Stimulating interest in Literature through video

For the last twelve months there has been a small project on Youtube called Bookfighters. Five friends from around the world challenged one another to read a different book each week and share their thoughts on the same youtube channel. What resulted from this was a series of discussions around shared text.

My own response to this project was to create a youtube playlist of my own entitled ‘Book Corner’ where a variety of individuals shared their thoughts on a recent book they have enjoyed.

The same questions were asked of each participant and they are available for download.

Top Tips for School Mornings

They’re fun, aren’t they? School mornings are one of the most difficult times of the week. In our house, we allow an hour and ten minutes to our kids ready for primary school each day. I think if the kids had their own choice they’d spend that whole time giggling at the breakfast table or drawing on the bathroom mirror with their toothbrushes. So below are some top tips for that have worked in our house.
1-Write a job list, down to the completely obvious like ‘put your shoes on,’ with words and pictures, if you have pre-readers. Place it in some prominent place where they can see it and it’s out of your way.
2-Encourage your children to self manage using the job list. Hopefully this should lead to them referencing the board rather than you every 2 minutes.
3-Limit eating time. I don’t know about you, but if my kids are at the breakfast table after 30 minutes they’re generally spending little time eating and most of their time talking, annoying each other or driving me nuts. 30 mins is plenty of time to eat your 6 weetbix or 2 bowls of muesli.
4-Keep the long term goals in sight. Sticking up a list is not an instant answer to all your morning problems. If your kids have been asking you for the last 3,5,10 or 15 years what they have to do next they will continue to do so unless you give them another solution.
Lastly, be encouraged – everyone has terrible starts to their mornings sometimes
Contributed by RosieO

Publications for Teachers

Roesources for supporting teachers can be found online now. Some well worth a look include:

Please leave a comment with a link if you could recommend others. 

A week in Review 23-9

Last week was dominated by other things I'm afraid and therefore there is little to report. There are have been principally five top top stories this week.

  1. Sex Ed is an Outrage! right?
  2. The Great Gatsby Chapter 1 
  3. Dr Jo Anne White discusses Autism  
  4. 1mt, 1mt 
  5. Readit1st

Qwiki's round up of news 23-9-11

View Top News: 9-23-11 and over 3,000,000 other topics on Qwiki.

Sex Ed is an Outrage! right?

Sex education classes in New Zealand are becoming too graphic and kids are too young to understand what they’re being taught, according to outraged parents.

The article linked to above, if it is to be believed then there is mounting hysteria when it comes to sex education in schools.

According to an MSN NZ poll asking readers if NZ schools were going too far when teaching children about sex it seems the response was fairly even between ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Which seems to be in direct conflict with the ‘outrage’ splashed across the headline.

So what is the policy?

TKI site points out that “The Education Standards Act 2001 repealed sections 105C and 105D of the Education Act 1964. School boards of every state school must now implement the health curriculum in accordance with section 60B of the Education Act. Previously, schools had an option to exclude the sexuality education components of the curriculum.

It also states that:
Students require a range of developmentally appropriate learning opportunities in sexuality education. These include opportunities to develop:
  • knowledge, understandings, and skills relating to sexual development –physical, emotional, and social;
  • knowledge, understandings, and skills to enhance their sexual and reproductive health

I think the issue is not the content of the curriculum just the age at which it is delivered. If the .

KiwiFamilies point to the necessity for the school to inform parents that sexuality education is the focus of learning at any given time. They go on to say that a school should inform parents via a newsletter and to invite parents/caregivers to an information evening.

So is 12 years old too young?

Useful Links:

Talking with Your Teenager/Rangatahi about Safer Sex – English version
You and your teenager: Information to assist Pacific parents to discuss sexual health with their young people.


I'm not saying I'm a 'see it before you read it' kinda guy, I'll let you be the judge. But I have yet to watch any of the Harry Potter movies because I was waiting to have read them all before I see any of the movies.  Also I've finished 'The Lincoln Lawyer' as you may know already if you follow my vlog and am currently hanging out for a couple of friends to finish reading before we buy the movie and find the biggest, HDTV we can and watch it. As I said; I'll let you judge.

Hank Green is one half of the Vlogbrothers, a hugely popular youtube community commonly referred to as Nerdfighters.

Just recently Hank shared in his vlog the ‘Readit1st’ pledge.

As he mentions many successful movies are adaptations of novels. With millions more viewing compared to those reading something needs to happen.

With ‘reading for pleasure’ in the US, and I would argue here in New Zealand too, is being limited to one or two novels a year some would argue that ‘the joy of reading’ is dying out.

The ‘Readit1st’ is a simple sign up to a newsletter and the opportunity share your commitment my sharing a badge, as in figure 1, on your blog or website.
The newsletter available to pledgers is written by John Green and feature the upcoming movies that are based on novels with the urge to ‘Readit1st’.

