#31 Weekly Update

Friday 18 October 2019

Rāmere, te 18 o Whiringa-ā-nuku 2019

In this week’s update:

  1. uLearn19 Rōpū
  2. Te Reo Me Tikanga Māori: Study te reo Māori in 2020
  3. Tuhituhi/ Writing: Writing prompt video and apps
  4. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support: ADHD- A child’s perspective
  5. Pānui ngaio/ Professional Reading: Hands-on Learning
  6. Podcast: Power in the classroom


  • Kirirarautanga | Citizenship
  • Whakatōhenehene | Disruption
  • Auahatanga | Innovation

CORE Education’s uLearn19 Conference was held in Rotorua this year. What an awesome privilege to take 19 teachers from our six kura to the conference. As with previous years, the conference spans three days and is jam packed with keynote speakers, workshops and taster sessions. The Orewa Kāhui Ako team was well represented with Linda, Sandy and Leanne presenting a session called “Lessons from the Learning Pit.” Richard Wells from Orewa College also presented a session entitled “Integrating Subject Silos at Orewa College.”

A synopsis of our session would be that we looked back over the two years since the inception of our kāhui and we reflected on lessons learnt. We spoke about the pitfalls as well as the small triumphs along the way. Then we broke the session into the four focus areas and looked at the direction taken by each area. To shake it up we played a game and a Kahoot. We felt that it was a fantastic opportunity to discuss ideas and strategies with teachers from Whangarei to Wellington, each with a different story to tell.

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If you’d like to have a look through the slides, we have a short video here:


Richard Wells looked at the two-year messy journey of excitement and fear, success and error, that integrating silo subjects has taken. His presentation included big picture ideas as well as examples of success and failure at the college. His message, which was a common theme across the conference, was that we learn from reflecting on experiences.


Summary of Richard’s session

A valuable taster session ‘Why Universal Design for Learning is Important’ was presented by Chrissie Butler from Core Education. A fresh perspective on what the UDL process looks like which really focuses on the student being at the start of the process. This can be seen in the images below.

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Leanne was able to pick up some fantastic ‘quick reference’ resources from The Ministry of Education about specific areas of student need. A set has been ordered for each of our kura.

Karen Tui Boyes – Team Teaching

Sandy Blackburn and Linda Rubens attended a workshop on team teaching looking at practical ways to structure and organise it.

Team teaching can be both an incredible privilege and challenge all at the same time. However, with some simple structures and strategies team teaching can be the best teaching years of your career. Follow the link to Karen’s blogs on more detailed information here.


Genius Hour – Karen Tui Boyes


Linking to the uLearn theme of Auahatanga | Innovation Karen looked at the movement of ‘genius hour.’ Genius Hour is a movement that allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom. It provides students with a choice in what they learn during a set period of time during school.


And finally, this link will take you to the presentation on research skills for the Google generation which was very worthwhile, presented by Juliet Revell.

2. Rōpū Te Reo Me Tikanga Māori

Studying te reo Māori in 2020

If you are up for the challenge and want to improve your te reo Māori, now is the time to begin thinking about further study in 2020. There is a wide range of options available for teachers to join, including online/distance learning.

Feeling a little under qualified or apprehensive? As all kaiako know, this is a natural part of learning. Courses start at a very low level and will scaffold you from where you are currently at. Go on, dive in and give it a go!

You will come away with not only a better grasp of te reo Māori and tikanga Māori but build relationships with a great bunch of people. You will also be armed with new and relevant learning stories to share with your class about how you have had to push through and develop your growth mindset.

We have listed some popular courses below:

Online course options:

  • Toro mai – Massey University (Online, no costs involved, no assignments and no exams)

A guided journey of learning to deepen your understanding and awareness of Māori knowledge. Toro Mai offers two introductory online courses in Te Reo Māori and Tikanga Māori.

  • Te Wānanga o Raukawa has a 20-week online course that is free for citizens and residents. You’ll learn through audio lessons and activities.
  • Mahi Kāinga is an 8 week course for beginners that costs $45.
  • Education Perfect will generally offer free courses for teachers if you contact them. Many teachers at Orewa College have joined.

Night class options:

  • Te Herenga Waka o Orewa Marae.

Our local marae offers both 6-week termly courses and a full year certificate course. The courses are in full-immersion Māori which helps to advance your progress.

Contact: teherengawaka@xtra.co.nz

TWOA have a campus in west Auckland but they will also come out to you if you can find 25 people willing to commit to studying.

Online option: TWOA also offer great courses on Māori tikanga that you can do online.

AUT offers night courses for all levels. Held at the North Shore campus.

Kura pō/ Night classes 6-9pm in Mt Albert. A range of levels provided from beginner to advanced.

3. Rōpū Tuhituhi / Writing Group

Looking for a quick writing prompt? What about using this 1 minute video?

Stuart Hale from his uLearn presentation suggests the following 8 apps to support and motivate students in literacy:

Pic Collage, Lifecards, Strip Designer, Puppet Pals, Stop Motion, iMovie, Book Creator, Explain Everything – version 5 is excellent.

4. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support Group

There is so much we can learn by listening to the voices of our students, especially those with learning and/or behavioural difficulties. Have a look at the box below. It portrays a student’s honest view of how they work.

5. Pānui ngaio/ Professional Reading

When is hands-on learning not really learning? In this article John Spencer looks at when hands-on learning has not really engaged the student’s mind.

6. Podcast

There’s an inherent tension when it comes to learning and power, namely how much power do you as a learner have in any learning interaction to choose not just what you learn but how and where and when. And one of the things that casts such a long shadow over this conversation is the fact that going to school is compulsory. Learners have no or very little choice but to attend a school which then decides almost everything about the what, where and when of learning. So right from the start, we take agency away from kids, and we rarely seem to think about the implications of that.”

Podcast link here

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


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