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Showing posts from March, 2017

To blog or not to blog - that is the question!

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One of the biggest tools of the Manaiakalani model of 'Learn, Create, Share' was the sharing of students learnings through blogging, something the primary schools in our cluster have taught their students to use.  At Tamaki, blogging was being used by some staff with their classes but we still needed to use this better as it inconsistent and under-utilised in our school.

For our year 9 sustainability unit, I wanted to develop the use of blogging in our school to ease the transitions from primary to secondary and thought that if we enforced blogging as an expectation at in social studies at least it could be filtered across school into other curriculum areas.  I was happy to trial the setting up of the blogs and implementing it into our units. I decided to create class blogs whereby the teacher would post ideas that kids were learning or activities or questions that the class could relate to, in order to ensure that learning was visible to an audience like our parents and other…

“Ko au te awa, ko te awa ko au - our visit to the River Talks

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The theme for our year 9's was sustainability which we as a school, we had identified a number of different areas in the community that were issues.  One of the issues raised was how to protect and sustain our waterways.  The Omaru Creek runs through Glen Innes and is polluted.
Mad Ave productions invited our students this week to attend 'The River Talks'.  The production was run over two days which allows us to take some of the classes to the production over the two days, without disrupting subject teachers timetables which I was conscious of, even though it had been planned from last year. 
On our first day, we took 3 year 9 classes and although we were only able to see half of the production, they gained some insight into why and how the river became polluted.  They were told how 100 years ago, the river was a means of collecting food for families and kids like them, could swim safely in the river.

On the second day, we took the remaining 3 year 9 classes and were able…

Looking for the theory behind an integrated curriculum

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“It’s not about doing something differently, it about doing something really different…” (James Beane, 1998)

Integrated teaching didn't just happen over night.  Theorists have studied the effectiveness and the ins and outs of developing an integrated program - my problem was finding out which theorists were 'right' and which could support the why and how an integrated curriculum was needed particularly at a school like ours, where an established single silo curriculum already existed.

I wanted to research theories of integrated teaching and learning in New Zealand, to see what was happening out there and I came across two schools whose models of integration that appealed to me because of it's straightforward and logical approaches: Kia Aroha St Cuthberts year 5-8 Both referred to the studies of James Beane whose research developed an interdisciplinary pedagogical approach and identified that curriculum integration occured when students experienced and understood connections…