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Inquiry 2019

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This year I am going to be focussing on generating discussion in my classroom. In my previous inquiry I underestimated the power of discussion. I loved facilitating debate and getting my students to discuss their ideas before writing. This was a huge part of my literacy programme and I believe it really supported my students to achieve in writing.

I want to focus more on generating this discussion, with the intent of using more academic vocabulary and the language of learning. I found from my inquiry last year and the Woolf Fisher data that vocabulary and the language of learning are holding my students back in all subjects.


Essentially, I am looking at the problem from my past inquiry once again, but altering my approach to see if I can achieve greater results.

Transformative Progress

This afternoon teachers from the Manaiakalani cluster gathered in the hall at Tamaki College to receive feedback about our cluster data from Woolf Fisher.

The session started with an introduction from Pat Sneddon. He reminded us of the journey that we have taken; from an initiative that started in 12 schools, the Learn, Create, Share or Manaiakalani model is now live in 100 schools. What a huge achievement! He then delivered the news that the government has now committed to taking it into more low decile schools across the country, with crown funding!

It is always helpful to be reminded of where our learners are at as they enter our schools. They can identify and write far less words than the national average. Our new entrant teachers have a massive job helping these learners, and the data shows that their reading is moving relatively quickly, but they are still behind in writing.

Interestingly, in the higher year levels, students were making far more progress in writing than they wer…

Kia pai te kotahi

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After seven weeks in the sun, I was eager to get back to school and meet my new class. It was the first time that I got to stay in the same classroom (what a difference that makes!) and my second year at Pt England School. This time I felt confident to draw on my past experiences;  I am familiar with the Pt England way and the norms of the school, so I knew what to expect.

As I love getting my students to collaborate, debate and discuss their learning with others, I set a series of team building tasks to build a positive class culture. I linked each task with our theme for the term: Kia pai te kotahi, better together and we used the experiences as a springboard for our discussion about our class treaty.


This class were extremely receptive to team building and I was blown away by their confidence in speaking to each other and willingness to work with anyone. In each activity I got them to work in different groups and some even required them to hold hands (which can be quite the drama a…

The End?

Today was my final MIT day at KPMG. What a year it has been! It has been great to reflect back on the entire process and to consider what we have accomplished through our inquiries this year.

After presenting at the Manaiakalani Principals Wananga I have refined my presentation and created this video that reflects on my journey this year.



It has been great to have the opportunity to take the time to do a solid inquiry and to develop a tool to support other teachers. I intend to keep building my site and adding resources over time. I am hoping to gather more writing exemplars from students around the clusters.

I'd like to thank Anne, Dorothy, Justine and Jenny for providing this opportunity. The food and facilities at KPMG have been amazing - it has been great to have a 'thinking space' outside the classroom.

Text Bank Website

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This year I have created a text bank website. The texts within the site could be used for reading or writing - to provide exemplars or to be analysed. I am asking other teachers to share texts with me so I can keep building up the site and I see this as a growing resource.



 Check my website out here.

This a video of my students discussing one of the texts on the site.



Doing Something Write?

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This year my inquiry has focussed on accelerating my students learning in reading and writing. I identified a real need in this area, as the Woolf Fisher data illustrated that our year 7/8 students were not making as much shift as they had in previous years.

During our mid year reports, my team collected writing samples from our students and met to identify what level our learners were achieving at. While I could clearly see that my students writing had improved when I compared this writing sample to the one that we conducted earlier in the year, I was still concerned with their levels and wondered if they had improved as much as I had first thought.

This weekend I decided to create a graph to compare my students beginning (blue) and mid year writing (red) results:


In term 1, my lowest student achieved a score of 1P, yet in their mid year writing sample the lowest score achieved was 2P. The average shift was 10 months and the graph illustrates that accelerated shift was achieved for …

Feedback from Kariene!

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During our third session at MIT we had the opportunity to pair up and share feedback regarding our tools. I got the lovely Kariene from the Kaikohekohe cluster and this was the feedback she shared:



Danni’s inquiry started off focusing on literacy learning in years 7 & 8 and how that school and cluster data was showing that the rate of learning in many senses was stalling or dropping.  Her inquiring focused totally on what she could do to prevent this in her classroom.
Today Danni started out by sharing her site - a resource bank of texts she has created and used in her classroom.  This was broken into different pages relating to Text Analysis exemplars, Writing Techniques and Connecting Reading and Writing.
This provided us with rich examples and questions based around different genre/examples.  This looked like a fantastic tool at a glance. When we delved deeper it appeared to be even more of a rich tool.  
One of the challenges that Danni had been having is finding/accessing exampl…