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, 14 September 2015

And so we start typing .... another Explain Everything tool is introduced!

As often occurs, another professional conversation with a colleague had me thinking about another use for Explain Everything.  She is having learners use the keyboard and typing onto the iPad, particularly for those learners who struggle with writing.  To date, my learners haven't used this tool but I do think its a great first step into publishing their own writing via Blogger, which I hope to achieve by the end of the year.

To this end, I am introducing a new slide to the Reading Activity project this week.  I do try to introduce a new one each week and have a bank of 15 slides now that I can pick and choose from for different learners or groups.  This also helps with variety and engagement with this activity.  The new slide asks learners to copy/transcribe the words from one page of their book.  To scaffold this for my learners I've created some laminated keyboard cards which shows the letters in lower case.  I remember from last year that many learners struggled to find the letters on the Upper Case keyboard.  One of the updates I'm most looking forward to is the introduction of the lower case keyboard for the iPad as this will negate this scaffolding.

As with any new activity I will introduce this to the learners as a whole class first on the Apple TV so they can see how to change the size of the text box and how to put a space between words.  I fully expect to take this activity further and over the coming weeks learners will have the opportunity to type some of there responses as well as handwrite others - I think the combination will give them an opportunity to practice both their skills.

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