Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Yolanda Soryl phonics workshop

22 May 2019.

Phonics training                                                                                Nawton      22nd May 2019
Yolanda Soryl, early literacy specialist

Things I am questioning about my own practice before we start:

 I feel as though I am not being effective teaching writing to my five and six year olds. After almost half a year in my class my kids are not progressing as I would expect/ hope them to.  I am seeing very little movement in two thirds of them. They are only now turning six, so have been one year at school. I am questioning the methods we are using; that is, expecting kids this age to write stories when they struggle to write letters, identify letter sounds, and hold an idea long enough to write it. One sentence is all they can manage for the most part. Admittedly I have got the slower and younger of the Year 2s. But still.... They are in the lower stanine expected for this age.

Thinking of my own early primary school experience in the mid 1960s, I recall we spent a lot of our time writing individual letters, practicing letter formation, copying models. Daily. Over and over. It was a year or two before we began to write actual stories. Or standard of writing and spelling was higher than the standard of kids here (I think,maybe I'm imagining this?).  It reflects the models in Asian countries, where kids practice writing letters, words and focusing on letter formation for a long time before writing independently. Many of the kids who come here from those countries write really well, better than the kids educated here.

Are we expecting unrealistic things from our kids before they are cognitively and physically ready to write? Are our writing philosophies not fitting these

Phoneme: the smallest sound you can hear in a word
Grapheme: the written form of the phoneme.

cvc word: consonant vowel, consonant
digraph: (blend) two letters, one sound: sh, br

In the 1980s teacher education went against the idea of phonics. Soryl believes they are essential to teaching literacy.
Introduction:  (refer to Phonics training manual)

Definition of phonics: blending sounds together is a skill necessary for reading. from the bits to the whole.
segmentation is for spelling. segmentation is from the whole to the bits.
segmentation and blending plus a knowledge of the alphabet.
There are seven stages of phonics
First teach them how to hear.
15 minutes a day teach phonics.

Reading text: - word level searchlight plus word recognition and graphic knowledge (recognise the shape of a word without reading it).
phonics give them a way to get to a word. Gives them a strategy.

Steps of reading and writing:

'Get words' - learn how to look at words. First step.
Grammar: has to sound right.
Re-read their own writing. children must read their own writing.
Phonics is low level, basic beginning 'searchlight'.

Components of reading: Decoding -> Comprehension -> Fluency.
Teach fluency at word level so that it becomes automatic then extends to fluency in groups of words.
Good readers use the left side of the brain, poor readers use both.
Books by Duncan Milne: How my brain learns to read (kids book)
            Teaching the brain:the new science of education. Duncan Milne
Research shows boys have an advantage when taught phonics.

Silent reading? what are they doing?
Include copying, handwriting,

Developing phonological awareness - A handbook

Seven stages of phonics: (p 12/13 handbook). Examples of stages p 16.

Stage One: Listening and hearing sounds:

Guided writing group - "I'll give you a tick for each sound you get right. And one for every word that is copied from your word card."
"shut your eyes - what can you hear?"
Stage 1: General sound discrimination. (p 18) Kids are now visual learners. Sound knowledge has dropped.
Sound discrimination games - Find soundtracks
can use different instruments. Ask kids to close their eyes and discriminate between instrument sounds. Teach them how to hear.
"What's my sound?" (can include containers with different contents, crinkly paper etc).
When reading, repeat unusual sounds. stop and get them to repeat after you.

Tongue games - get the tongue to "open the door, clean the top windows, say hello to the cheek twins" etc.
Make the sounds of a ... cow, bee, snake, duck, etc.
Line up four people/ four pieces of fruit/coloured objects.
How quickly can they say the four things. Change order and do again.
This speeds up initial retrievement process.
Alliteration: I say/ you say. Lovely Listening Lara. What did you hear?
lovely Yolanda/ Terrific Tyler etc.
Find Animalia book repeat phonemes.
Reading aloud to children is the best way to teach phonological awareness. 5 times a day.
It models language, extends vocab, enjoyable, pulls us together.
Copy a rhythm. - Can they give it back to you in a different way? Teacher claps, children might click or make an alternative sound to repeat the rhythm.
Start literacy with singing - it lights up the same part of the brain that reading does.
Say your name and clap the syllables. Clipboard - as kids say their name tick whether they can or can't.
Can do it every day quickly. Two minute session:  "clap - ta-ble, un-der-neath, cat."
"Say and clap dinosaur" without guiding them.

