Passion | Relationships | Spirit
Celebrating Learning Stories Conference 2016

 

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION

Learning stories and learning portfolios: What message are we sending? Professor Margaret Carr (University of Waikato)
This presentation asks us to think about how we decide what to write a Learning Story about. Margaret will explore some key messages that Learning Stories can add to a learning portfolio that describes a learning journey: aligning the learning with the past, and connecting with aspirations for our young children in the future. Examples will illustrate these messages.

 

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION

Learning stories go global! Wendy Lee (ELP)
Learning Stories found their roots in Te Whāriki.  While reading the early narratives of teachers, as they explored and researched what assessment might now look like, Margaret Carr said ‘these are Learning Stories’. It was her inspiration!
What a journey it has been. Learning Stories have since been transported into many parts of the globe, through a variety of pathways, they have captured the hearts and minds of teachers all over the world. This keynote will share some of the Learning Stories from places like China, Germany, Japan, Australia, USA, and Ireland.
 

 

WORKSHOP SESSION ONE (10:15am - 11:45am)

 
1. 

Learning stories that bridge the gap. Lynn Rupe (ELP) 
This workshop discusses the use of Learning Stories to support transitions between early childhood and primary school. The aim of the workshop is to create water thinkers. Water thinkers don’t care about the rocks they find ways to move around them - they see the possibilities to move between the gaps. What are the barriers (rocks) and what are the possibilities (gaps) to creating continuity of learning for children as they transition from early childhood to primary school? We will focus on what assessment documentation that supports children to not only transition well but to have continuity of learning, creating seamless education. What is working, what does research say and more importantly what can we do to support our children’s continuity of learning.     

Learning Story - Not Yet!

Learning Story - Learning Story for Harrison - Real Work

Lynn is particularly passionate about community and relationships with the view that assessment, especially Learning Stories, can bring about a deeper connectedness between those within the early childhood community. Lynn knows that research shows that collaboration between the parent, the child and the teacher creates a multiple perspective of the early childhood setting - which allows for deeper, more meaningful learning for all involved, and endeavors to instill this notion of multiple perspectives into her own practice and the practice of others.

2. 

Diversity and Learner Identity Rachel Chambers-Field, Caroline Barns-Graham & Barbara Meynell (Whaihanga Early Learning Centre) 
At Whaihanga Early Learning Centre, we are passionate about writing meaningful learning stories. We challenge ourselves to learn about the mōhiotanga of each child and to celebrate, cherish, and document aspects of their unique learner identity. Learning stories are such a powerful medium for engaging with tamariki and their whānau. This workshop shares the journeys we have taken alongside specific children within our learning community, as they explore their own cultural and linguistic identities,and how we as teachers have developed the reflective and responsive relationships needed to respond to them. 

Rachel Chambers-Field: Kia ora tātou, my name is Rachel Chambers-Field and I have been a teacher at Whaihanga Early Learning Centre since March 2015.  Over the past year, I have been focused on how I can deepen and extend my learning stories so that they are more representative of who each child is as a learner, in the context of their home, community, and/or cultural life. It has been a process of much reflective and practice, but I truly feel passionate about the importance of quality documentation. 

Caroline Barns-Graham: I am a passionate teacher with a particular interest in toddler learning and development, and place great value on quality experiences that support children in building their social skills and understanding. I believe the tamariki do not stand alone when they enter the centre and hold the relationships that they have within their whānau and in the community in high regard. The importance of these relationships is vital in supporting each child to blossom and integral in ensuring whānau and whakapapa to feel integral within this learning journey. 

Barbara Meynell: Kia ora tātou, my name is Barbara Meynell, I am a teacher at Central Kids Whaihanga Early Learning centre in Hamilton. I have been involved in early childhood education for several years having enjoyed a variety of teaching roles in both kindergarten and childcare centres. My passion has always been to work with children and their whānau, to build respectful, caring relationships and to support children in their lifelong learning through play. To me learning stories are fabulous windows of children’s teaching and learning moments and I value the close relationships from whānau in giving feedback and sharing in the child’s achievements and successes.

3. 

What makes a Learning Story a Learning Story? Jo Colbert (ELP) 
Jo has been writing learning stories since 2000, and in that time has become passionately interested in documenting children’s learning. If you are new to learning stories or just feel like you need a bit of an update then this workshop is right for you. Jo will talk about the key elements of a learning story, the noticing, the recognising and the responding. Come along to hear Jo’s learning story journey and grow your passion for learning story writing.

