Made it!

Made it!

When I reflect back on what the learners and I have achieved over 10 weeks I am proud of all of us!

Continuing the kōrero from the last blog post, we completed a successful #NZreadaloud using ‘Sticking with Pigs’ by Mary-Anne Scott. It was the perfect book to use with my new class as it wasn’t too long, it was filled with action, and the kids related to the characters and setting easily.

The kids got the hang of sketch-noting and will continue to develop their own style. These examples were a few from many which captured an important moment in the story for these kids.

The ‘language wall’ (although a lot smaller than what I was used to) did its job and captured new words, language features, questions the kids had, connections we were making and things we were curious about as we read through the book.

Some of the kids also had a go with Wordles – this one using characters and new words.

We experimented with the Quiver App for Dot Day using a drawing of the scene from the book – this was fun.

Below is my class with Mary-Anne after she had shared her story with the 9 classes at my school who had participated. What a treat to have the author local and willing to give up her time for our kids. We spent an afternoon learning how to make putiputi harakeke so we could gift Mary-Anne a bouquet for her time.


I was interested in how #NZreadaloud would impact on my new class considering many would not have participated before. So I had them complete a Google survey both before and after our first readaloud. From initial results it looks like they have learnt to enjoy being read to.

BEFORE #NZreadaloud :

AFTER #NZreadaloud:

I was also interested in finding out whether the kids thought sketch-noting would be a fun thing to do while I was reading.

BEFORE #NZreadaloud

AFTER #NZreadaloud

So it was good to see that sketch-noting is considered a fun thing to do by over half the respondents.

What is more important though … it is also looking like sketch-noting is having a positive impact on the students’ comprehension which is exciting to know.

BEFORE #NZreadaloud

AFTER #NZreadaloud

Here are some quotes from the kids as to HOW sketch-noting helped them:

“it helped me listen more carefully and connect with the book”

“writing down words i don’t know helps me. and drawing down pictures helps me remember things”

“i could draw a picture and just tell what happened from it”

“It helped me under stand it a lot more than I would of if we just sat and listened”

#NZreadaloud has CONNECTEDNESS at its heart. So I was interested to find out how this experience was for them. From the responses, there is some convincing still to do around the value of flattening the walls of the classroom and sharing our learning with others not in our immediate environment.

Those who did however, had these things to say:

“Having hangouts with other schools was really good because I have never connected with other people before.”

“I learnt new things we missed out on.”

“they had different perspectives about the story.”

“I liked hearing other peoples opinions”

“that we could connect with other people around the country and make new friends.”

During the term we also participated in International Dot Day – a day where classes around the world celebrate creativity. We listened to the story which was the inspiration for this day ‘The Dot’ by Peter Reynolds.

Then we did a series of activities to use our creativity. (The image below is an example NOT one of my kids work – I forgot to take one!).

I became intrigued with ‘zentangles’ and then had the kids try zentangle circles. These were delivered as ‘artistic mediation’. Below is an example from the web NOT one of my kids work – although they did do awesome ones!

After doing small zentangle circles I had the kids do an bigger circle (with the aim of creating an artwork using them all). Unfortunately many kids didn’t complete this activity so the mural of zentangle circles won’t eventuate. Here is an example of one of my kids artwork which did get completed.

The other MAJOR learning the class undertook was our work around Learner Agency. The introduction of Growth Mindset led into further discussions around our inquiry topic ‘Why is teaching and learning changing as well as the spaces we call classrooms?’

I started by giving time for kids to carry out some of their own investigation first. Below is a photo of the KEY ideas which came from their initial research.

I particularly like the section on the ‘positive impact’ of giving agency in the classroom. We will discuss this more next term.

I then took the KEY points and had the kids work collaboratively in groups to ‘unpack’ what these meant.

This was not as easy as I expected and they found it hard to really get to the detail of what the concepts might  ‘look’ like and ‘sound’ like in the classroom.


BUT many of the groups had one or two KEY things which I was able to use and synthesise into something which made sense.

What a huge term!

We managed to get in a bit of sanding – an old desk receiving some treatment ready for painting.

Some Growth Mindset posters started for the breakout space.

Kyla and I on the last day of term … yes we made it!

So much has been accomplished and I am excited for what is ahead.

My current mood …




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