Phoneme break: cvc words
d-o-g - robot arms and legs for a word. change direction then c-a-t.
d-o-g  then swipe sideways to say dog.
b-u-g swipe bug. then leave out middle sound: b - g swipe bug.

Read nursery rhymes.
Little Bo Peep has lost her ..... ?
Little Bo Nog has lost her ..... ?
show pictures of at family - cat bat hat rat. show then do it faster.
rhyming strings. if you can spell one word you can spell many words.

Check out Soryl's website for examples and videos.

Secure lower case before introducing capitals.

Stage Two: Letter sounds and graphemes: 15 mins a day every day. Same structure every day.

Say carrot - cake - cow - camera - cactus.  Show pictures (or not). Teacher names the pictures.
Repeat, emphasising the c sound.
Repeat - c-c- cake. Hear ->read -> write. Don't start the lesson showing letter card.
Then first sound for carpet, curtain.
draw a carrot under the sun: crunchy carrot, c-c-c.
I can write that sound - c.
Feel your throat while you say a letter - feel it.
Hand in front of your mouth say it/ feel it.
show how to write. Get a volunteer to stroke the letter, everyone else stroke theirs on their palm at the same time.
she writes it, we write it on our palm.
whiteboards - write it, now write the beginning sound for .... cupboard.
Revision: I'll show you a picture, give me the first sound. tent t-t-t-t-t, snail, monkey.
picture on one side, letter on the other.
a - "the word is ah but the sound is ah."
first person with the beginning sound of .... injection, table.
differentiate between the lesson name and sound.

Breakdown of Stage 2:
Hear - without visual of letter
           emphasise first sound
           repeat first sound
           feel the sound.
Read - mnemonic - a visual connection to a letter eg snake in the shape of an s.
           (print a phonics scheme from Soryl's website - free download under 'products' page).
           draw a picture and an action
           alliterative sentence - crunchy carrot c-c-c. Say it, then write it to show how it is written.
           show the letter, point to the picture - that is a letter, that is a picture.
           transfer this into reading and writing - make links to when you read.
Write - volunteer to write the letter while others write it on their hand
            group write it on their whiteboard.
             kids give themselves a tick for each thing they get right.
            "look at mine, look at yours" when their letters are reversed.
Revise - (don't introduce anything new)
               hear - mixed set of either words or pictures that have been previously taught. first sound.
              read - letter cards - letters with mnemonic on the back. Build fluency - go faster.
            -write - three words
phonics games - match phonemes Smart Tray (refer Soryl website). Word Shark.   Steps. (computer games).

Learning to use a letter card:

 Guided writing group: - child on either side of the tacher are the lowest.
Writing starts with a conversation. Drawing the picture comes last.
First step in writing - composition.
Turn to a neighbour about what they want to write about and come up with a sentence.
Two - holding structure; clap your sentence: I went to the speedway with dad. 
Three - writing (remind them they'll get a tick for every correct sound and word form word card).
"Tell me your story" I -
Open your book. copy I next to the star. Next word got. find got. finger space. copy got.
Give them a choice sometimes finding, say, m. is it m or n?

No-one should be writing without me until they're ready.

See each group for ten or fifteen minutes, so can see three groups in a session.
Stick to a routine every single day.
vowels - a-a-apple (download vowel cards from website)
add u - then swap with a and u.
add o - etc.
then drill with all vowels, switching from one to another.

 Alphabet  poems Sandra Tichener

Pencil grip - nip, flip, grip.

