Gilberthorpe school

Gilberthorpe school

Saturday, 23 June 2018

IYT Session 4

Session Four

June Term 2

Mel and I attended session 4 of our Incredible Years Teacher Training last week. We are slowly moving up the pyramid, and this in session we are beginning to look at the orange section, focusing on managing misbehaviour: ignoring and redirecting.
Incredible Years Pyramid
The session began with a brief discussion about behaviours in which we could ignore from student, vs behaviours that we could not. This generated a bit of heated discussion and it was interesting to hear different viewpoints about which behaviours could be ignored. Lots of us didn't agree, and we found that we each had quite different limits and expectations about acceptable behaviours.
Some of the behaviours that we could ignore were:
  • Students calling out
  • Standing up when supposed to be sitting on the mat
  • Whistling/Tapping
  • Off task and wandering around
  • Disruptions when in a group
On our "couldn't ignore" list, we found that there were a few overlaps:
  • Calling out
  • Tapping
  • Misuse of devices
  • Physical harm
  • Distracting others
  • Disrespect
Ignoring is when: teachers give no eye contact or attention to a student, give students privacy of a space to calm down, you remain calm in both voice tone and facial expressions, and you be consistent. The most important part of the ignoring process is that you re-engage with the student when the ignoring is over.

Ignoring is a skill that is not often taught so we modelled a lesson that we could teach to our students on how to ignore behaviour. Mel and I talked about how this would fit in well with the behaviour teaching that we are incorporating at the moment, as this is a key skill that our students so often need. We modelled the lesson using puppets, Y charts, brainstorming, talking about 'ignoring muscles', and we were also taught a breathing exercise to try with students. This will be an interesting one to test out and help slow the heart rate down to reduce impulsiveness. 

We were also shown a discipline hierarchy of steps for non disruptive and disruptive behaviour. We had to talk to teachers at other schools about their behaviour system and what they do. I found it interesting, having only worked at Gilberthorpe, that other school don't have one of these systems and that if a student misbehaves there are no clear steps or guidelines for a teacher to follow. 

Our school behaviour system fits into this model, and as we are in the process of adapting it this model could be quite helpful!

Another great session, over halfway through the course now and I would recommend it to any other teacher. I have learned many valuable strategies and ideas to implement into the classroom and my teaching and the food is pretty good too!

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Presenting at Delving Deeper 3

It was an absolute pleasure, on May 10th, to collaboratively present at Delving Deeper 3 with my fellow School Leaders: Annabel McCormick (Wigram School) and Sharon Spragg (Yaldhurst Model School) along with out Outreach Co-ordinator, Kelsey Morgan.

The premise of our presentation was:
  • Nature of the learning tasks 
  • Use of digital technology 
  • Feedback given 
  • Time spent on task 
  • Student Agency 
  • Collaboration 

Using the pedagogical framework of Learn, Create, Share to support digital technology, leading to increased accelerated achievement. We have a strong connection to Auckland's Manaiakalani cluster as an outreach school. Learn tools and strategies that come from a research base and are proving to make difference.

The message that we wanted to get across to the educators who came to our presentation was a combination of changing the perception of Hornby Schools and students, as well as giving a glimpse of how and what we do to engage the students.

We had anticipated that our target audience might be some of the schools who have just joined the Manaiakalani Outreach community. We couldn't have been further from the truth. Surprisingly, our audience was predominantly high decile country schools.

We began by introducing ourselves individually, explaining who we are, where we're from and our role within our schools. I was able to add to this by explaining my own unique journey, about rationale behind changing schools but staying within the cluster

Kelsey Morgan explained a bit of background into the Manaiakalani Outreach Programme, from our joining way back in the beginning, through our successes and insight gleaned along the way up until now. She elaborated on our connection with MET and Woolf Fisher Research, which includes researching the data as well as in class observations to provide evidence of what practise is likely to increase student achievement. 
Specifically in class research looks at: 
I spoke about Uru Manuka Cluster evolving, teachers being willing to share, resource banks, open about sharing, visible, connected, ubiquitous, empowered, shared mindset, coherence across the schools in the cluster:

