Mike’s News Mar 5

Dates to Note

2-10 MarSea week 
3-MarWorld wildlife Day 
3-9 MarHearing Awareness Week 
4-MarTeacher Council’s Tapasā PLD workshop South Auckland 3:30 – 5:45pm.Book here.
5-MarTeacher Council’s Tapasā PLD workshop Hamilton 3:30 – 5:45pm.Book here.
6-MarTeacher Council’s Tapasā PLD workshop Wellington Central 6:30 – 8:45pm.Book here.
7-MarTeacher Council’s Tapasā PLD workshop Wellington Porirua 3:30 – 5:45pm.Book here.
11-MarTeacher Council’s Tapasā PLD workshop North Auckland 3:30 – 5:45pm. Book here.
11-17 MarInternational Brain Awareness Weekwww.neurological.org.nz
13-16 MarAk ASB Polyfest 
13-MarWalk to work day 
14-MarWorld Kidney Day 
15-MarDeadline to book for Ak Astro Soc Dark Sky Weekend.gavinlgn@gmail.com
MoonNM Mar 7           1Q Mar 14          FM Mar 21          3Q Mar 28 

  1. The Royal Astronomical Society of NZ is holding its annual conference in New Plymouth, Fri 17 evening to 4pm Sun 19 May. RASNZ will waive the $175 registration fees for up to 10 young astronomers. In addition, the cost of the Saturday night banquet ($80), travel to/from the conference and backpacker accommodation costs for the Fri & Sat nights are paid for by a generous benefactor. Apply by 15 March. See SWAPA info attached.   SWAPA_poster_2019   SWAPA Details 2019
  2. A list of Sea Week Resources from the ARBs are attached.  Sea week ARB resources
  3. Alison Campbell is hosting a FREE workshop Introduction to critical thinking and why it is important to Scholarship Biology at Sancta Maria College Auditorium (319 Te Irirangi Dr, Botany South, Auckland) on Sat 30 March, 9am – 12pm approx. All students / teachers welcome. This workshop is to get students started early on schol bio, to explore critical thinking & to become aware of some resources available. If you are interested please send the school name & students names ASAP to Shane s.williamson@sanctamaria.school.nz. (corrected email, apologies)


  1. Pedagogy:
  1. HoD:
    • A poster on the art of leadership
  2. SouthSci is again open for science projects looking for funding in 2019. Get in touch asap with Expression of Interest form, full applications due May. [Info posted 26 Feb.] http://www.cometauckland.org.nz/SouthSci


  1. Geology:
    • NZ teachers can sign up to a free digital version of EARTH magazineeven tho’ it’s advertised as free only in US. https://digital.earthmagazine.org/.
    • This Earth Learning Idea activity uses a candle to demonstrate rock cycle processes and may help consolidate understanding of the rock cycle at the end of a lesson.
  2. Biology:
  1. eLearning:
    • Core Education has released their Ten Trends, the trends and influences that are expected to make a growing impact upon education in New Zealand in the coming year.
  1. Chemistry:
  1. Physics:
  1. Science Careers:


  1. I have recently been asked for access to the unpacked standards, designed to help teachers understand the requirements of most internal NCEA standards for the sciences. In my view, they would be too much help for students but are useful for teachers. Go to https://drive.google.com/open?id=1O2rWQv6NWLXoPi_D70Xl-gLjV85XUbLW
  2. Scanned papers for past exams, prior to 2011, have diagrams, data and contexts useful for worksheets, tests & exams, but question format will need amending. Biology, science and ESS exams, Level 1 Px Level 2 Px Level 3 Px, L1 Ch L2 Ch  L3 Ch
  3. Attached are checklists for monitoring authenticity (2 different formats). Some good ideas here.   Authenticity Bubble diagram PN Authenticity checklist PN

Professional Learning & Development (PLD) Opportunities

  1. PLD for Auckland teachers from Learning Network NZ ph 09 835 0912
    • Project-Based Learning – Auckland, 1 & 2 April, Nick Pattison (NZ) & John Santos (US). This PLD will have a focus on science, digital and Matauranga curricula. Info here.
    • The Neuroscience of Learning – Mark Treadwell 10 June
  1. U-Learn conference will be in Rotorua 9 – 11 Oct. $799 + GST (early-bird fee). Register here.
  2. A BEANZ workshop has been organised for Hawke’s Bay 9am – 1pm on Mon 25 March at Karamu High school with a focus on teaching ethical thinking. Please contact Sarah if you wish to come along. sgunn@karamu.school.nz
  3. Cosmic Pursuits offers an annual online course in practical astronomy for star-gazers in the northern AND southern hemispheres. Until March 10 this course is open to a limited number of new students. Fundamentals of Stargazing breaks down the basics of backyard astronomy into easy-to-understand pieces each month & takes you on detailed night sky tours throughout the year. It also helps you choose and use the best binoculars, telescopes, & accessories for your personal situation. https://cosmicpursuits.com/stargazing/.

Cheers, Mike