#6 Newsletter, 2022

Rāmere, te 18 o Maehe 2022

Spotlight – How Digital Technologies is Supporting Learning at Wainui School  

A few years ago Gillian and myself thought it a great idea to introduce beehives and beekeeping to the school, the students had shown an interest in bees and we had a particular group of students who were enthusiastic about learning as much as they could about being Kaitiaki.

With the help of SJA honey, we were able to establish 2 beehives last year. At the end of the year the honey was extracted from the beehives and then the fun began.

The year 8’s poured buckets of honey into 500ml jars which will be sold as a school fundraiser for our Garden to Table Programme. We filled around 120 jars – (the maths involved is huge!)

The students were then tasked with designing a label to put on the jars. After researching what needed to be included when you label honey, the students then used CANVA to design their label, coming up with a brand name and making sure they included the appropriate information. 

The school will then get the opportunity to vote on which label they like the best. The labels will be made into a google slideshow, the teacher will show their class the designs and the voting will be done on a google form designed by the students. 

The students have also made posters to promote the sale of their honey and slideshows that explain the process they were involved in when bottling the honey. Screencast O’Matic will be used to verbally explain their slides and turn them into a “movie” which will be downloaded to Youtube and a link sent to enable them to be viewed by other classes in the school. View video 1 herevideo 2 here

Being able to use digital technology in so many different ways has transformed the learning, creating tasks that would have previously been inconceivable. Digital technology has been integrated through so many different curriculum areas in an authentic way, making it so much more meaningful. Students have worked collaboratively on some of the tasks and shown they can be creators not just users of digital technology.

Have a question? Would like more information? Contact Leanne Stevenson at lstevenson@wainui.school.nz

The popular word game finally comes to Scratch! 

Wordle was created by Josh Wardle, and is a daily word guessing game available on https://www.nytimes.com/games/wordle/

A great starter for your lesson, or a way to occupy a spare ten minutes. 

The valid word list comes from www.wordfind.com and contains around 9,000 family-friendly valid five-letter Scrabble words.  

​Here is the link to the game: Wordle For Scratch

There is no need to wait for the next day. You can play as often as you like! 

These Statistics are incredibly tragic.  

“New Zealand’s Everest is mental health. We have the courage to take on the world, and yet our youth suicide statistics show us we’ve dropped the ball. Mitey is designed to help turn these figures around. Mitey is an exciting way to teach our kids about their mental health – and those of others – at school, every day.” Sir John Kirwan.

MITEY is a wellbeing programme presented by the Sir John Kirwan Foundation. Mitey has developed a multi-level unit of work to support learners, through literacy and art. It is built on themes of kindness and friendship. Learners are given the change to establish / re-establish where they belong in their classroom, whanau and community. 

Mitey includes trained Coaches who are senior teachers, a wellbeing review tool, connects to the NZ curriculum, ideas for community connection, governance advice and an online hub.

For more information or to request sign up use this link

Why is Self-Reflection So Important?

Self-reflection is thinking about how you handled past events and whether you could have improved or changed the way you acted or engaged. 

Learning from past mistakes or recognising areas of improvement can allow us to make better decisions in the moment

Self-reflection is important because it’s a process that makes you collect, record, and analyse everything that happened in the lesson so you can make improvements in your teaching strategies where necessary.

The Process of Reflection

Connecting self-reflection to effective teaching is a process. The first step is to figure out what you want to reflect upon—are you looking at a particular feature of your teaching or is this reflection in response to a specific problem in your classroom? Whatever the case may be, you should start by collecting information. Here are a few ways that you can do this.

Why Self Reflect?

Why do people reflect on anything? To improve. Self-reflection can help you to identify strengths and weaknesses within a lesson plan to improve the way you teach any given curriculum area. It’ll also give you the opportunity to determine how you can develop your skills to progress your professional development as a teacher.

It helps create a child centred classroom. Many classrooms are moving from a teacher-centred learning environment to a student-centred one. Being reflective and adapting your teaching to suit your students is a key part of putting your students’ best interests first.

It’s important to focus on areas that need improving, but it’s also important to focus on what you did well and why it worked so that you can replicate it across other lessons and adapt it when teaching other classes. Knowing you’re good at your job is a great confidence boost. It’s one thing someone telling you, but seeing it for yourself can be hugely productive.


 How do I Self-Reflect?

Self-reflection might be something you naturally do already. But if you’ve never tried it and don’t know where to begin, you might be feeling a little lost. The best way to start a reflective practice is to have some targeted questions to ask yourself. Here are some ideas:

  1. Was my lesson effective? Why or why not?
  2. Were my students on task?
  3. If not, was it because they didn’t understand or because the expectations were not clear?
  4. Which parts of my lesson could I improve for next time?
  5. What were my strengths?
  6. What areas did my students excel in? What areas did they struggle with?

Remember to be kind to yourself and look for strengths along with areas of growth. Be honest with yourself and reflect on what is best for your students.

Aotearoa New Zealand Histories in the Curriculum Released

Yesterday, our long-awaited Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories in the New Zealand Curriculum was released by the Ministry of Education.

Kaiako are already looking at it and incorporating it into their planning for next term. The document uses three elements woven together as a metaphor for the content: Understand,

Know, and Do. Like our beloved curriculum, kaiako are given the role of designing learning experiences using these elements to ensure that learning is purposeful and deep. 

The key understandings, knowledge and skills (Do) are clearly and simply laid out in a way that teachers can apply this curriculum in a way that suits their learners and community. A lot of the hard mahi is done and the content will easily overlay onto our current planning documents. 

We encourage you to dive in, familiarise yourself with it and to get excited about how this will shape the Aotearoa in the future. Aotearoa New Zealand Histories in the Curriculum website.

Kāhui Ako Hui Dates – Term One 2022

Date Venue Who Time

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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