Welcome to my blog! I'm Karen Belt, a fourth year teacher working at Lynmore Primary School in Rotorua, New Zealand. I'm teaching in a Year 3 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.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

An exciting lesson .... a healthy snack!

As we near the end of our Integrated Learning unit, we are looking at healthy snacks and what the benefits are of eating healthy foods.  We completed an amazing brainstorm with the learners identifying many great ideas about why we should put healthy food in our bodies.

Last Monday, we had the opportunity to make a healthy snack.  Michelle was on release for this lesson, so I had the opportunity to plan and manage the lesson and am really pleased to report it was highly successful.  I made sure I was really clear in my instructions and demonstrated steps so the learners were able to enjoy the lesson within a framework which ensured success.

In order to reflect on this lesson and draw on aspects in future lessons, this blog post reflects on the lesson and unpacks what I would do differently next time.

  • Having two Year 8 learners to assist - Class 20 related really well to them and it enabled me to put a small group of learners with each of them
  • Unpacking the ingredients and discussing the vocabulary - when we revisited the activity the next day at writing, many of learners were able to identify the ingredients and equipment and use that same language
  • Allowing a whole hour - I was unsure if we would be able to use the entire hour, but by taking things slowly we were able to do a good job and discuss the whole process
  • Clear and precise instructions - all but two of the learners were able to make the kebabs completely independently (and they enjoyed the task more I feel because of the participation)
  • Well scaffolded steps and discussing these before we started so there were clear expectations - the learners also knew they would be able to eat their finished product, but not until the very end
  • Being able to eat the end results - definitely appreciated by all the learners
  • Following the activity up the next day with writing and KidPix - this really helped cement the learning and some amazing stories were created from the experience


  • Need to be aware of balancing the instructions and scaffolding with allowing learners to explore, but within boundaries - we discussed all steps but some of the learning may have been more beneficial by learners trying certain things eg trying a whole strawberry or apricot on the kebab stick and seeing the result
  • Set instructions - having a procedure printed to refer to (like a recipe) may have been beneficial for working through the steps
  • Small group versus whole class - this activity we completed as a whole class, with each child making their own kebab when the ingredients were all prepared - could try as small groups which would give each learner a greater hands on experience (perhaps with additional senior students as support)?



NB:  Images in this blog post created using Pic Collage iPad app

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