Stage Three: final phoneme
Last sound:       Puppets - game called Croaky
fish - puppet says fit. (p 30).
shark - puppet says sharp.
now, get your whiteboard and write the last phoneme for ..... pen, cat.
ask for first or last phoneme.  make the sound as you write it.

It is quite a leap from stage three to stage four.
Things to help scaffold: Poems from Soryl's website, such as Mog the Dog.

Stage Four: Hearing phonemes 

cvc words
h-o-g, hog.
show phonemes with fingers
b-u-g bug
graphemes - b, u, g.
shin - sh-i-n. has 3 phonemes, 3 graphemes.
diagraphs cannot be separated: sh, th, ch. they are not the same as blends.
frog - f-r-o-g.       4 phonemes
rocket - r-o-ck-e-t     5 phonemes
daughter: d-augh-t-er  4 phonemes

Stage Four lesson:
show card:  dog.
say three words rhyming with dog - bog, mog, log.
middle sound o o o o
Physicality: teacher uses arms to show arms up - first sound for dddd dog, last sound (other side) middle sound.
robot arms - call for a volunteer make a word that rhymes with dog.
they say the sounds, class guess the word.
show a word. finger pointer. when I freeze, you freeze.
Next mix words, add cat sat etc to dog words. Show kids they are reading.
Kids with white boards: make a cloud. Underneath it write the word dog. look at mine. if its right give it a tick in your cloud. rub it out, write hog. collect your ticks.
change cat into hat.
turn cat into cot.
turn cot into cog.
read mine, read yours.
Listen to the story: A cat got a top to pop.
Stop. Read. More fluently. With expression.
Have you got a capital? tick.
Second capital, take the tick off.
Full stop? another tick.
Count your ticks.
Revision: dog. write dog. quick. Make it competitive. Repeat. Fastest.
Finish lesson with phonemes and then words.

Nonsense words: (the best measure of decoding skills).
show a word, read it out loud.
Revision, Stage four: 
Hear -> key word - rhyme - free/ string      middle sound  (hand action: left arm, right arm, middle)
                                 identify phonemes (1st, last, middle)
                                 blend (robot arms) segmentation.
Read -> word cards - robot and pointing.
                                   robot with no pointing.
                                   dump the robot. Mis up the word cards
                                   speed up, go fast.
Write-> whiteboards - rub out between each word.
                                    use the name, the phoneme, take instruction, change the word.
                                    talking out loud - articulate how they change one word to another.
                                    silly sentence - teacher composes, start with a capital, finish with a full stop.
                                    Let the cat get the hot rat.
Revise - > take a word to fluency - go fast to embed fluency
                  letter cards
                  mixed word cards

Fluency - slow decoding makes kids want to read less. It's boring, meaning is lost. Important to aim for fluency from day one.
 Teach them to read faster.
Embed fluency with word cards, letter cards, silly sentence.
Aim to embed fluency with cvc words. start with a (page 32).
cvc test - can they write hat, het, hit, hot, hut.
Teach fluency through phonics lesson in decoding.
Writing vocab: You have to know how to write those words: and, the, like, to, and.
you have to know this through shared writing -
Everyone has a whiteboard. 'write what you think I need for rocket. thanks for the r, thanks for the t etc. the teacher gives the children what they cant write.
now we are going to take a word to fluency - like - l-i-k-e, like (swipe). shout it, whisper it, sing it.
fix it if it doesn't look like mine. rub it out, write it again. four times.

Stage Five: Learning every sound in a word. Same structure as previous stages.