I vividly remember a time, not so long ago... four yeas perhaps, where teachers still guarded resources and ideas like a prized family recipe. When hui's occurred with neighbouring schools, people clustered with their kura, perhaps sparing a chat with the odd familiar face.
Fast forward to now. Uru Manuka Cluster has evolved into a place where we openly mx at gatherings. We default towards sharing DLO's (Digital Learning Objects) and teacher created resources and banks to make them more readily available to the wider Manaiakalani Network.
The School Leaders and Principals work extremely hard to ensure there is a shared mindset and coherence across the schools in our cluster, while still maintaining autonomy for each kura.
Both groups meet regularly, working to a set agenda of goals, effectively in a think tank like manner.
Our learning is visible online, therefore rewindable. It is ubiquitous, allowing student access at anytime and anyplace. We are empowering our akonga through agency.
A number of initiatives have driven the way forward in information sharing. We began with toolkits - small tech how to sessions which teachers were expected to sign up to and attend. These were run by teachers from within the cluster. Often they spawned into fabulous sharing and discussion sessions where ideas bounced around the room.
Teachers would meet to collaborate, building upon ideas and began to develop relationships whereby they spread their network broader to be able to glean ideas from the wider cluster.
The growing connections haven't been limited to our teachers. Among the Uru Manuka initiatives undertaken in recent years, have been a student summit, where akonga from within our cluster led toolkits, teaching digital skills from promoting useful apps and extensions to learning how to use robotics. Year 7/8 students, with support from Sport Canterbury, organised and ran a Ki-o-rahi tournament. Teams consisted of year 5-8 students and it was a fabulous festival atmosphere. Another avenue to develop the relationships between our akonga.

Kelsey Morgan explained Learn Create Share from a Manaiakalani Perspective.
What it actually is, along with how it is used to support digital technology in classes through blogging.
Affordances of technology - engagement, cognitive challenge, scaffolding, visibility.
I reiterated my SLAM, from the Uru Manuka Mini-conference at the beginning of the year.

Annabel shared her SLAM, from the Uru Manuka Cluster.

Sharon Spragg shared a glimpse of what a typical students day might look like. A student starts their day by checking out their class site for their work. Work is directed to areas, they read / watch and follow the instructions.

Teachers pull out groups and work with them - sometimes on a device and sometimes not.
The independent work is about collaboration, rewindable learning, engagement in whatever it is they are learning.
(Students that are high flyers - can fly high, those that have areas of struggle have the scaffolding that they need to be successful with their work.)
  • Commenting on blogs
  • Blog posts
  • Learning
Links you may find useful:

Uru Mānuka website -
Manaiakalani website -

“Creative skills help students become better problem solvers, communicators and collaborators.”
Everyone Can Create Apple 2018

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Delving Deeper Keynote speaker - Eruera Tarena

Image result for Eruera Tarena
The day began with an inspirational keynote presentation from Eruera Tarena, titled:
"Wayfinding Maori Futures: jumping on the waka to a brighter future."
Here's a few key things that struck a chord with me:

The pace of change is increasing and as a society we have a lessening amount of control over being pre-organisation for things. As individuals, we need to get used to being in a state of being without control over what is happening. This is a huge challenge for us as educators, where we like to preplan and know exactly where we are headed and anticipate what we may need to head off.

Maori traditions always have layers of meaning. - I'd never really considered this, but if you take a moment to think about many of the legends and myths, they are often adapted slightly to fit with the story they are telling at the time.
Maori success as Maori... it's a destination point. Early voyagers knew where they were going. Although they had never been to their destination, they used a term called "seeing the island", which meant imagining what that destination might look like in their minds. You won't see that destination until the last 10% of the journey, so it was important for Navigators to use "star points" or "way finding" to use as markers or indicators of progress along the journey. - The correlation for us, as educators, can be seen in our TAI's. We make a hypothesis as to what the destination point might look like... We then use data and anecdotal observations along the way as indicators of progress towards that.
Modelling equity and equity and equality for Maori. What happens if we continue to do the status quo? What happens if we do something different? - Even if the status quo is "working" it's our duty to be on the look out for ways to improve, both our practice and our achievement outcomes for our akonga. We need to reject the status quo. It's not good enough to continue to perpetuate them, morally etc

Things that require shifts in attitudes, values, the way we view the world

When we're thinking innovation, it's often about creating something to help us not have to change. We all like change until it happens... then we often find excuses to delay adopting it.

