Kei Tua o te Pae

Kei Tua o te Pae/Assessment for Learning: Early Childhood Exemplars is a best-practice guide that will help teachers continue to improve the quality of their teaching.

The exemplars are a series of books that will help teachers to understand and strengthen children's learning. It also shows how children, parents and whānau can contribute to this assessment and ongoing learning.

We are making improvements to our download-to-print functionality. So if you want a printed copy there are PDF versions available at the bottom of the main cover page.

Exemplars – Ngā tauaromahi

  • Exploring with iSight®
    • Today Tuveina asked me if he could put the iSight® camera into the mouse house. I got it out of the bag and helped him plug it into the computer. Keanu was at the other computer with the other iSight® camera ready to see into the mouse house. Tuveina put the iSight® camera into the house to see what the mice were doing. He said, “Keanu, can you see what the mice are doing? They are sleeping.”

      Keanu asked over the iSight® camera if Tuveina could wake the mouse up and see if it wanted to go on the wheel.

      Tuveina laid the iSight® camera down and gently picked up a mouse and put it onto the wheel.

      Keanu was laughing from the other computer watching via the iSight® cameras. The mouse was non-compliant and refused to do any exercise, but Tuveina persevered and kept putting it back on the wheel until it did run around. Tuveina quickly moved the iSight® camera in for a better shot, watching on his screen to see what it looked like.

      They talked about the sizes of the mice’s feet and how they run around the wheel so fast.

      Teacher and two children


      Tuveina showed an understanding that the iSight® cameras could be used to explore his environment and knew that he could use them anywhere he wanted in the kindergarten setting.

      Keanu and Tuveina are both very computer-savvy children and are confident in using the technology of the iSight® cameras as a tool for communication about thoughts, questions, directions, and ideas. This was excellent exploration of the mouse house.

      Where to next?

      I will ask Keanu and Tuveina what else they think we could do with the iSight® camera. 

  • Charles publishes his stories
    • Child's drawing

      The Dinosaur Story by Charles Dougherty

      Child's drawing

      Once upon a time there was a big king who was going through the forest and he heard a “bomb, bomb” noise, which was a dinosaur.

      Child's drawing

      And suddenly he got his sword and cut the dinosaur’s stomach open, and sent him to jail.

      Child's drawing

      Then the king ate a lolly and turned into a monster. “Grrrr” said the monster and suddenly he stamped his foot into the ground and there was his mum and dad.

      Child's drawing

      So the monster ate a green lolly and turned back into a king and his mum and dad turned back into the king and queen.

      Child's drawing

      And they all lived happily ever after in the castle.

      The End.

  • Jason, the boy with the camera
    • 15 June

      Yesterday, Kogi and I decided that this week we would concentrate on taking photos. So this morning, I took the camera outside with me, hoping to get some great shots.

      It was very quiet outside, and Jason, you were sitting by yourself – so I took a picture of you. We both noticed when I showed you the photo that there was a shadow there!

      Child sitting by sidewalk Child standing on footpath

      You were so curious about the shadow, and about the process of taking photos that I thought you might want to have a turn for yourself.

      You noticed that there were other shadows on the ground, and you focused on taking pictures of all the different sorts and sizes of shadows. First, you took pictures of your shadow and mine.

      Shadows Shadows

      Then you took lots of photos of all other sorts of shadows.

      Shadows Shadows Shadows Shadows

      When you had taken lots of pictures of shadows, you decided you would like to take photos of other people – just like I had taken one of you.

      Child wearing red and blue sweatshirt Close-up of child in playground Child in playground

      The other children were so interested in what you were doing, that they started to get excited about doing it too!

      What was Jason learning here?

      Jason had not been at morning kindergarten long, and had been finding it all very overwhelming. As part of the process of settling into a new situation, he had been looking for people who would be likely friends. Being behind the camera, he was not only able to take photos of what interested him, but also to approach people that he would have not otherwise approached.

      Where can we take the learning from here?

      With a new term, Jason is not the only new child at morning kindergarten anymore. I wonder if he would like to take photos of the newer kids? The interest from the other children on this day is also something we could probably pursue so the whole group benefits. We haven’t really pursued this technology with the children yet, and with the arrival of a new video camera, camera, TV, and video player, the scope for extending Jason’s interest in photography is limitless. He could maybe play a mentor role for the other children in this endeavour – show them how to use the new technology?

