Friday, September 24, 2010

A Night at the Opera

Last night I had the pleasure of going to the Opera with my youngest son Tommy. He had made it known earlier in the year that he would like to go to an Opera and as it was not something I had ever contemplated doing, I said I would look into it.
Macbeth was the chosen Opera (a marvelous production from the New Zealand Operatic Society), listening and watching this got me thinking about how good stories stand the test of time.
I have read Macbeth at school, seen it as a play at the Silo Theatre in Auckland, watched it on T.V as a part of the fabulous ‘Shakespeare Retold’ series and now I have had the pleasure of seeing it as an Opera.
Good stories stand the test of time!
What is it that sets these stories apart from other stories and what does this mean for the stories we write for the children in our early childhood centres? Will the stories you write today be as enduring for these children as Shakespeare?
I had an email a couple of weeks ago from a child I used to have at kindergarten (he is now ten) and he started by saying, ‘Hello Jo, I was looking through my portfolio last night.’ We know children will keep revisiting their portfolios long after they have left early childhood, so the stories we write will have to be robust enough to stand the test of time.
Some things in life are never ending, revisiting good stories is one of them.
Ka Kite

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Message from Berlin

As many of you know, the ELP team spent some time in the UK and Germany this year to deliver workshops and lectures about the NZ approach to early childhood education. In Berlin we stayed with our friend Sibylle who not only organised 2 conferences in Berlin and Teltow, but who also took us on a fabulous sightseeing programme and even challenged us to go on a bike ride around Potsdam. 

Sibylle wrote the following post for our blog:

The wonderful ELP Team has been in Berlin and Brandenburg in Germany! Many teachers had the chance to take part in the ELP conference 'Do you let me fly? Stories about learning from Aotearoa New Zealand'. It was amazing for me and a great gift to see and to feel the enthusiasm which inspired so many people. I would like to send some of the participant's statements round the globe. 
Thank you! Sibylle Haas in BerlinGermany.

"Now we trust the power of writing assessments in the narrative way, we are confident that we are able to write learning stories…" 

"'Personal attitude' is the magic word..."
"One day - that is too short [for this kind of event]." 
"The guests from New Zealand brought the spirit of learning stories to Berlin, they confirmed that we're on the right track and we learned a lot more."
"It was awesome, inspiring, funny and very hot! Passion makes everything possible. The conference was very helpful and empowering." 
"The examplars and films were very interesting." 
"Most important for me was the comparison of our assessment approach (the yellow book) with the New Zealand Curriculum and the roots of assessment. As a school teacher I learned a lot today."
"To hear the New Zealanders live was a great opportunity – very impressive and enthusiastic women!!"

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

On the Mat - Wrestling with the BIG ONE!

“Mat times”, “Group times”, “Circle times”, “Meeting times” and “Whānau times” feature largely in our early learning centre programmes and fill the curriculum.

In her upcoming lecture, Kathryn will wrestle with ideas on teachers’ learning intentions and possible learning outcomes for children. - A lecture not to be missed!

Auckland: 14th September, 7pm-9pm,  Kohia Education Centre, Epsom Campus, Auckland University
Hamilton: 21st September, 7pm-9pm, PWC (MSB1.04), Management School, University of Waikato

Costs: $40 for ELP Members, $45 for non-members, $30 for full-time students

For more information (maps, upcoming lectures etc.) please visit out website: