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News of November 2010

Science: Thinking with evidence


Find out about the new science test, Science: Thinking with evidence, that the science team from NZCER has been presenting to teachers around the country. This series of 4 multiple-choice standardized tests for students in Years 7 - 10 is designed to assess how well students use evidence to think about scientific contexts and issues. The tests identify some specific aspects of thinking in science rather than attempting to measure overall achievement. The test results will help teachers to make informed decisions about areas for future learning. Responses to frequently asked questions that arose at the presentations to teachers can be downloaded here.

Monthly updates: NZC Online


Each month NZC Online brings you an email update with information, links, strategies, and schools’ stories on New Zealand Curriculum Online and Key Competencies Online. This month, for the end of 2010, they have produced a 'bumper' issue. Stories and resources include Exploring the principles at Green Island School, Marautanga learning community conversations, and NZC Update issue 3. To receive your copy of email updates, sign up here.

NZTA Education portal


A new NZ Transport Agency website helps students make decisions about travelling to school safely.

Teaching and learning resources are based on an "inquiry roundabout", a 6-step action learning process to help students develop safe behaviours.

The Feet First Initiative has competitions and activities for students, and stories from schools around the country.

The Big Event is a new resource for 2011, and the Stay Safe section of the website has many more NZTA resources you can use to help promote road safety, including information sheets, printed resources, video, and links to other national and international road and rail safety materials.

Ever wondered?


Explore past episodes from TVNZ 7's recent Ever wondered? programme which aimed to inspire Kiwi minds and spark curiosities about today's challenging scientific questions. These are now available via the Science Learning Hub, with each episode in several parts for focussed viewing along with additional notes, activities, and a transcript for each video.

Presented by Dr John Watt, these videos explore such diverse topics as the future of food, the science and technology of what we wear, urban air pollution, Kiwis in space, and more!

Fighting infection


Exploring the immune system and infectious diseases

What’s going on inside us when we get sick? What do germs have to do with us getting sick? How does our body help us to get better? How does it fight infection? Find out about this and much more in Fighting Infection, the new context on the Science Learning Hub.

Student activities are a feature of this collection, along with a variety of resources that teachers can use including video and images.

Learn about rongoā Māori (medicines produced from native plants in New Zealand), find out how to extract DNA from a tomato, and learn how immune cells fight viral infection through playing a card game.

New Zealand Curriculum Update 3


See the latest New Zealand Curriculum Update for an overview of the various English-medium instructional series published by Learning Media for the Ministry of Education, and the critical role of teachers in the use of the series. The instructional series are supplied free to schools and support learning across the New Zealand Curriculum. All series include student materials and teacher support materials, and many are accompanied by CDs providing additional audio support.

Software for Learning - Moodle


Find out about the many possibilities for design and delivery of course content with Moodle's virtual online learning environment. This Software for Learning page has teacher support material and links to the Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers which helps new users of Moodle to select the right tool for the task.

Software for Learning - Open Source Software (OSS)


Software for Learning has a new category for its software listings. Look out for the OSS symbol that tells you if software is Open Source. Find out about Audacity, Blender, Freemind, Gimp, Stellarium, and much more!

NCEA success with Studyit


Studyit forums are always incredibly busy before and during the exams. The site had a record 9849 visitors on 14 November (the day before the start of exams), this was 2063 more than the previous best year..

Check out the discussions on the forums. Students may also want to look at the practical study and exam advice, and the exam timetable.

Te Reo Māori in English-medium Schools: Secondary books and teacher notes


Find out how you can use these books originally written for Māori-medium settings, for te reo Māori programmes in English-medium schools. There are teacher notes for: an illustrated book of recipes about preparing healthy Māori food; the legend of the taniwha Tarakura from the Rangitāiki area of the Bay of Plenty; a graphic novel about friends who decide to enter the annual Coast to Coast race in the South Island; and a graphic novel about four girls from Waikohu boarding school and how they overcome a near-fatal disaster. The teacher notes are designed for levels 5 and 6 of Te Aho Arataki Marau mō te Ako i Te Reo Māori – Kura Auraki.