      Links to the Curriculum:

      Belonging, Goal 2; Contribution, Goal 2; Communication, Goal 4.

      Jason will develop the confidence to express his ideas and creativity through the new technology and to assist others with this technology. Jason will perceive himself as being capable of acquiring a new skill and become familiar with the technology, which will become a tool for him to understand his abilities as a competent learner.

      Shadows Shadows Shadows Shadows Shadows Shadows

  • Infant daily programme sheets
    • 3 May

      Today the children experienced a sensory activity using paint. They first created pictures using the stamps and then, later on, they used the roller brushes on large pieces of paper. Some of the children wanted to experience the paint on their skin so they painted their hands, and those with bare feet walked through the paint making foot prints.

      Children creating programme sheets Children creating programme sheets Children creating programme sheets Children creating programme sheets Children creating programme sheets Children creating programme sheets

      Tuesday 10 August

      We have had a busy time inside today. We have had lots of sensory activities for the children. The play dough was out. Later on Becca and Judy cut out fish for the children to glue onto. They painted yellow dye onto the fish and sprinkled glitter on them.

      Child using play-dough Child using play-dough Child painting

      Lincoln pushes the rolling pin into his lump of play dough

      Child painting Children painting

      After morning tea, Daniel and Tirhys painted with the brushes onto black paper. They each had a little taste too!!

      Wednesday 11 August


      Amathyst enjoyed lying on her tummy, feeling the different textures of the blanket.

      Children painting Child painting

      Emma, Lincoln and Daniel used the PVA glue to stick pieces of material to their paper. They carefully dipped their brushes into the pots and spread the glue on the paper. They learnt about co-operation as they shared the resources.

      Children playing

      After lunch Julene, Georgia, Lincoln and Angel had great fun shaking the musical shakers.

      Monday 16 August

      Judy showed Bodhi a couple of times how to put the cars into the tunnel and watch them come out the other side and down the hill. Bodhi worked this out very quickly and was soon putting the cars down there himself, actively exploring and using both his fine and his gross motor skills.

      Child playing

      Tirhys took a liking to the song on the stereo and danced away to the music, freely expressing himself with lots of fancy moves. Go Tirhys!!

      Child playing Child playing Child playing

  • Tori’s PowerPoint® story
    • Throughout the past few months we have been experimenting with PowerPoint® as a tool for documenting children’s learning. PowerPoint® allows the children to plan and construct their own interactive computer program. Previously we had been working on group documentation and Tori had been a keen helper. I wondered if she would be interested in making her own presentation, a prospect that she found very exciting.

      Tori and I discussed a story topic and Tori decided that it would be about her good friend, Nina. Next we needed to construct the story. We talked about it needing a beginning, a middle and an end. Tori understood this concept well and began her story by saying, “Once there was a girl called Nina.” The story went on to tell the readers all the things that Nina, and her friend Tori, liked to do together. At the end Tori decided that “Snip, snap, snover, the story is over” would be a good way to conclude.

      Next we needed to illustrate the story by segmenting it into pages and working out what pictures the story would need. Then Tori set to work drawing her pictures. This took quite some time but Tori was concentrating hard and working diligently.

      The next day we set to work scanning the pictures onto the computer and inserting them into PowerPoint®. Tori is really great at scanning. She helped me to put the pictures into the scanner and, using the mouse, clicked on all the buttons in order to start the scan and save it into her folder. Once the pictures had been loaded onto the slides, Tori set about designing her presentation. She decided the background would have two colours, pink on the bottom, and yellow at the top.

      Now we needed to type all the words of the story onto the pages with the pictures. Tori did all the typing herself by copying the words I had written clearly onto paper for her to see. I had no idea that Tori was so competent at typing and recognising the letters of the alphabet. She was able to do most of this work all by herself, although I was always close by if she needed some help. Tori also learnt how to make a capital letter and how to use the space bar to create a gap between words.

      All this typing took quite some time and we spread out the load over two days. At last it was finished and we were able to do the most exciting part, recording Tori’s voice onto each page. Tori was so good at talking clearly and in a loud voice so that the computer could hear her. We were able to listen to each recording and Tori decided if it was just right or if it needed another go.

      Because of her past experience with PowerPoint® Tori knew that the computer could make things move with special sounds and actions. Tori was keen to animate her pictures, words and some shapes as they appeared on the page.