Learning story - Giraffes can't dance

Jo has been working with Educational Leadership for the last nine years and has many highlights through this time, including working with teachers through out New Zealand and overseas. One particular highlight was being able to work on two separate occasions with teachers at a Nursery school in Hungerford in the U.K. supporting teachers with learning story writing. “I have a deep interest in learning stories and planning and have seen the difference this can make for outcomes for children. In recent times Self Review has become an interest and I enjoy supporting teachers through this process. Of course I also have a passion for ICT and am truly in my element when working with teachers and children to support their learning in this area.

4.

Capturing the Spirtual Wisdom of Children. Leanne Clayton, Miria Wipaki and Brenda Soutar (Mana Tamariki) 
This workshop shares recent research from Mana Tamariki documenting the spiritual wisdom of children.  Tikanga, ritual and ceremony provide stability amidst chaos, practices that connect us to the wise counsel of the ancestors.  The ways of the old world bring clarity to the distractions of the new world.  We develop a secure sense of spiritual belonging when we are connected to all that has gone before.  Our research celebrates an image of a spiritual child who traverses te ao pōhatu and te ao hou (the old and new worlds).

Workshop Slides - Capturing the Spirtual Wisdom of Children

Leanne Te Āti Awa and Ngāti Rārua.  She is a kaiako at Te Kōhanga Reo o Mana Tamariki.  Recently Leanne collaborated with the new entrant teacher in our kura to trial a transition class.  This led to Leanne participating as a teacher in our kura.  Leanne has three children who all attend school at Mana Tamariki.  Leanne and her children speak Māori only to each other and are committed to language and cultural maintenance within their wider whānau.  Leanne is the lead kaiako for the Mana Tamariki Marsden Research Project 2014 – 2017.

Miria is Tūwharetoa. She was born and raised in Taihape.  At Te Kōhanga Reo o Mana Tamariki in Palmerston North Miria is Kaiwhakahaere (Administrator).  She is also the kaiwhakahaere at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Mana Tamariki. With her partner Miria raised their children as speakers of Māori and educated them through kōhanga reo and kura kaupapa Māori.  Miria lives in Palmerston North and is active in her own tribal affairs spending a significant amount of time in Taihape where she participates in her marae and iwi activities ... and where she loves to wear her gumboots (YES she has Red Bands!).

Brenda is Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Awa.  She is Kaitiaki (Tumuaki/Senior Teacher) at Te Kōhanga Reo o Mana Tamariki and Tumuaki Rīwhi (Acting Principal) at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Mana Tamariki Y1 – Y13.  Brenda lives with her partner in Foxton.  Together they have three adult children and four grandchildren.  They are most proud of the fact that all of their grandchildren are being raised by their parents with te reo Māori as their first language.

5. Setting the Scene for Assessment Nadine Priebs (Roskill South Kindergarten) 
Te Whāriki reminds us that Early childhood is “…a period of momentous significance for all people growing up in [our] culture… By the time this period is over, children will have formed conceptions of themselves as social beings, as thinkers, and as language users, and they will have reached certain important decisions about their own abilities and their own worth.” Donaldson, M., Grieve, R., and Pratt, C. Early Childhood Development and Education: Readings in Psychology. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1983, p. 1.  This workshop will explore the value that welcome stories, teachers stories, and initial assessment information have in fostering a sense of belonging for children and their families and whānau. These stories set the scene for narrative assessment, and will begin to build children’s identity of themselves as capable and competent learners in the 21st century . There will be time for professional discussion and the sharing of ideas. 

Nadine is a teacher at Roskill South Kindergarten. Her teaching career began 14 years ago when she was a teacher at Westmere Kindergarten, and it was then that her interest and passion in documenting children’s learning using the Learning Stories framework began. Nadine has been at Roskill South Kindergarten for 5 years, and in this time has continued to strengthen the framework of noticing, recognising, and responding to children’s learning within her practice. Nadine has also been part of a literacy research project, ‘Literacy in the Early Years, Zooming In and Zooming Out’ with Professor Margaret Carr and Amanda Bateman from the University of Waikato. Roskill South Kindergarten has continued to contribute and participate in research projects and the community has generously shared their stories with many.

6. 

