# 10 Weekly Update 2020


Rāmere, te 8 o Haratua, 2020

Looking for a writing prompt?

The Association for Super Housing has commissioned you to design the ultimate lair. This lair could be used by a superhero or by a supervillain. So picture that lair. Who will live in it? Will it be a hero or a villain? Will there be a place for assistants or for minions? John Spencer has created this video to get students started.

Beginning of the Week Check-in

At Wainui School we have introduced a ‘Beginning of the week Check-in form’ developed by Lauren Jenkins for our Year 5 and 6 students to complete on our Google Classroom. We have found this a great way for us to gauge how our students are feeling and for students to ask questions confidentially. Feel free to use this idea with your students.

Icebreakers for online Chat Meetings

Our students often find starting their online meetings chats a challenge. Try some of these icebreaker ideas.

Emoji check-in /Roll call Students select and share an emoji that best depicts how they are feeling today.

Sketching / drawing – give students 3-5 minutes to draw the animal they would most like to be. What superpowers would it have? They need to share their creation with the class.

Crazy Thread story – choose 5 – 8 random words. Give the students 5 – 10 minutes to include all words in a piece of writing ( use paper). Alternatively, ‘drop’ in the words at timed intervals ( e.g. 2 minutes) as children are writing. Results are very amusing and get kids creative ideas flowing. This also helps those reluctant writers as you ‘feed words in’ and take away spelling pressure.

Games to play

Charades – kids act out their word/ programme and other students have 10 goes to guess the answer.

Hangman – use the ‘present’ option and get students to guess the word

Te Whare Tapa Whā/ Keeping a healthy work-life balance

This describes our health as a wharenui or meeting house with four walls. These represent taha wairua (spirituality), taha hinengaro (mental wellbeing), taha tinana (physical health) and taha whānau (social relationships). Connection with the whenua (land) forms the foundation. All four walls are needed, and must be in balance, for the house to be strong. The following posters can help us to aim for a healthy work-life balance.


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How to assist students with anxiety coming back to school

Social Story for younger students

Returning to school after an event Lesson Plan

Student voice and choice in distance learning

While there is no instruction manual for distance learning, there are some universal ideas that can guide us as we design distance learning experience. One of these core ideas is student voice and choice. One of the best things we can offer students in this time of social distancing is a sense of autonomy and control over their learning. If you look at the following diagram, there is a progression in student agency where they move through compliance to engagement to empowerment as they have greater choice and control over their learning.


Note that too much choice can be a problem. Students can feel overwhelmed when things are too loose. Children need expectations, which is why agency and compliance still have a place. Moreover, choice can be overwhelming. As Barry Schwartz wrote in the classic Paradox of Choice“Learning to choose is hard. Learning to choose well is harder. And learning to choose well in a world of unlimited possibilities is harder still, perhaps too hard.” We do a disservice when we provide “unlimited possibilities” because it is simply too much choice for our brains. For this reason, it can help to create structures for student choice. One option is through the design of a choice menu.  Full post here.

Digital Curriculum update

If you have time for a webinar, click on this link for some sessions.

Hopefully this doesn’t reflect too many of our students…




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