Prep for Term 2


Remember Saturday 29th April 9am-3pm - Autism Training

Behaviour - 18/4

This continues to be our number one priority.  I think we have made our point in most cases.  We are back to two staff on duty.  To make sure we are effective on duty we need to be on time, not distracted and actively rove.  If things start to erupt we will need to go back to the three staff roster.  We also need to make sure we model what we expect - e.g. cheerful greetings, being present and responsive to children (not hidden behind a laptop in the mornings), keeping our areas of the school tidy, supervising lunch and ensuring children tidy up their areas, keeping quiet ourselves in assemblies etc. etc.

We can't continue to have Nicola released every time I'm away so we will need to develop a plan b for those times when everyone's teaching.

Continue to focus on positive class systems and honest and open communication in class - do circle time.  If you don't know how, ask me and I'll do one for you - please ask.

We are now mainly dealing with behaviour needs rather than behaviour choices.  Keeping all children safe is a number one priority.  For some classes you may need to specifically coach children on noticing signs of distress and sensible actions to take to avoid conflicts.

I will be working with the year 4 class and Anna on social skills during this term.

At the end of the week one staff meeting we'll have a quick review of our Relationship Management System to check we're all on the same page and its working for us and a quick update on where we're at.  Nicola will share a bit about the Restorative Justice training she did at St Kevin's.

Instructions for using new behaviour report format 27/4

I have found MUSAC quite inflexible and hard to use when it comes to tracking behaviours.  I've made a spreadsheet to track recurrent orange/red behaviours - violence, swearing, abuse, high level back chat or non compliance.  Each child who has recurrent behaviours has a tab on the spreadsheet.  I've also created shared folders for them in the SENCO folder.  These folders will store all the information about them so it can be easily accessed via the main spreadsheet.

Here's the spreadsheet: Behaviour Tracking

1. Keep the folder up to date with any external agency reports scanned and put in the folder, also in-class tracking systems, in-class incentives etc.
2. If you have one of these children in your class please add the behaviour goal at the top of the child's sheet (if the child is on an RTLB or Ed Psych program put the goal from that).
3. Please add a couple of positive behaviours to the spreadsheet every week.  That way when I'm ringing parents I have some positives also at my finger tips - its important to keep hope and progress alive.
4. If you are tracking in-class behaviours as well please add them to this sheet as this is where we'll monitor the overall progress and print out and report to parents, for those who have asked for it.

Duty Roster 18/4

Playground Privilege Term 2 2017.docx

Staff Meetings 18/4, updated 20/4, 27/4

Term 2 2017 meetings

CoL Writing Meeting - 17 May (27/4).  

This takes the place of the staff meeting for that week.  It was on writing moderation but this looks more interesting.  We will be doing our writing moderation in week 4.  I will collect up the samples for this.  You will need to bring some bits to the CoL meeting.

I've changed how we track this.  Sorry... I'm getting happier with it but there will still be more changes to other parts- I'll do them in a way that doesn't undo your work and the main aim of the changes is to make the whole thing more user friendly, more useful and less work intensive in the end, so please bear with me.    

  1. Writing Monitored Student Tracker 2017
  2. Maths Monitored Student Tracker 2017
  3. Reading Monitored Student Tracker 2017

Special Needs Register

Files 1-3 now over-ride the special needs register.  You need to add the initials of your monitored children at the appropriate square on the tracker.  Term 2 colour is red.  Don't worry about term 1.

For those of you who entered your curriculum level already on the special needs register I've copied them over for you and added them to the trackers.  A few classes still need to add their current levels but these can now be added directly onto the tracker sheets.


My next step is to tie in the monitored forms we are keeping and cross reference with your evidencing goals that you set yourself during the term.  Again - trying to get everything on this in one place so it ties in together.  For now just add your children to the trackers please.

There is a tab (only visible to us) on the teaching and learning site for "learning support" where all these docs can be accessed.

RE 20/4

Plan to teach the prayer strand in week one.  
For the Holy Spirit strand meeting in week 2 read the theology section at the front of your strand book.  Bring to share with the group something you have done with Holy Spirit teaching previously that has made an impact on the children.

Keep the stories and key ideas covered in the Jesus strand alive in your classroom e.g. read the stories for prayers and remind how they teach us how to live, or save us.  Use some of the story videos on the parents page.  Keep coming back to them.  These are the key faith stories our children need to know to hang the rest of their understanding on.


