What is happening at Meadowbank School?

Term 4 2010

The following are the reflections from each team as at Week 2. Included below is the link to our presentation from the final Cluster Day at Stanhope School on Wednesday 20 October.
Travel through Time

Year 6 Edith Cross

The Year 6 team has really taken off with their use of SOLO throughout the curriculum. This has come about through increased understanding and acceptance of how and where to use the maps and rubrics. We have full planning of all the maps for use with our concept inquiry and integrate the rubrics into literacy and the Key Competencies.
Our focus for the final term will be getting SOLO into maths. I am delighted to see all of this take place within my team.

The Extended Abstract maps have been demonstrated within the team and I hope to be able to get into classrooms to see the class teachers in action using their own planning for these in Literacy or Maths. I have found going into classrooms and showing the teachers how to use the maps with their own classes is the best way for them to learn.

SOLO and the use of rubrics has enabled the children to self evaluate their learning and progress. I have personally found it helpful in engaging them in their own learning by encouraging them to take ownership.
At the end of last term we had our visit from the ERO team and were able to display our use of rubrics to aid self assessment which was something I remember ERO commented on on a previous visit in 2007 where they wanted the children to be more involved in forming success criteria etc. Well, with SOLO this has been accomplished. The children were able to articulate what was happening.

I hope SOLO continues to grow as the children move through the school and staff actively support this .

Year 5 Stephanie Bell
Teachers new to Meadowbank 2010:
This year has been a huge learning curve with SOLO being new to me. I have enjoyed learning what I have done so far and can see how effective SOLO is in enhancing children's knowledge. I have seen a huge jump in learning when using rubrics in a lesson.
Teachers in programme for 3 years:
We have seen huge shifts in our teaching since incorporating SOLO. We have gone from simply using it in Topic to incorporating it into all areas of the curriculum.

Maths – consolidating prior knowledge for strand topics.

Reading – Maps help children process and consolidate their ideas.

Writing – alongside success criteria. Children are able to write rubrics for a particular genre using success criteria. Children use these rubrics as a checklist to see what they have done well and what they need to improve on to move up a level of thinking.
We have incorporated the Solo map into oral language. Children planned their speeches using an appropriate solo map. Which enabled them to sort and organise their ideas.

Topic –
Our concept planning each week is based on a different map to allow children to be ‘Extended abstract thinkers’.

Garden to Table –
Part whole maps are used to illustrate the importance of particular ingredients.
Compare and contrast are used to compare to recipes. What is similar about them and what is different.

Year 4 Kent Sommerville

The year four team have worked hard in introducing the SOLO maps into all areas of the curriculum. We have had a lot of success in using the maps and rubrics in both reading and writing and have made a start in using them in maths. We have found that using SOLO in our topics investigations has empowered the students to independently delve deeper into their own learning while also broadening their topical understanding. Our next step is to get the students using the extended abstract maps in a more meaningful way. We have already started on using ‘SOLO experts’ to help us in our journey in becoming more knowledgeable of these maps and how we might be able to use these to better effect with our students.

Year 3 Nadine Zinsli

The year 3 team – all being very new to the school would like to say

The integration of ICT tools and SOLO into our curriculum delivery made us become more reflective on our current practices. It has broadened our questioning skills and enabled us to engage and guide the children to become more reflective about their own learning and their next steps.

Year 2 Christina Pinney

The Year 2 team is a new team with 3 out of the 5 teachers being new to the school, and SOLO, in the last 12 months. This meant that the more experienced teachers within the team and school, were needed to help lead and support the newbies.

While at first the maps and language seem very foreign, after practice and exposure we are all feeling more confident and are beginning to incorporate the maps, up to Relational level, in Inquiry and other curriculum areas. The constant issue is finding ways to increase student engagement when completing the maps. We find it is a very teacher directed process which requires a lot of “feeding in” to produce the maps.

The children have a developing understanding of the levels and are able to articulate what they must do to be working at each level. Their statements are more developed, reflecting a greater understanding of how to structure their responses. Many of us have confessed to still being unsure of what makes a statement extended abstract however. We feel it would be helpful to have a set of exemplars showing statements at the different SOLO levels for each Year level eg. This is an extended abstract statement at Year 1 level.