One of the featured articles reads:

The Help

In theaters now you’ll find The Help,  an adaptation of Katherine Stockett’s first novel, which has now sold more than five million copies in the U.S. (…he wrote, betraying no trace of jealousy). Even so, the movie has been seen by more than twice that many people in just a few weeks.

Set in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi, Stockett’s novel has three different narrators—two African American maids and one white woman. If you’re one of the 6.91 billion people who haven’t read it, readit1st!

Useful links:

A week in Review 16-9

Looking back at the last 7 days there has been an interesting mix of popular posts. Here are the highlights:


Chch Airport and CRFU show their support

New Zealand Needs Green Growth

Dr Jo Anne White discusses Autism with Timmy Elmer...


The Great Gatsby Chapter 1: Extraordinary gift for...

The Great Gatsby Chapter 2 and beyond...


CORE Education Breakfast: "Social Media for educators"

Top tips for Literacy and ICT


1mt, 1mt

Qwiki's round up of news 15-9-11

View Top News: 9-15-11 and over 3,000,000 other topics on Qwiki.

Dr Jo Anne White discusses Autism with Timmy Elmer and Dr. Robert Melillo

Timmy Elmer, 15 years old, was diagnosed with Aspergers and ADHD at 3 years of age. For many years he preferred video games to friendship. His anxiety made it very difficult for him to try new things and he had significant behavior difficulties. In the third grade he was removed from general education and placed in behavior programs.

He returned to general Ed in the 6th grade and has been in a self-contained class with a one on one aide. Timmy's managing life much better these days. He's now in high school and is a part of the lacrosse team. His companion dog, Boola, and he get out of the house on many adventures.
Listen to internet radio with Jo Anne White on Blog Talk Radio

Recorded by Jo Anne White on blogtalkradio on Thurs, Aug 25, 2011

1mt, 1mt

Josh Sundquist is a bestselling author, motivational speaker, and Paralympic ski racer. He has spoken across the country to groups ranging from Fortune 500 companies to inner city public schools to the White House. On the end of his ski he wrote 1mt, 1mt. It stands for one more thing, one more time.
So what is the one more thing you're going to do one more time to inspire, motivate, enthuse and support your students?
If you have the time, its well worth listening to Josh at the @GoogleTalk

Top tips for Literacy and ICT

D9 Teacher presents...

We explore hardware, software and freeware options to support literacy teaching and learning.

When: 20th September 2011
Time: 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Venue: St Matthew’s School, Hasting, NZ
Cost: $35
Book now:


Simon has spent time delivering ICT professional development to teachers around the North Island. Before that he was a primary classroom teacher for 11 years both in NZ and the UK. Simon is particularly interested in the impact of Web 2.0 and other digital literacy tools on teaching and learning.

Award-winning afternoon tea provided by Bay Espresso - Cafe 

Useful resource:

What does an effective teacher of literacy need to know, understand and do in order to deliver the NZ curriculum?  (pdf)

Chch Airport and CRFU show their support

Its always nice to get a feel-good story come through now and again…

Some Christchurch schoolboys who worked hard to help repair their school’s broken goalposts have been rewarded with a training session with some of their Canterbury rugby heroes.

Another case of everyone sharing together. There have been some extraordinary measures taken over the last twelve months and its good to see students being offered ‘once-in-a-timetime’ opportunities as a reflection of their efforts for their school communities.

“This is a great way for the airport to give back to the community and support the team during a difficult year,” says Mr Lester. “It was a bonus to be able to invite the boys to meet their Canterbury rugby heroes and impress Tabai with their skills. Who knows, we may just have helped one of those boys into a Canterbury team of the future.”

New Zealand Needs Green Growth

Have you realised the incredible potential New Zealand has in playing a role for Green Growth? In many ways we are sitting on our hands, not engaging in the explosive potential for economic growth, and environmental modelling in our country to the rest of the world.
I share with you my thoughts on how Green Growth can be instilled as a core appreciation among young people, who are the leaders of the future for enacting change. I believe change will take place out of a natural response to an appreciation of our great country, and the opportunities it provides.

Feel free to learn more about the future of Green Growth on Pure Advantage's website.

Thanks Andrew for the info. 

Identifying the HOW in Education

  • What is the model for a brand new school?
  • What are impacts of building a life of memories?
  • What is the real impact of homework?
  • What is the value of evidence?
  • What should the next 4 weeks look like, curriculumwise?
  • Do these messages resonate with us in New Zealand?

