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.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Challenges - an opportunity for further growth!

Two weeks into Term 3 and its already very busy!  While there have been a number of successes this term already, there have also been some challenges to overcome but as with everything, this is an opportunity for me to learn and grow from mistakes and be a better teacher as a result.

As the Commonwealth Games draw to their conclusion we will start to revisit some of the great sporting achievements as a class!  Already we have taken opportunities in cycling, shot put and gymnastics to showcase these sports with our learners.  The Class Google Site continues to be a huge hit and having the ability to add to this following the inquiry approach has been extremely beneficial - unfortunately many of the You Tube clips are not currently available to view in New Zealand which has made it harder for us to source relevant and timely information!  Linking to news sites via an iFrame window has helped with this - some new learning about Google Sites!

We have also begun to unpack what it means to be a Champion and what attributes a champion has - I was really surprised at the rich ideas that learners in Class 20 were able to contribute to this discussion this week - just wish I'd remembered to photograph the whiteboard BEFORE it got rubbed out - more learning!  Our cross country training kicked off last week and we will begin gymnastics this week to complement our integrated learning unit.

On the professional front this week, Michelle, Helen King and I hosted a Toolkit this week around using Explain Everything.  My major contribution to this was creating a handout to summarise the information we would be sharing.  As most of our session was "hands on", I was keen to provide a quick-look reference document for participants to take away, rather than having to make notes throughout the session.  A copy of the handout can be downloaded here.

On a personal front, the workload balancing act while also having a young family continues to test me! Using a suggestion from Michelle, earlier this week I timetabled our term and have made a list of all the things that need to be completed this term - it will be an ever changing list but having the visibility of the tasks definitely helps, as does working to deadlines which give me a little flexibility before the "official deadline"!  It will be an exciting term - how many beginning teachers get to create a movie to be seen on the big screen at Hoyts Sylvia Park!  Just one of the challenges I'm looking forward to conquering this term!

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