EduMaxi is a New Zealand-owned independent publisher and learning solution consultancy. Since 2007, the EduMaxi team of authors, editorial staff, illustrators, graphic artists, animators, and project managers have worked together to develop numerous digital and print-based learning resources for schools, tertiary institutions, private education and tutoring centres, as well as corporates. Their brand User Friendly Resources provides supplementary curriculum and teacher support materials to teachers in NZ and internationally, and the multi-award-winning Te Reo Singalong series offers a unique solution to growing te reo Māori language use in early learning centers and schools. EduMaxi’s education consultancy arm works with private training establishments and professional organisations around the world to create innovative print and digital learning solutions.
Edumaxi’s multi-award-winning Te Reo Singalong series is a fun and engaging Māori language resource for children and teachers in early childhood centres and schools throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. The series currently has 28 print titles available as well as an online school subscription model and all books in interactive digital format. Featuring colourful drawings, engaging stories, and fun songs to join in with, it requires no prior knowledge of te reo Māori. Each print book comes with a CD, a link to the music on Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube Music, curriculum links, how to use the books, follow up ideas, vocabulary in te reo Māori, an English translation, and guitar chords. School subscriptions come with print-ready classroom resources such as flashcards and decorations, plus ideas for games and activities. The subscription also provides videos on pronunciation, articles on cultural diversity, and introductions to each book from the author.
Awards: Winner of the print category in Ngā Tohu Reo Māori / Māori Language Awards in 2013; finalist at Ngā Tohu Reo Māori / Māori Language Awards in 2012 and 2014; winner of the Best Te Reo Resource at the 2015 CLNZ Educational Publishing Awards; winner of the Teachers’ Choice Award at the 2015 CLNZ Educational Publishing Awards.
Each book includes simple, repetitive sentences and catchy songs to help make te reo Māori accessible to both students and teachers. Titles range from stories about family life, to the natural environment, to celebrating special occasions like the new year or Christmas. Te Kāhui o Matariki / The Matariki Star Cluster talks about each of the nine stars in the important Matariki cluster, which signals the Māori new year. Taku Mōkai / My Pet introduces children and their pets, and explains how each child cares for their animal. Hāere Tonu / Keep Going provides the perfect “clean up song” for home, school, or preschool by encouraging children to put away different items in the room. He Aha Tēnei / What is This? focuses on insects and is a favourite among teachers for the many ways that the ideas can be extended throughout the curriculum.
About the Author
Sharon Holt is a Pākehā (European) New Zealander who started learning te reo Māori in 2002 when she was working as a relief teacher in schools and preschools. As her own confidence in the Māori language grew, she realised that most teachers in English medium schools and preschools didn’t have enough confidence to go beyond the basics in te reo Māori: colours, numbers, greetings, and a few commands. She also noticed that there were very few Māori language resources that were easy for teachers to use.
Sharon dreams of a day when all New Zealand children can grow up bilingual. She believes it’s important for all New Zealanders to show respect for the Māori language and culture by at least pronouncing greetings, place names, flora and fauna correctly. To help with this, she presents te reo pronunciation workshops and has extensive videos on Youtube.
User Friendly Resources is a globally-trusted creator of relevant, practical, creative and engaging resources, with over 700 active titles in the collection. Spanning an age range of 5-18, there are over 44 unique categories of resources for every age level encompassing mathematics, science, arts, design, and specialist topics including special education needs. All of the resources are developed by teachers, for teachers, with a distinctly student-centric approach to learning. Most resources are black-line masters and come with a photocopiable license. As well as print books, User Friendly Resources offers engaging, interactive PDF ebooks for use on smartboards, iPads, laptops and tablets. User Friendly Resources started when a couple of New Zealand science teachers teamed up to create thoughtful, engaging and creative teaching resources, and has now been equipping teachers for 25 years.
User Friendly Resources offers a huge range of books to support the development of literacy, writing, and English. At ECE level, titles like the top-selling Sing Your Way to Reading and Writing apply kinaesthetic learning strategies and a fun point of difference for emergent readers. At primary level, series like the bestselling Ready to Read Workbooks provide language-focused activities to enhance decoding, sequencing, comprehension and retelling skills, equipping teachers with a variety of activities which relate to the stories in the Ministry of Education’s Ready to Read series. Similarly, the Junior Journal Workbook series and the Essential School Journal Activities series offer a range of ready-to-use photocopiable worksheets that relate to the articles, stories and poems in Junior Journals (a Ministry of Education-published instructional reading series). At secondary school level, specialised series of books target particular groups of students, such as the Kiwi Careers series for reluctant readers. By providing innovative ways to show the links between everyday life and the content taught at school, Kiwi Careers is able to engage students with learning differences.
