#03 Newsletter 2021

Rahoroi, te 3 o Poutūterangi

Early Publication

Given that Auckland has gone back into lockdown, we decided to publish this week’s newsletter early. You might find some inspiration in the home learning resources. And if you have a spare moment, do watch the inspirational TED talk by Sugata Mitra. He shares the most amazing outcomes after giving students self-direction, and a bit of motivation.

Tuhituhi home learning resources

Click on the image below to see a range of fabulous resources that can be used independently while our students are home learning. There are some inspiring ideas here utilising digital tools available for teachers and students. Please make a copy of the Google Doc before sharing or using.

Click on this image for links to resources

Cross curriculum resources


Have a look at this website: link here. LEARNZ offers virtual field trips from across Aotearoa in faraway places, including Antarctica. Support material is included for teachers from years 1-13 here. There are also links to home activities that students can access on the LEARNZ homepage.

The NZ Ministry of Education has included a link on their website for learning from home resources. Follow the link here – there are some great resources listed in one place.

Follow the link here to download some free resources / posters for at home cross curricular activities at RIC publication.

Self-organised learning environments

Onstage at TED2013, Sugata Mitra makes his bold TED Prize wish: Help me design the School in the Cloud, a learning lab in India, where children can explore and learn from each other — using resources and mentoring from the cloud. Hear his inspiring vision for Self Organized Learning Environments. He talks about SOLE, and compares these with schools of the past and present. A truly inspiring video and well worth watching.

Kupu o te Wiki

This term we will be introducing a new kupu/ word or short phrase that can be used in the day to day practice of all kaimahi in our kura. The first is one of our favourites, mostly because of the way it rolls off the tongue.

Hei āpōpō Hey ah-poor-poor (phonetic pronunciation)

See you tomorrow.

Hei āpōpō is a really warm way to say see you tomorrow which is one of the more common things that can be said in our practice.

Hei āpōpō

Differentiation and adaptation

Differentiating the classroom programme, adapting the supports (from TKI)

Giangreco, Cloninger, and Iverson (2011) developed a framework to broadly characterise each student’s participation in learning along two dimensions:

  • the programme – what is taught (the classroom curriculum), annual goals, specific learning outcomes, and so on
  • the supports – what is provided to assist the student to access and achieve educational outcomes, including materials, people (such as specialist teachers), specific teaching strategies, changes in the classroom and environment, and so on.

The school and classroom curriculum can be made accessible to all students through:

  • differentiations: changes to the classroom programme – the content of the school and class curriculum and expected responses to it (the “what”)
  • adaptations: changes to the supports – the school environment, the classroom, teaching strategies, and teaching and learning materials (the “how”).

A general guide when deciding on adaptations and differentiations is to change as little as possible while still ensuring that students’ individual learning needs are met.

Some students may need only adaptations to access the curriculum – for example:

Alannah has severe dyspraxia so struggles to reach the same writing output as others in the class. However, she can achieve the same outcome as everyone else when she uses her iPad. A teacher’s aide with good knowledge of assistive technology makes sure that her iPad can access the class technology systems.

Richard’s teacher gives instructions once for all the class, then repeats them using shorter sentences and less complex language for Richard, who has difficulty processing language.

Other students may need only differentiations to access the curriculum – for example:

The class is conducting an inquiry into their local environment. Students can each select new spelling words from a vocabulary list the class has brainstormed for the inquiry. Dennis knows that he can comfortably learn five new words in a week, and that he will need to consolidate them by putting each of them into a sentence.




A few students will need both adaptation and differentiation but rarely on a full-time basis – for example:

Julie’s teacher is aware that Julie trips over things easily, so she has arranged the classroom furniture to provide a clear and easy passage. She knows that Julie struggles to find her bag to get her play lunch because she is smaller than other members of the class, so her bag is on a low hook and a friend helps her to find it. Julie is learning to recognise and write her name – although others in the class are writing a sentence. She needs to use a pencil grip to manage the pencil. The teacher supports Julie during writing to guide where to start each letter.

Grace has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and is working within level 1 of the curriculum in her year 5–6 class. She has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) which shows the goals her team have agreed on and the aspects of learning that require adaptations or differentiation. Her teacher and classmates use non-verbal visual supports for both social and academic prompts. Her current focus is a social learning goal to take turns.

Literacy really does matter

One response to “#03 Newsletter 2021”

  1. Love the new kupu this week. Perfect for Zoom meetings. Thank you!


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