      Powerpoint image Powerpoint image Powerpoint image

      Powerpoint image Powerpoint image Powerpoint image

      Next we needed to organise the story so that everything would appear on the page in the correct sequence.

      For example, Tori didn’t want the words to show before the picture because then the readers would not see the picture for long enough. This is where I needed to help a little bit because some of the organising was a little bit complicated.

      At last the story was completed and after four days of hard work on Tori’s part, she was ready to reveal her work to family and friends. Everyone was so impressed with Tori’s wonderful work. This is what some of the other teachers thought about the story:

      “Tori, it was really nice to hear how you enjoy spending time with your friend, Nina. Nina will be proud of all the amazing work you have accomplished.” – Heidi

      “I like how creative you were with using the animations, Tori – particularly the sounds.” – Jenelle

      What learning happened here?

      Where do I begin, Tori? You learnt so much that it’s hard to highlight all the skills you have gained. Firstly, you have done a lot of work on literacy. Creating a story with structure in terms of a beginning, a middle and an end and using the computer as a tool for writing the words are important literacy skills. Within a story there are many other aspects that we need to think of. Sentence structure and correct grammar are important if a story is to make sense. You also learnt why and how to use a capital letter and the space bar.

      Then we need to think about technology. Using the scanner, the mouse and the keyboard, recording sound, and animating were all new to you. Your ability to follow instructions, listen to advice, and be patient in terms of waiting for me to be available meant we were able to successfully work together on this task.

      I know that since working on this story you have helped Jenelle to make a PowerPoint® presentation of the alphabet using sign language. Your contribution to this was very special because your voice sings the song for others to hear.

      Child using computer

      Where to from here?

      Obviously you have a passion and love for literacy, art and technology, Tori.

      With your transition to school getting closer, we will continue to scaffold your learning in these areas. We will be sure to share your work with your new teacher so that she or he knows how clever you are. Because you have some great leadership skills as well, sharing this knowledge will highlight to your teacher that you may be able to help others with literacy and technology. Perhaps you can even teach your new teacher how exciting PowerPoint® can be.

      I have been thinking that we could make a PowerPoint® about transition to school. Maybe this will help other children to feel confident and familiar about school when they are about to move on. When we go on school visits with you, we could take some photos and work on a new presentation together. What do you think?


  • The photographer at work
    • Child: Nissa

      Teacher: Robyn

      1 June

      Rowena was very keen to make pancakes for morning tea this morning. We checked the cupboard for the ingredients and found that we had no eggs and no milk and so Nissa came to the shop with us to buy what we needed. Once back we started cooking. Delia, Melata and Tanya joined in making piles of pancakes. Our heads were down as we worked hard being very careful not to touch the hot pan when we flipped the pancakes and poured the mixture in. It was fun and the delicious smell of cooking pancakes was drifting through the kindergarten. I wanted to take photographs but I couldn’t because I was just too busy. I looked up and there was Nissa, standing with the camera switched on and ready to use. She began to take photographs and I was so grateful, thinking to myself that Jane had asked her to document our cooking. But Jane looked surprised and said that she hadn’t asked Nissa to get the camera. Astonished, I realised that Nissa had gone and got the camera on her own and had begun to take photos. She zoomed the lens in and out, clicking the button, making sure that she photographed not just the people but the process as well. She took the photos from many different angles. When I looked at the photos [of her] later I realised that she even stood like a photographer! I didn’t have to think about photos, I just trusted her to document the process and she did. Thanks, Nissa. It was so much fun having a photographer work with us this morning!

      Child using camera Child using camera Child using camera Child using camera

      Nissa, you are an amazing photographer.

      Child using camera Child holding a plate Child and adult Child and adults baking

      What stunning photographs, Nissa!

      Nissa’s photographs of the process from many innovative and creative angles!

      What learning is taking place?

      Nissa watched us cooking and then took the opportunity to rush off to get the camera and start photographing. She has only recently learnt how to use the camera and she certainly knows how to. When I recovered from my astonishment, I realised that not only does Nissa photograph with confidence and skill, she understands that when something exciting is happening, then it is time to document. Watching her document the people making pancakes made me realise that Nissa understands why we use the camera and that it is to document what people do, as well as the process of doing things.

