the blog

Ideas to steal.

CLASS-ified: Thank you for the magic!


  We’d like to extend a mighty big THANK YOU to all of those classrooms who participated in CLASS-ified for 2017! This year we paired 200 city and country classrooms around New Zealand for this Mystery Skype-styled challenge. From the most remote parts of the Far North to Remuera, the Chatham... Read more

Trucking on with your SVA Class Service Project


Dear Platoons We hope you’ve kicked that Mondayitis to the curb and are amped to tackle Term 3 and all the awesome challenges (like cross country), heading your direction.  There’s nothing quite like a barefoot, mid-winter, stomp in the mud to blast those Winter bugs out of the class!... Read more

Osmosis for your Classroom


Last month we rolled out a groovy new kit all about hydration and osmosis geared at years 6-8.  We developed the kit in conjunction with Healthy Active Kids and launched it with the added perk of a class set of drink bottles which 8000 kids across Aotearoa are now enjoying.... Read more

Check out these new science resources!


  We just felt the need to clarify something. When we launch a new set of resources, we often do with a tangible kit of some sort.  These kits correspond with some of the ideas inside the accompanying Teacher Guide but they’re not essential. What we mean is the... Read more

Some showstopper ideas for a class service project


Dear Platoons Right now there are close to 32,000 kids in 1000 classrooms across New Zealand who have unwrapped their Student Volunteer Army (SVA) kits and are full steam ahead planning their class service projects. It’s so very cool to think about the collective good about to be injected into... Read more

To the teachers of Edgecumbe: We salute you


We were planning a bit of a gloaty post to kick start our newly energised blog this week.  Then we visited Edgecumbe and we decided that it could most definitely wait.  We were pretty shocked.  As I’m sure you all recall the town was flooded on 6 April when... Read more

There’s something about Mary…


I read about a made up game the other day that is pretty simple, but also pretty clever. You could totally use this in a classroom and get kids thinking about connections and contrasts. You think of two movie titles that sound similar, or are related in some way,... Read more

How far to roam?


I had a childhood of endless suburban summers in Palmerston North. For those that don’t know, Palmerston North was originally a massive swamp and this meant that it is criss-crossed with a series of drainage creeks and storm water drains. I remember hopping into the creek at the back... Read more

Doors and Poetry


This appeal to me on two counts. Firstly I love doors. When I travel I am drawn to doors for the stories they could tell and for their intricate details. My photos of my OE are frequently interrupted by yet another photo of a door I was drawn to.... Read more

HONY – The Refugee Series


The latest refugee stories on HONY are making for pretty moving reading. So so so sad.  How anyone can read something like this, from real people, and then still argue against accepting refugees, is completely beyond me. My daughter’s class made a shoe box gift  last term and the learning from this... Read more

Time flies


Now this is possibly not the fairest blog post for the beginning of the school holidays particularly after an illness plagued term 3. Do you remember when you were little and the summer holidays seemed to stretch out forever? And now it feels like one decent sleep in and... Read more

Good Morning Steve Mouldey


Your Name: Steve Mouldey Your Year Level/s: Secondary Your Current School: Hobsonville Point Secondary School As a teacher I am most proud of… the little successes that occur everyday – that grin when a new idea finally clicks in for a student. Favourite letter of the alphabet? Would be... Read more

A Human Library


I did a student exchange in my last year of school, and was lucky enough to live in Denmark for a year. I was constantly surprised at the countries innovation – health care was free, all dentistry was free, I was in class from 7:30am – 1pm and then... Read more

Taylor Swift meets Socrates


Can you imagine what a conversation between Taylor Swift and Socrates would be like? Why not get your English students to do the same between Taylor and Wilfred Owen? TAYLOR SWIFT: Tell me, Socrates, must the player always play, play, play? SOCRATES: Well, that depends on what it is to... Read more

The Evolution of Dude


While I might be showing my age here I can remember when the word dude hit the primary school playground. A cool word imported from 90s American television or so I thought until I watched Arika Okrent’s explanation. Who knew? I love how word meanings adapt or change over time.... Read more

Teach yourself anything on YouTube


One of my kids loves YouTube (is semi obsessed) and is always showing me new and exciting ways to do different things (last week for example, she taught herself how to tie a tie). Take a look at this clip and watch how Julius Yego has taught himself how to throw a... Read more

Pep Talk Generator


This is possibly one of those things you never knew you needed but might actually use. Ever need to give your class a wee motivational talk but lost for words? Ever need to give your colleagues some inspiration? Ever need someone to come along and to give you a pep... Read more

10 ways to talk Flag


So we’re down to four but how did we get there and what will the final result be?  On Tuesday a tweet from @8Cshs caught my attention.  8C from Selwyn House School were watching the final four flags as they were announced live at parliament. I was really inspired by... Read more

Anatomy of a Scene


I’ve been watching (and attempting to help) a few Year 10 students who struggling to explain film. They have found it difficult to put their thoughts on paper as required by their teacher (not me!) Take a look at this video and listen to Guy Ritchie explain the anatomy of... Read more