It seems ludicrous that we are still talking about cultural responsiveness 30 years on, rather than cultural sustainability. Gone is the time to respond. 

Te Waipounamu pipeline.

Equity is just being ordinary, the same as everyone else.
The Browner you are, the more likely you are to be replaced by a robot in future. Many young Maori are flatlining in terms of income in their early 20's.
Statistics are showing that they are more likely to be in unskilled jobs, due to leaving education earlier. Maori are always the last ones on and the first ones off in terms of opportunity.

The statistics of Maori students not completing university is extremely high. An audience member recounted a story of her daughters journey through university. One by one, her Maori peers dropped out. It became quite challenging and isolating to continue without that peer support, staying focused on the long term destination. It was a very emotional recount and resonated with all in the room.
What is the opportunity? And how do you frame that?" Moving beyond good intentions. There is an unconscious biased system as teachers. We all have a contribution to make.

We all like projects or programmes, but they only Create a bubble of change. We need to be thinking bigger picture and long term.
We inhabit that ship that's a shared future, with our treaty partnership. Our narrative has been driven by grievance loss and hardship, but we need to turn it around.
    • We need to come together; 
    • Change isn't 'out there' but 'in here'; 
    • Know what you bring to the table; 
    • identify your champions; 
    • be the change - join our collective.
What is the future together we want to inhabit.

More information on the data can be found at

Delving Deeper - 10 May 2018

Wayfinding Māori Futures

We began the day listening to Eruera Prendergast-Tarena. He spoke about the population growth of Māori compared to European people and how we need to support Māori more in the education system. 

He had some startling statistics to share with everyone. For every European baby born in New Zealand there is one Asian, one Pasifika and one Māori child born. Only 10% of Māori are graduating University. They are not going into higher qualification employment even if they do have a degree. Only 1% of Māori work in jobs that won't be replaced eventually by technology advancements. 

He drew attention to the fact that we are not preparing them for the reality of what jobs will be in the future. Their jobs will not produce enough income to support the growing ageing population of Europeans in retirement. Eru emphasised the need for change in our education system as it's not moral, socially or economically stable for us to maintain the status quo. Now is the time to make a difference while educational reform is on the table.

For more information he suggested visiting for more information.

West Rolleston School

Two teachers from West Rolleston School talked about their learning space and how they run their days.

They have five Year 1 & 2 studios (homerooms) in a hub of up to 75 learners. They call their homeclass a 'whanau group'. The new entrant class grows to 18 then a new teacher starts. The older class breaks off when the younger numbers grow. 

All students who are pre-enrolled come for a fish and chip dinner to meet everyone once a term. Toys and equipment are available to help them familiarise with the environment and teachers and support staff are there to answer any questions. 

When new entrants start school for their first visit they come for just the morning and their parent stays. They begin the day by going for a walk through all the areas of the school and meeting different staff. For the second visit they come for the morning without their parent. For the third visit they stay without a parent until 2pm.  

Within their learning space, the day starts altogether and they then move into writing in whānau groups. Reading is spread between the whānau groups while the other children do play based learning. 

All three teachers take groups and the kids self manage. Every 3-4 weeks the teachers switch around. Other teachers were quite critical of this, emphasising the importance of having a learning coach and the advantages of being present and doing the cognitive, emotional and behavioural coaching as outlined in IYT while the children are playing. 

Phonics is ability grouped and spread amongst the three teachers. 

Maths groups are spread across the hub. Each teacher starts with all the groups that they see on their whānau group mat where they do hotspots and then go into groups. The children have to stay in their maths spaces with activities specific for each group.

Handwriting is done in whānau group spaces. 

Other curriculum areas go for just 20 mins in the afternoon. Currently they have two teachers taking P.E and one taking Music. They do this for a whole week then move on to something else.

They have a big focus on Key Competencies within their play based environment and spend the afternoons just focusing on play for the first five weeks. Following that settling into school period, they then introduce curriculum areas. New entrants that arrive during the year do play in the afternoons while others are doing curriculum areas so that they get their five weeks of learning how to play within the school's guidelines and also to explore their surroundings.

