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cathie zelas's discussion posts

  • cathie zelas 29 May 2016 12:54pm () in Research in new entrant classrooms

    Hi Keryn

    Thanks so much for your report! It is just perfect to share with our NE team who are currently wondering about how to organise their programme to better support children transitioning to school. Many of their questions and concerns are exactly the same as those of the Mairehau teachers and I know they will be really interested to read about how another school approached the issue.

    It would be impossible to find a reading for them that more closely match their current needs so thank you again and I'll let you know how we get on.



  • cathie zelas 02 Jun 2015 12:48pm () in Student Management Systems

    Hi Hamish

    Thanks so much. Yes were are aware of, and use, the learner hub. It's such a pity etap doesn't have the facility for a parent portal so the live reporting and data for a child are all in one place rather than having to run two systems.

    How do you report on National Standards to parents? Do you use etap for this or incorporate into your google docs?

    Our school is all collaborative 3 teacher spaces so, like you, we will need a system that all the teachers can access for the students they are working with. Sounds like you are just a bit further down the track from us, so if any stage you do feel comfortable sharing, that would be great!



  • cathie zelas 02 Jun 2015 12:21pm () in Student Management Systems

    Hi Hamish

    Your comment is really interesting and relevant for our school. we currently use etap and are about to review and then improve our reporting systems. 

    What are some examples of the things you discovered that etap could do?

    We currently use etap for our mid and end of year written reports but are not happy with this and want, like you, to move to a format that is more of a live document. What are you using for doing this? Google docs?



  • cathie zelas 10 Feb 2015 4:52pm () in Professional reading suggestions

    Hi Lee

    I'm AP at Halswell Primary in Chch and we've just been rebuilt completely as a MLE following substantial earthquake damage.

    We did a lot of our PD through Core Education her in Chch. The Core Edtalks on MLE are worth looking at - short video snippets that stimulate discussion and reflection on practice. This is the link:


    We also used the work of Villa and Thousand, 2 writers from the USA who do a lot about co- teaching styles and approaches. Their book is "A Guide to Co- Teaching". While doing a quick search to remind myself of their names, I came across the link below which covers the best bits out of the book really well. It's a good resource for investigating different ways of approaching collaborative teaching.


    Good luck! After approx half a year in our new spaces our staff are loving it!




  • cathie zelas 01 Feb 2015 2:19pm () in A big thank you!

    Hi Mark

    One of your Core colleagues alerted me to your wonderful kete of resources on Teaching as Inquiry. Thank you so much for putting it all together! I'm doing NAPP this year and my leadership inquiry is "How can I lead change to effectively strengthen and further embed Teaching as Inquiry to support teacher professional learning and achievement of priority learners?"

    As you can imagine I'm intending to make good use of the resource collection here!

    I've read quite extensively on the topic and now would be interested in any practical advice from others further down the track e.g. what is a good simple template for staff to use for their first inquiry? First time around should we try individual inquiries or allow group ones too? I can see the huge benefits of collaboration with a group inquiry but am also aware of wanting to have all teachers very active participants and not have any passengers.






  • cathie zelas 18 Oct 2014 5:43pm () in Modern Learning Environment Furniture Tips

    Hi Nix

    I agree with others that Chris has done a great summary of the key considerations. Karla's point about focusing on the use of spaces for determining furniture needs is also a good way to go.

    We have just furnished our completely rebuilt school - all MLE spaces. As others have suggested trialling furntiure first is the way to go as is the "less is more" approach. We trialled furniture from 3 companies in our old classrooms before purchasing for our new spaces which gave us an opportunity to gather student voice and to see which types worked best for different age groups.

    We haven't gone for one colour scheme overall as a school for furntiture. Instead we let each learning team choose their colours. This gives an individual flavour to each learning centre despite each building being the same design and having the same colour scheme for carpets, wall covering etc.

    In our junior school we particuarly love the whiteboard topped jellybean tables for small group teaching. Also quarter round ottomans with backs. We have 3 of these in each T3 space and they are great for defining spaces and also a lovely place for parents and children to gather before school to read books etc. Line of sight is an important consideration too, so instead of higher bookcases in our junior learning centres we've gone for low book bin trolleys. These are easily accessible for young children and also have the advantage of being able to be moved around.

    Happy to share some photos if that's of any help. cathie.zelas@halswell.school.nz

  • cathie zelas 07 May 2014 1:12pm () in Literacy progressions matrix


    Can I also add a huge thank you to all who have worked on this - you have saved others an enormous amount of work and it's a great example of colloboration.

    Thanks so much!


  • cathie zelas 26 Feb 2014 7:53am () in Self directed learning in a MLE

    Hi Chris

    Thanks for your kind offer. We are in Chch and did visit your school briefly late in 2012 when we had a flying visit to Auckland to look at school design having just been told we were having a complete MLE rebuild. Our focus then was very much on building design so we'd love to come back and focus more on pedagogy.



  • cathie zelas 23 Feb 2014 1:15pm () in Self directed learning in a MLE

    Hi lisa

    thanks for that? It sounds like you too are doing very much where we want to head. Wee are hoping to send some of our team leaders to vew examples of good practice in SDL around the country so a visit might be a go. How big is your school?  And I take it you currently only have part of your school working this way?

    How do you scaffold your students to develop the key competencies and skills needed to become increasingly self directed? We have visited Amesbury School in Wellington where they have a hierarchy of levels of independence with students setting goals for the level they are at and the higher the level the more choice they have over their learining. Do you have anything similar?  ( I'd be really interested in Neil's answer to this question too.



  • cathie zelas 21 Feb 2014 10:30am () in Self directed learning in a MLE

    Hi Lisa

    Thanks for you kind offer. Where abouts are you? We are in Chch.