Thursday, December 17, 2009

A new direction

I am now officially no longer employed by the University and the Kei Tua o te Pae contract and will gradually be re-structuring this blog. For those of you interested in assessment and planning in the early years, there will still be useful material here for you. Hopefully in time there will also be a wider range of material.

I intend this to be more of a personal reflective journal but the links to other web sites and blogs will remain.

I will be on leave for a bit now and then start a new position as an early childhood lecturer at a private teacher education provider in Auckland.

I am considering a focus on assessment for my thesis but I will be maintaining a strong interest in online environments for teaching and professional development of adults. My own experimentation and discoveries will become a part of the ICT fun and learning blog ( see link on this Blog).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Back again

Well I didnt expect the pause to be quite so long!

It has been a very busy time for everyone, as is usual at this time of the year.
As you may all know the Kei Tua o te Pae PD contract is ending, as is hte Te Whaariki contract.

The Team here at the University of Auckland have put together a proposal for 2010 which has been well supported and approved by the Faculty of Education and Uniservices.

Auckand ECE Services will recieve this information shortly so keep your eyes peeled for that. There is some initial information in our Bulletin Board which went out this week.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A pause

There is likely to be a pause in postings this month as we work on completing our contract ( always a busy time of year anyway) and also develop some ideas to support centres and services as they move into a very different world where for many, external Professional Development is likely to be user-pays rather than Ministry funded, now that the Government focus is on participation.

The MOE website
contains some information on how centres can support their own professional learning.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

U Learn Conference 09

This is the one to get to this year!

Go to the conference page to see all the keynote and workshop information. Book now before all the places are gone!

You can follow them on Twitter, Facebook asd their blog.

The 3 keynotes will be live - blogged and some of the work will be filmed and made available online after the conference.

Click on 'Media and Web 2.0' on the sidebar of the Conference web page.

ULearn 09 Twitter Page

You can follow new information about the Core Education ULearn 09 Conference on Twitter by going to their page here.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The first years journal is online

The First Years Journal is now available online. What a great resource this has been for our team as professional development facilitators. Along with Early Education this is the most often referred to Journal in our work.

Although specifically targeting those who are interested in the education and care of Infants and Toddlers, many of the articles are alsorelevant across all ages.

We often refer to articles on planning that were published here, written by such luminaries as Diti Hill, Kingston and Wright, Robyn Lawrence and Ann Hatherly amongst others.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Central Auckland Cross Sector Seminar

We had a great day on Saturday with a roomful of teachers all buzzing with questions, ideas, challenges and solutions. We began with a look at what they are currently doing in terms of transition between ECE and School environments.

Two teachers from Mangere Bridge Kindergarten ( see blog list) who shared their continuing journey with Mangere Bridge and Waterlea Schools. A very inspiring set of stories and ideas. Thanks Pat and Gemma.

Then Tracey Towner from Forrest Hill School shared her exciting learning journey since her involvement in our Cross Sector programme last year. Thank you Tracey.If you want to contact her we have her email address so get in touch with us first.

A final discussion got you thinking about what you could do with the information shared today. This will be sent out to centres who participated and a summary will be posted here at the end of all three seminars.

We look forward to the next two seminars for teachers in other parts of Auckland and apologies again to those who applied but had to be turned down. We originally had only 40 places and have tripled this by running extra days but still refused places to nearly 200 teachers!

How exciting that transition is of such interest to so many teachers in both sectors.

Down the back of the chair

This website for Ministry resources is now included in the links on the right hand side of this blog.


Monday, August 17, 2009

A video about changing communities

Naketa from Core Education showed this (or something similar ) to our team a while back.

It is a really interesting video about changing communities and what that might mean for teaching and learning.

Did You Know? from Amybeth on Vimeo.

Still here!

Yes there has been a huge gap with no posts but we are all still here for now . Our contract with the Ministry continues until the end of this year.

This blog has been a bit schizoid as we explored what it might become, what its purpose might be. With the knowledge now that it will end along with the contract in a few short months we may try some new ideas.

So far it seems to have worked well as a portal for people with an interest in NZ ECE Assessment. Lots of our visitors are accessing other websites through us - centres of innovation, ICT PL Centres, NEtsafe, and the Ministry of Education pages.

What we have not done is put up a lot of information about assessment or the Kei Tua o te Pae resource itself. This is not a part of our contract and so blogging hours are not funded but are seen instead as a part of our personal professional development and even as a bit of collaboration at times.

We may continue to use this space to share interesting sites and discussions.With no responses to a recent survey, or comments to posts, it is hard to knoppw what people are looking for and what visitors would like to see here. (Hint hint).

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A really good video about creativity and education

It looks long but is one of my favourites. Interesting, informative, insightful and even funny

Watch creativity.. in How to Videos  |  View More Free Videos Online at

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Education Show Information

I went along to an Education Expo at the Showgrounds in Auckland last Friday, Rather disappointingly this was quite small with few exhibitors. It would be good to see this grow and be better advertised next year.

I did however find a few nifty things that I can share.

My favourite was a company called Pukeko Productions. They dont have a website so I have scanned and uploaded 3 pages of their catalogue here (with permission). Click on the pictures to see them full screen.

You can email them at for a brochure and price list. They produce a range of beautiful, handmade Maori resources. I bought a lovely set of Whakatauki (proverbs). They also have a great Pa set that would be a delightful(?essential) set for block and story play in a centre. I can see this enabling a great deal of learning and exploration in response to shared readings of Maori legends, trips to the Museum or a Marae.

The next thing I found was really cool.

Mad Science
are now offering programmes aimed at 3-6 year olds as well as for older children. As a bit of a science geek I was really excited to see this. I know that this is a curriculum area that often makes teachers a bit nervous and perhaps this organisation can support you.

I have not attended any of their sessions so would be interested in your feedback if you do. I love their idea of themed birthday parties and goody bags. I wonder if they do parties for 50 year olds!

For those centres with a focus on sustainability and recycling there is a good resource out there in the form of a bi-lingual journal called He ao iti noa - Small World published by the global education centre
I got a copy of Issue 1 which includes web links, ideas for positive action and lots of information. This is aimed at Primary schools but is fine for ECE. Perhaps if you contact them they will realise a demand for ECE level information.

Barnardos were there with a range of booklets, dvds and other products supporting children's safety. A very useful and timely handout was available listing 21 alternatives to smacking.

I did buy some puzzles for my own family. One of them I thought was broken until my 17 year old came up and did it in about 4 minutes!!! The target time is 15 minutes and Id been going about 20 minutes. One of the bonuses of her dyslexia is this ability to think in three dimensions. Definitely not one of my strengths!

Infants and Toddlers

Having spent a fair bit of time lately in centres with babies and toddlers I thought it might be timely to include a post with some links to useful information for teachers and parents of this age group.

I have been reminded once again of the incredibly priviledged position held by teachers of this age group as I spent some time in a centre with children present. (usually we are with teachers only after the children have gone home).

The MOE website has some of the ECD information leaflets available online

The Kei Tua o te Pae Infant and toddler book is also available online.

I highly recommend a subscription to the New Zealand First Years Journal At only $25-$30 per year this is incredible value. The Journal contains articles by local and international teachers and researchers which are often just as relevant to teachers of children 3-6 years.

If you are interested in ideas for your centre environment send for the video from Margie Carter and Deb Curtis (Their book is also fantastic for inspiration)

Their books are also available from

Zero to three
is a website full of information you may find useful and stimulating.

Contact us with your favourite links for Infant and Toddler info and we will add it here.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

We are in the top 200!

Yay. We are in the top 200 NZ Blogs.

See who else is there by going to the Open Parachute Blog.

great to see so many edublogs and ece blogs. I am sure that has a lot to do with the Core Ed, Centre of Innovation and other Professional Learning work that has been going on in the ECE community.

I am ignoring the system used to create the rankings as it as worked ok for us although people who are not as high as they would like to be have said the process is flawed. I can cope with flawed in this case

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuakana-Teina DVD

There is a DVD available that looks at the concept of Tuakana-Teina relationships in early childhood education settings. It was created by Massey University and Wycliffe Nga Tamariki Kindergarten as a part of the Centre of Innovation work.

The DVD is reviewed by Bev Clark in Early Education journal V44 Spring/Summer pp. 30-31

The Dvd discusses Tuakana Teina as a concept and compares this to the idea of scaffolding, looking at the differences between these ideas which come up so often in discussions with Centres.

The image of a waka is woven through discussion, looking at the importance of recognising roles and responsibilities of every member of the teaching and learning community.

The DVD contains a number of case study video clips from the Kindergarten which illustrate the ideas being discussed.

This is a great resource that would be a 'must see' for all early childhood teachers and educators and at $15 is incredibly affordable.

You can order the DVD by writing to School of Educational Studies
Massey College of Education
Private Bag 11 222
Palmerston North

or email

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Here is a handout promised at today's seminar.

If you use this or share it, please acknowledge the Professional Development teams at the University of Auckland Faculty of Education.

Video cameras monitoring in ece centres

At our Seminar today a centre mentioned that they are using Tiny Telly to inform families about their child's day in the centre.

Lots of interesting questions arise about this.

Visits to Mangere Bridge Kindergarten

I noticed tonight that Mangere Bridge Kindergarten are advertising an evening visit opportunity on Monday 22nd June 2009.This is great for those teachers who find it hard to attend their daytime sessions. You have to book a place and these will fill quickly'

Having been to one of their visits I can thoroughly reccommend this.

Mangere Bridge are a centre of Innovation looking at Transition to school and their story is really inspiring and peppered with practical ideas.

For more information, go to their website. A permanent link to their site is on the right of this blog page.

