Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Gifted and Talented Maori Students

Staff meeting tonight was led by Robin Boswell. She focused on identification, teaching and the learning environment for Maori students who are gifted and talented. While the process of identifying gifted and talented students or traits within our students is not clear cut we are able to treat each student as though they all have a gift or talent.

It is so important that as teachers, educators or mentors that we must first identify where are are from. We must have an awareness of our own culture first. As Robin put it "Identification is key. We must make connections with our Maori students, but we must understand our own connections first".

Other key points from her talk where...

-Ethnicity is fixed, culture is dynamic.
-One culture has the power to enrich.
-Special talents are often only valued or noticed within their own cultures, and thus are often missed or left unidentified within the classroom.
-How do we rocognise talents outside their own cultures at school or in the classroom.
-Start any lesson or unit by firstly identifying WHO we are teaching.

It was eye opening once this info had been given to us to then be asked "What are we doing in the class to identify or foster Maori students with gifted or talentedness". It was without doubt one of those moments that make you self-reflect and question your own practice.

I was left with the thought "So what do I do first?". I guess I need to understand where I am from and identify my connections before I can begin to connect with my students. Thanks Robin...

We also watched a very good clip from the documentary 'Maori Boy Genius' which everyone should watch. Here is the official trailer.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Haiku Deck Story Examples

Our Special Places - Just click the links below to check out our awesome Haiku Deck created stories that detail a few of our favourite places. 


The ARTS is our school wide focus this term. Our guiding question is "How do The ARTS change over time and enrich our lives?" With this question in mind in Room 8 we plan to look at how The ARTS in all areas (Visual art, Music, Drama, Dance) have changed over time i.e. from cave drawing, carvings, paintings and graffiti to electronically generated art. We will also look at the ways the different art genre makes people feel and how The ARTS do enrich our own lives. 

As a way to start the unit and to look at the idea of CHANGE we began by looking at the YouTube hit "The Evolution of Dance." This was a perfect way to promote dance in a fun positive light, and also to show how it has morphed and changed over time. 

The Evolution of Dance

The Evolution of Dance 2

Monday, October 15, 2012

Haiku Deck

We have just started playing around with a great new app called Haiku Deck. Haiku Deck is the simple new way to create stunning presentations – whether you are pitching an idea, teaching a lesson, telling a story, or igniting a movement, it's fast, fun and simple for anyone to use. 

We have used the app to present our "Back from term break" stories. We wrote descriptive sentences to describe places that we love and why we love them. 

Check out the app at https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/haiku-deck/id536328724