#24 Weekly Update

16 Friday, August 2019

Rāmere, te 16 o Hereturikōkā 2019

In this week’s update:

  1. Tuhituhi/ Writing update and useful links
  2. Professional reading – All about writing
  3. Ngaio pukapuka kōrero – All about pronunciation
  4. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support Group – Managing student behaviour
  5. Rōpū Pāngarau/ Maths Group – A play with VR
  6. Podcast number 6: Exercising our empathy muscles

We are looking forward to our combined Orewa Kahui Ako after school hui on the 22nd August at Orewa College, with Hana O’Regan. Details have been sent to all schools.


1. Rōpū Tuhituhi / Writing Focus Group

This week our writing focus group begins work on our two tasks in our after school meeting:

1. NZC Levels 1 – 5 . Developing scaffolded expectations (anchor charts) that can be used to support instruction across the curriculum

2. Orewa Kāhui LPF matrix – Revisit our matrix to look at the content detail and modify where needed. Developing a LPF matrix in ‘student speak’

We are looking forward to sharing our progress with you, but are aware that we have a large task ahead of us. We hope that can provide useful support material for both students and teachers that is common across our kura. Please join us if you would like to be part of this development in our afterschool fortnightly meetings.

Useful writing sites

Write the World offers a range of tools and resources to help you create a vibrant writing community within your classroom. As educators ourselves, we understand the exciting (and challenging) task of engaging young people in the writing process. We also understand how little time teachers have when it comes to finding fresh material, developing resources, and implementing creative writing into an already packed curriculum. At Write the World you can give your students both. This is an ideal platform for blended learning or a flipped-classroom. Write the World encourages students to carefully consider not only what and how they write, but the universality of what they feel as their audience is global.

Creative classroom- Strategies to Engage Reluctant Writers

John Spencer

We’ve all seen it before. You assign a writing task and you have students who write two sentences. Some are scared to get started. Others are convinced that writing is boring. Still, others are struggling and don’t know where to start. So, how do we engage these reluctant writers? Follow the link here to John Spencer’s 10 Teacher-Tested Strategies to Engage Reluctant Writers. A podcast is also available at this link. PODCAST Link on this site

2. Pānui ngaio/ Professional Reading 


Beverly Derewianka from the University of Wollongong has developed a teaching-learning cycle based on the notion of having high expectations supported by strong scaffolding and explicit teaching. It is based on Vygotskian principles of learning through interaction with more proficient others in the context of shared experience. The activities are carefully ordered to build up students’ knowledge and abilities so that they can experience success. It is not, however, intended as a strict sequence – teachers will move between stages of the cycle as needed.


In particular, the teacher:

• identifies the language demands of the task

• explicitly teaches students the genres needed for success in schooling

• is concerned with deep learning of content together with learning the

language of the content area

• makes explicit the learning intention and success criteria for each stage of the cycle

• constantly assesses students’ progress at each stage of the cycle and responds to identified needs

A more detailed explanation of the process can be found here as well as a link to the resources in detail here.

3. Rōpū Te Reo Me Tikanga Māori

Top tip for normalising te reo Māori!: Pronouncing place names correctly

Spending time going over local place names with our students is a valuable exercise that can lead to discussions around respecting te reo Māori, the importance of trying, the Māori vowel system. There are plenty of local place names that are commonly mispronounced to start the journey, from Orewa through to Whangaparaoa.

Learning to pronounce place names can be the beginning of your te reo journey. Take Taupo for instance:


Not Towel – Po

But more like Toe – paw ✔️

There is a great video on youtube that can be used as a hook at the start of a lesson.

Screen Shot 2019-08-08 at 1.08.45 PM

4. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support Group

Student behaviour can be one of the most difficult areas of school life for teachers to deal with. The next few weeks will focus on understanding some specific reasons for behaviour and what could be going on internally vs externally. We will look at ways to understand behaviours and how to respond to them.

5. Rōpū Pāngarau/ Maths Group

This week we discussed the LPFs in greater detail and reminded ourselves to always go back to the curriculum document. We touched on the continuum of where schools are at with regard to implementing the 2020 Digital Curriculum, but ran out of time to discuss fully. In addition, we had some fun with the VR gear. In particular, teachers seemed to enjoy having a go with the VR version of Google Earth.

6. Podcast number 6: Link here

This week: how to exercise our empathetic muscles. Empathy is like a muscle — it can be strengthened with exercise and it can atrophy when idle. On this episode of Hidden Brain, we talk about calibrating our empathy so we can interact with others more mindfully.

To keep up to date, follow us on our Kāhui Ako website: https://orewakahuiako.com/


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