#5 Newsletter 2022

Rāmere, te 4 o Maehe 2022

Three of our Kahui Ako leaders attended the online Mental Health and Wellbeing in Schools Conference earlier this week.  There was a huge amount of information presented and useful programmes shared. We will present various relevant points and programmes over the next few weeks.

Curriculum Refresh

The Curriculum Refresh will see a focus on promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing as central to the NZ curriculum for the next five years.  It will make mental health and wellbeing around student voice and need, include wide consultation and will be accompanied by teaching and learning support.

The curriculum will include well-being storybooks, social and emotional reassurance and Te Ranga Maori.  There will also be relationship and sexuality resources.  The priority is on supporting student health, safety, and mental wellbeing, creating a safe and inclusive curriculum and environment for all students. 

Link to Pause Breath Smile

The Pause Breathe Smile programme is completely funded by Southern Cross for all Primary and Intermediate schools in NZ.  Professional development provides professional learning and development in three parts. It is for teachers to implement the evidence-based programme in the classroom. It develops the key competencies and meets curriculum objectives in health, social sciences and science. It develops positive mind skills that support young people to be confident, connected, actively involved, life-long learners.

Formative assessment at a distance is challenging but possible, and we still need to check for understanding and provide meaningful feedback. The practices we use will look and sound different than they do in the classroom. 

So how can teachers address this issue successfully in remote learning situations?

Maintaining students’ interest and engagement is perhaps the first hurdle that teachers will need to overcome. Digital tools that activate students and encourage them to participate, can turn students from passive listeners to active learners.

Know your purpose: There are so many tools to use to check for understanding. As it is important to have routines and still have variety, select two to four tools that work well for you and your students. Focusing on just a few allows students to experience tools they’re used to, while also ensuring that checking for learning doesn’t get boring.

Below are some different applications that you can use or alternatively a quick google search will open up new possibilities. 

  1. AnswerGarden – Real-time polling and brainstorming tool
  2. Backchannel Chat – Teacher-moderated Twitter-type assessment tool for education
  3. Chatzy – Lets students chime in with questions or opinions during a lecture
  4. Coggle – Mind-mapping tool that lets you get a handle on student thinking
  5. eSurvey Creator – Make student surveys and questionnaires fast
  6. Flipgrid – Let students make quick videos that respond to teacher prompts
  7. Formative – Give live assignments, grade them, and give immediate feedback
  8. Lino – A sticky-note-based virtual blackboard that lets students chime in
  9. Naiku – Make quizzes that students can take on mobile devices
  10. Pear Deck – Create interactive presentations students can take part in via smartphones
  11. Plickers – Collect formative assessment data in real time with no need for student devices
  12. The Queue – Free educational chat tool that’s similar to Twitter and facilitates remote class discussion
  13. Quizalize – Create homework and quizzes quickly, with a fast-grading feature
  14. Quizlet – Develop tests, quizzes, flashcards, and study games for mobile
  15. Remind – Send quick texts to students and parents to check for understanding
  16. Sparkpost – Adobe app that lets teachers create exit tickets with visuals and graphics
  17. SurveyPlanet – Create quick surveys to get a grasp on student knowledge
  18. Typeform – Create polls with graphical elements
  19. VoiceThread – Create discussions around documents, videos, and other materials
  20. Zoho Survey – Make mobile-ready student surveys and get real-time results

Creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving in digital technologies

A short video from Te Pae Tata/Ruapehu College’s digital technologies teacher, principal, and students to discuss the success of the approach used to engage students, and in particular girls, in digital technologies.  

Link to video

This Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum website offers a range of learning for both students and teachers linked to learning outcomes and digital understandings. 

Check out their range of course here

The resources will guide your students to develop practical computational thinking skills. If you’re not too confident with coding yourself, Grok have solutions and step by step walkthroughs for each problem and a variety of professional development opportunities available.

As a bonus, all of the content is free for teachers to evaluate, use for professional development, or to follow along with students.

Grok Academy have an upcoming online web challenge that engages students to stop a massive infrastructure attack. 

This live virtual event begins on March 16th from 10.30-12.30pm (AEDT). Check out the details below


STEM Con 2022! 

This year STEM Con is being hosted from April 8th-10th. Whether you are just starting on your STEM/STEAM journey or further down the track, join experts sharing their experiences and advice for implementing STEM into the classroom.

With passionate, knowledgeable presenters who are educators, authors and subject matter experts, this is a fantastic opportunity to view and engage with content applicable to every classroom. Link

Te Reo Māori Comment Bank for Google Classroom

As the majority of kaiako shift to using online tools such as Google Classroom for providing feedback and feedforward, this has opened up a new opportunity for including Te Reo Māori in our online spaces.

Google Classroom is one space in particular where kaiako can preload banks of comments that they can, at the hit of a button, be used to provide feedback and feedforward. Some of you will have been using this for years and some may not realise this feature exists. This got us thinking, why not load some short sayings in Te Reo Māori to help weave this into this domain we find ourselves using more and more.

For those of you who have never experienced the benefits of using comment banks in Google Classroom and need some help, here is a great online tutorial.

Once you know how to load comments, you simply need to choose a handful of praise comments in te reo Māori and add these to your bank. Here’s a list of such comments for you to choose from. Not only will this save you a lot of time and effort but it will add another domain where te reo Māori is normalised.

Kāhui Ako Hui Dates – Term One 2022

Date Venue Who Time

17th March – Online – 3.30pm Across School Leaders & Within School Leaders 

24th March – Online – 3.30pm Across School Leaders

31st March – Online – 3.30pm Across School Leaders & Within School Leaders 

7th April – Online – 3.30pm Across School Leaders

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