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  • Abbie 29 Jan 2016 7:30pm () in Translation help

    Kia ora.

    I am trying to find the correct Maori translation of the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi  (partnership, participation, protection) for a display at school. I have tried various online sources but want to get it right. Can someone help me out with the translations? 


  • Abbie 18 Nov 2015 9:01pm () in Resources around using Google Classroom

    http://www.shakeuplearning.com/ is a great resource to use. It is constantly being updated and is aimed at general teachers. It is Google focussed, but keeps the wider digital education view in mind. 


  • Abbie 18 Nov 2015 8:55pm () in How can i set things up so that I have access to my students shared google sites, without using Hapara?

    Assuming you are in a GAFE school: Go to sites.google.com. Click browse sites. Select category: all. All sites you have access to will appear. 

  • Abbie 25 May 2015 9:24pm () in Self Directed Learning in MLE

    Dear Sarah, 

    I work at Tapanui primary school, Tapanui, West Otago. I'd be more than happy to talk to you about this, or could work via a Google hangout. If you email me at abbie@tapanui.school.nz we can work out further details. 


  • Abbie 08 May 2015 7:54pm () in Self Directed Learning in MLE

    We would love to hear the results of this inquiry!

    We have a teacher aide (until lunchtime for whole class purposes) cave teacher (small group teacher), action station teacher and 'learning support' teacher. We are a 3 teacher teaching team with yr0-3.  

    The action station teacher (works in the main room where most of the self-directed learning currently happens) runs the programme for students not having group/one on one teaching. 

    From 9-9.50 the action station runs a whole class programme with fruit and fitness in the middle and shared reading. A values talk is usually given at this time and sometimes a song. 

    Once action stations begin (about 9.50-lunchtime) students follow the action station board (a whiteboard with tasks depicted by words and symbols. Early finishers can do the can do activities (with a couple of exceptions). There are a few 'target' children who don't self-manage yet, and these ones are more closely monitored. The teacher aide is a part of this between 9.50 and 12.00 to provide support for the larger numbers. 

    Most of our new entrant/year one students have their group times timetabled for this first block so the action station teacher can ensure the older students are fully up and running.

    Students also have licences they can earn: seed, sapling, tree. Everyone begins as a seed. When certain qualities are displayed they can become saplings. They then have the option of working out of the main room e.g. in the corridor and old resource room. When further qualities are displayed they become trees. They can then work outside e.g. on the playground or just outside the door. They can take a sapling with them (but not a seed). They have the option of taking seeds/saplings with them into the corridor etc, provided behaviour does not become an issue. Students can lose their licences. Tree students can also do tasks in any order they wish, including do can dos before must dos.

    This is a developing programme as we just began this year. 


  • Abbie 16 Apr 2015 2:03pm () in Flexible Timetable for a Junior classroom

    The teacher comes and gets the next group - the students aren't overly aware of when they will be taken at present. We generally find that the fastest method is a quick clap and the group called out. The learning support teacher will generally get the one or two individuals they are working with, or clap and call the group. 

  • Abbie 14 Apr 2015 8:53pm () in How we can help juniors reflect on their learning?

    Picture of success criteria Apologies for the delay in getting this up. This is what we use to help guide the students. They can quickly highlight their best effort and record their next step/WALT whether they can read and write fluently or not.

    Sorry for the pic size - used embed code feature - the picture button asked for a URL. 

  • Abbie 14 Apr 2015 11:39am () in Flexible Timetable for a Junior classroom

    This is going really well overall.

    Students can choose what order they do activities in unless they are one of our identified avoiders/wanderers/new entrant students. These students are generally told what order to do the activities in. I had a similar thing going when I did this during my reading programme last year in a single-cell classroom. 


    Reading groups are mostly taken before playtime - accompanying after activities to be completed straight after teaching; maths and writing generally occurs after play. 

    The only set times are 9-9.15 when everybody does phonics (students split off into their groups for this teaching). From 9.15-9.50 and 12-12.30 There is 'whole class' time (shared reading, values, fruit, fitness, reflection etc). Bear in mind though that students are taken out for groups from 9.15 to 12.30 (excluding playtime). Action stations are explained during this early morning time too, and are written up on the board with accompanying symbols for early readers. 


    In terms of those 'wanderers' we have had  a high level of success, going from having about 12-15 out of 50 students on our 'watchlist' of sorts down to 3-4. Mostly this now involves refocussing these students with questions like: "Have you been to the action station board to check what to do next? Do you know what you are meant to be doing? Where do you need to look?" 



    During the first few weeks we had our list of must dos, initially having no consequence for not completing work. This was gradually brought in: between swimming and the other term 1 business we were trying to find a balance as teachers. 

    Routine wasn't such a big issue as long as the teachers stuck to the basic timetable, because we don't have rotations, and group teaching is happening in a separate room to the other activities. Our biggest struggle routine wise was getting students to tidy up after themselves. This was in part a balancing act on our part too, as group teaching is tight time-wise and when your group is up for teaching you have to come straight away. 

    We addressed this largely through our topic which focussed on community and values. Because this was the first year we have taught this way, students aren't coming into a set in concrete (so to speak) programme - they were having to learn as much as we were about the way things worked. Of course the students managed the change much better than the teachers!


    Things have been really starting to hum along, with the inevitable hiccups along the way. Overall there is a high level of engagement and students are learning. We have begun refocussing children on quality of work over 'getting it done'. I am currently doing readings about this, and getting a higher level of self and peer assessment. 

    Hopefully this warble was of some help. I can also be contacted at abbie@tapanui.school.nz . Our hub blog (which is just starting) is mataihub.blogspot.com .

  • Abbie 14 Apr 2015 11:17am () in Flexible Timetable for a Junior classroom

    Hi Rachel, 

    I don't know if you have found this discussion thread yet or not, but it may be helpful: /discussion/view/922782 . It is the same discussion, but seems to be more senior based. 



  • Abbie 11 Apr 2015 9:01pm () in Flexible Timetable for a Junior classroom

    I am currently working in a junior team with two other teachers (and a part time teacher-aide). We have a list of must dos and can dos that are there for them to work with (action stations), using picture symbols for those who cannot read yet. These are up in a central space and are generally done in the order of each students' choice. Students manage the time they spend on each task themselves, with redirection supplied as needed by the action station teacher. They are pulled out by the other teachers for small group/ individual teaching. 

    The action station tasks consist of typical literacy and numeracy tasks, as well as inquiry tasks, Mathletics, creation tasks etc. After activities are still utilised, although this is at the group teachers' discretion and are always to be completed immediately after working in a small group. 

    We only began this path this year so are still ironing out the kinks.

    When I taught in a year 2-3 single-cell classroom, I set must dos and can dos for students on a contract, with different contracts for various groups. This only applied to reading though as I struggled to make it work effectively in maths. I generally only had a couple of students who needing explicit instruction regarding the order to complete tasks in. Students could negotiate if they did not get the must dos for the day completed (due to legitimate reasons). This was far from perfect, and there is a lot I would do differently, but the students enjoyed it and we had good results.