Year 1 Natasha Brookshaw

In Year 1 we have used define maps to find out what the children know at the beginning and end of each term. We are finding that for the young children this works better when related purely to the context. When we have started off with the concept and then moved on to the context the next day, we have noticed that the children do find it hard to make connections between the two, and it does mean that a lot of time is spent on the mat.

We have used the following SOLO maps in our Literacy programmes - Describe, Sequence and Compare/Contrast maps, and we do these mainly as teacher led activities. They are really useful tools for planning and discussions, and children are becoming familiar with the language and layout of the maps. Our general feeling is that the relational and extended abstract maps become more appropriate for the older children.

At the end of the previous term I have started introducing the idea of getting the children to assess a few selected pieces of work using the SOLO rubrics. This has worked quite well for my very able children, but has been a struggle for the rest of the class.

To sum up, our challenges include still finding the time to fit it all in and balance the need for teaching the basics, class routines and the fact that little ones need very short bursts of mat time! The SOLO maps are a useful teaching tool though, and work particularly well as part of our reading and writing programmes.

Year 0 Inba Subramoney

This year in the Year 0 team we have been constantly getting new teachers join us and they are getting to grips with SOLO. We are incorporating the the maps Topic, Maths and Literacy. It does take some explaining with the students to get them to make their statements. However they do keep close to the exemplars. The maps we mainly use are- Define, Describe, Compare and Contrast, Part Whole ,Classify, Sequence. (UP to relational). We do make it very pictorial so that it suites the class.

Learning at School Conference

Learning at School 2010

Peter Ayson (Principal) and Rebecca Maclean and Edith Cross (Lead Teachers)

Edith Cross 2010:
I faced up to the challenge of presenting again at Rotorua, this time doing a taster session on "Bubbermation" along with Heidi Heyman from Logical Toys who generously provided the Bubber and support! The Bubbermations/Claymations for this were done at the very end of Term 4 2009 with a little help from my new class this year. I can see many uses for Bubber as well as the animations which will continue to be done in my literacy and environmental time slots. I will post my work shortly.
Peter Ayson and Rebecca Maclean also attended the conference from Meadowbank. We had a good discussion of the first two days over a very enjoyable dinner on Thursday. Definitely recommend the restaurant if you're in Rotorua. Thank you Peter!
Pam Hook and Julie Mills were the other members from the cluster presenting, as would be expected! :) I took every opportunity to recommend SOLO to all those I spoke to, even managed to incorporate it into my own presentation. David Kinane was there also, but he is sadly no longer with our cluster.
We all had a great time. I was very excited by two breakouts I attended using Robotics - Engaging students in Science, Maths and Technology using LEGO robotics in the classroom, and Robocup - a competition between school children. I only hope the school can afford to support me here. I can see the possibilities ahead for G and T groups as well as in my room.
Another breakout which I am keen to explore further involved Marvin - A 3D avatar-based interactive world which would fit alongside my Bubbermations. I attended a session on Use of Google Earth in a social science context, and one on LEARNZ Interactive Virtual Field Trips about which I have received numerous emails about but never explored.
The Google Earth breakout spent some time on Web 2.0 tools before getting us onto the mapping, and the laptops being used were not responding too well either, so this was probably the least helpful of the breakouts although it has given me some ideas to explore. I registered for the Learnz virtual field trips so will keep an eye out for suitable ones to use.
Keynote presenters, Dr Stuart Middleton and Alan November, gave us all food for thought especially about the use of blogs and IT skills. I was delighted to see what I have been doing over the past couple of years is right at the front of where we were told to be. It affirmed I am right there, especially with my last year's maths blog. Everyone was very impressed by Stuart Middleton's talk - he was an inspiring, and interesting presenter to listen to!!