A week in Review

image from the Art and Science of Interactive Marketing website
Looking back at the last 7 days there has been an interesting mix of popular posts. Here are the highlights:






Learning @ School 2012: Calls for presentations

Closing in 7 days!!!
Call For Presentations

Claudelands Events Centre   -  26-27th January 2012


Whaia e koe ki te iti  kahurangi; ki te tuohu koe, me maunga teitei

Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head let it be to a lofty mountain

Stand Up – Be counted.
Share your stories

Submit a presentation for the Learning@School  Conference in January next year.

There are a great many of you who are working untiringly in your own schools for the benefit of the students in your care. The Learning @School conference provides a wonderful opportunity for you to share your successes. The team is looking forward to receiving a selection from across New Zealand covering the aspects of your programme that relate to the four themes, Leading, Creating, Achieving and School Partnerships.

It is up to all of us to share what we have learned, with our colleagues.... from beginners to experienced practitioners. We want to hear what you can offer. Every year we are building upon our collective knowledge.

Enliven this conference with your expertise and experience. Stand up! Be Counted!

Key Dates
Deadline for Abstracts: 16th September 2011
Feedback range: October 15th-October 30th

For information regarding presentations contact
Sherry Chrisp (Programme Convenor)

7th Teachers Matter Conference

Educating our Future

Rotorua 26th & 27th January 2012

Keynote speaker: Dr. Bena Kallick
Teachers make every other profession possible - that is why Spectrum hosts this important conference. The role Teachers’ play in our community is vital to developing caring, confident, connected, contributing citizens of the 21st Century. For the past 6 years in New Zealand, Sydney & Perth, Teachers, Principals & Support Staff have attended this Conference, to be recharged, inspired, to learn, refocus & reaffirm teaching practice. This Conference is unique from any other Educational Conference you will attend as it has a mix of both personal & professional development. The more you develop personally the better you will become professionally. You will hear speakers from both the practical teaching perspective, the self-care & attitude perspective.
Keynote speaker: Dr. Judy Willis

Topics include:

  • Sustaining Students Classroom Attention in the Digital Age
  • How Emotion Impacts the Brain’s Successful Learning
  • Using Brain Research to Help Students Develop their highest Cognitive Potentials for 21st Century Success
  • Launching Self Directed Learners
  • Curriculum Mapping for the 21st Century
  • Assessing and Reporting on the Habits of Mind
  • What’s happened to creativity – Are you actually making a difference?
  • Stress Diffusions
  • Thinkers Keys
  • Anchoring for Success
  • A Celebration of Learning
Keynote speaker: Tony Ryan

Who Should Attend?

  • Primary Teachers
  • School Senior Leaders
  • Secondary Teachers
  • Early Childhood Teachers
  • Support Staff
  • Administration staff

    Super Early Bird Investment!

    $495 per person (full price $595)
    $395 per person for groups of 10+ (full price $495)
    (Must be booked and paid for by 30th September)

    Qwiki's round up of news 8-9-11

    View Top News: 9-8-11 and over 3,000,000 other topics on Qwiki.

    CLESOL 2012 Conference

    Emerging opportunities in new learning spaces
    He akoranga hou, he huarahi hou.


    International Pacific College, Palmerston North, New Zealand


    Thursday 4 – Sunday 7 October 2012

    This reflects a variety of contemporary challenges that exist for both learners and their teachers, such as engaging in blended learning situations, integrating content and language, increasing intercultural interactions, and building relevant needs analysis and leadership models in different teaching/learning contexts.

    The programme will be developed around this theme, and a call for papers will be announced in October 2011.

    Keynote Speakers

    • Prof Chris Davison, Professor of Education and Head of the School of Education, University of New South Wales, Sydney
    • Cathy Dewes, Tumuaki (Principal), Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ruamata, Rotorua
    • Dr. Andreas Lund, Associate Professor at the Department of Teacher Education and School Research and Vice Dean at the Faculty of Education, University of Oslo, Norway
    • Sunita Narayan, President, CLANZ, Wellington
    • Prof. Paul Nation, School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, Victoria University of Wellington
    • Prof. Amy Tsui, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Teaching and Learning) and Chair Professor (Chair of Language and Education), University of Hong Kong
    • Prof. Cynthia White, Head of School, Professor of Applied Linguistics, Massey University, Palmerston North


    For registrations of interest, sponsorship and other enquiries, please contact the conference organisers: Paardekooper & Associates, PO Box 41002, Eastbourne, Lower Hutt 5047, New Zealand

    Ph. +64 4 562 8259 | |

    The Great Gatsby Chapter 2 and beyond...