Key word: clock words that rhyme with clock sock, block, shock.
dock, block, shock - robot then give phoneme/grapheme.
What's the last sound in clock - kih show ck card. that's how you spell it. it's a diagraph - (two letters, one sound).
show cards for sock, lock, shock. robot it, dump the robot, mix up the word cards.
Writing part of lesson:
write sock on your whiteboard. s-o-ck. Underline phonemes. three sounds but four letters. why? because it's a diagraph.
rub out sock, write shock. add phoneme lines sh-o-ck. two diagraphs. rub out shock, write block
b-l-o-ck. take away the b, what is it now? where the b is write an f.
turn flock into flack. what do you need to change? turn flack into flash.
It is bad luck to shock a duck.
Read, repeat with expression. change into a question. Is it bad luck to shock a duck?
Show a mixed set of word and diagraph cards.
(qu is not a diagraph)

Stage six and seven: long vowels

Keyword: sheep. Phoneme: ee  ea
split diagraphs a and e as in lake. use people to hold the letters together. split them and add two more people and give them the consonants l and k. altogether lake. repeat with make. change to mate.
refer to grapheme as a-e. write with a line linking a and e overhead to show they work together,

Check out Wordlab 
Yolanda's website 

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Pipi Ako Conference 29 April 2019

CoL: Hamilton Girls High,    Hamilton Boys High,     Hamilton East School

Keynote:  Associate Professor Melinda Webber
Optimising Maori success and identity

'Stereotype threat' -  confirmation of negative stereotypes, influences academic performance of Maori students who are aware of low expectations. It undermines confidence, influences academic performance, success and achievements.

8 Key qualities that are intrinsic to optimising Maori achievement.

Workshop 1: Building shared pedagogies - myths and fallacies

Campbell Wood (Hamilton Boys High). Reference to ResearchEd
Exploration of myths and fallacies.
Explored a series of statements and differentiated between which are myths, fallacies, and 'recommendations'.
Memory being sidelined - just google it, don't have to remember.
Education is inclined to be skills focussed rather than knowledge focused.

Workshop 2: Pasifika Achievement - How do we engage our Pasifika learners?

Worldviews: Pasifika students are driven by strong cultural beliefs - Church as paramount, second, education.
Tendency to be 'yes' people in perceived environments of authority (such as schools). Idea of 'teacher knows best,' not making trouble, drawing attention to themselves, just acquiescing: High expectations of achievement by parents - go to school, do what your teacher says, don't talk back. Idea that teacher knows best.

(This is a generalisation. Across the Pacific there are big variations) but it is an overall tendency.
Food is central to Pasifika customs.

Important to make the classroom a welcoming inclusive environment. Includes greetings, routines, rituals.
Building resilience for shy students to be able to present to the class - start with a peer, two peers.
Poor attendance is often a problem.
Children sent to NZ to make a better life. Obligations to send money home.
Pasifika brainstorm

Workshop 3 - Karen Shute  -  Design Thinking 
HGHS new course called Innovate - teaching learning dispositions to a group of Year 9s. Learning how to learn. It had been noted that even by the end of high school, students felt they still were not confident in writing essays, solving problems and managing their own learning.
Design thinking classes involves learning about metacognition. 'Being in control of their learning.'
Students are selected and invited to participate.  Made up of high achieving girls.

Begins with a problem or issue that students are concerned about, or keen to engage with.
Stage 1: Immersion - students need to 'own' the issue. They need contact with stakeholders who are involved with the issue. (MAD week- making a difference in my community).
Stage 2: Ideation - Come up with ideas.
Stage 3: Implementation. Making it happen.

A group of disempowered students Year 9 students wanted to make a statement for others like themselves. They created a mural and painted it permanently on a wall in school. A tree with leaves containing positive messages.
Another group - wanted to make a difference to the homeless in Hamilton. Ended up finding there was an issue for homeless women being unable to afford sanitary products. The group found sponsors to provide sanitary packs for homeless women.
A third group: making a difference for children recuperating in hospital.

Design thinking social decision making -
consider an issue, weighing up pros and cons, find a solution.

Keynote 2: Kathryn Berkett The Neuroscience of self care: Putting yourself first - why we need to.

Focus on teaching being a very demanding profession. Need to remain calm. We must recognise the fact that teaching stresses our brains, and that it is impossible to remain calm and rational all the time.

