Welcome to my blog! I'm Karen Belt, a teacher and leader of digital learning, working at Lynmore Primary School in Rotorua, New Zealand. I'm teaching in a Year 2 class using iPads to engage and motivate learners and improve student achievement. This blog documents my teaching journey and my learning processes with iPads in the classroom. I've proud of having been a member of the inaugural Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy(MDTA) program and last year a Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher (MIT) and Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir teacher.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Game On! with Google Sites and QR codes

Term Three is about to begin!  Our school wide topic is "Game On" and in Team 1 we have a focus on the Commonwealth Games and how to be a champion.  As part of the Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy (MDTA) we are encouraged to create an interactive Google Site each term to assist our learners - one of the many ways that the learning is "visible" in a digital learning environment.  I've found this a real challenge as my learners are just 5 years old, and are not as able to negotiate the web in the same way that learners can in other year levels.

I have been constantly thinking of ways that I could use a Google Site with my learners!  This term, using Google Sites,  I've created an information portal, which learners can access on their iPads using QR codes. We will start by unpacking the site as a whole class, but the aim is for learners to be able to use it independently later in the term.

I have selected several countries to initially focus on - including New Zealand - but can add additional pages to the site as we explore the Commonwealth Countries using the inquiry approach to learning.  Likewise, we will begin by looking at four of the sporting areas (Aquatics, Athletics, Cycling and Gymnastics) but as we follow the progress of the Commonwealth Games it is easy to add additional content to our Google Site.

Each country/sporting area has its own page, and the QR code for each page is displayed on the "Game On" topic wall in our classroom.  There are navigation buttons at the bottom of each page which links the site together as well as a "home" button.  In order to make it as easy as possible for learners to navigate the site I've tried to keep the layout as similar as possible.


As my learners are beginning readers, there is only a small amount of text on each page, with visuals and video clips providing learners the ability to see and hear the information.   I have created several Explain Everything projects as follow up activities which learners can download from the page and complete.  Only two of these have been released to date as I want to trial these and see the results before making others available.  I'm ready for the term ..... Game On!

What Makes A Champion? - Class 20 Topic Google Site


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