The play based learning resources are put out before school and the children can choose and start before school if they wish. They use picnic mats to keep areas distinct for Lego etc. 

In their Discovery Room they have babies, a toy kitchen and a doll house. 

Makerspace days are an exciting once or twice a term event. They are based on current topics/times of year, for example the olden days. Kids choose and come and go from activities whenever they want all day. Because teachers are released to teach different games etc during this time, it is easy to then incorporate these into other times like reading. 

They recommended looking up Longworth Education for resources and tips for play based learning. Ngaire Shepherd-Wills from CORE also recommended looking at Northern Ireland pdfs for play based learning curriculum, key stage 1 online.

Learning Through Play

Tara O'Neill - Haeata Community Campus, Year 1-2. Tara also runs the 
NZ Learning Through Play Facebook group.

We discussed aspects of the quote that stood out for us. How would this approach help Māori children to succeed in their education and in life? It gives them the opportunity to bloom, safe settings for them to learn and their sense of identity (learner and cultural) is protected and safe.

Why is play engaging and how does it lead to deep learning?

Tara spoke about dispositional learning as the deepest kind of learning. Dispositional learning allows you to keep the Key Competencies at the forefront of the children's learning. Dispositional learning allows the teachers at Haeata to teach social and emotional skills as well as creativity through play. I loved hearing about how important dispositions are for their curriculum. We based all our Learning Stories (assessment) upon dispositions during my time teaching in ECE and they are such important life skills for the tamariki to learn and for the teacher to foster and capture for them. Tara spoke about the children having Learning Story books (what we used to call Profile Books in ECE), as well as all their stories being recorded on Linc-Ed. They use Learning Stories as their assessment right up to Year 13.

Their classroom is set up into different areas of play and the children can move around the environment freely. They change their provocations for play as the children's interests change, but they always have a quiet space, construction area, open area, art area and outdoor areas.

The role of the adult is to support the children in their interests. It is crucial for the adult to follow the children's path in their learning and not dictate what they should learn. Teachers observe and coach and also run workshops about things that they notice the children are showing an interest in. It is optional for the children to attend when the workshop is run, but they do as the teacher has carefully aimed it at their interests. For example the children might have created an imaginary restaurant, so the teacher runs a workshop on how to write a menu. The activity is always the vehicle for the learning to happen.

The early learners at Haeata are Pre-level 1 so the teachers implement the Te Whāriki curriculum instead of the Primary Curriculum. 

The left side of the diagram is unstructured, for example playtime and lunchtime. The right side is highly structured, for example traditional education with the teacher up the front. Tara aims to be in the green zone as she says it's the best way for the children to learn.

Tara then described a typical day at Haeata. It was quite controversial amongst the group of teachers attending the workshop and led to lots of discussion.

First thing in the morning the teachers meet and choose spaces that they will be in for the day. They advertise the workshops that are available and the kids opt in if they want to.

When the children arrive at school they sign in and play. At 9.45am they meet with their homeroom. The teachers have the same homeroom for three years. Homeroom time could be for social or emotional teaching, it could include self directed learning, values, feelings, self regulation, how to calm and different ways to do that. They then say their karakia and share kai.

During learning time they are free to go wherever they want in their learning space. The day is split into three 90 minute blocks. They all come together at midday for lunch and then do 15 minutes of phonics in their home rooms. They play again in the afternoon and meet with their homeroom at the end of the day to check in with each other.

Each child has three goals to work on in their personal learning plan. The first goal is always a dispositional goal and there are two other goals that could be a variety of options.

All children have access to reading books and writing books. They use these when they want to. Tara said that focused learning is happening consistently throughout the day.

The teacher has three roles during the day. 
1. Notice the learning - add in, take out, support learners with their play.
2. Meet kids on their own once a week to catch up with learners about their goals and how they are progressing on them. 
3. Take a workshop or activity with students.

There are no formal reading, writing or math lessons at Haeata. Other teachers at the workshop questioned about the possibility that students choose not to participate in reading or writing instruction for the full three years that they in the Junior area of the school. While Tara said that yes, that is a possibility, but it never happens as the children want to learn these things once they reach the phase of readiness to learn.

