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, 19 June 2015

It worked last year ...

..... why not try it again this year :)

Often I struggle for "new" ideas and ways to help my learners with their needs.  Last week I was browsing back through my blog, specifically around writing and I remembered that we'd used Explain Everything for learners to record their story prior to writing it.  This enabled them to take the time to locate words around the classroom, write them down, and have a way to refer back and remember what comes next in their story.   Many of the learners in my class are beginning independent writing, so I decided I'd try this again this year to see if I can achieve the same success.

Similar to what Michelle and I did last year, I've scaffolded this again in small groups of learners and found its again been a great help.  While the sentences being created are still quite short, it does help learners craft their sentence, particularly those learners who have English as a second language.  They are able to continually record until they are happy with the sentence and then play back their recording as they locate the words to write.

As I've scaffolded this with the learners, I've encouraged them to take a photo of what they are writing about first (if possible).  This helps them locate the project in Explain Everything, rather than them just saving a white screen.   

As my learners start to craft more complex sentences, or multiple sentences, I'm hoping the use of Explain Everything will help with their writing and enable them to build on a simple sentence, turning it into a multi sentence story.

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