Spelling 18/4

We are purchasing the Word Lab spelling program (this is just the overview).
It is a year 1 to 8 developmental program based on the Stephen Graham approach that some of you had PD on in 2015.  It is NZ based and recommended by the Resource Teachers of Literacy.  Megan and Christina will be providing support with it as needed and we will get Sharon Johnson in  to give us a start up on it.  Papakaio and North School are using it and Papakaio says its made huge improvements in spelling in situ.

Science 18/4

Morgan will be getting you going in the first week's meeting with science.  

Release 18/4

I will talk to Morgan and Sara separately about release.  

For everyone else:

Ann is the same as previous with Nicola and Suzy.

For those who don't know, Julie is in the process of selling up and moving to Adelaide.  So I suggest juniors and middle to get your CRT bookings in with her while you can.  If she goes mid term, Lena will complete junior CRT.  Julie's bookings (I have changed Christina's time to 11.30-12.30 on Thursdays)

If you have any remaining release from term 1 with Julie you must make it up - Julie will already have been paid for it, so if there is any extra and you don't sort it out you'll miss out.

Suzy is owed two mornings - up to you Suzy and Ann to sort that out.

I will be doing an hour a week CRT for Anna.

In week 2 Ann is covering Morgan on Tuesday and Wednesday and then Nicola and Thursday and Suzy on Friday.

Ann is away on Week 3 from Tuesday and back on Monday in week 4.  Nicola, Suzy and Ann will need to organise the release makeup from that time.

New Resources 21/4

Sheena Cameron's Oral Language Book 2x copies - keep by senior photocopier with a notebook to record who's using it

Friendly Kids, Friendly Classrooms 2x copieskeep by senior photocopier with a notebook to record who's using it

SevenPlus - a reading program for struggling older readers - that's gone to Sara as part of SENCO but copies can be made for anyone who also wants to do it as part of their class reading program (ask Sara).  We use existing texts.

WordLab - whole school spelling program - Christina and Megan will get that copied out to everyone in due course to start looking at and working out how to use.  Its straightforward - please plan for it to be a regular and ongoing part of your class timetable.

Socially Speaking social skills game and the Friendship Formula game - these are board games - I think we will make a point of using these every year with our year 4 class who get to the age/stage where they need development in this area.  Anyone with year 5+ can also use these games but lower than year 4 we'll keep them for the full class impact when they get to this stage please.

The full phonics kit for the Yolanda Sorryl program.  As most junior teachers have already been to Yolanda Sorryl training you could start interacting with this kit asap to start the programs going in your classroom (juniors - we will meet early on to sort this out).  Then when everyone gets their second bite at the training you will be well on your way. This will be kept in the junior literacy room when it arrives also with a notebook so you keep track of who is using which part.  It also has a CD which you can use to duplicate the resources if you need to.

I've spent the curriculum money on the things we've discussed and which people indicate we have the most need for.

Devices - what you get now 23/4

My boys and myself have done a full device audit over the holidays.  We've recorded all the serial numbers of all the Chromebooks and cross referenced them with the labels we've put on them.  Next holiday's we'll do the same for the ipads.

On the back of each device in silver or gold pen is the hub and number.
Intermediate - is labelled I (for intermediate) number (for the cow the devices goes in) and number (the number of the device cross referenced against its serial number) e.g. I1/2 - means device 2 in cow 1 in the intermediate.

The intermediate cow 2 has been moved into SH and is still labelled as I.  

Here's what you have:

Intermediate - 30 new Chromebooks - all in good order
                            + 18 older Chromebooks - I 1/6 has a broken screen and is with Andy
This gives one to one devices in the intermediate department.

Senior Hub - 16 Chromebooks in the Cow all labeled M (for middle - that's what my boys thought the department was) plus a number - minus Chromebook M4 which is with Andy for fixing
                + 1 Chromebook on top of COW  labelled I 1/17
                + Intermediate COW 2 with 9 Chromebooks 
                + 4 ipads - 3 left on Nicola's desk marked SH 1, 2 & 3.  There is a missing ipad from the senior hub area that needs to be located
 At present that gives 29 devices in senior hub - a class set, or one between 2.  This area should not be relying on devices as a major part of the program as very few children at this level have the independent reading skills to use them effectively and need to be taught this within a guided context.
No more BYOD in this area please.

Middle Hub - has 15 ipads.  I have taken away 4 which have been removed from their cases - can the cases be located please so that these can be returned to circulation.  Middle hub will get 3 of the new ipads.  Total = 18 (9 per class)

Junior Hub 2 - will have full use of the 11 ipads charging in the maths room plus 5 of the new ipads.  Total = 17 = (8 or 9 per class)

Junior Hub 1 LB - 6 new ipads
Junior Hub 1 TM - 6 new ipads

In the junior and middle hub we want to use technology wisely and use it for transformative purposes wherever possible (see guidelines in St Joseph's curriculum) as we want to minimise device time for younger children.   Our community is very supportive of this practice.  