Every child has a box with books in and they read from them if they choose. Teachers focus on the culture of reading - not that kids are expected to participate in reading but that they want to read. 

Teachers always watch for readiness before expecting writing and language. This results in engagement before compliance. 

Haeata is really redefining the concept of school, especially for the tail end of learners.

Rolleston School Reggio Inspired Practices

Heather Mutu and Jade Bell spoke about the Reggio philosophy at Rolleston School. Although I already knew quite a lot about this, I was keen to have a look at their documentation and discuss their ideas for following children's leads in their learning. I would love to be able to teach in this way, it creates such deeper understandings and student ownership for learning than what an Inquiry process does.

Rolleston School uses an emergent curriculum. This means that they observe what the children are interested in, provide them with provocations and follow the children's interests in whatever way it takes them. For the first few weeks they have no planning beyond reading and maths as they give children lots of opportunity to explore and look for clues about what the children are interested in. 

They have the flexibility in their programmes to follow new learning for a day if a child mentions an interesting thing and they are not required to have to stick to a timetable.

Rolleston School began their Reggio approach many years ago when they encountered such difficulty involving Year 1 and Year 2s in the Inquiry process. The principal visited Reggio in Italy and came back inspired to implement their practices in New Zealand. A small selection of staff visit Reggio every few years to observe and learn more about their approaches to learning.

Their first step was to create a common knowledge amongst staff about documentation. All staff members do this a wee bit differently. Some keep huge art journals with photos and work samples as children begin to show an interest and then develop that interest. Some have photo albums made up with summaries. Some document the children's learning journeys all over their classroom walls and then photograph that when they move on to a new interest. Some have a blog or present their documentation in other electronic ways. They all record children's voice constantly to show their understandings and take photos of learning throughout the day.

They don't do unit plans, they instead use their documentation to record what they children have done. They take advantage of all learning opportunities instead of being defined by a specified curriculum of what to teach and when. ERO are very happy with their approach and they can easily link the children's learning to the curriculum if needed.

Teachers plan on the go, always after the session of learning to build upon what has happened in the last session. Teachers are always looking for how to pull the learning in different directions in order to expand it.

Heather spoke about how she uses her environment to stimulate discussion and provoke learning. She always has paints, drawing supplies, wire etc available to the children to allow them to show their learning using the 100 Languages. The children's interests may last a term, two terms, a year and some have even continued for more than two years. Heather has followed children's interests from them having different coloured eyes to each other, to dissecting a pig's eyeball, to then noticing the optic nerve coming out, to wondering about the brain, to dissecting the brain and learning about the different parts and it just went on and on with such amazing deep learning experiences for the children. Throughout it all the children accessed different materials to show their learning, for example she showed us the playdough creations that the children had made of eyeballs and optic nerves travelling into the brains.

They work other core areas around the children's interests wherever they can, for example writing and reading. Maths is often a lot harder to fit in with different topics but it is still done whenever possible.

The opportunities that they provide the children with are so inspiring and I have taken away lots of ideas for documenting children's learning within my own practice. There is more information on the Reggio Approach and the 100 languages on this video. It warms my heart that my children are able to learn in such a fantastic way everyday.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Incredible Years Teacher Training Session 1-3

Incredible Years Teacher Training Session 1 - 3

In February I attended session one of the Incredible Years Training course. A course I had heard a lot about through friends, colleagues, my parents, and RTLB. It came highly recommended and I knew that it would be something that I would learn a lot from, as a beginning teacher.

I was right. Session One focused largely on the importance of building positive relationships with students as well as parents.. This could be done in a number of ways:
- Modelling positive behaviour as a teacher
- Simple things such as daily greetings and farewells- something you often overlook yet it is so simple.
- Listening
- Developing trust and responsibility
- Having special one on one time with students who may need that extra support and care.
- Positive phone calls home to parents.