Concept of sandpapered brain - accumulative stresses rubbed your brain raw. Extremes of reactive and rational ends of the mind.
Impact of stress on work production - you are less creative when you operate in stressful situations.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Wiremu Puke: Hamilton East History

Wiremu Puke: Research Associate in the Faculty of Science, University of Waikato.
Puke is an archeologist. Focuses on Maori history

Hamilton History from pre-European times. 
Presentation to staff     27 March 2019         Hamilton East School

Kirikiriroa means the long gravel stretch - its soils were ideal for growing kumara.

The northern slopes of the hill that used to stand in the centre of Hamilton were cultivated garden slopes in pre-European times. King Taawhiao (1825-1894) referred to it as the 'smooth belly' of Kirikiriroa.

In the 1890s Hamilton was a small settlement. Numbers quickly grew post WW2 and the city expanded rapidly after that.

The city was settled by Europeans who were drawn to the fertility of the soils there. Early Europeans needed to find places where food could be grown readily. The quality of the soils were developed by the local iwi who had lived there for generations.

Land confiscations began with Governor Grey who declared war on the Waikato (1864). Major battles were fought in Rangiriri. Ngati Wairere were driven from the area soon after.
Confiscations were from Pokeno down to Kihikihi and out to Morrinsville.

In 1989, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled in favour of the Tainui claim and settlement followed.

Many landmarks are now gone (rivers, hills, tracks, gullies, trees) but memories of the past are kept alive in memory of the elders of the area.
Five Crossroads - ( called Jubilee Bush) is actually called Te Papanui. It is the remnants of a huge block of native forest that was a primary source of food - Kahikatea (Karoi) berries and native birds for Maori. Karoi were stored in gourds.

Te Rapa originally was by the hospital. Survey maps are incorrect. Early surveyors made mistakes.
Some early settlers were conversant in Te reo Maori. The Hukanui marae land at Gordonton was granted very early.

Hapu structures are similar to the clan structures in Scotland.

A magnificent ceremonial adze was found in a gully behind Woodstock school. It is the largest in the world. It is on display in the Auckland Museum. Also a hei tiki recovered from an old pa named Opoia in Claudelands. Opoia Pa was down near the Claudelands Railway Bridge.

Speculation that this school site was once a Pa site because of its elevated position. The river was nearby.
There were apparently thermal springs near the site of Kirikiriroa and in Frankton. (Cathy Baine grew up in Frankton in a house that was built around a swimming pool that was filled with hot water from a natural spring).

Pre European, the Waikato was pretty much wetlands.

Traditional foods:

Te Kouka and Tipore - the heart  the Ti Kouka plant and the roots were boiled. Tipore root was sweet. Fibre pounded and juice extracted.
Hinau and Tawa  - berries. Soaked in running water to release toxins.
Tawhara - the fruit is delicious, like banana passionfruit. Chocolatey taste. Left to ferment it is like caramel.
Kahikatea berries.
Karaka - berries soaked in water also to flush out toxins.
Pikopiko - new unfurling fronds of the fern.
Taro Maori - (probably came on the Tainui waka)
Kumara - there were over 100 varieties. Kumara gardens were vast and weed-free. Most weeds currently were brought by Europeans. 
Uwhi (Yam) - extinct since 1885

Te Waharoa - the carved school gateway

Bob Koakoa (sp?) could have been the carver.
The two tipuna that hold up the gateway and stand guard:
Hotumauea - was the chief who oversaw the building of te Rapa pa. He escaped from a war party and crossed the river by swinging from a tawa tree. Landed on Duck Island. The island is shaped like a foot.
Matamoeawa  was known for his expertise in hunting. They built a pa. They are depicted on the poe at Miropiko.

Monday, 19 November 2018


Nanotechnology Hands-on workshop

Science with the Nanogirl team.
They ask:
What is a scientist?
What is an engineer?
What stereotypes do children develop when they think of science and engineering?
How much do we teach science in our classes?