Infants and Toddlers - ‘Write’ from the start! Lorraine Sands (ELP) 
We write about the edgy, open ended learning that happens as children are irresistibly drawn into learning. This is what makes the difference as children re-visit their learning and reconnect with the times when they ‘were being brave, being determined, being imaginative, being social’. These stories must be full of the characteristics that help shape children’s identities of themselves as learners. “I am brave…” “I don’t give up…” I practice… This is how I learn…” In this workshop we explore what these Learning Stories might look like for infants and toddlers at the beginning of their learning lives?

Lorraine is very interested in exploring the ways dispositions drive learning so that children become life long learners. Lorraine thinks that when teachers and children are able to pursue complex investigations, where we are all encouraged to persist with difficulty, keep practicing, and then perfect our skills through effort and practice, we learn to love learning for its own sake. We then set ourselves difficult, edgy goals and through hard work and determination achieve them. This takes intentional teaching and thoughtful teachers who use philosophy and theory to build collaborative learning cultures.

7. 

It's not just a walk in the park. Sue Fahey (Matangi Āwhio-Auckland Point Kindergarten) 
He kapiti hono, he tatai hono-That which is joined together becomes an unbroken line. With a strong commitment to enacting a bicultural curriculum, and supported by the kaupapa of Te Whāriki, Tātaiako, and Enviroschools, kaiako from Matangi Āwhio- Auckland Point Kindergarten in Nelson offer infants, toddlers and young children opportunities to connect to the natural world, to our ‘place’, and to Māori ways of knowing and making sense of the world.  In this workshop Sue shares Learning Stories written by committed, passionate kaiako. These stories make visible children’s encounters with, connections to and deepening relationships with the natural world and our place, valuing Māori ways of knowing, being and doing.  Come and discover why we think it’s not just a walk in the park.  

Learning Story by Michelle McIntoch - Exploring the Kura

Learning Story by Fleur Kay - Mud... Mud... MUD!

Learning Story by Rachel Ryan - The Kingfisher - Kotāre

"Kia ora. My name is Sue Fahey and I am the Head Teacher at Matangi Āwhio/Auckland Point Kindergarten in Nelson. Alongside our spaces for infants and toddlers (Teina), and young children (Pakeke), we also have a space within the onsite Teen Parent Unit for infants and toddlers (Pōtiki).  I am passionate about excellent quality care and education for infants, toddlers and young children, within an environment steeped in Māoritanga.”

 8. 

Learning Stories as Formative Assessment; How does what we know about children, teaching and learning inform our response to them? Kathryn Delany 
A shift from summative assessment to formative assessment has been an important development in early childhood education. In this workshop we will look at how sharing Learning Stories and discussion supports the teachers in gathering knowledge about the child, and learning and teaching. Sharing Learning Stories develops formative assessment rather than a summative approach.

Kathryn is an ELP project Facilitator who is passionate about Learning Stories and Assessment that impacts on learning in positive and meaningful ways. She still gets to ‘practice’ on her 7 small mokopuna.

 

WORKSHOP SESSION TWO (1:30pm - 3:00pm)

 
9.

Changing the journey. What about the destination? Lynn Rupe (ELP) & Tara O'Neill (Te Karaka Area School) 
Play based learning in education is certainly changing the journey of teaching and learning.  Tara O’Neill, a new entrants teacher, and Lynn Rupe will look at the impact of play based learning and what this means for learning documentation in the new entrants classroom.  Fleet, Patterson & Robertson wrote, “When teachers learn new ways to listen and interact with children; when they begin to see learning as a central motive for being together; change the way they think about children and parents as learners; and create ways to research and reflect on their teaching; they not only change the vehicle of teaching and learning, but the journey and the destination of learning changes.  Changing our ways of working with children and parents influences the way in which we document the learning taking place.”(Insights, 2006). Tara will talk about the benefits of Learning Story documentation for teachers, children and whānau.

Lynn is particularly passionate about community and relationships with the view that assessment, especially Learning Stories, can bring about a deeper connectedness between those within the early childhood community. Lynn knows that research shows that collaboration between the parent, the child and the teacher creates a multiple perspective of the early childhood setting - which allows for deeper, more meaningful learning for all involved, and endeavors to instill this notion of multiple perspectives into her own practice and the practice of others.