Rebecca Maclean 2010:

ULearn Conferences


During the holidays I attend the Ulearn08 conference in Christchurch.
This was my first time at attending anything like this before. My feedback, thoughts and proposed actions are all documented in the link below.
Ulearn08 Feedback

Lead Teacher Reports

Here is a blog post showing examples of define maps being used around Meadowbank School in Week 2 of Term 2, 2008.
More define maps to share from Meadowbank - Week 3, Term 2, 2008.
Compare and Contrast map from R11, Year 5.
Describe Map and Relational Writing Examples from R28, year 2 - Week 8, Term 2 2008


2009: Year 3
  • I have posted on the cluster blog a summary of what the Year 3 team have been working through this term. Click here to read it.
  • Year 3 T2 update with photos of maps on cluster blog. Click here.

2008: Year 2
1. Voice Thread site
2. What is a Voicethread
3. Sea Cucumber Define Map Voicethread 4. Octopus Define Map Voicethread
5. Compare and Contrast Map Voicethread


June 2010 Room 13
We have been busy with rubrics. The children are now "constructing" their own, including doing these as homework tasks which has the added benefit of bringing parents/caregivers into the whole SOLO Taxonomy fold. It means they will understand the language used both by the children and in reports.
A marked difference in the children's approach to tasks has become evident. The end product is the "proof of the pudding".
As far as our team planning has gone, we made the mistake of asking children to predict outcomes before they had built up evidence on which to base their predictions! A point to learn for next time. I should have been more assertive in my planning input regarding starting from the define and describe maps and moving through relational up to extended abstract! Hindsight is a wonderful thing! Within my class, the work we did on "Change through Literature" was very successful and ended with the class creating their own "Just So" stories which they loved doing. I will be putting these up onto the SOLO class blog.

Within my year 6 team, I have modelled the Generalise map with the other three classes, and will be doing the Evaluate map next. Early next term I will model the Predict map and intend showing/explaining the work the Meadowbank lead teachers did with Pam Hook on our last F2F day.
I have actually done this already with Room 8 as well as my class in an effort to explain the process to them and complete what was planned for, but as mentioned above, it was unsuccessful in that the children had nothing on which to base their predictions. So, whilst they now know the process, there was no product. This will have to come in the next couple of weeks.
Anyone reading this please learn from my experience and stand up for what you know is the correct process. Next time when I model it will be on something they already are familiar enough with to be able to predict an outcome.

End of Term 2 ICT Lead Teacher Day
Wednesday 23 June was spent upskilling on the use of the Evaluate map. This was used with Maths and Oral Language. The Sequence and Describe maps were used in a SOLO and Writing demo for a Year 3 teacher with Room 13. Our goal was to cover the National Standards on using a variety of planning activities. Check out our photos.

2010 Term 2 Planning Middle Team

Term 2 Planning Year 6 team

Key Competency Rubric tied to Goals for Year 6 classes.

SOLO Taxonomy and CHANGE in Room 13
Please check the following link for updates our use of SOLO. We have used it with Maths Measurement, Literacy and Inquiry.
SOLO Taxonomy and Maths Measurement in Room 13 - Defining, Describing, Classifying, Part Whole partioning in groups and individually as a maths cross grouped Year 6 class.
Check the link please:
SOLO Taxonomy, Literature and CHANGE Term 2 Room 13
Please follow the link. To see more go to the blog Going SOLO.

Evidence of use of SOLO in the Year 6 team Term One:

2009 Year 6

Term 3 August
I have continued to use SOLO maps with my maths class and invite you to once again check it out at either
or Going Solo. The latest was a generalise map (see Week 4 Term 3), and it shows that we need to work on the "validity" of their claims and "reliabilty of source material" but it's a start. I have a regular time on a Monday for a SOLO map to be used with my maths class.