This was super inspiring to me, and I couldn’t wait to get started using a few of these techniques. I knew I had strong relationships with my students. But I knew I could do more. After session one I began being aware of just how important that parent teacher partnership is. I made an effort to call home for the good things, and am beginning to use things such as happy grams to send positive notes home to parents when their children have done something extra special at school. I have also made a warm fuzzy notebook for each student where each week I write something positive in which I have noticed for that week. Eventually hopefully I will get parents on board too and they can write something. The smiles on the students faces when they read these each week make the couple of hours spent writing the night before worth it! In Ngakaunui we also began implementing a ‘What’s on Top’ daily circle time. This gives all students a chance to share how they are feeling in the morning before school. It is nice to know what they are thinking about and if anything is bothering them. Again, building those positive relationships.

In Session One we also spent time discussing how to be a proactive teacher. This covered things such as:
- Classroom/hub rules being displayed and referred back to constantly
- Schedules and routines kept consistent
- Having clear commands and reminders
- Preparing students for transitions
- Arranging your classroom in a way that sets students up for success.

When reflecting on this I realised that although we had made a class treaty together, this was not displayed so that it could be referred back to. Mel and I also discussed the need for consistent rules throughout our hub rather than individual class ones. This meant that we would all be speaking the same language. There is also great need to follow through with praise as well as consequences. If there is no follow through then students are neither reinforced for compliance nor held accountable for non-compliance.

I knew that I would get a lot from this course and was already looking forward to session 2!

Session Two:
Giving Attention- Encouragement and Praise
- Promoting self esteem
- Social, Persistence, Academic and Emotional Coaching
- Proximal Praise
- Specific and labelled praise

After this session I became conscious of the fact that more often than not the majority of attention is given to that of negative behaviour rather than positive behaviour. This therefore then reinforces the negative. We discusses having visual prompts around the classroom to remind us as teachers to be constantly praising those students displaying desired behaviour. Something that doesn’t always feel natural but is so important. Children learn what behaviours are expected through what we give attention to.

I also learned about coaching. There are many different types and we an use it depending on the situation and outcome that we may want. Two types that I am wanting to try in the classroom are:
Academic Coaching: Often as teachers we want to be asking students a lot of questions. Yet when coaching the importance is on using descriptive comments rather than questioning. Kind of like a running sports commentary. We describe their actions, and model words or language for them to expand vocabulary.
Persistence Coaching: Here we describe when students are working hard, concentrating, being calm,  or staying patient when working on an activity. We describe persistence with a frustrating activity by trying again, sticking with it and staying focused. Encourage students problem solving skills rather than giving the solution ourselves- as we so often do when we see students struggling and needing help.

My goals to work on after session two were:
1. Use persistence coaching when students are finding learning tasks hard- help guide them through it
2. Social coaching can be used out on the playgroup and during lunchtime games
3. Continue to be contacting parents for positives.

Session Three:
Motivating students through incentives
- Individual incentives
- Sharing success with parents
- Working as a team to earn class rewards

Last Thursday at the latest IYT session we spent the day talking about how to implement successful incentive schemes in the classroom. There was discussion around incentives vs bribes. The key difference here is that incentives after given AFTER the behaviour, whereas bribes are given BEFORE. Therefore usually after bribes are received the behaviour is more like to reoccur as they are given straight away without being earned.
After spending session two discussing the benefits of praise, our team leaders then stated that praise alone may not be strong enough for our students. Especially if praise is infrequent at home, it may make the students uncomfortable at school. This is where incentives come in.
The first thing we as teachers need to do is identify one or two positives behaviour we want to increaser, This could be as a class, or with an individual according to particular needs. We must work together to select the reward and it is important to know that not all students have the same currency. This is where your knowledge of your students comes in. Not one shoe fits all. If you are unsure what incentive your student(s) may respond to, converse with the parents, they know them best!

At Gilberthorpe we as a school use fish tickets as an incentive when students display our school values. The reward is being drawn out of the fish bowl to earn a reward such as free time. At the end of the term the Top fish in each class gets a special lunch. After talking about what other schools use as an incentive programme, ours seems like a pretty strong one. Our students respond well. But sometimes they may need more,. As said before, not all students will respond in the same way. This is where individualised incentive programs come in, or spontaneous rewards for whole classes.
An important aspect of incentive programmes are to not confuse them with consequences. Eg Give a student a fish ticket, and then take it off them.

My Goals after session 3 are to:
1. Let parents know when students are getting assembly awards
2. Students vote on which student gets our class values award
3.  spontaneous rewards in our classroom.