All the new ipad chargers have been labelled 2017.  There is a serious loss of ipad chargers throughout the school and it would be very good if these could be relocated..  We'd expect the 2017 labelled chargers to remain with the new ipads and not be taken out for use elsewhere.

Try not to borrow or lend devices across hubs as this gets very confusing.  In the rare instances where you do, please record the number on the device being lent and ensure it is returned again.

NB: the new ipads are in the staffroom nearly ready to go but please don't take them yet.

Moving Forward into Term 2 - Teaching and Learning 18/4
I've been musing over the last couple of terms how I can manage systems so that we support the things that really matter in learning.

Funnily enough it seems that what we have to measure (ie National Standards) we do well and put our attention on - so the SMS tends to get a good deal.  But the "softer" more qualitative stuff has definitely suffered.  

Also we have a lot of itty bitty stuff.  IT would be great if the SMS did all the jobs we want it to do but it doesn't and so we have lots of little systems and its confusing and bitty.

To give the qualitative side of learning the merit it deserves we need to change what we put our attention on.  I needed some time to reflect and work this out a bit more, and its still a work in process but here's my thinking as to what it might mean to us in terms of outcomes:

  • - moving forward with evidencing learning, continue to hone the progressions (senior reading isn't right yet)
  • - continue to focus on helping students to relate their work as evidence of learning against the progressions
  • - share these through e portfolios
  • - develop a practice of descriptive commenting - e.g. videoing a science problem-solving session and annotate the reasoning shown and teach children how to do this for themselves.  This will help us to value and develop key competencies and inquiry/thinking skills
  • - use eportfolios as reports (our reports presently do not report what really matters to us).  They will be written, in plain language, and referenced against NSs.  So the evidencing of learning will cover reporting.
  • - Students use their portfolios for student-led conferencing.

Here's the video I made for my Mindlab assignment about some of these things (don't feel you need to watch it - it may just explain a bit about some of the background reasoning):

YouTube Video

Assessments for Term 2 18/4

Some adjustments (decrease) in assessments.  Nicola is yet to have input into this and may have more to add or take away.  At this point this is the overview.

For this term use the mid year report in Edge.

Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

Term 4

One month at school assessment, informally reported to parents via conversation MUSAC

Six year net, used as part of 1st anniversary OTJ MUSAC

Ongoing interim and anniversary reports up to the end of 3rd year anniversary and parent conferences MUSAC

Goal setting meetings, parent/child/teacher.

Mid year written report years 4-8 MUSAC and student conferences     THIS WILL BE THE LAST TIME WE DO IT THIS WAY - SO ENJOY :)    

End year written report year 4-8 MUSAC


Ongoing reading assessment:


Main Purpose



Running record tick sheets

Formative - grouping, monthly tracking - Do a couple a week in the reading group to keep up to date. Keep MUSAC up to date

Juniors up to turquoise


PM Benchmarks

Formative - Reading strategies/behaviours and comprehension - for terms when you don't have to report. In reporting terms use Ready to Read as these are specified as the NS texts.

Turquoise- Gold 2 (17-22)

By the end of each term.

Probe - aloud - with teacher

Do it twice a year to add to OTJ twice a year. In year 4+ you are more concerned with reading for learning so:

mid year - fiction

end of year - non-fiction

When we get portfolios going you can take a picture of the sheet and add it to the portfolio, then you don't have to enter into MUSAC.

Gold 2 - Reading Age 11 (17-29)

By the end of each term.  Fiction - Term 1,3

Non Fiction - Term 2,4

Probe - written comprehension

Formative - child’s own goal setting and tracking

mid year - fiction

end of year - non-fiction

When we get portfolios going you can take a picture of the sheet and add it to the portfolio, then you don't have to enter into MUSAC.

Reading Age 11 (L29)+

Termly - for student self-tracking

Ongoing self, peer and teacher assessment of writing in terms of writing rubric.

STAR years 3-8 MUSAC

E-Asttle writing - whole school MUSAC

E-Asttle writing whole school MUSAC

E-Asttle reading (Gold + level)

E-Asttle reading (Gold + level) MUSAC        

Spelling according to the Schoolwide program. Add evidence to portfolios in due course.                 


E Asttle yrs 4-8

E-Asttle yrs 4-8

JAM for junior school thereafter numeracy stage can be established by conversation during numeracy teaching and evidence of learning. Gloss can be used as required.

