Friday, 23 June 2017

Te Reo Māori

As someone who completed the majority of their schooling overseas, I cannot say I experienced any Te Reo Māori lessons when I was at school. As such, when I began teaching last year I was a little unsure of how much Te Reo is usually taught and how these lessons are structured. Naturally, there is a lot of variation between courses and different ideas of how best to support the development of the language. Fortunately, I was able to experience Te Reo lessons first hand as I enrolled in two different courses as a student.
                                                    Learning about the colours

While I was a student at Auckland University, I took a linguistics paper in Te Reo Māori which helped me to develop an understanding of the structure of the language and supported me to build a basic vocabulary. As I still struggled with pronunciation and wanted to learn more about Tikanga, I enrolled in a course at UNITEC. This course was free and I would urge other educators to enrol, as I found it hugely beneficial. We went through the basics of the language, but looked at pronunciation,  tikanga and kapa haka.  The tutors in this course were wonderful; the activities that they provided were engaging and we all came a long way in a short space of time.

                                                                                                               Our Matariki Video
I now use a combination of " Ka Mau te Wehi!" which is the programme followed by my school and the lessons from my Kura Po classes at UNITEC. I have found that my students are just as engaged in the activities from my classes as I was and I can tell that much learning is occurring in these lessons.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Encouraging Collaboration and Problem Solving

This term I have sought to facilitate discussion between my learners and to step out of group lessons so that they are student led. I have utilized strategies such as reciprocal reading, maths as problem solving and circle time to encourage this. I have also highlighted the importance to work with others during our class PB4L lessons.
Team Building Sport Games


Within these PB4L lessons, I have facilitated a number of activities to foster team building. We played team building sports games, technology challenges and the famous toothpaste activity. One of the most engaging and successful activities that the class has participated in has been Breakout Edu.

A PB4L Challenge

The students were respectful, supportive, collaborative and engaged throughout the game, which was very rewarding to observe. Part of this success could be due to the amount of focus that we have put into team building in the past, but the Breakout had my students captivated and they have requested that we complete another game as soon as possible.


Our first Breakout was simple as the context of the game was designed for younger primary school students. However, as this was their first experience with the game, I felt it was important that they learnt a little more about it before the challenge is increased. The students have suggested that I facilitate a slightly trickier game at the end of term, which I am already looking forward to.