Log in

Alana Madgwick's discussion posts

  • Alana Madgwick 30 Jul 2014 2:36pm () in They're here! Kid-speaked Literacy Progressions

    Talofa Mary and team,


    Thanks for these- Are there any for the end of yr 10 please? Just need to know before I promote to my secondary literacy community.


    Great work.


  • Alana Madgwick 03 Jun 2014 4:48pm () in Writing tools for all genres of writing



    Enjoy checking out these interactive writing tools for persuasive writing- they are great.

    If my link doesn't work just search persuasive writing on the readwritethink website and you will get there.


    Let me know how you get on.

    Alana Madgwick

  • Alana Madgwick 08 Apr 2014 11:38am () in What is the best "communication tool" to engage with Pasifika parents?

    Talofa lava,


    My friend from down in the deep south- Tufulasi Taleni promotes 4 things for connecting with Pasifika communities:

    1. Cultural celebrations

    2. Principal address- vision for Pasifika families

    3. Awards- achievement successes

    4. Food - Quality

    He says when you put all four of those things together- then communities engage.



  • Alana Madgwick 29 Mar 2014 7:38am () in Raising achievement for Maori boys

    Kia ora Taniwha,

    What a fabulous focused inquiry that is sure to make a difference for you student.  I have recently been inspired by Eric Jensen's book: Teaching with Poverty in Mind.  His book starts off very depressing as he shares what adverse affects poverty can have on behaviour and learning- but as you read - you understand some of the behaviours and attitudes that some of our ākonga have when they FIRST step into our classrooms.  Thank goodness most of the book is about what we CAN do in the classroom to combat the adverse affects of poverty- I have no idea if this scenario applies to your student so please ignore it if it is not the case.  However if it is then one idea is- to help him is to set OUTRAGEOUS goals-John Hattie's meta analysis on what has the BIGGEST affect on student achievement is SELF- REPORTED Grades.  Now with students who have failed constantly in our school system and who live in poverty stressed homes- research shows they will get 6 negative comments to 1 affirmation.  Compared to students in high income homes who get 6 affirmations to 1 negative comment.  What happens is the child in poverty gets used to failing and needs someone to counterbalance the affirmations and massage that part of the brain that feels the affects of that stress,  That is why if you ask a child to set a goal -they might set low goals because they don't want to fail- However using the data available and you sitting with the child and ABSOLUTELY believing in their ability to learn- saying this is our goal-you and I are going to work together -and set something like him acheiving the writing standard by the end of the year.  But letting him say that with you-then letting him with you alongside him make a plan as to how to do it- could- no will work! How to weave technologies into this?  Well he could make a graph online that shows him recording his spelling achievements-that he has on his blog?  Or he puts his goal on his blog and weekly he makes one goal that he writes- you give him feedback etc.  Not sure- I am sure you can make it work.  Anyway see if that helps-I have made an outrageous goal myself- that all 670 teachers on the secondary literacy online community (which I am the facilitator for) adapt or try a new strategy that works for one student this year.  It is driving me crazy that goal at the moment- however if I aim for the moon - I just might reach the stars.


    Kia kaha

    Alana Madgwick

  • Alana Madgwick 24 Feb 2014 9:30am () in Let us share what works!

    Yes- a real dilemma.  I agree with all of the comments from different people in regards to the reasons- the only one I don't agree with is this comment:

    "students from lower decile schools would be less secure about their subject knowledge.." from Stuart Middleton.  I am sure this comment is taken out of context because I don't believe Stuart meant this.

    Standards based assessment allows students to sit the assessment when they are ready not when the exam is scheduled.  I do think it is a literacy issue. Internals allowing a flexibility to capture content knowledge whereas exams are mostly in the written form.  Let us continue to raise the bar and increase the teaching of literacy skills and strategies in cross- curricula classrooms to help our students in low decile schools have the written competencies to sit externals.

  • Alana Madgwick 13 Feb 2014 11:52am () in Let us share what works!

    Talofa Liz and Anaru,

    How fabulous to meet you through this forum.  Thank you for sharing and building expectations of success for our learners.  I love the Honeycomb of Effective Practice as well Liz- thanks for reminding me of that.  Do you think that model or framework covers the cultural responsiveness teachers need as well?  I guess the more teachers know their students' backgrounds and celebrate their cultural backgrounds in their teaching the better we meet their needs.  - That may be under the know the learner part of the honeycomb - what do you think?

    I would love to hear some more success stories using digital technologies please- I am such a novice at DT- But this year my goal is not to stress- just give it a go!!

    Have a great day.



  • Alana Madgwick 04 Dec 2013 10:52am () in Literacy tips and tricks for parents

    Great timing Catriona.  I will just change my secondary literacy community update now- you might like to build on the discussion in your e-learning update.

    Awesome sharing- thank you!!

  • Alana Madgwick 04 Dec 2013 9:40am () in Literacy tips and tricks for parents

    Hi Mark,

    That Tellagami avatar sounds great! I have just had a look at the site.  I am thinking of recommending it to secondary students- do you think they will find it too young?

    Do you know of sites with something similar for teenagers? Anyone?


    Alana Madgwick

  • Alana Madgwick 03 Dec 2013 1:34pm () in Let us share what works!