I have also been using the Analogy map to write poetry and demonstrated it with one of my team's Y6 classes.
This week I have been using the Cause and Effect map to produce diamante poems and you can check these out at

I am pleased with the response from my Y6 team towards making better use of the SOLO maps.
My concern is the departure of David from our school, obviously he plays a HUGE part in our development, especially that of yours truly, in ICT. I certainly don't want any more departures - take note Pam.
Examples of Year 6 work
September 1:
The ICT Lead Teachers get to share their knowledge of the key competencies with their teams this afternoon. Hopefully I can inspire them on to greater heights.
Term One
I have been inspired by the Learning @ Schools conference to start a new blog - "Going Solo". Hopefully we'll be up and running by Week 6. You can check it out at
Please use the links to check out our other blogs, especially "Trees for Earth's Survival". Remember to comment too.
We are looking at the Industrial Revolution for Inquiry this term but have been sidetracked by the terrible bush fires in Victoria. They are providing us with real life situations with which to use the HOT maps and Solo rubrics.
On World Maths Day,a TV3 film crew are going to film a live segment for their Sunrise breakfast show with Room 13 children using Mathletics and the IWB which will be a plug for ICT use. See photos on our "Mathletics Day" post on Room 13 Calculators blog -

Term 2 updates:
Rooms 8 and 9 classes have worked with me on Evaluative maps for their businesses with the class teachers observing. I have set up a Powerpoint for future reference/guidance for them.
I also had two children from my class help me demonstrate how to use Glogster in Room 8 for their Current Events. Room 7 is the last class to get a Glogster account.
Room 8's teacher is keen to trial Voicethread and Vocaroo for assessment and to assist with writing with a dyslexic child.
As a team we have been starting to improve our use of available tools on the Smart Board.
The Room 13 extension maths class has been doing a lot of work using SOLO to understand our "Financial Games Challenge" which we will hopefully complete tomorrow. Please check out the maths blog: and see what has been happening. I have also put some work onto our Going Solo blog. On the last Wednesday of term we invited the other 3 maths classes to visit and select the best game according to a given set of criteria made by ourselves as part of a Statistics survey to complete our challenge. BubbleShare: Share photos - Play some Online Games.Visitors to Room 13 maths class

My class was very impressed with Wordle and there is a lot of excitement tied to using it.

Term 2 has new entries on the above maths blog. Please check out what we are doing for our two challenges related to the term's topic on Enterprise.
This term all the four maths classes are cross grouped according to the numeracy stage they are on.
Room 13 started using "Glogster Edu" at the end of last term as a result of the Rotorua conference. We are using them for our Inquiry and Current Events. They also tie in with our Persuasive Writing, as well as Visual Language advertising.

All the year 6 team have made a start to our new inquiry topic on Enterprise by gathering baseline data using Define Maps on "Economy" and "Business".
We had two visiting speakers and have made SOLO maps - Part Whole and Sequence on what we learnt. Our next efforts will involve Compare and Contrast on "Producers and Consumers".
Room 8 will be starting blogging with blogs for Reading and Writing. The links to these two brand new blogs are:
We have started up a Year 6 wiki as of Thursday 14 May.
All the team will be shown how to 'glog" with their classes this term.
Morning Session with Pam Hook 20/5/09
Rebecca Ward and I were able to work with Pam honing our skills in the use of Extended Abstract maps and making assessment rubrics to share back with our teams. It has given me a lot to help my team and our children. Keep an eye out for my next entry.
BubbleShare: Share photos - Play some Online Games.Photos from Grant and Karen in Year 6.
I demonstrated how to use Evaluative maps on our Inquiry topic with two Year 6 classes whilst their teachers observed. The Blog has our use of SOLO maps in maths for you to check out.
All Year 6 classes now have Glogster accounts. I used children from my class to demonstrate how to use glogs to the rest of the classes.
Term 3:
I am continuing to use SOLO with my maths class. I hope you've checked out our R.13 blogs! So far we have done a Define map on Measurement and today we started our Classify and Part Whole maps which are being done in groups.
I also am using the Swartz Understanding Metaphors and Create a Metaphor maps along with the Analogy SOLO map for poetry writing. Check out the blogs, especially, for the first attempts at poetry. Hopefully they'll show improvement as we work through the maps. I'm also going to get Podcasts of statements which I will put onto this Wiki.

