Recently Released & Upcoming Resources

  1. I have recently released a new free learning resource entitled Beginning the School Literacy Year: Some Notes for Teachers.  This is a free resource obtainable in the Shop and contains ideas for beginning the school literacy year (both reading and writing) that all primary teachers need to think about.
  2. I’ve also recently added a new “classroom story”: Inspiring a Year 6 Reluctant Writer.   This is a real classroom story (in the Classroom Stories section) of how a West Auckland teacher in a low decile school turned a non-engaged Year 6 Pasifika boy on to writing.
  3. in 2020, I will be releasing several other resources, both paid and free – so please do sign up to the newsletter (see website footer) to get updates when these are released.
  4. In particular, I will shortly (on 31st January 2020) be releasing my first paid for resource entitled: Under-achievement is Not Inevitable: Working with Struggling and Reluctant Writers.

This is a 78-page peer-reviewed ebook resource which I developed as a reflection and discussion document on ways of working effectively with students (particularly Years 4-10) who are not always engaged in writing and/or who struggle as developing writers. 

Who’s This For?

I have developed this resource for two main audiences:

  • 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. 
  • 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.

Very soon you will be able to purchase a license to use it either as an individual for personal use, of for group usage, across your school / organisation and it’s priced accordingly. 

You can see the preview on the product page here and purchase it when it’s available too.

That’s it from me. I do hope that 2020 goes very well for all of you.


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