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.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Collaboration ... helping solve each others' problems :)


Today was our first inquiry meeting for Term 4 and provided an opportunity for us all to take a "teaching problem" to the meeting and seek advice and suggestions from others.  In my session today there was a vast array of different problems which we brainstormed about and came up with suggestions for.  So, without further ado, the problem I took to todays session was:

My learners are struggling to remember blends (letter combinations which make a sound eg ch or st) are holding learners back in reading & writing.  What sort of independent activities can I create on the iPad to assist learners with practicing these.
Some of the ideas that were contributed from the group include:

  • Start off with shorter blends or ones most frequently used first
  • Use sound bites that learners can press & hear what the blend/word is
  • Chunk the blend and the remaining part of the word and have pictures so learners can put the whole word together (include sound bites)
  • Break up words and re-create (with pictures and cues)
  • Flash card type activity - beat the clock - repetitive
  • Work on blend families eg play/plays/playing/played which also will work on word endings
  • Use song - link to You Tube clips focusing on that blend


With these great ideas in mind, tonight I have created an Explain Everything project as a starting point focusing on the "st", "gr" and "ch" blends.  Each project has a short video clip (song) about the blend and then activities using the above ideas.  Some screen shots from the first project are included below.  As always, the plan is to test this first project before creating others - watch this space.


Title Slide - used as a visual on my reading rotation board
create "gr" words
create "st" words

Putting it all together - match the picture with the beginning sound








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