Category Archives: Hot Tips

Reading and Writing in Science

Category : Hot Tips

There are many fiction and informational narrative texts that can be used effectively to develop ideas in Science.  Use texts such as ‘Toroa’s Journey’, or ‘The Three Bears (Sort Of)’ to explore scientific concepts, information and vocabulary.  Read and discuss these texts, then use them as models of different ways to present information in Science. Encourage students to innovate on these texts when writing to show their understandings in a variety of text forms. This is a great way to make links between reading and writing and provide opportunities for students to explore different ways of writing information texts.

Cloze for Secondary School Vocabulary Development

Category : Hot Tips

Hot Tip – use cloze with secondary students to develop vocabulary knowledge in their discipline.

When specific words are removed from a text, students must use ideas, information and context clues from throughout the text to decide on the appropriate word to insert. To begin with, provide a bank of possible keywords from which students choose. Next, encourage students to insert appropriate terminology with no keywords to scaffold learning. Finally, students can create their own cloze for others students to solve. Rich discussion follow completion of every cloze, as students justify their choices and exchange ideas to build knowledge of each word in context. Simple, but effective.


Category : Hot Tips

Hot tip – Use drama to deepen students understanding of vocabulary or concepts.

e.g. vocabulary – stumped – He was stumped by her comment. What would he do/act if he was stumped? What would it look like? Show your buddy.

Collecting Student Voice

Category : Hot Tips

Thinking about how to collect student voice?

Hot tip – Our Vision facilitators have been supporting teachers and leaders to use Flipgrid (an online video tool) to collect student voice.  Free for teachers through Chrome and easy to use. Ask your question in a video and have your learners reply with a short video response.  Settings allow you to shorten video lengths and view videos before sharing with others. This makes it a manageable tool for collecting authentic student voice.

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Skillful and Strategic Professional Learning

“Our Vision facilitator (Justine) built positive relationships with everyone she worked alongside and skillfully aligned her sessions with what we needed to develop in our practice based on our strategic aims.  Her professional development with staff has grown teacher knowledge, improved practice and accelerated progress for our learners.”

Tracey Bennett
Hautapu School

Knowledgeable and Authentic Professional Development

Benneydale School has been working with Leitia for 2 years in a wide range of capacities. Leitia has run a number of Teacher Only Days focusing on effective literacy practice in the classroom and she has modelled and supported best practice related to differentiated learning programs that support accelerated learning. Leitia has worked alongside teachers in the classroom providing feedback and support on teacher effectiveness. She has supported planning meetings with teachers and worked with them to refine their programs through using a coaching model. Evidence of teacher growth due to these coaching sessions can be seen in class practice. We have found Leitia to be very knowledgeable, quick to understand our needs and work with us to create our own PLD journey. I would recommend Leitia as a facilitator for any school wanting to provide authentic opportunities for staff to challenge their thinking and work towards enhancing their practice for the benefit of all learners.

Vanessa Te Huia
Benneydale School