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.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Day 1 ...

I remember when I started "planning" for Day 1 in January having a "what did I do last year" moment?   I was lucky enough to have a mentor teacher and we discussed and talked about what we did last year, and I used this as the basis for this years plan.  Thanks to my blog, this won't be a problem for the future as I unpack what worked well today and what needed tweaking to be achievable for my learners!

Room 19 started with three learners today and I had an amazing day.  We started with a few tears with one child a little upset to farewell Mum on his first day at school, but he soon settled into the class and all three boys happily talked with me throughout the day.  Having only three learners I was able to spend time with them all as we completed our activities for the day.


  • Alphabet and alphabet activities - we went over the whole alphabet today and then specifically focused on the first letter of each learners name with some colouring.  I was careful to model the colouring, although despite discussing what colour trees were we still ended up with a blue one!  The learners took much longer on the colouring than I had anticipated.  As they were finished we turned their pages over and I wrote their name on the back and encouraged them to copy over (or under) my writing - this gave me an idea of where they were at.
  • Reading - I hadn't planned to do reading today but with only three learners it gave me an opportunity to group them together and introduce reading on day 1.  All the learners were really keen to take their books home and read to their whanau.  I was able to use my reading planning from Tuesday today and shows the importance of being planned for any eventuality.
  • Reading Activities - we unpacked two of our reading rotation activities today - jigsaws and blocks - this gave me an opportunity to have conversations with each learner and learn something of their backgrounds.
  • Maths - after morning tea we moved onto some maths activities, working on counting to 5 and then 10.  Again, an opportunity to assess where each learner is at before the more formal JAM testing shortly.  Having a workbook with numbers 1 - 10 to start working on was extremely advantageous.
  • After lunch we were all pretty tired - we made some creations using the polydron and had a story before it was time to pack up and get ready for going home.  We also took our very first class photo!

Taking time to explore the school, include frequent water and toilet stops and explaining and reinforcing routines helped the day speed by.  These things will all continue to occur as our class grows over the coming weeks.  The learners are intrigued by the computers in the room and I look forward to unpacking the iPads with them over the coming days in a carefully scaffolded way.  

As I reflect on today, having name tags for learners to hang their bags on already prepared was a huge hit with both learners and their whanau.   Being prepared for the whole week and ready to launch into learning benefited everyone and allows for the best possible start for everyone.  Maths booklets, colouring activities and a selection of books to read to the learners all helped to make my day flow and ensured I had additional activities to integrate with the curriculum learning - bring on Day 2!

No comments :

Post a Comment