#07 Newsletter 2021

Rāmere, te 1 o Paengawhāwhā 2021

Kupu o te Wiki – Mārama?

Mārama is a great kupu for kaiako and is used across Māori learning institutions as a short way of asking if akonga/ students understand. The kaiako/ teacher simply says, “Mārama?” to the students who either reply Āe/ Yes or Kao/ No. This is perfect for after giving an instruction or explanation.

Mārama? (Maah-rda-mah) Understand? or Do you understand what I’ve said?

Ae (Eye) Yes

Kao (ka-ow) No

Note: Not to be confused with marama which is moon (without the macron above the first letter a)

AKE MAI – Jump Aboard

Mātauranga This link will take you to some amazing resources.

Join us on a voyage of discovery about the technology and innovation that brought people to Aotearoa. Armed with their ancestral knowledge and a bigger vision of science – mātauranga – they created our land of voyagers. Polynesian navigators on state-of-the-art waka crossed the Pacific Ocean guided only by their kinship with the natural world. These extraordinary engineers, scientists, and mathematicians created the paving stones upon which we stand today.

Ideas to inspire young writers

Sharing rich models of writing using figurative techniques is a fabulous way to help our students develop their own writing skills.

Fog-tinted fairy trees stand alone in fields, noosed by coils of dragon breath.

The ‘Best Descriptive Writing site’ has been around for many years and continues to add updated examples. Follow the link here to view the descriptive sentence link. Many more examples are available where students can see how to ‘level up’ their writing, an example here.

Benefits of teachers writing

Have you ever thought of taking up the hobby of writing? By writing, you may help your students become better writers. Often the art teacher paints, and the music teacher plays. Demonstrating why and how teachers write in real life allows students to understand the why behind writing. It also solidifies a potentially stronger mentor-mentee relationship as teachers ask students to engage in work they also do themselves. Follow the link here to an article from Edutopia on their professional learning site.

Fostering a love of reading

If the goal is to develop lifelong readers, students, including our older students, need time in class to practice—and learn to enjoy—reading. Follow the link here to a recent post that shares some really practical ideas on how we can foster this love of reading in students.

Professional Reading

Problems of practice

The teaching and learning priorities of New Zealand school teachers, what do teachers think? In 2020 the Education Hub set out to explore the most significant teaching and learning challenges (or problems of practice) faced by teachers in New Zealand schools which, if addressed, have the greatest potential to ensure equitable outcomes for students. Follow the link here to some really interesting findings and more detailed information from this research.

Our Bicultural Heritage

Janelle Riki-Waaka, CORE Education, discusses how focusing on what it means to be a school unique to Aotearoa New Zealand and reflecting our bicultural heritage gives mana to Tiriti o Waitangi. Janelle encourages educators to ask themselves: How would I know I am in a school in Aotearoa? She believes it is a moral and ethical imperative to protect and honour te reo Māori, tikanga Māori and our bicultural history for every student in every school in New Zealand.

Racial equity and justice

How will you create opportunities for ongoing conversations about racial equity and justice in your community? Classrooms around the world are subsets of the broader communities that they serve. One of the best ways to make an immediate impact on those communities is to expand the perspective of their students. And listening to different perspectives helps us pause and reflect on our own views. To begin the journey of making lasting change, Apple have created this guide that helps you explore ways to have courageous conversations around issues of racial injustice and to design solutions that lead to lasting social change. Link to workbook

Making text accessible to lower readers

Readability of a Text

Check the readability of a text. Will making modifications help the reader to understand the content? Should I look for a more suitable text?

Simplify Language

Identify challenging words in the text and replace them with simpler language before assigning a reading passage. You can find free programs online by searching for “free text simplifier” in your preferred search engine. These programs allow you to copy/paste text and automatically highlight and replace difficult words with simpler ones.

Summarise Long Texts

Use your preferred search engine to find a “free online summarizer tool.” These tools allow you to copy/paste longer texts and articles and select how much of the original text to keep in the summary.

Pre-Annotate Text

Highlight and annotate a pre-printed text when it is not possible to modify a text in advance. Highlight only the sentences the student is expected to read, circle challenging words and write a simpler word next to it in the margins.

Use Familiar Icons and Imagery

Accompany texts with icons and illustrations

The state of school education

One year into the COVID pandemic

In 2020, 1.5 billion students in 188 countries/economies were locked out of their schools. Students everywhere have been faced with schools that are open one day and closed the next, causing massive disruption to their learning. With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic still raging, many education systems are still struggling, and the situation is constantly evolving. The OECD – in collaboration with UNESCO, UNICEF and The World Bank – has been monitoring the situation across countries and collecting data on how each system is responding to the crisis, from school closures and remote learning, to teacher vaccination and gradual returns to in-class instruction.

Join Andreas Schleicher, OECD Director for Education and Skills, for a webinar to present the findings of a survey of around 30 different education systems and their responses to the pandemic, looking at how strategies varied across countries, whether or not certain strategies were favoured, and what the impact of these strategies was.

Register with this link. Or watch the recording of the webinar after its completion.

Ngā mihi o Te Aranga

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