Science is applicable to everyday life. It is everywhere and embedded in everything.
Today's workshop focused on:
Acids and bases:

Red cabbage contains a chemical which shows if something is an acid or a base (alkaline).
The colour shows where it stands on the PH scale. Red cabbage is purple.
Lemon juice and baking soda are acidic and alkaline.
If you add baking soda to (boiled) red cabbage water it changes colour from purple to blue. on the Ph scale it shows it is more alkaline which goes to the yellow end of the Ph colour spectrum. If you add lemon the colour would be different, moving more to the red.

Blueberries in blueberry muffin turn green because they react with the baking soda in the muffin, which turns it green (more alkaline).

Make a PH rainbow spectrum based on lunchboxes.

Find out the acidity level of the soil in your garden. Mix up some soil with water then add red cabbage water to see what colour it goes. Colour gets compared with the PH scale.

If you put a tooth into a glass of orange juice or fizzy drink it will dissolve it. A good way to show kids how bad those things are for their teeth.

We did an interesting experiment, taking apart a disposable nappy. The inside contains small grain of plastic beads which absorb astonishing amounts of water. A small spoonful of these beads put into a cup can have ten times its amount in water and it continues to absorb it, becoming a fluffy dry material.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Bruce Moody Geometry

PL workshop   Bruce Moody

Geometry  L1 - L2

Root of Geometry - Geo: the earth / metry: measure
Comes out of measuring physical features.

We have a tendency to move to focusing on specialist shapes before getting clear about generalisations in shapes. For example, an octagon is not necessarily only a typical even-sided octagon shape. So if a shapes has eight sides, it's an octagon, even though it might look like a block T shape. A flat hape can be turned into a circular shape.

We need to start with real objects because the world is 3D, not 2D. There is a big difference between drawing a flat shape and looking at a real shape.

Take a circle: It is round. There are many ways to look at what 'round' is.
A length of dowel is round. A ball is round. A wheel is flat.
A length of dowel is also a cylinder. Cylinder comes from the Greek 'roller'.
Investigating roundness involves exploring what it does, not just what it looks like.
What is different about the shape of a ball and the shape of a dowel?
We should be looking at the link between form and function.

Look at shapes in our environment - what can they do?
Knowing about corners and roundness and flatness - take a blind. Pulled down it is flat. Rolled up it is round.

What is a corner? Look around our space - there are round corners, sharp corners.

Definition of polygons  - they need to be: closed, sharp corners, straight lines.
We can look at shapes - present a triangle that is not closed, or a triangle with curved corners. Is it a triangle? No. Doesn't fit the definition.

(A circle is not a polygon. It comes from ovoid shapes - from ova - egg)

Polygons - count the sides.

As aspect of working with geometry is using Directional language - Where things are. The language of location.

Includes notions of on, under, behind, in front of.
This involves egocentric language vs geocentric language - east is always east regardless of me and the way I face. Whereas notions of up and down,  in front or behind/back depends on me and where I perceive myself to me in the relationship with front and back. My left or your left?

One great way to get directional movement into kids heads can be line dancing: five steps forwards, clap, quarter turn right, clap. 

Real life situations - packing your bag, how many cylinders can you fit into a box?

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Maths workshop on Measurement

Bruce Moody workshop 29 May 2018

Measurement  L 1 and L 2

To begin with, we need to establish what measurement is and what we are talking about.

Never use a ruler to learn measurement in Year 1 and 2.

Children need to demonstrate we can measure with self-chosen units. Introducing rulers too quickly, before they understand what measurement is, is not helpful. Length is not a straight line.

Fundamental understanding needed at L1 and 2:
  • Learning there are different ways of thinking about big and small. 

Ask, tell me about this chair and this table. Tell me why the chair is bigger than the table and then why the table is bigger than the chair.

Children are coming in to school with concepts of big and small. However there are different ways of thinking about big and small. We are drawing their attention to the understanding that any object has more than one dimension.  