Bring on session 4 in June!

Monday, 14 May 2018

Dys What? RTLB Course


South Hornby RTLB Office Tower Street 11 May 2018
Kerrin O'Connor RTLB
Gay Findlay RTLB

As part of the RTLB Cluster professional development programme, Karen, Brenda, Kathy and I attended the Dys-What? workshop.  A very valuable session and even better that three quarters of our learning support team were able to attend.  I always find these types of things really good when a group of people are present and are all motivated about what has been shared.  It is more effective than one person going and then trying to share, motivate and engage others.  I found this session extremely helpful for all of us.





Dys what? Activity- 

We used the tes resources diagrams and a list of difficulties.  We discussed in our group if the difficulties were dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia and/or dysgraphia.  This activity was great to get a better understanding of what characteristics and issues each of these can show.  
In depth discussion with Kerrin.

YES or NO Activity

A list of of ten statements about these conditions were given and we discussed whether the statement was true of false.  We then shared our thinking and checked our understanding.

What can we do to help?


  • Be strengths based.
  • Clear and concise instructions.
  • Repeat and rephrase instructions.
  • Photo or copy of instructions.
  • Acknowledge when students ask for help.
  • Right to pass is available.


  • Alphabet cards and visuals.
  • Talk about what will be written, plan.
  • Use exemplars.
  • Mindmaps.
  • List of key words.
  • Information on strips of paper.
  • Present and share work.


  • Comic Sans, Verdana, Bubblegum SansDiscuss reading strategies
  • Give time.
  • Colour overlays over black font. 
  • Introduce story and use vocabulary.
  • Discuss reading strategies for unknown words.


  • Use a multi sensory approach.


  • Kinesthetic
  • Precision teaching
  • Reversals-help them notice.
  • Number strips
  • Hundreds board for learning tables and patterns.
  • Read questions.


DefinitionDysnomia is a learning disability that is categorized by a difficulty in remembering names or recalling words from memory needed for oral or written expressive language.

Rather than getting a diagnosis, focus on giving the children time.  There are different strategies that we can use to support learning.  
As children move into secondary school, in order to get funding and support, they will need a diagnosis.

School can go through RTLB for SACK/SATH/SAS???


Visual and Auditory Memory Programme
Helps children with memory.
Click link to website
Memory activity-warm up for Math.  Listen to number sequence and repeat.  Can do forward and backwards. 

Other Ideas for Memory

  • Mnemonics
  • Charts
  • Rote learning (sometimes) Culturally responsive in the fact that it is verbal/oral
  • Connect with prior knowledge
  • Move while memorising


(See slide for list of resource ideas)
Agility With Sound
Multi Lit and Mini Lit
Paper version of handouts can be downloaded through the shared slide. 
TKI site is full of great resources.
Check out Pinterest

Take homes
  • Non contact time for TAs...
  • Exemplars of writing.
  • Reading strategies-have we been taught strategies.
  • Rainbow reading...look into. Look into reading pen.
  • Staff learning.  Run a session of the activities.
  • VAMP   
  • Lexia Core 5

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Delving deeper 3

Kia ora.

Yesterday I had the privilege to attend Delving deeper 3 at Riccarton Race Course.  A chance for teachers to present and share learning and stories of engagement with other teachers.  It was an excellent day and brilliant to see our very own school and cluster represented so well.

Hornby high school's Kapa Haka group opened the day with a super performance, it was great to see a Gilberthorpe face in the group,  a great way to begin the day.

Eruera Tarena was the key note speaker who showed a clear passion, enthusiasm and a wealth of knowledge around the current landscape of Maori in the work force and there were some hard hitting facts.

Maori are well and truly over represented in many negative statistics, such as numbers in low skilled employment, numbers attending tertiary education and also those occupying jobs that are at risk of becoming extinct due to new technologies.
This reminded me of the unwavering commitment we need to be giving our Maori whanau, working hard to ensure that their dreams and aspirations are heard, that we get to know about the culture more so that children have a rich understanding of their culture, language and identity.

