Friday, September 15, 2017

Maori Language Week 2017

This week was Maori Language Week in New Zealand. Though I have always tried my best to learn about all things Maori since I've lived in New Zealand, this year I have been lucky enough to be teaching with Bev Aerenga who has helped me expand my horizons and I felt like I've been able to contribute in a lot of ways this year. 

The first thing I did this week was help put a spotlight on some successful Maori citizens. As a Canadian who has not only lived in a multicultural society most of my life but who also went through teacher training there, where a main focus was on multiculturalism, I sometimes felt that ethnicities were reduced to songs, dances, music and food. I wanted to highlight some Maori people who had had success outside of these areas. So we each chose a person and made a short slide to highlight them each day. To be honest, I like the concept, though I'm not so sure my execution was great. Yes, we did share some people, but I'm not entirely sure the concept sunk it. It will give me some more thoughts for next year - though again, hopefully one does not wait a whole year to highlight successful Maori people. Here are the slides that we created for our learners:

Another thing that our habitat did (admittedly, I was not the driving force behind this, but I did support) was prepare a waiata for the whole school Waiata Sing Off. Our learners worked so hard to learn the words and the actions. I may be biased, but I think they were the best habitat at the sing-off. Here's what they did:

The third and fourth things we did this week involved me making some digital resources. Our school had our termly Curious Community Day, so I created a couple of Kahoot! quizzes (unfortunately, you can't really embed or share them, but if you look for my user name, mrdavidson, you'll find the two I made) as well as a digital breakout. I love using breakout and this was a chance for me to make my own. I thought the clues were quite simple and straightforward, but clearly they were difficult. Most of the learners at Ormiston who tried the breakout gave up before they even solved one clue. I do know, however, that after sharing this with the New Zealand Primary Teachers' Facebook group, that several other schools did attempt it and some were even successful.
If you want to have a look at it, the picture below links to the breakout. I won't give any clues, so you'll have to try it for yourself. But I can say that you don't need anything but what's there to figure it out. 

I actually had a lot of fun making this breakout (and the Kahoot! quizzes). My plan now is to work on another breakout (I've actually already started it) on New Zealand elections and the electoral system, so hopefully I can get that done in time for the run-up to the upcoming election. Probably best to check my twitter if you want to see that one...

It's definitely been a good week for me in that I've become a lot more comfortable with teaching these things and creating resources. I can attribute that to having a nurturing and helpful semi-mentor working alongside me in my habitat. So thanks Bev! And I'm looking forward to continuing this journey.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Michael,

    It sounds like you had a #oresome week. It is always inspiring to have experts alongside us to and Bev sounds like that person for you.

    I was really impressed with your Breakout and super pleased to see you sharing your talents with others across NZ. I'm sure your actions have inspired others to try something a little different. And yes, I thought LH3 were the best too!!

    Pai Mahi