      Nissa sees herself as a capable, competent learner taking responsibility for her learning and contributing to the learning of others in the group. She recognised the missing component – a photographer – and she stepped into the role. This story shows very clearly how children plan for themselves when they connect ideas and then make their own decisions about putting a plan in action.

      I have a feeling that what comes next is up to Nissa. She will no doubt use the camera a lot more and we will make sure she knows that that is OK. We can work together with her, downloading her photos onto the computer and making slideshows or printing them.

  • I wonder what this is?
    • Last week one of the children brought in this skeleton that they had found at the beach. I showed it to Leo and asked him if he had any ideas about what sort of skeleton it might be. “Maybe a flying fish?” was Leo’s initial thought, but after a closer inspection we both decided that it could not be a fish as it had what looked like nostril holes at the top of its beak. I thought it might be a penguin and the only way to find this out was to have a look in some of our books. We soon discovered it was not a penguin skeleton because penguins don’t have pointy bones on top of their heads! I asked Leo where else we might find out what the skeleton might be. “Maybe the internet?” suggested Leo. Good thinking, Leo, so off we went to search for images of skeletons, but every image we found did not look like the one we had. What could it be? We were both puzzled. Then I came up with a suggestion. Perhaps we could email someone and ask them what it might be. Leo thought this was a good idea. I explained that we would need to send a photo of the skeleton, so Leo took the photo and then we worked together to compose an email. We are going to send it to someone at the museum and hopefully they will be able to tell us what the skeleton is.

      Child holding up animal skeleton Teacher and child Animal skeleton

      Short-term review/What next?

      I thought Leo might be interested in finding out what this skeleton is. I was pleased to see that he remembered the internet as a source of information, even though today we could not find what we were looking for. With perseverance we will find out. The email still has not been sent as we worked together on the wrong computer, but I will transfer it and get it sent. I am very interested to find out what it is. Are you, Leo? Do you have any books at home that might be of help to us? If you do, would you be able to bring them in and we could have a look at them.

      Jo, 27 July

      This is the email that Leo and I sent to the museum. Leo took the photograph of the skull and vertebrae and then we emailed it.

      "Leo and I are trying to discover what this skeleton is from. It came from the beach and we think it might be a bird of some sort. Leo thinks maybe a flying fish. The part of the skeleton we have is 10 cm long, so not very big.

      Any help you could give would be most appreciated.

      Many thanks Jo and Leo"

      The curator at the museum emailed us this reply.

      "It’s the head, and some vertebrae, of a snapper. You can see the circular areas where the eyes would be and behind that the tiny brain case. The lower part of the head (jaws etc.) is missing."

      Wow! What a surprise, neither of us knew this was a snapper! Leo, you were the closest, thinking this was a flying fish. It wasn’t a bird, which is what I thought it was.

      Leo and I had a look at a picture of a snapper and we both thought it still didn’t really look like a snapper head!

      Jo, 29 July

  • Reels of fun
    • Date: 13 May

      Teacher: Karla

      What a fun afternoon we had today, Zach. Who would have thought that so much fun and laughter could have come from those yellow plastic reels?

      It was lovely outside on the grass and you were enjoying a nice quiet cuddle when I introduced you to the reels. Together we stacked them up on top of each other, higher and higher until they wobbled. But before they could fall over on their own accord, you reached out and toppled them over yourself – then collapsed into a fit of giggles!

      Encouraged by how much you enjoyed this the first time, we stacked the reels time and time again, and every time you knocked them over and giggled contagiously. What a lovely sound that was too – so much so that it brought us an audience. Lorraine came to see what all of the laughter was about and so did a number of the other children.

      Flynn decided that it looked like so much fun that he would join in too. You didn’t seem to mind this at all. In fact I think you quite enjoyed having someone else to share the occasion with!!

      Child and teacher playing with yellow plastic reels Children and teacher playing with yellow plastic reels

      What’s happening here?

      Firstly, Zach seems to be really enjoying himself, which is great to see. But he is also learning a thing or two at the same time. Zach is discovering all about the art of balance and where to place the yellow reels in order for the stack to stay standing. He is also learning about gravity, as when the reels do topple they fall back onto the grass. But most importantly, he is learning the art of playing here at the centre with and alongside other children. Although Zach and I initiated the play, he was more than happy for other children to join in the fun.

      What next?

      It seems that Zach quite enjoys the concept of building things up to watch them fall, so perhaps we could introduce him to the building blocks. We could also look at using other objects, such as old yoghurt containers or plastic teacups, to stack outside too. We can also encourage other children to come and play with us to further Zach’s experience of playing alongside other children.

