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.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Enhancing the Literacy Experience

As part of our ongoing Professional Development we have been looking at reading with Dr Rebecca Jesson.  As mentioned in this previous blog post, my aim has been to ensure I'm reading to my learners 2 - 3 times a day.   An additional aim is to unpack some rich vocabulary with the learners and this often comes from our shared book experiences or from our whole class writing.  While ideally it would be great to embed this into guided reading sessions also, this can often inhibit the guided reading session which has a focus on decoding and allows minimal opportunities to gift new language which my learners need.

Last week after reading Bubble Trouble, we talked about the language in the book and what happened to the bubbles which the two friends in the story were competing to create.  This lead into our writing session and we wrote a story about bubbles being transparent - a word I gifted my learners.  Our whole class story for the day was:

"When we blow bubbles they are transparent because we can see through them."

I later added the word "transparent" to our growing vocabulary wall for learners to refer back to.

The learners were really engaged with book the book and the concept so I extended this into writing for a second day, with a plan to extend it into a third day and have the learners experience blowing bubbles and then free-write about the experience.  This idea came from something that occurs in a colleagues classroom, with a story/idea being built on over the week and vocabulary gifted to the learners that they are able to find and use in their own stories during the free writing session.  Our second day story was:

"The gigantic bubble floated away in the sky."

On the third day we went outside and had fun blowing bubbles.  It was really interesting to see the learners using some of the gifted vocabulary to describe what was happening to the bubbles.  Of course, what I was most interested in was what the learners would be able to write and what vocabulary they would choose to reuse.  A selection of the stories created include:

"The bubbles went up in the sky and I like bubbles."
"I like the bubbles.  The bubbles went up in the sky."
"We blow the small bubbles and we blow the big bubbles.  We blow the big bubbles and the bubbles float."

While it is only early days, for the first time I've attempted this I was really pleased to see how it progressed and how each day took the concepts and ideas a step further.  My next challenge is to find picture books to read to my learners which extend our inquiry topic so I'm able to combine my writing and inquiry curriculum areas as this will help cover more of the inquiry topic in my limited learning time.  I often find it is a struggle to incorporate all the ideas from our rich Professional Development into my programme and I'm sure this will occur more naturally as I move from being a beginning teacher into being more experienced.  I definitely enjoy the challenge of trying new things and love the sharing of ideas that comes about from our PD sessions, particularly at a team level as I find these even more applicable in my classroom.

1 comment :

  1. Nice teaching method you have dear. It is not easy to teach the student but the satisfaction what we get if the student understand what we really meant to teach is beyond a word could explain. Keep going this way dear
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