Example of using books and asking Which book is the biggest? (3 books of different sizes and thicknesses).
We are deliberately getting kids to experience ‘it depends’ when comparing size.
There are different ways to looking how long something is. Don’t confuse measurement with geometry.
In measurement length is length even when perpendicular. In geometry it is called height.
This includes width, length, depth  and height are all called described as length.

Making direct comparison using different objects.
We have different ways of describing big and small.
If you run your finger along each book which one takes the longer or shorter time to cover.

Using toy cars - comparisons using different ways of measuring, sideways, lengthways, upwards, distance they travel.
  • Length is not straight lines, it is an attribute.
Using the concept of length as a ‘journey’. The length around some kind of shape.

Year One children learn attributes. In Year Two you can start introducing quantification.
Year One different ideas of bigness. In Year Two introduce quantity.

Example of different kinds of bigness - three pieces of wood can fit inside a plastic bag, but when the bag is screwed up empty it is the smallest. When it is holding the wood it is the biggest.

Blowing up a balloon: You can change its bigness by blowing air into it. It is a different kind of bigness than length.

Area: Covering or wrapping something. Example of skin on your forearm. You have an area of skin. How can we find out how big it is? We can wrap our arm with newsprint, cut it and then unfold it to measure how big it is. The idea that area is measured in squares. Can use squares to measure a table, an arm etc. Area is not length, it is quite different.
Similarly with volume. Using blocks of wood, putting them together to measure how many blocks are in the house. If out house is a tower of blocks it is tallest, if it is made of a bigger group of blocks it is bigger because there are more blocks. Can use the same number of blocks assembled in different ways. Demonstrates different ways of measuring.
Using water and vessels, the same process applies.
Children have to learn how to measure to be accurate. A cupful is precise. Four cupfuls that aren't full are not precise.

  • Measurement is about choosing a unit and replicating is exactly to produce a result.
We must use the same unit, you can't measure something using a variety of unit of measurement.

Can use a coloured string of beads to measure length. String is in blocks of ten bead colours. Children learn to move from counting in ones to counting in tens. Place value comes into measurement. Can also use a length of wool to measure different shapes, then compare them against the bead string to get a unit of measurement.

Example of giving a child a broken ruler and asking them to measure something, inevitably they will give the number on the ruler, rather than using the units of measurement. This demonstrates the difference between understanding the concept of using an accurate unit of measure and the misunderstanding of what measurement actually is.

Time: Just teach cultural aspects of time and seasons, days of the week. Time telling is very difficult. O'clock and Half Past are as far as you should go in Year 2. Digital time is now dominant, not analog. So its 3.50, not 10 to 3.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Trauma workshop

Daryl 23/5/18

This morning on National radio, a police spokesperson said that notifications of domestic violence was up by 3000 in the last year. This is the equivalent of an incident every four minutes. An interesting comment by the police is that they they want more people to notify because it  cements the fact that family violence is not to be tolerated.

What impact does this have on our students? Of course we know about many children in our classes who live in violent homes, but there are others who we know nothing about. Or we know something is wrong but we can't find out - the children are either unwilling to talk about it or stay under the radar. They act out in class but we don't know if they are victims of abuse at home before they come to school.

Compassionate teachers make it possible for children to open up and talk about what is happening at home. Sometimes kids have no language to express what is happening. or at the very least, it gives traumatised children a safe place and the option of telling if they feel they can trust the teacher. Compassionate teachers also understand that a child might need a different programme for awhile, or be able to withdraw or do something that helps them calm themselves.
Sometimes violence is normal for kids.

Forever changed, not forever damaged. Trauma doesn't mean that a person is adversely affected permanently. Self awareness is critical.

Its OK not to be OK - acknowledgement that someone feels bad, we don't need to fix it or brush it under the carpet.

Kids with attachment issues will push you away one day and pull you in the next.

Showing grace:
Remember each day is a new day despite what happened the day before. Its not always easy to let go of something that really bothers us in the classroom but critical to keep positive relationships happening.

A good story to discuss feelings and fear: Three little wolves and the big bad pig. About language and turning emotions and feelings around.