Ongoing IKAN for formative assessment and self monitoring years 4-8

Ongoing basic facts to fit with class program



Holy Spirit,




Communion of Saints



Social Science


The Arts

SOLO 20/4

I have shared four SOLO books as pdfs with all teachers.  For you as a teacher "SOLO Guide to schools" is the one we have used for some years now.  If you read it carefully and apply it, the SOLO rubric below explains where you can go with it.
(Hattie describes SOLO as the thinking tool that is closest to the natural learning cycle and the one most likely to make the learning process visible.)

In a 436 study meta-analysis: "The simple and potentially cross-curricular metacognitive strategy that showed the highest effect size (1.61) of any single classroom variable linked to learning outcomes was identifying similarities and differences (Marzano, Pickering and Pollock, 2001)

(a bunch of information)

(making connections between the information and connecting with prior knowledge, synthesising and analysing information)

 Extended Abstract (going somewhere new with it.  New learning = old ideas + new information + dissonance.  Extended abstract is when something you KNOW becomes something you DO in new contexts)

 It gives you tools eg:
SOLO vocabulary
Hot SOLO maps
An overview of the framework    
The symbols etc.
 You start applying these things in your practice and reflecting on how it affects learning and how you can adapt and make improvements to the tools to better suit your learners.
e.g. you use a HOT SOLO map for compare and contrast but realise it is restrictive so you move to using three big bits of paper labelled "Part A different", "Part A & B the same" and "Part B different".  Children can use stickies to describe attributes of A and B and decide which sheet to stick them on.  Then you can discuss together and provide reasons and as teacher you can add questions or elements they may have not thought of to challenge their thinking further.  Then the children can reassign stickies if they have changed their thinking.
This is when you've developed such a strong feel for SOLO that you can clearly see that although SOLO is an artificial construct it is very close to the natural learning cycle.  You feel confident to go "off the map."   You need to go through the SOLO journey to get there (ie use the books and guides) first.
Once you embed the strategies for yourself you will be able to naturally guide children through the learning process without needing to use SOLO maps or any specific tool.  The prompts and being explicit about the thinking skills will have become part of your extended abstract teaching skill.  You may have this with other thinking skills but we want the children and us to speak the same meta-cognitive language so we have to choose one to stick with.
You know your class is there when someone gives an amazing whizz bang presentation that sounds enormously clever and in feedback another child tells them, "That was great but you haven't gone beyond multistructural because.... (and gives a good reason)"

 Probe comprehension parallel
literal and reorganisation
 Probe comprehension parallel:     
Inference: apply prior knowledge to reorganised information to form a reasoned conclusion not explicitly stated in the text.
 Probe comprehension parallel: 
Evaluation: Apply inferred and reorganised information to the world beyond the text and make a reasoned judgement.
 Inferential Reasoning (applied to scientific process):
Look for evidence or patterns.  Develop curiosity.

 Inferential Reasoning (applied to scientific process):
Gather the evidence together, categorise, analyse and look for patterns.
 Inferential Reasoning (applied to scientific process):
Form a reasonable conclusion/hypothesis based on the evidence found.
Deductive reasoning is also scientific reasoning and its when you start with a theory or big idea and take it apart and test it.  For the process of logic it looks like this:
Statement of theory: All swans are white
Possible evidence: Look for lots of swans and check their colour (if you live in the UK you will affirm the theory has validity, if you live in the antipodes you will prove it wrong). 
Even our very young can start to reflect on this type of thinking.

NB: scientific theories (which includes everything we think we know about everything - except God which is faith and revelation) can never be proved true - they can only be shown to be valid on present known evidence.  They can be disproved though through finding disconfirming evidence.  People claim science is more validly true than faith because its evidence-based - but only until proven otherwise - look at what the Theory of Relativity or quantum mechanics has done to Newtonian Physics which still holds validity in the normal world but we know now not on a subatomic or universe level.   

Scientific Questioning and Developing Curiosity and the Key Competencies 18/4

This term we are focusing on engaging in scientific questioning and developing curiosity.  
Try to wind the key competencies into your teaching this term - 
Capable Kids - Working with the Key Competencies (NZ Curriculum Online) - the bottom part of this page breaks down the key competencies further to help with teaching them.  

We can use learning within the domain of science to help children build managing self capacities by developing persistence and resilience and thinking capacities through questioning and reflecting on knowledge.  In science evidence points to conclusions but a lot of children's knowledge is not evidence-based.  Through reflective commenting on children's reasoning, you can help them identify assumptions and faulty reasoning.