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General comments about LEARNZ

Started by Pete Sommerville 25 Mar 2013 5:20pm () Replies (18)

Here's a space for your reflections and thoughts.


  • Carol Brieseman (View all users posts) 29 Oct 2013 4:08pm ()

    Nice one Jessica!

    We did the Takehe trip a few years ago early in the year. What was also awesome was on school camp in the December, and how kids pointed out Stoat traps on the Abel Tasman track (remembering back to their Term 1 learning ) and being "astonished" that the pest problem was there as well. Terrific to see the impression it had made on these budding conservationists!Smile

  • Jessica Moore (View all users posts) 29 Oct 2013 3:58pm ()

    My class has just finished the Takahe Conservation field trip. I use it from a Social Science perspective under the concept "understand that events have causes and effects" with takahe becoming an endangered species as the 'event.' The history and bright future for takahe makes it perfect for this concept.

    I also love how the field trips lend themselves to easy integration with other curriculum areas; science (language, thinking, observing..), English (spelling, key vocab, information report, explanation or diary writing, reading, speaking) - the list really is endless.

    Next we will be using the material from the Wetland Biodiversity fieldtrip to become familiar with what is going on right on our doorstep (Mid Canterbury) before we visit the area and spend the day with DOC planting tussocks for our annual community services day.   

  • Andrew Penny (View all users posts) 12 Sep 2013 2:06pm ()

    Hey there Jenny - and I see your class is enrolled for the Rakiura | Stewart Island and Takahē field trips that are happening next term - great! I am working hard at the moment to have both websites live earlier than usual to give teachers time to fit them into planning for term four. Both of these field trips are due to go online on Monday 23 September - and both are going to be action-packed!

  • Jenny Coyle (View all users posts) 12 Sep 2013 1:54pm ()

    Hi all, Jenny Coyle, Edendale Primary School (Southland) - Pete asked me a wee while ago to share how I use LEARNZ field trips in my Yr 5-6 classroom... each year I look at what is available and will sign up for the trips that fit with our inquiry contexts - I make use of the 'any-time' facility of LEARNZ in that once you have signed up for a trip you can access the information any time you like both before and after the real-time trip.. this means that if the timing of the trip does not suit my planning, I am still able to make use of it later in the year.  The trip is usually used when needed for reading group or inquiry group activities and research. I adapt the online info and tasks to suit the needs of the group. A wonderful resource! Cheers. 

  • Chris Wratt (View all users posts) 16 Jun 2013 11:36am ()

    Long time looker/ first time user here. My year 4/5 class here at Hanmer Springs recently took part in the Restoring the Keplar field trip. It fitted perfectly with our term focus on NZ Flora and Fauna and Sustainability.

    I was aware of the LEARNZ concept but had not tried it and was unsure how it worked. Now that I have used it in the classroom, I am in awe of the potential of the LEARNZ trip archive in science learning.

    We did nothing whizzbangy with the Keplar field trip- no great 'taking action' at this stage- but it was an outstanding opportunity to bring authentic nz biology concepts into the classroom. We investigated a real conservation issue- the impact of pests on the Keplar ecosystem-and worked alongside great science experts- Ruud you are a star NZ's Attenborough IMHO.

    Through this project my kids developed a real understanding of how N.Z.'s natural ecosystems are finely balanced and how quickly introduced pests have upset that balance. What a gift of knowledge! All by being enthusiastically guided through an actual conservation project in action, using real science to track, trap, and monitor pest and native animal populations.

    We didn't go for everything- for instance audio conferences didn't work so well for us- but the videos and accompanying resources were outstanding. I especially like the archived nature of the field trips- meaning that I could use them in the classroom at my own pace. For example this one week field trip has been our focus for the last three-four weeks. Looking back through the trip archive there are probably 10-20 archived Field trips which connect to science concepts around native flora and fauna- what a resource!

    Thanks also to Andrew and Pete for the great support and suggestions when I had a query. 

    After my first experience with LEARNZ I would definitely recommend that all teachers give it a go. 

  • Sue Hodge (View all users posts) 14 Jun 2013 1:46pm ()

    It is so great to hear that you are "hooked" on LEARNZ after your first class trip, Tracy! Smile

    My Year 4 class had to do the Project Crimson and Kids Restore the Kepler with relieving teachers as I am home on extended sick leave. This is my 13th year using LEARNZ so it was a bit gut wrenching not being with my class. However, I looked at their audio questions and listened to the archived conferences so I was able to keep learning alongside my students. Being part of an Enviro school, my students just lapped up the LEARNZ reading resources and were inspired by the fact that it was kids who were making such a difference on the Kepler walkway. They have thrown themselves into our long-term planting project, originally started by Yr 4, and are busy researching the native trees they want to plant in the next stage of planting to encourage native birds on our back field and to connect to other local planting projects to establish corridors for wildlife in Auckland.

    New Zealand teachers and students are so lucky to be connected to the science community through LEARNZ and to build deep understanding of environmental issues so they can make a difference.

  • Tracy Phillips (View all users posts) 05 Jun 2013 4:18pm ()

    I used LEARNZ for the first time this term and I'm certainly hooked, as were my Year 4 class. Following the Kids Restore the Keplar trip, my class has been immersed in their learning across many curriculum areas. Literacy and Mathematics class activities were focused on NZ Native bush, birds and insects, with tasks having greater meaning and impact through the links the children were making via Andrew, together with our own trip to our local Native Bush Reserve. Adapting the resourses provided to ensure suitability for all learning needs of students was an easy task, this included providing suitable material for a special needs student.

    Our school held a Maori Community Hui during the time of the trip and feed back directly from parents of children in the class was extremely positive.

    The experience has been successful for all, and I am planning to follow another trip later this year to  provide another rich learning opportunity for the class, as well as consolidating my own learning!

  • Robina Smythe (View all users posts) 04 Jun 2013 5:39pm ()

    I have taken my online-based students on a LEARNZ trip several times. Because most of them are based overseas it provides an ideal connection for them to their 'home' and to the shared experiences they have of New Zealand whether they live here currently or not. They are able to share what they know from their own experiences and what they have observed in the place they live. This enables them to question eachother, reflect on what they have known and also share what they know about the cultural and other attitudes in their living community. This can create a lot of interest in the online discussion forums we can have.
    I would love to see the website designed in a way that makes it easier for the students to navigate in a more independent way. This is what my students do.

    They all thoroughly enjoy the "real" experience that is offered and perhaps, from a distance, seem to care about their country.

  • stuart (View all users posts) 06 Apr 2013 11:51pm ()

     In reply to your email Pete, I find the field trips as a great way of introducing vocab and scientific language to students. As well as teaching inquiry skills and science knowledge. I used the glossary section of the web site and selected words to use for word study prior to the field trip. We used the words for spelling activities, dictionary skills and quick writing activities. This is helpful for ESOL students that can have difficulty with vocab.

  • Andrew Penny (View all users posts) 05 Apr 2013 10:09am ()

    Hey Stuart! Sounds like you guys are doing some worthwhile follow-up to the field trip. Great stuff - looking forward to you all joining us on another field trip soon!

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Teacher area for LEARNZ free virtual field trips for NZ schools