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Looking ahead after Matariki celebrations.

Updated: Jun 2, 2021

Matariki is a time of renewal and moving forward and it is important to take time to do this. I use this whakataukī as my inspiration for reflection.

Firstly, to reflect on what has been.

· The relationships and connections made during this time

· The interests that developed and conversations that took place

· The growing confidence in teachers to weave bicultural views and perspectives into their practices.

· The new knowledge and putting it into action.

I have enjoyed the new knowledge I have gained through Dr Rangi Matamua, I have yet to see him live but have seen many of his book, podcasts and lives on fb. The shift to nine stars has been interesting as the knowledge that there are nine is still not as widely known as I thought it would be.

My main focus was to learn about the 2 stars in the nine that are being acknowledged and waiata helped me do this.

Pōhutukawa – Pōhutukawa holds tight to our memories of treasured people who have passed on. She encourages us to take time to remember them, and to acknowledge their impact on our lives.

Hiwa e rangi I – Hiwai-i-te-rangi is a wishing star, who helps us to recognise our hopes, dreams and aspirations for the coming year. She encourages us to hold firm to our goals, and seek out opportunities to see them realised

I was really interested in Hiwa e rangi I and so were the children and this interest led us to find out more and co-construct our knowledge. I created a number of invitations base on Hiwa e rangi i. For parents a wishing or aspiration tree, for the children a loose parts filling of a star and making a wish and sensory play trays with conversations about hopes and dreams.

It was exciting seeing teachers share their own version of the wishing tree in their own early childhood settings on the page This is why I teach .ec and in the group Exploring why I teach. ec When you get feedback like this, I know that others connected to this new learning and opportunity as much as I did. Many teachers are now using these wishes to plan and support children in their settings.

The new book by Rebecca Larsen Twinkle Twinkle Matariki was a hit. The CD that came with it was in English and te reo Māori and the waiata was catchy. The book looked at the 9 stars and what they represent. I did two versions as I was not happy with the foam rockets, I tried to cut from air planes. The children didn’t seem to mind but I preferred the wooden ones.

From this came a huge interest in stars and this led to story baskets and invitations based on stars and rockets. Here are two of them How to catch a star as stars became a huge interest and then Whatever next (which has been looked at in depth in another blog) to travel to space and see the stars up close.

As I look forward, I hope to continue to increase my knowledge about Matariki, especially the pūrākau about the waka that takes loved ones who have passed to the stars. This connects to the star Pōhutukawa and before next year I will explore this further and see where it leads me. My goals or aspirations are to continue to grow in my bicultural journey and be aware of the opportunities to weave this into my everyday teaching practice.

You may be interested in other blogs on Matariki and the 7 to 9 star debate is explored.

There are affiliate links in this post and if you buy anything it costs you no more but helps me to do the mahi.

Until next time.


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