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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.


  1. Term 2 Recap
  2. Exciting New Resource Launched !
  3. New Video Lessons, Classroom Story & Arts Blog
  4. Looking Ahead

Term 2 Recap

Term 2 was good for me.  I look back on it and note that I:

    1. I Worked on-site with 17 schools between Auckland and Christchurch during the term (mainly modelling instructional workshops for teachers and observing teachers in action).  Here's a few images of me with Raureka School students.

2) Led 3 day-long workshops on ‘being an effective teacher of writing’ for Learning Network NZ (one in Auckland; one in Christchurch; one in Taranaki).

3) Led 2 after-school workshops for the NZ Literacy Association on ‘being an effective teacher of writing’ (one in Hamilton; one in Hawke’s Bay).

In addition, I've just finished leading 3 Teacher Only Days on instructional writing (including one for a group of rural schools in deepest Southland) during the July break.

I have really enjoyed the enthusiasm of teachers during these sessions, and note (as examples of this enthusiasm) comments from two school leaders:

After the New Plymouth workshop, the principal of Pembroke School in Taranaki (Wendy Single, pictured below) wrote to me, having brought her whole team to the Saturday session:

We had a fabulous time with you!  Thank you Murray, everyone is on a writing buzz and full of enthusiasm for applying the PLD into their classrooms.  We have started using your book (‘Under-achievement is Not Inevitable: Working Effectively With Struggling and Reluctant Writers’) as a resource into our collaborative inquiry for 2022….

Thanks Wendy and good luck to you and your team.

Pembroke School staff at New Plymouth workshop

After the Hamilton session for the New Zealand Literacy Association, Deb Forrester from Knighton Normal School wrote to me:

I just wanted to thank you for your fantastic presentation last night.  At the end of a hectic report-writing term, I arrived at the venue feeling exhausted and a little switched off.  Not for long though!  Your presentation was entertaining, absolutely relevant and gave me ideas and inspiration that saw me and my colleagues walking out into the dark feeling energised and excited.

Thanks Deb!

Ooh, and another highlight of the term for me was having an article published on making a difference in writing instruction when working with priority learners in the most recent edition of SET: Research Information for Teachers.

Co-authored with my colleague Professor Judy Parr and based on an investigation we undertook across five schools in 2017-2018, I think this article will give many teachers many ideas on working with these hard-to-move kids.  I’m pleased it’s out there.


Exciting New Resource Launched!

I'm delighted to announce that I've begun an exciting new venture! 

To complement the ‘Murray Talks’ and the other online Video Lessons, I've decided to make a new series of videos called 'Working with Students'.

These are excellent resources for teachers as they are designed to demonstrate instructional writing lessons in real school settings, with real students.

While I will continue to make videoed writing lessons (mainly around picture books), I wanted to move some of my video work out of my front room and into the classroom!

The first three videos are now available for subscribers:

There are extensive teacher notes to go with each of these videos, and the dialogue transcript and subtitles.

I intend to make several more videos over the next few terms.

Find Out More



New Video Lessons, Classroom Story & Arts Blog

Two new videoed writing lessons

We've been working hard on the new resource mentioned previously. This term we are also releasing two Video Lessons and teachers' notes:

Classroom Story

  • You will also be able to find on the website some additions to a NE-Year 1 classroom story from Newton Central School that I wrote earlier in the year.   Students in Nicola Blight’s class have written some beautiful Matariki Wish texts that I wanted to share.  The extraordinary thing is that some of these students had only been at school for a matter of days when they wrote these texts.
  • I am also currently writing two new classroom stories: one from a Year 5-6 classroom and one from a Year 7-8 classroom.  Look out for them.

The Arts Blog


Looking Ahead

Finally, a couple of ‘looking ahead’ points.

I am midway through writing a book on the teaching of writing (incorporating many of the published Murray Talks) which I hope to publish (in conjunction Learning Network New Zealand) some time in 2023.  Look out for it.

And I have arranged and booked my previously postponed (due to Covid) working trip to Europe in March next year.  Yay; and fingers crossed that nothing gets in the way!!  Can’t wait.

Have a great Term everyone and continue to stay safe.


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