      Children and teacher playing with yellow plastic reels Children and teacher playing with yellow plastic reels Children and teacher playing with yellow plastic reels Children and teacher playing with yellow plastic reels

      Children and teacher playing with yellow plastic reels Children and teacher playing with yellow plastic reels

  • Vinny learns to email
    • Today Vinny asked me if he could take a photo of the Thomas the Tank Engine book 11. I asked Vinny why he wanted to take a photo and he told me that he really liked to take photos. We know this because of all of the photos that Vinny takes. Together we downloaded the photos and then Vinny chose the rainbow as the font colour for his name and he wrote it, and then he chose the colour pink to go around his photos.

      Then it was Vinny’s turn to type.

      Bvmxzas vinnys

      Vinny is learning to use technology. He has a purpose in mind when he asks to use the camera and to download and print his photos.

      Early literacy is here too. Vinny says he is learning to write “Vinny”. He is certainly learning his way around the keyboard!

      I asked Vinny what his what next? might be. He thought for a bit and he asked if he can email to his cousin Tilly. Could we have the email address so that Vinny can continue on his ICT journey.

      Teacher and child using a laptop computer

      Dad’s Email:

      "Hi Jo & Vinny!

      Jo and Vinny, 20 July

      It’s great to get an email from you both. It sounds like you are having fun on the computer, Vinny. I liked your story with the photos of Thomas. Your name looks great with the rainbow through it – I think they are just the sorts of colours you love.

      Vinny – I think you should tell Jo the story about how you climbed the ladder and saved the little girl today. I think it was very heroic.

      Here is Tilly’s e-mail address: tilly@xxxxx

      Love from Stephen"

      > -----Original Message-----
      > To: stephen@xxxxxxx
      > Subject: Vinny’s story >
      > Hi Stephen,
      > Vinny asked if we could send you his latest story!
      > We look forward to your reply.
      > Jo and Vinny

      Emailing Tilly

      Today Vinny and I were looking through his portfolio and he asked me to read out the story about when he took the photos of the Thomas the Tank Engine book. The “what next?” for this story was to email Tilly and it reminded Vinny and myself that we had not done this. We had emailed Vinny’s Dad and that email was on the next page of Vinny’s portfolio, and he had sent us Tilly’s email address. I asked Vinny if he wanted to email Tilly today, and he thought this was a great idea. I asked Vinny what he wanted to say to Tilly and he told me that he wanted to take some photos and send them to her. So Vinny took some photos (quite a few of my foot!) then we downloaded them and Vinny selected which photos he wanted to send to Tilly. Vinny and I worked together to insert the photos into text boxes and then we wrote what each photo was about. We did all this on the lap top and then went into the office and transferred it to the iMac®, inserted the document into an email and then sent the email to Tilly. 

      Child using computer Child using computer Child using computer

      To Tilly

      Love from Vinny

      Adult in orange sweater

      This is a photo of Jo, taken by Vinny.


      I took this photo about a puzzle and a bit of Jo’s foot.


      I took this photo of my portfolio. It’s about sending an email to Tilly.


      I took this one for my portfolio. It’s about my bike ride.

      Short-term review

      I am very impressed with how quickly Vinny has learnt the terminology and skills necessary to use the computer. He asked me if we could download the photos and make a text box, and then when the email was taking a long time to send, I showed Vinny the little arrows going around and around and explained that that meant the email was still sending. A little while later Vinny said to me, “Look Jo, it is still sending.”

      What next?

      Well, I guess we just have to wait, don’t we and see what she thinks of your email with the photos?

      I think we should have a talk about what you would like to do next as far as ICT goes. You are very good at taking photos now and I wonder how we can use your great photography skills? We have also been thinking about emailing school. Does Eddie have an email address for his classroom?

      Jo, 21 October

      Date Monday, October 25, 6:54pm

      Dear Vinny,

      I hope you had a good weekend. It was my dad’s birthday on Monday. He had an apple cake. I think he was turning 46. We gave him seven presents. They were: a pillow, a pillow case, a book, a coffee cup, a bag, a shirt and some clothes. Max and I made him two cards and we hoped he would like them and he did. Ah well – a big day of school tomorrow.

      Bye bye from Tilly

      Child riding a bike