    The top comment beneath this Youtube video states:
    "Honestly, John. You would be the best English teacher. Ever. End of story."
    But returning to the novel. As I am nearing the end of the novel the idea of it being perceived as the 'American Dream' causes me to wonder which of the themes in the novel point to being the American Dream.
    Is it?
    • The acquisition of 'stuff', so much stuff in the persuit of happiness and fulfillment. There being sufficient money to throw such parties with such a carefree ease.
    • The constant yearning for simpler, easier times, where life was good.
    • The heroic endeavours of Gatsby. The sense of mission and destiny. 
    • Or all of the above.

    Is Gatsby's quest truly heroic or is it the fact that Nick, the narrator,  sees it as such and therefore is rallied to his cause?
    Heroism is in the perception, surely. Fine line between hero and nutter...

    Select the playlist to view all of the other book reviews and videos

    What do you see as the Great New Zealand novel?
    What do you see as the Great English novel?
    What do you see as the Great {insert country of chose} novel?

    Previous post:

    The Great Gatsby: Extraordinary gift for hope

    Who are CORE Education, anyway?

    CORE Education is a not-for-profit educational research and development based organisation with an international reputation for support and promotion of the use of new technologies for learning across all education and training sectors.

    Find out more about CORE Education...

    Breakfast in Dunedin: "Social Media for educators"

    Social Media Manager - CORE Education

    "Social Media for educators"

    Wednesday, 28 September
    at 7.45am


    Mornington Presbyterian Church Hall
    16 Maryhill Terrace


    $30 including GST


    By Monday, 26 September
    Register online

    What's all this social media nonsense? Using cross-sector examples of social media in action DK will show how organizations are utilizing social media to humanize their brand and leveraging the power of social principles to achieve wider learning opportunities such as the ability to connect with experts across the world.
    What is the value of this to educators? DK will illustrate that while Twitter and blogs are two examples of social media, there are many more examples to be adapted and adopted. We know the world is different now but what's really changed for young people? What are the opportunities for educators to explore the use of social media and how does this approach challenge the traditional model of education.

    Breakfast will be served at 7.45am, with DK beginning the discussion at 8am. He will wrap things up around 9am but you are invited to stay and chat with DK, CORE staff and one another after the seminar.


    DK joined CORE Education in July as the company's first Social Media Manager after recently emigrating from the UK where he was the Founding Director of the highly successful MediaSnackers.

    MediaSnackers inspire people to learn, work and live differently with social media. This work has included developing and delivering social media training for teachers and youth services, devising brand raising strategies for national government departments and social media marketing strategies for games manufacturers. Recent clients have included the Welsh Assembly, UNICEF and The Gates Foundation.

    DK has also created Social Media For Suits, a personalized mentoring for CEOs and executives who want to understand and effectively use social media.

    New Zealand's Pacifika responsibility

    image from
    The stats to which he refers reveal the following:
    • 40 per cent of school children in Pacific Island countries do not complete a basic primary education
    • only 20 per cent graduate from secondary school
    • Girls have real issues with access to the formal education system in several countries.
    So what should New Zealand's response be? 

    Many of the issues have at their heart economics and not education. There is genuine potential for investor in supporting Pacific nations’ development of ‘tourist friendly’ facilities and pouring, at least some of the earnings back into the communities that generate that income.

    But the issue for us is education. The question for educators should be:
    “ Would the funding of ESOL trained teachers in these Pacific nations offset some of the financial burden placed upon New Zealand schools in supporting Pacifika students?"

    Education highlights from ‘Wellington.Scoop”

    Some of the top stories today thanks to Wellington.Scoop:

    Qwiki's round up of news 1-9-11

    View Top News: 9-1-11 and over 3,000,000 other topics on Qwiki.

    National Education Campaign Launched In Cinemas & Online

    Seven in ten of people who illegally file shared content stated they would stop after receiving a warning with a penalty notice attached.

    image from 3D copyright symbol on the psd graphics website
    Copyright continues to be a minefield for all, educators especially. And when teachers are to be role models to our use their understanding of such laws is important.
    A public education campaign has been launched to highlight the new Act, which includes a public service announcement screening in cinemas nationwide, as well as the website and further educational materials for internet account holders.
    National advertising campaigns are good ways in which we can target the mass audience that is the general public but teachers and other professionals need more.
    There is a call now for a clearer understanding of copyright, what it means to individuals and schools. Someone needs to start pounding the streets talking to staff about roles and responsibilities. But more over, senior management needs to see this professional development of their staff not as fee but as an investment. Not having to spend several hundred dollars to have someone come in a talk to staff but needing to make the savings on the possible fines involved in non-compliance.

    The Fin Brothers - Episode 1

    Greenpeace have a new series being on their vimeo channel. It might be worth following their RSS.

    The Fin Brothers, Clark and Bruce, have teamed up once again to fight ocean crime. Follow their progress, brought to you in weekly episodes, as they take on the bad guys and bring them to justice. Episode 1 introduces our two marine heros.