User Friendly Resources’ Māori-focussed publications span both language and culture, te reo and tikanga. Titles like Working with Treaty Principles at School, and The Treaty in Action focus on the essential role of the Treaty of Waitangi, while other titles cross disciplines and bring a unique approach to other subjects:
Te Whakaako Toikupu Teaching Poetry and He Kete o te reo Kōri offer te reo and tikanga-informed approaches to literature and sports, respectively. User Friendly Resources also publishes bilingual readers such as Hokē Te Whanokē / Bod the Odd, providing much-needed classroom resources for developing readers ages 7-12.
Maths and Numeracy are introduced as early as ECE, with titles like What Time Is It? offering organised, progressive tasks in a step-by-step sequence of difficulty. At primary and secondary school levels, series like Miss P’s Brain-boggling Maths Lessons, Maths Reinforcers and Maths Quiz Quest provide student revision activities across a broad range of topics, while series like Thinking Maths offer rich, stimulating activities for students that place an emphasis on thinking. The secondary school series Maths Motivators directly addresses the time pressure that teachers often face in lesson planning and takes a creative approach. In contrast to the “tried and true” maths pedagogies and exercises, Maths Motivators offers student-centered exercises with engaging approaches for introducing, teaching, revising, and assessing core concepts in senior mathematics.
User Friendly Resources offers publications at both primary school level and secondary school to support student research. Titles like the child-centric Seriously Useful Information Skills build students’ abilities to locate information across the internet, non-fiction books and reference books, and break down the skills into fun, purposeful tasks. At the secondary school level, titles like Advanced Research Skills support students in learning progressive research methods and taking control of their own, independent learning.
User Friendly Resources’ wealth of teacher support publications include curriculum planning books, personal development programmes for students, counselling techniques for children and adolescents, research around behavioural change, and support for writing student reports. Titles like The Competent Child support teachers in developing their own personal philosophy of early childhood education, while The ADHD Book offers comprehensive in-class support materials to practice inclusion. At the secondary school level, series like Setting Your Sights and Study Smart! provide students directly with strategies, tips and tools to become active, independent learners.
ECE Science titles link play to changes that occur in the material world. Child-centered resources like Science is Child’s Play and The Easy No-Dig Garden apply an integrated and fun approach to STEM education. For primary and secondary school students, series like 200 Super Science Investigations invite students to think like a scientist in the material world, providing prompts for students to recognise science in everyday life. The long-time bestselling Scintillating Science Games provides an innovative approach to reinforcing and consolidating science knowledge with fun, group learning activities. Teacher-focussed series like Linking the Learning offer practical support for curriculum planning.
Existing international relationships
For the past 14 years, EduMaxi has been a supplier of high quality teaching and learning resources in print and digital format. Their consultancy services for educational clients spans from Australia to Canada, to China, India, the UK, and the USA.
In China, EduMaxi have close working relationships with most of the top ten private educational providers including New Oriental, VIPKID, the TAL Group, Best Learning, Stars Kindergartens and BLINGABC. A notable project with VIPKID included collaboration with National Geographic Learning to localize content from world renowned wildlife photographer, Joel Satore. In another notable project, US-based McGraw Hill Education commissioned EduMaxi to develop a 5-level reading program (K-4) based on Reading Wonders to be delivered via DaDa’s online tutoring platform. Over a period of 12 months, the EduMaxi team worked collaboratively with a team from fellow New Zealand publisher Cognition Education who they brought on as a strategic development partner to complete the development of 1050 online lessons in PPT format, 1050 detailed lesson plans, and 72 assessments. EduMaxi also edited 88 short videos during this time.
In Australia, EduMaxi recently completed a successful project with the Centre for Mental Health Learning in Victoria, which included instructional design, graphic design, and authoring of a 4-module e-learning package focused on clinical supervision for mental health practitioners. In the UK, EduMaxi is a provider of content, instructional design, and e-learning development services for Cambridge English.