Tara has taught at Te Karaka Area School for just over 5 years.  Over the last two years, she has been on a journey to develop learning through play for the NE to Year 3 learning community.  Play in the Primary Classroom is a relatively new movement in New Zealand, at least within recent years.  Learning stories have become very dear to her heart and practice.  They allow her to capture learning in a very unique way.  They have impacted the way she views learning and while she is focused on writing them, direct her attention to children in a way summative assessment can not. They allow her to see a wide range of learning dispositions.  

10.

Te Whatu Pōkeka - What's the Big Idea? Tania Bullick (ELP) 
The document ‘Te Whatu Pōkeka’ has inspired many individual and teams of teachers to grow their bicultural development by adopting and understanding a Māori world view.  The framework gives us many metaphors and ideas so that we can nurture a perspective that honours the mana of the child, their family and whānau while growing a view of learning that draws on the understandings of the Māori creation story.  This workshop will explore those metaphors and ideas which offer us some ‘big ideas’ to incorporate into our pedagogical thinking, discussions, writing and practices. 

Workshop Slides - Key Quotes from 'What's the Big Idea? Te Whatu Pōkeka'

I find that teaming up with whānau and listening carefully to children’s preferences grows a programme that reflects the community of learners. This is particularly true of and important in the areas of social competence and bi-cultural development. I have found narrative assessment has the power to happily impact family’s perceptions of their tamariki and of themselves to participate, express their aspirations and be agentic in their children’s education.  In this way families and early childhood education becomes mutually constitutive.

11.

This is not the 'Sound of Music', we're learning stuff here! Catalina Thompson & Karen Fowler (Greerton Early Childhood Centre) 
The kind of robust learning that unfolds over and over again in nature is an obvious reminder of the life long learning dispositions children practice, enhance and deepen before our own very eyes. It’s not just a jolly fun time in the mud; it’s problem solving, science investigation, team work, brainstorming, shared leadership, negotiation and managing self. It’s not just a pleasant wander through the trees; it’s resilience, resourcefulness, risk, challenge, struggle, perseverance and determination. Life’s most valuable lessons could be learnt in the paddocks, bush, mud and streams. These experiences are the core of our Learning Stories which we passionately share with our community. “I bet I can live to a hundred if only I can get outdoors again” Geraldine Page as Carrie Watts, in the Trip to Bountiful

Catalina Thompson has worked at Greerton Early Childhood Centre for 4 years and put her heart and soul into our learning environment so that children and families are able to explore fully, create imaginatively and inquire, as learners building an identity of themselves life long. As part of making the learning here visible she has written Learning Stories that have tracked children’s learning and teachers’ thinking about this in ways that emotionally connect with children and families and stretch everyone’s thinking about what it means to be a learner. Her Learning Stories have inspired everyone here at Greerton to be the best explorers, inventors, makers, and carers possible.

Karen Fowler has worked at Greerton Early Childhood Centre for 10 years and added a thoughtful, playful dimension to the teaching and learning team here that creates so many innovative learning opportunities. We love her for that! Coming to work each day where playfulness and curiosity are championed is such an energising team to be in. Deeply part of this is the way Karen ‘sees’ learning and writes about it in her Learning Stories. These are thoughtful, connected stories that track children’s progress over time in ways that surprise them and us! She writes about connections that move from our farm forest adventures into the garden here at Greerton and into home and community. This makes valued learning visible to children and families in ways that say: “This is interesting, it is hard and my work and effort and practice, is the key to making it happen”.

 

12.

Documenting Children’s Learning: Technology a Help or a Hindrance Wendy Lee (ELP) 
Wendy is passionate about developing documentation that is central to building the learner identity of the child. This is not achieved when documentation is carried out primarily to meet accountability measures. Sometimes technology hinders engagement and deep connections, as teachers are challenged to respond to children and to be present in the moment. Are e-Portfolios dumbing down or enhancing your role as a thoughtful and reflective professional? Have you considered the dangers of technology for very young children? It is focused and thoughtful pedagogical documentation that will make a difference to the child’s learning life. If the documentation is reflective and makes visible the learning of the child, then I believe it will have the potential to meet many accountability requirements while also building learner identity.