Seminar thank yous

Thanks to all those teachers who came to our Seminar today. We hope that today came up to your expectations and that you have left with at least one practical idea each that you can use to create better learning opportunities for children.

Thank you for sharing your portfolios and ideas with us all.

Thanks must also go to the teaching team from Whangaparoa Baptist Kindergarten who so generously shared the work they did with Barbara last year as part of a Kei Tua o te Pae Professional Learning programme. What an inspiring group you are!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The final set of booklets - Kei Tua o te Pae

Now that we have the final set of the booklets we are as a team trying to get our heads around what the resource says as a whole.

The booklets are not yet available online at the MOE website as PDFs although the other books are.

New Zealand Licensed ECE centres are entitled to three sets from Learning Media for each license.

Printed copies of Kei Tua o te Pae and other Ministry of Education publications can be ordered from:
Ministry of Education Customer Services
Phone 0800 660 662
Fax 0800 660 663

Book 16 is the introduction to the new set - Symbol Systems and Technologies for Meaning Making.

This book reminds us of/introduces three lenses for analysing narrative assessments;

- a lens focused on assessment practices
- a Te Whaariki Lens
- A lens focused on the symbol systems and technologies for making meaning - literacy, mathematics, the arts, ICT ( these are discussed but others could be included such as scientific literacy)

An analysis of a learning story using the lens of assessment practices might examine a range of concepts around assessment as discussed in books 1-9. PDFs of these exemplars are available on the MOE website

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Learning through Blogging

It has been really interesting lately to see the work going on in other centres through their Blogs.

The work for me is on two levels. Firstly there is the work they do around curriculum and assessment and building relationships with children and in their communities.

On another level is the impact and exploration of ICT both in the centre with the children and in the development of their Blogs.

Being able to have a working Blog and then take time building its complexity and usefulness has been great for my own learning in ICT.

Being able to see something on another blog and knowing that I can contact the author and ask "How did you do that!?" is being part of a real community of learners. I know I am just scratching the surface but there are lots of others out there doing the same and proudly, generously sharing their discoveries.

Using what is in my kete and your kete, together we are mighty.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Yayy. They are here!!

Finally the new books are here. Now we just have to find time to read them and answer the questions "So What?" and "Now What?"

Friday, March 6, 2009

Bulletin Board

The Bulletin Board newsletter you receive from the ECE professional Development teams here at the University of Auckland is also available on our Web site at

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Welcome Gail

A belated Welcome to our newest team member, Gail Donald.

Gail has worked for the Ministry of Education as a PD facilitator and previously worked for ECD. We are very excited to have her on board as our Northland facilitator.


I have just been notified that a new book is being released this weekend by Playcentre Publications. It is from one of the parents working on the Wilton Playcentre Centre of Innovation programme.

Once I get a chance I will write a short review here.

To order it go to and click on the publications page.



Friday, February 27, 2009

Welcome to our readers from the Montessori Cluster

It has been very exciting to begin a cluster programme that has an ICT component where centres are blogging as a part of developing a community of learners.

Some initial teething problems have been frustrating but we are all learning from these. I have found that as I learn more about this WEB 2.0 stuff I find more I want to be able to do so I have to research more and make more mistakes and hit more block walls.

But Oh! the satisfaction when I can make something work!!!

I have even been known to do a little dance in the privacy of my office


Friday, February 20, 2009

Some new reading...

The next and final installment of the Kei Tua o te Pae series of booklets should be out by the end of this month or early March. Keep an eye out for them.

ERO has reviewed the sector implementation of the Self Review Guidelines and this report will soon be available on their Publications page

Māori Children in Early Childhood: Pilot Study is available from the ERO site as well.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

2009 PD begins

So here we are again.

Some of you will already have had a phone call or even a visit from your KtotP facilitator for this year.

Our team this year comprises
Barbara Watson- .9 on our contract and .1 on the Te Whaariki PD contract
Tanya Brand - .5 on KtotP and .4 on Te Whaariki
Maureen Perkins- .5 Ktotp , .1 regional director and .2 national director
and our newest member in Northland will be introduced just as soon as she has signed her contract!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


forwarded from an email sent to Maureen today from

As the new year begins we are planning the next few months here at EDtalks. We are endeavouring to ensure that the video clips are relevant to teachers and schools; issues, innovations, research and talks that can be used to start group discussions, or maybe just provide you with new ideas or perhaps contact people. We welcome your suggestions for interviews or conversations that meet your needs. As well as the two or three clips regularly uploaded each week we will be at the New Zealand ICTPD conference, Learning@School ( in February, where we intend to record a large number of participants and presenters in EDTalks conversations. These will appear over the first half of 2009. A note about quality - the EDtalks video clips are recorded in HD and are then converted automatically to flash when uploaded to the website. You are free to download them as MP4 files onto your hard drive, or subscribe through iTunes and view them that way. In both cases the video quality will be better than using the player on the website. All the best for 2009 from the EDTalks team.