Tuesday, 14 February 2017

#Volunteering @ PASS ~ School Wide Reading Programme

Greetings teachers!

I am back at PASS for my third week of volunteering. I have not been teaching but helping to create resources for the school's reading programme that has a lot more pizzaz than most reading programmes.

There are lots to read - and not all in 'books'

First things first, this is not your average 'SSR' - Sustained, Silent, Reading. At PASS the students have been surveyed and like most teens, especially Pasifika in NZ, reading isn't a craze amongst the students. The survey revealed that most students rarely read and don't enjoy reading. So, we needed to put our minds together to create a reading programme that wasn't just opening a book and expecting students to read intently. Instead, there has been a roster of reading activities made so that every fortnight each village (house) will rotate to a new reading style/activity.

My mother (H.O.D. English at PASS) and I worked together with these ideas and I have since been a busy bee creating and sourcing resources as part of my volunteer position. It has been a great experience thus far, working a little in a NZ secondary school! Excited to have a real full time job at one next year after studies!

Our reading styles/activities : 

  • E-book reading - interactive 'flip books' that can be read on a computer as we don't have school wide tablets or kindles. 
  • Scavenger Hunt Reading - using a range of Guinness World  Record Books from throughout the years. We sourced these fun books from a bunch of different Op shops (thrift/2nd hand stores). 
  • Spoken Word Reading - I scoured the internet to find some Spoken Word pieces that were by Pasifika poets! I also included some non-Pacific poets but to have poetry that relates to our Pasifika students is so important! 
  • Newspaper  & Magazine Articles - These are short articles from online Newspapers and Magazines like Buzzfeed, Girlfriend Magazine and The Guardian to engage students who enjoy reading articles on their phone via Facebook or other social media. But, instead of on a phone they're printed out and some reflection questions accompany them. 
  • Audio Books - we are in the process of finding audio books for the students to read, this will be an activity to take place, later in the term. 
  • Reading Aloud - a shared reading experience where the teacher will read a short novel or short stories during each reading session to their village (house/form class) and hopefully get really animated. Props and costume pieces are encouraged! 
He really got into reading aloud...
So, for only a few of these categories, resources needed to be made. 
I have a few samples pictured below but to purchase the entire pack of Spoken Word Handouts, Scavenger Hunt Handouts and Newspaper Article Handouts you can download them separately at my TeachersPayTeacher's store. Scroll down for links to downloads... :)

Spoken Word Handout Sample 1 - Grace Taylor "Power Of Words"


Students should read the poem first, discuss as a class and then watch the performance on YouTube. 
I've made 10 of these fab Spoken Word handouts, some I was lucky to find the poems already written out online but most I had to listen to and type out myself! #work !

Newspaper Article & Reflections Sample 1: Tupac Themed Cafe

Since our students love hip hop and rap I thought they'd enjoy this article. Tupac is still very relevant today! I got the article from Mashable which is a great site. And I created the reflection questions myself. 

Students should be instructed to read, re-read and then discuss with their partner using the reflection questions. Teachers have the option to give out 2 of the same article in each class so that students can make pairs for discussion. 

I have made 6 of these already! 

Scavenger Hunt Sample 1 : Guinness Book of Records, Easy level

I made these using a few books to guide me. It doesn't matter what year the record book - it matters that students are reading, searching and answering the questions to the best of their ability. This is actually a great activity because it is interactive but also practices student sourcing/researching abilities. 

Teachers are able to hand out the same copy for every student and start a class-wide competition - who can complete the Scavenger Hunt first or get the most in the set time. I created a set of 4 levels - Easy, Medium, Hard and Super Hard!

I think it is a great way to use the record books and like I mentioned earlier, mum and I found these books in Op shops for cheap from multiple years. It doesn't matter if the record has changed since then, it's the reading that counts. And students LOVE these books, they're so interesting and have lots of pictures. Click to enlarge. Click here to download - Scavenger Hunt docs. 

I hope this can inspire you for your own school wide or class reading programme! Or you may use these resources and follow our programme and it's ideas!

Happy Reading & Happy Teaching!

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

#Volunteering at PASS ~ I'm Back Home, New Zealand


Since coming home I have enrolled in Waikato University for their Graduate Teaching Diploma (in Secondary) and tried my best to get into some more volunteer teaching roles. (View my previous posts on Volunteering in the Cook Islands, here). With school only starting a week ago it has only recently become a possibility to take part.

Moreover, I was really lucky to attend the opening ceremony and pƍwhiri at PASS - Pacific Advanced Senior School in Otahuhu, last Monday. During the ceremony new and old students were welcomed and an inspiring speech by well known All Black legend Michael Jones boomed in the small school's hall. It was a great moment to be apart of, a for Pasifika by Pasifika school - the first of its kind in New Zealand. Very cool, very meaningful. Later that day we headed off to Henderson where the school camp commenced.

Due to some unfortunate health issues I wasn't able to participate in the entire camp but did help mum run a day of drama games and other activities during camp day 2. It was a nice experience meeting some of the students of the school and getting a feel of the school's very Pasifika, Christian values and routines.

A job I helped with most however was outside of camp. I was asked to revamp and design the 2 front walls of the school lobby/hall as they were needing a little more pizzazz. I could kick myself for not having before photos!!! But if you can imagine, they were just purple walls with some photos in frames before and I added the rest - with help from (tall and good for hanging things up high) sister/cousin Chloe and Mum of course. The photos are actually of influential and successful Pasifika People from NZ and around the globe - this was such a cool idea, not mine but from the secretary - I have just spruced it up.

Here are our 2 walls!

We rearranged all the frames and instead of mixing white and black frames I chose to do an all black frame wall and then the other wall had all the other white and metallic coloured frames. This added instant structure and order. Then I bought some metres of island fabric from one of the many island fabric stores in Otahuhu. $8 a metre from Lucky Star. Then, after nailing the fabric to the wall, we added a wooden boarder which I got from spotlight, they sell wood boards for any sort of craft project, I simply painted them and joined them together to frame the top of the fabric. This fabric boarder instantly added character to the wall and made the frames stand out more as there was less surface area to hang the frames, so the wall didn't swallow the photos up like before.
As you can see, we painted and put up some wooden words - inspiring words to relate to the photos of inspiring Pasfika people! We also used a few flower stickers to cover up old nail/hook holes!

And for another more functional wall, we did a display of camp photos as well as a bunch of clip boards (I love Warehouse Stationery!) that feature 'Word of the week', 'Quote of the Week', 'Bible Verse' and 'Bible Verse translated to Samoan' - the language of translation will change every month to a different Pasifika (Polynesian) tongue. These clipboards will be changed regularly. I love the idea of the clipboard and quote/word of the week - I hope to one day implement this in my classroom when I am full time teaching again! Feel free to click to enlarge these pictures, to get a better, closer look!

If you are about to decorate some of your school walls in NZ, I recommend Spotlight for the wooden words and mats, Warehouse Stationery for the clipboards and more! 

Happy Teaching and Decorating!

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Sale On Now!