Year 5

We started our learning experience with concept maps by using a define map in our Writing. We first defined what "good" writing was before moving onto 'Recount" Writing.
BubbleShare: Share photos - Play some Online Games.
Room 13 has used ICT to enhance their Visual Art, specifically their sketching ability, to produce three portraits including one self portrait after first having sketched a buddy to give some baseline data on which to start. After this, an American artist was invited to visit our class and demonstrate the "how to" procedure required to copy from a photograph. Everyone was able to see the steps because a video camera had been set up, linked to our digital projector and Smart Board. They then used digital photos of themselves to sketch from along with our guest's support.
The next stage was to view the YouTube tutorial (see Rebecca's link below). We then sketched along with the video clip, with numerous pauses of course. Results were good. Finally, we repeated the process with the YouTube video again a few days later.
BubbleShare: Share photos - Play some Online Games.

Rebecca W

2009 Term 2

Our team have ALL been working on SOLO self assessment. We have used the Define, and Part Whole maps during our topic 'Enterprise'.

2009 Term 1
Year 5
We have had to simplify the process for our Mogulus TV station. We are now using Photostory3 to create our content. We made videos of our EOTC week. Next term we will upload them onto Mogulus.

I presented at the learning@schools conference at the start of the term and was inspired by a range of top class spreakers esp Andy Hargreaves.

2008Year 6

Here is our online digital t.v station which my class have created. It is still work in progress but we are excited about what we have created.

In Room 7 we have been looking at rule of thirds with digital photography, story boarding and Movie Maker. We have combined still images and Audacity files to make movies.
Please take a look again at this spot in a couple of days and there shall be some fantastic pieces of work to view.

We have been using this YouTube tutorial to help us with our self portraits

Rebecca and Rebecca report update here Teachers Feedback for Milestone 2 Document.doc

Rebecca K

Year 4

2009 The Year Four Team
Rebecca Room 4
Mairi Room 5
Leigh Room 6

Term Two:

The Year Four team has continued with their jouney in the school gardens. This is a PDF showing some of the work we have been doing.

Term One:
Our focus this term is Sustianability.
We have all set up a Solo display in our classrooms using the common language of instruction.
We have included Solo in this unit of work and have some photos of this work below.
We are also looking at ways to use our Smartboard as a group activity in our class learning rotations. These are also photographed below.

BubbleShare: Share photos - Easy Photo Sharing

In Room 4 we have created a wiki ( Please take a look at our Inkscape on our home page in the next couple of days as you will be able to view and vote for our class logo. If you feel really insipired you can also take a look at our personal icons we have designed on our individual pages.
Please have a go yourselves by taking a look at this great tutorial oabout how to create an icon in Inkscape.

Rebecca Kissick Meadowbank School Enviro Virtual Tour Presentation Google Earth Project.ppt

Term Three Kitchen Chemistry and Solo

The Virtual Enviro Tour continues - now on Google Maps

And has even now progressed to Google Earth but I have yet to discover how to embed a my Google Earth file?? So any tips welcome, please.


New Entrant/Year 1

In Room 20 the New Entrant five year olds are learning to use the Smart Board. I also have 4 new laptops that the children use regulary for Reading, Writing and Maths.

I have sourced a video that shows five year olds using the Smartboard to support learning. Please take a look at this link. It is very cute and only 4 minutes long!!

Room 20 Class Blog
The students in my classroom have the opportunity to share thier writing with a wider audience via the Room Writing Blog.
This has been up and running in the classroom since July this year

Interactive Whiteboard Presentation
Our cluster had a Teacher Only Day in July 2008. The Lead Teachers were asked to present a mini session to other teachers in the cluster.
My sesson was titled 'Using an Interactive Board in a Junior Writing Programme'. This was my first experience of presenting to other teachers in this kind of forum. I found it a great experience for my own professional developement. I learned a lot and could know what I would do the same and differently if I were asked again.

Here are my session notes.Interactive Whiteboard Presentation Notes

Since being involved as a Lead Teacher in the ICTPD Cluster I have tried using the HOT Maps with my five year old children. My first attempts were a BIG learning curve and I have come a long way since the first Define Map. I have learned a lot through experimenting but a lot more through conversations with other teachers and Lead Teachers.

Term 4
external image Planets%20Define%20Map_1.pngDefine Map and SOLO Assessement
Halloween and Diwaili Compare and Contrast Map