Wendy is the director of Educational Leadership Project Ltd. and was previously co-director of the Early Childhood Learning and Assessment National Exemplar Project 'Kei Tua o te Pae'. Wendy has over 40 years of experience in early childhood education. In recent years, Wendy has worked as a researcher with Professor Margaret Carr on a number of projects including: the Assessment in Early Childhood Settings Research Project; the Marsden Project Dispositions in a Social Context; and the Centre of Innovation Projects with Roskill South Kindergarten and Greerton ECC. She is also a co-director on the Teaching and Learning Research Initiative Project - "Learning Wisdom".  Wendy has authored several papers and books.

13.

Competent and capable: Meeting, supporting and making visible a child's journey in learning to move again. Malenka Robinson (Oma Rapeti ELC) 
During this workshop Malenka will share a journey of developing movement which has been documented for a child in her care. On this journey of movement Tilly faced hurdles and set-backs and her family faced fears. Working with her family and Tilly's other carers, Malenka and Tilly were able to push on and overcome the hurdles and see the learning that was taking place. Malenka will share her view on the importance of capturing what learning was happening at different stages of time for Tilly during this healing process.

Malenka passes her time with the children, family and team at Oma Rapeti Early Learning Centre in Freemans Bay, Auckland. Malenka completed RIE® Foundations: Theory and Observation™ Course in 2011 and she holds a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) from the University of Auckland. Malenka believes in the critical role of strong relationships with teachers, whānau and children.

14.

Writers workshop Julie Killick (Chelsea Kindergarten) 
This workshop will give you a chance to experiment with your writing style, and look again at how you write and what you write about. This workshop is the equivalent of rolling up your sleeves and sinking your hands into a blob of squishy clay. Come and play! My hope is that you will leave this workshop feeling more confident as a writer and with a few new good ideas to go away and ponder on! Please bring two or three stories you might like to experiment with. Also some writing equipment-pens, pastels, and paper to write on.

Julie has been involved with early childhood education for over thirty years. She has been a Head teacher in several Kindergartens and has also worked in adult education, for Auckland Kindergarten Association and ELP. Currently she is Head teacher at Chelsea Kindergarten. Julie is passionate about teaching and learning and documenting this journey through Learning stories. She loves working with children in the great outdoors, and drama and music are particular strengths.

15.

The Initiating Voice: Capturing parent and child voices to lead planning and assessment Geoff Fugle (Open Spaces Preschool) 
Those two blank boxes at the bottom of the Learning Story: Whānau Voice and Child's Voice are like elephants in the corner of our planning and assessment processes and can be blamed for a lot of exasperated sighs over the years. The rhetoric of 'parent involvement' simply doesn't meet reality. Feedback is rare, and where it is present, often offers no more than appreciation. How can we move beyond 'thank you' and draw parents and the child into the heart of planning and assessment? Join teacher Geoff Fugle as he describes how his team dissected the problem of capturing the parent and child voice, freshened up the research of Marjolein Whyte for the e-journal era and turned the Learning Story process on its head. It's simple, it's easy; it's one of those light-bulb moments that's a game changer.

Geoff is Lead Teacher at Open Spaces Preschool in Whangarei and is a keen advocate of the teacher as researcher and an agent of change.

16. 

Learning Stories  - Narrative assessment that keeps up with the play.  Stories that are connected and meaningful. Robyn Lawrence (ELP)
Interested passionate teachers understand that children have their own ways of engaging in learning. They know through their own thoughtful reflective practises that in order to work closely with children they must listen to their ideas and their plans in order to support this learning. Many have realised that assessment which is from the top down and involves measuring and  constructing  learning to meet required outcomes rarely captures the passionate interest of children. A thoughtful passionate teacher quickly realises that teacher directed learning results in missing out on engagement with children.  My workshop is one that will present an opportunity for teachers to consider and discuss the value of learning that: emerges from the ideas and thoughts of children supported by passionate teaching teams and is documented in a narrative style known as Learning Stories - Carr 1999. These are narratives that not only capture the continuity of learning but emerge as a natural way to engage teachers children and families. A question that I am often asked by reluctant teachers is; ‘Why should I write Learning Stories?’ and my answer never changes no matter what cultural setting I am in. It is always the same. How can you possibly not write Learning Stories? These precious children are in your care for short time in the life. How can you not notice and respond to the amazing ideas and and thoughts of children if you are committed to making a difference in the lives of children. 

