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Inclusive education, PD Opportunities, Readings and Links

With the shock of the events in Paris over the past two days it would be very easy to react in an inappropriate way.  I came across a great quote on twitter, “The right response to Paris Attacks: solidarity, vigilance, rule of law. Not: mass surveillance, racism, nationalism.” Wenzel Michalski Germany Director, Human Rights Watch. As teachers we need to be careful about our choice of words used when discussing this event and be alert to the language our students are using and to any signs of racism or bullying of our students.

Inclusive Education

The Inclusive Education TKI website was developed earlier this year to support teachers to design teaching programmes that support the creation and development of an inclusive culture that recognises and meets the needs of all students. The site uses a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) approach that can be used by schools to support the design of more flexible inclusive learning environments optimised for personalisation. It has more than 20 online guides to help teachers and school leaders support learners with diverse needs.

For teachers of diverse students and English language learners they will find the Developing an inclusive classroom culture section particularly helpful.

I think this approach is a helpful way to consider the needs of all your students. As you think ahead to 2016 it may be a good time to explore this site and reflect on your own teaching and begin to incorporate this approach into your teaching pedagogy in the New Year. You may like to also read this Education Gazette article Breaking down the barriers to learning  (9 November, 2015) in which year 2 teacher Stephanie Kitto from Clyde School in Central Otago provides her thoughts on the Universal Design for Learning guide. 

MOE Tertiary Fees Funding Support scheme for approved mathematics and literacy papers

Applications are now open to apply for funding to study approved literacy courses and papers at the graduate or post graduate level. 600 funding scholarships are available. Half the tuition fee will be paid for by the Ministry of Education and half by the teacher’s school, or teacher.  For further information and application forms see: http://literacyonline.tki.org.nz/Literacy-Online/Teacher-needs/Professional-support/Tertiary-fees-funding-support .

The approved Literacy courses and papers for 2016 are: file:///C:/Users/Phil%20&%20Janet/Downloads/2016+Approved+literacy+courses+for+TFFS.pdf . What interested me is the number of papers at Auckland University that are also approved as part of the TESSOL Scholarships course. It is good to see that these are now also recognised in these literacy scholarships. This is a great way to increase your pedagogical knowledge and to grow your skills.

Funding to support deeper understanding Education Gazette article (27 October 2015) tells the story of Jan Westfield a teaching principal at Rawhitiroa School, a rural school with a roll of 35, inland from Eltham in Taranaki and her study journey after winning funding through this scheme.

Maybe it is time to consider whether your school needs in-depth literacy and English language learners PLD. Te Toi Tupu shared the outcomes of the schools they worked in during 2014 in this graphic http://tetoitupu.org/literacy-and-english-language-learners . It does make a difference in order to find out more contact the MOE.

Useful links and Readings

Here are a few useful links and readings that I have discovered this week.  

Our Community

To access the following links you will need to be a member of the primary ESOL Online mailing list. You can join here.  You will also need to add the user name and password. The username is: eesollonline and the password is: mailinglist.

The Bilingual Assessment Service information is available on this page. If you have already provided extra support through ESOL funding and are still concerned about the student, you may be able to apply for a bilingual assessment. A bilingual assessment will assess a student’s cognitive functioning and achievement in their first language, and collect information about social and emotional health, and other factors which might be affecting their performance at school.

Secondary ESOL: discussed Involving students in monitoring progress using ELLP . In this thread nan shared the templates she uses with students to set goals and monitor their own progress against ELLP.