The first presentation I attended was from our very own Mel Raisin and her colleagues Kelsey
(Education programme leader for Uru Manuka), Sharon and Annabelle who are the school leaders from Yaldhurst and Wigram Primary.  These ladies were very impressive.  Their level of understanding of the learn create and share concept was explained well to a good audience who were keen to get as much of the gold as possible.  The opportunity to share your practice openly and honestly is very refreshing and we need to do more of it.  We spoke at lunch about the need to break down the walls and open up our information for everyone so that we can make life easier - work smarter not harder!  We continue to be astonished by the number of people still locking up their resources, or as Mel put it "guarding it tighter than an old family recipe" It was great to have the chance to sit and listen, and as I did , I reflected on our journey as part of Manaiakalani outreach, where we began and where we are now, the progress our learners are making and the collaboration across the cluster and I was very proud of all of the work done by everyone to get us to this point. 
Onwards and upwards!
I also got a fabulous recommendation for a mothers day present which I ticked off at the mall later that day :-)

My second session was titled "Boys caught reading" An initiative to get more boys reading and supporting them to develop a love of reading.  At Paparoa street school they have set up this group with great success.  It works as follows : 
Once a week from 12.30-1pm any boys are invited to head to the library with their lunch for "Boys caught reading" At this time, they eat, sometimes they make a mess, sometimes they are loud, they read or might be read too.  They run competitions weekly, score badges for attending at least 5 times and ensure that the library caters well for the types of books that they would like to read - Non fiction, disaster books, goosebumps books, books about bums, joke books, magazines and newspapers etc...
The group sometimes has guest speakers, the have fun games and challenges, have hosted a book breakfast and plan to roll out extreme reading this term.  i think too often we expect our boys to behave, be engaged and excited about learning but do we make sure that we have catered for their interests, likes and dislikes.  It would be great to think that our new library could have a special place for our boys and that we could begin to host events such as this.  On a personal level I am going to make sure that I continue to read and role model to my two sons as often as possible.  I will however try and wean Niko off  "Where is the green sheep" which was read 18 times last night :-)

I have just got back from some shopping with four of our boys, we turned the ECO store upside down and managed to find 5 trolley loads of creative junk!  Weed eaters, lawnmowers, bikes, paint etc etc...  I am looking forward to what these boys can make , they are very excited.  What intrigued me was that for the entire 2.5 hours we were out and about ( we did sneak in Subway for lunch) the conversation didn't stop, they were full of ideas and suggestions.  If we can capitalise on that and get their energy moving in a constructive direction, we are onto a winner for sure!

After a delicious vegetable curry for lunch I listened to Sam Corry (Gilberthorpe) and Julie Carey
( Hornby primary) share about their TLIF  (Teacher led innovation fund)project .  The ministry don't give out over a hundred thousand dollars for no reason and these ladies showed exactly why it is money well spent.  They have worked tirelessly to find out ways to support our 4-6 year olds with their communication and well being and the results have been special.  Several individual inquiries feed into the overall goal and when complete the results will help us significantly.  I have noticed a huge amount of progress with one our students through the project which is amazing, Going forward this will have a huge impact on our learners who arrive from pre school.  The information gained will be shared with pre schools and so can only help our students get the best possible start.  It was also impressive to hear of the solid relationships among the ECE's and schools.

The final session I attended was with Alby and Warrick from Hornby high school.  They were talking about the Business Kete that they have hosted and play based learning.  Last year we took students down to spend some money at the business Kete and about 20 of our students took part in a 3 v 3 basketball tournament so I was keen to hear about the thinking behind both of these initiatives.  It turns out they are deliberately feeding into the schools vision of "A centre of creative excellence" What was most impressive from this session was the enthusiasm of the teachers to try different things.  Hornby high school is clearly open to new, engaging and effective ways of learning and this was proven through the process that they followed.  All staff were on board, free periods were sacrificed and many of the end products had huge benefit to the community.  It was impressive to see how engaged the students were, there was even mention of the odd student coming in for play based learning but then difficult to find for the rest of the day :-) Giving cards to the children in hospital, helping educate people around drainage and rain water and donating goods to need families and causes were outstanding examples of supporting the community and giving back.

So a great day, well organised and especially significant to watch our Uru Manuka colleagues share with the 240 odd educators in attendance.

He waka eke noa - A canoe which we are all in with no exception.