I have almost two decades of experience teaching in the Early Childhood Education sector. I have been until recently an experienced facilitator for Educational Leadership Project. I have extensive experience both nationally and internationally supporting teachers as they develop their use of Learning Stories as the preferred assessment practice. Currently I work on contract for ELP supporting the use of Learning Stories and understanding the development of bicultural practice. I have for 16 years been part of the vision and development of a Bicultural ECE Centre - Awhi Whanau Early Childhood Centre in Otara Auckland. I have a deep commitment for providing the very best care and education for young children.

 

WORKSHOP SESSION THREE (3:15pm - 4:45pm)

 
17. 

Analysing the Learning: Split Screen Thinking Gillian Fitzgerald (ELP) 
Alison Gopnik reminds us that we become the voices around us. One of the voices around children is learning stories and teachers’ assessment of learning. Assessment and how we recognise children's learning impacts on our response and teaching intention. It feeds back to them and their families about their learning. In this workshop we will look at sharpening our focus and making learning visible to children, family and teachers. There will be opportunities to think about the kind of learning we value as teachers.

Learning Story - Problem Solver Ben

Learning Story - Transition to school - Keira

My work as an ELP facilitator has reinforced my commitment to building shared leadership within the professional learning communities I work alongside. "Shared leadership gives ownership to all involved and more ownership equals more commitment."  The journeys that teaching teams embark on with ELP, opens up opportunities for individuals to use their strengths to enhance the team.  To me the whakatauki, Whaka paohotia oku painga kia ngaro oku ngoikoretanga, Highlight my strengths and my weaknesses will disappear, encapsulates the approach I take. I enjoy being able to encourage teachers to identify their individual strengths and interests, the same approach we all take with tamariki, and using it to support their colleagues, there-by building stronger teaching teams.

18. 

Te Whatu Pōkeka - What's the Big Idea? Tania Bullick (ELP) 
The document ‘Te Whatu Pōkeka’ has inspired many individual and teams of teachers to grow their bicultural development by adopting and understanding a Māori world view.  The framework gives us many metaphors and ideas so that we can nurture a perspective that honours the mana of the child, their family and whānau while growing a view of learning that draws on the understandings of the Māori creation story.  This workshop will explore those metaphors and ideas which offer us some ‘big ideas’ to incorporate into our pedagogical thinking, discussions, writing and practices. 

Workshop Slides - Key Quotes from 'What's the Big Idea? Te Whatu Pōkeka'

I find that teaming up with whānau and listening carefully to children’s preferences grows a programme that reflects the community of learners. This is particularly true of and important in the areas of social competence and bi-cultural development. I have found narrative assessment has the power to happily impact family’s perceptions of their tamariki and of themselves to participate, express their aspirations and be agentic in their children’s education.  In this way families and early childhood education becomes mutually constitutive.

19.

Keeping a View of Learning as Complex. Carol Marks (ELP) 
This workshop explores this complexity of learning and what contributes to children developing ‘knowledge, skills and attitudes’, contributing to working theories about themselves as learners. Do we have trustful environments where teachers learn alongside children, show uncertainty, make mistakes and strengthen learning in an environment where working theories are formed through relationships and play, with the principles of Te Whāriki underpinning practice? Learning occurs in the context of interaction with people, places and things, through participation and relationships, often with complex outcomes. Children will be forming working theories that they can use for different occasions. Noticing, recognising and responding can lead teachers to acknowledge the complexity of learning and the role that uncertainty plays in assessment, Carlina Rinaldi (2003) reminds us that “children can give us the strength of doubt and the courage of error, of the unknown”. When teachers wrap their growing knowledge and understanding into the context of their child's learning, families are drawn into conversations about learning in deep and meaningful ways. Learning stories that convey complexity will be shared at this workshop.

Learning Story - Jack's learning to show more complexity

In her role as professional learning facilitator for ELP Carol has worked alongside teachers to strengthen learning environments and practice through deepening understanding of self review and assessment and planning. This assessment, using Learning Stories helps build relationships and connectedness within learning communities and recognises the important role that all people within learning communities play, to build meaningful learning for children, parents and teachers.

20.

Children's Photography shared through Learning and Planning Stories. Marianne MacPherson (ELP) 
Brene Brown shares “Photography is my favourite gratitude practice. See. Stop. Appreciate. Give Thanks” Exploring our environment through the lens of photography was a favourite gratitude practice for our community also at Pigeon Mountain Kindergarten.  We viewed our children as photographic researchers as they made and shared their discoveries. In this workshop I will share a little of this exploration including ways we shared this interest through learning stories and planning stories.