    Talofa everyone,

    I just wanted to share a little success story because we all need to share what works and build capacity across our fabulous community.  I know this forum will be full of like minded teachers so it might not change much for you all-but let us all keep spreading the 'good stories'.

    One secondary school I have been supporting (on the Student Achievement Contract-but these things you can do without external support) had identitified that Pasifika boys across most year levels were really not having their learning needs met as they were the lowest achieving ethinic/gender group.

    So the literacy leader/ DP and I selected one year level to target a school-wide intervention.  We decided to pick the yr 11 Pasifika boys because they were really at risk of not achieving level 1 NCEA. So this is what we did:

    Term 1: Collect heaps of data about 35 yr 11 Pasifika boys. Had a talanoa (open sharing of stories) with the boys in groups of 3.  Collated their student voice. Met with a sample of the staff that taught these boys and had a talanoa with them about what they thought works and what they wanted to do to support these boys.

    I followed a random sample of these boys around for a day collecting teacher practice data on 1. Effective writing practice across the curriculum 2. Effective teaching of Pasifika students 3. Time spent on reading/writing/listening/speaking etc.

    Then we had the photo's of these boys on A4. Had a meeting with the middle leaders and asked them to put dots on the boys that they knew about (set some criteria for different coloured dots).

    Shared all our data and asked them to synthesise it to decide on next learning steps for staff and students.

    They went back to their departments and did something similar with their departments.

    2. Term 2: From the data we decided to make 'teaching structure' for writing across the currculum a focus as well as building relationships.  We offered a range of workshops for teachers on a teacher only day:differentiation, thinking outside the box for teaching boys, effective teaching of Pasifika learners etc

    At the beginning of the teacher only day-Pasifika teachers openly shared their stories of going through the education system either in the Pacific or here in NZ.

    Put the photo's of the boys in the staff room.

    Had another whole staff session with 80 teachers- where they were all grouped in 4 with only 1 student profile- they had to bring writing samples of their target student.  And collectively decide on next steps.  But before we did this whole-staff session, we practiced the session with the middle leaders and also asked them to be advocates for the boys and keep the conversations focused on positive next learning steps. Also talked about trying something different if things were not working.

    At the end of term 3 we collected some more data about teacher practice/ middle leader voice/ student voice

    Term 4- The NCEA data for these boys is fabulous- 92% achieving level 1 literacy- over half of them already acheiving level 1 NCEA prior to sitting externals and 5 heading for either excellent or merit endorsement.

    Finished with a meeting with the SMT-they now want to focus on these boys achieving U.E. (The previous year statistics had 0% Pasifika boys achieving U.E.!) Also a celebration lunch at the beginning of the year with the boys and all their whanau.

    I am so glad we focused on writing - I know we can assess learning in many different ways however writing can be fun!! There is so much power in being able to write your ideas concisely and choose 'powerful influential' words.  If teachers from PE/Science/ technology can help our boys' write-by weaving it into their work and using technology -they don't even notice they are writing! Also structure makes a difference. The DP who is also the year 11 Dean- knew all of her students- shared data with staff- got them predicting credits and believed all the students could do it! The literacy leader was an inspiration- totally focused on improving the teaching and learning for these boys- so organised and committed. I took a video of her with her yr 10  class with learners that need extra support- the boys were nearly all Pasifika or Maori- Some walked in late- no stress, some had head phones on- no stress-Great relationship with the teacher based on respect and hard work/ collective belief. All worked in groups helping each other- with the teacher just giving feedback to each groups as it arose. These yr 10 boys who were at level 2 etc had written 3 (TEXAS) essays with at least 3 paragraphs- She had used google drive /doc's to engage them. Beside each of their notebooks they had a highly scaffolded writing template that they used to support their writing with key words and TEXAS structure with each of the paragraphs.

    Overall- we totally focused on 'Knowing the Learner'- valuing these boys' lives, language and culture and listening to their stories- never giving up on them.

    What is your success story this year?

    Please share and let us celebrate these achievements for our young people, their whanau, community and our teachers!

    Alana Madgwick

  • Alana Madgwick 18 Nov 2013 12:22pm () in Indigenous cultures and e-Learning

    Hi Tessa,

    Firstly can I commend you and thank you for sharing this fabulous document on being culturally responsive through e-Learning pedagogies.  I was blown away when I first opened this- so thank you for sharing.  My first response is just something to think about-  as a Pasifika educator, I think we have worked very hard to separate the merging of Pasifika with Māori.  We are our own entity, with our own cultural identities.  It has been fabulous to have the Pasifika Education plan that embodies the values of our Pasifika people that is different from Ka Hikitia.  I love the way you have articulated the terms "bi-cultural heritage" because I think that reflects the commitment of everybody to the Treaty of Waitangi.  Is there a way we could reflect the difference for Pasifika learners in this document.  Maybe a first start would be just to separate the resources in to two layers on the left hand-side.  

    I actually tried to go in and add some Pasifika resources for you- but I found that I was locked out- I signed on to the VLN -I am also using chrome to open the google doc but I can't seem to add anything?  Has anybody got some ideas as to what I am doing wrong? Sorry just a newbie to this.

    Can someone help?


    Thank you again for sharing and I absolutely love the document- I look forward to using some of the resources and supporting schools to embrace something like this.


    Have a great day.