Learning Story - Photographic Exploration

Over the past several years Marianne has been interested in exploring the Building Learning Power framework by Guy Claxton, to strengthen dispositional teaching and learning. She is particularly interested in how the learning community - children, families and teachers - grow in understanding and recognition of dispositions that are valued and how these are cultivated or encultured in the learning environment through conversations and the language we use.

21.

Making literacy visible and alive everywhere! Helen Aitken (Cambridge Road Community Kindergarten) 
This workshop will unpack a series of learning stories related to children's literacy.  Some of these resulted from provocations in our kindergarten environment and others from a resurgence in oral storytelling. Discussions and insights resulting from our experience will also be offered as a means of reflection for participants: What drives literacy learning in your setting? When, where and how are children invited to engage in a range of literacies? How is literacy documented and are various forms of literacy noticed and privileged over others? How can we make literacy more authentic and alive - in practice and in our resulting documentation?

Learning Story - Jessica Explores the Story Stones

Learning Story - Oscar and Jack create signage for their Pizza shop

Learning Story - Oscar, Cody and Hairy Maclary

Kia ora koutou. My name is Helen Aitken and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to attend and present at this conference. I am one of the teaching team at Cambridge Rd Community Kindergarten in Hamilton. I have recently returned to working with young children after 15 years in tertiary and am loving it. Although I have been passionate about learning stories for a long time, I now have regular opportunities to document the many learning moments - there never seems to be enough time! In my practice I am striving to move beyond documenting what children do and experience, to documenting the unique aspects and ways in which each child learns and plays; both as an individual and in relation to the learning group.

22.

Making the School Curriculum visible through Learning Stories Nada Harpur, Mary Stratton (North School Tokoroa) & Lorraine Sands (ELP) 
All over New Zealand, New Entrant classrooms and Early Childhood settings are connecting, and as a result, the traditional gap that happened as children transitioned to school is being transformed. Learning Stories are now being explored as a way to place  School Curriculum learning into the context of each child’s interests, dispositions, skills and knowledge. This workshop follows two new entrant teachers’ exploration of Learning Stories, play and how this can be made visible to children and families and still meet school assessment expectations.

 
23.

Learning disposition at the gallery? Michelle Johnson (Arts and Minds) 

In 2015 as part of our Transition to School review we developed Discovery Groups for our four year olds. Since the opening of The TSB Wallace Collection at the Pah Homestead, we have often taken groups of children to view the artworks. However now, I decided to take my Discovery Group to this gallery regularly. I wanted to find out how visiting the gallery every fortnight had an impact on the engagement or otherwise, of the children with the gallery, the gallery with the children and the children with accompanying adults. This workshop will identify how the learning dispositions can be identified and fostered through these experiences.

Learning Story - The more you look the more you see.

Learning Story - The puzzling photo

Michelle has years of experience teaching in both the Early Childhood and Primary sectors and also in the health sector as a Play Specialist. Michelle’s particular interests are in music and the visual arts. St Andrews Epsom ECC has a culture of exploring the visual arts through visits from artists, exploring media, books, gallery visits and lots of professional development and courage from the staff! 

24. 

Who are the learners?  Making reflective practice visible. Cathy Tombleson (Selwyn Kindergarten) & Kathryn Delany (ELP) 
"Who are YOU?'" said the Caterpillar. This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, "I--I hardly know, sir, just at present-- at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then." - Lewis Carroll “Alice in Wonderland”. Reflective practice is an important part of my pedagogy as a teacher.  I try to reflect on my learning and that of the tamariki through my documentation and assessment for children’s learning. I will show examples of this documentation in this workshop as I provide a picture of my progress as a reflective practitioner over the time. Learning stories have become a tool for informing my teaching and learning.

Learning Story - A Learning Story for Clayton

Cathy has been working with tamariki, whanau, community and colleagues in the area of Early Childhood for a number of years. She attended playcentre and developed an interest in learning with her own tamariki. She now has her own mokopuna and this has added another dimension to her learning and teaching knowledge.  Cathy is currently teaching at Selwyn Kindergarten.

Kathryn is an ELP project Facilitator who is passionate about Learning Stories and Assessment that impacts on learning in positive and meaningful ways. She still gets to ‘practice’ on her 7 small mokopuna.