Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Moving into next year...

This years inquiry was so successful I will be implementing the process into my Team Meetings next year. This is to further innovate and design iPad activities that are level appropriate and align with the Learners Progressions. For more information check out my movie supporting my inquiry presentation:

Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher 2015

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Term 3

Term 3 has flown by and so has my research. With my dissertation coming to an end five areas of discussion became apparent when using a 1 to 1 digital device in the form of an iPad:

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Room 25 Blogs

Today Room 25 are going to post their very first Blog! That was our title to Kick start and celebrate Day 1 of independent Blogging! Great day in Room 25...

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Ryders new way to write...

Today in Room 16 we tried a new way to remember our story for writing. In a small group we talked about a picture of a little dog surfing. The learners came up with some rich vocabulary which we used in our own story. Once the stories were memorised each learner audio recorded their own on their iPad in Explain Everything. The learner then had to type their story referring back to their recording when they were unable to remember what came next. Rhyder did a great job and even came up with the word 'frothy.' Although not captured on the video, the learners also had to draw the little dog surfing!

Ryders little surfing dog from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Reading, reading and more reading!

What have I noticed lately... there is no need for a reading tumble when working with Explain Everything on the iPads. The learners work throughout the whole session on activities created around the book they are reading and their learning needs. As a 'fly on the wall,' moving around Year 1 and 2 classes, the learners are engaged in activities that are more personalised, interesting, rewindable and recordable. Can't beat that!!

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Same reading level vs different age

Even though a 5 year old may be reading at the same level as some 9 year olds it doesn't mean the post reading activities should be the same. When designing, or adding on to an Explain Everything (EE), it's an important thing to consider. The older learner may enjoy and cope well with the lower levelled activities but in reality they can be pushed, questioned and potentially think at a higher level.
So, let's add on pages to our  EE's for those older learners and get them moving towards 'higher order thinking'!

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Reading and iPads

Going into each class weekly allows me not only the affordance of knowing the learner but also supporting and personalising their learning needs for that session. This usually looks like me adding on to an already made activity with more specific learning which I get the students to create while with me at the teaching table. The learner is continuing to use the tools on Explain Everything to  complete the reading activity and add new creations at the end of the existing activity. Discussion with the teachers allows me to share what I think may work further or for me to test run their new activity designs. These conversations are so inspiring ... the thought and time that goes in to preparing these activities, to support the learners, is amazing. In one class the learners were having difficulty reading the instructions so the teacher added a sound bite to each activity. A small amount of scaffolding was required to remind the learner to play the sound bite back whenever was required.


This week my PLC research group met. It was so heartening to hear the reflections and changes that have taken place through their discussions not to mention the improvement in reading of those focus learners. Linking design and innovation with the curriculum and student achievement gives a wonderful hook to hang your hat on!!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Term 2... putting the tools to use.

New beginnings.... this term I'm in classes supporting the reading programme. With the Year 2 and 3 classes not having the experience of using the iPad to deliver reading activities, this year has meant a new learning pathway for the students. Last term, teachers were finding post reading very time consuming as the students had never encountered this type of activity and needed support. Hence my goal... to get the students completely comfortable with independently completing their post reading activity while adding on extra pages for personalised learning needs. Working this way also allows the teacher to discuss ideas, designs and innovations to support personalisation on a weekly basis. Today was wonderful... one of my classroom teachers had a design she wanted me to test run and discuss with her after the fact. On her observation of the learners she could see what changes she needed to make to the activity and even the next step beyond.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

PLC. 2.

Yesterday marked my second Professional Learning Circle with my wonderful research participants.
After having a great discussion about where we're all at with our learners, everyone was happy to maintain the original goals set on day 1.

The discussion continued and I was blown away with the insightful, thought provoking reflections that emerged. The innovative designs that were explored and examined showed depth of learner understanding and need but also alignment with the 'reading progression.'
An interesting observation of one of our learners was his reduced absenteesim and desire to hook up on his iPad to continue his 'learning.' His 'learning,' that was designed for his needs, interest and ability level... of course you want to come to school if it's not only fun but personalised and achievable at the same time!!

Monday, 23 March 2015

Shapes and beyond.

It's so neat to see how the teachers are taking the children's ability to use the shape tool and colour wheel into the curriculum. Here's an example of what went on during maths in Room 18.

No need to buy dice anymore... we can make our own!

Next step might be them figuring out how to generate a random number?

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Connecting it all up... shapes to arrows and locking it down!

This week the NE /Year 1's had their 'shape' making experience. Most of the learners were able to form a rectangle with their finger but some needed a bit more support. With lots of practise it will become easier... getting that fine motor adjusted enough to drag the shape to the necessary size was tricky!

Interestingly, the learners asked if they could add lines and made a recommendation that they locked down their shapes and lines to stop them moving while they were writing!
What a wonderful bunch of 'thinkers!'

The Year 2's continued with shapes now adding a circle and arrows into the mix. We built a brainstorm as the initial construct and talked about the shapes that may be required to house the words and word groups. Once the brainstorm was completed we decided to create 5 rectangles and 2 circles on our iPads to start our brainstorm.  Making the shapes was easy but the positioning of each shape seemed difficult for most. Creating the arrows was also easy, however, the placement for direction and flow from each shape was very hap hazard and done purely for aesthetics!  This was a good learning curve for the learners... they are comfortable building shapes so can now focus on position and direction! So many curriculum areas covered in one lesson!

Monday, 9 March 2015


So.... we can make lines.... Next step... let's make labels using the 'shape tool.' If we type our word or word groups, slide them onto the label and tap 3 x with our finger the text gets locked to the label. Two big questions... "have I used enough crazy colours" and  "why is my red text not showing up on my red label?" Once everything's sorted it must be time to write or type my story.... and my words are right there to help me.
Now where am I from again?

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Are they straight?...NE and Year 1 on Lines...

The Year 2's and 3's were able to do it. The Year 2's made each line by repeating the process whereas the Year 3's learnt how to use the duplicating tool. So my question was...could the 5 year olds manage it too AND lock them down? They have had no experience using the locking tool so today we learnt how to lock down a photo, create 4 lines and lock those down too. Well... we now have lines so lets do some writing!
Could this be an activity the 'others' could create and do independently?

Can 5 year olds create their own template to work with...yes they can!!

Monday, 2 March 2015


This week the Year 2's are continuing to learn about the tools on Explain Everything. Making 'Lines' and locking them down are on the agenda. Today Room 27 had to take a photo, crop it, lock it down, and add lines one at a time making sure they were straight before locking them down. We also christened their stylus! They had to write a little story to match their picture on their lines. By learning how to use all the tools and reiterating their use each week, the children are only a step away from creating their own activities to support their learning!

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

PLC. 1.

As part of my dissertation this year I am working with a Professional Learning Circle innovating and designing reading activities for use on the iPad. The activities not only need to be driven by our goals but also align with the Reading Progressions. Today marked our first meeting where part of our discussion was goal setting ... "what are our goals when innovating and designing that will impact our students learning and get the desired future state?"
It was extremely inspirational working with three dedicated educators!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Caterpillars and Butterflys

Room 24 had the opportunity to take photos of a naked swan plant hosting a number of starving caterpillars. It was one of those teaching moments that can't be let go. The children had to take a photo up close, crop it, lock it down and then use the pencil tool. We used the stylus during this time to create the next stages of the life cycle with a focus on using the right sized tip on the pencil tool and also the correct colours. The Apple Tv enabled us to flick back and forward to images of a chrysalis and a fully formed monarch butterfly. This helped the children with not only the shape but also the colour and designs required. We shared on the Apple Tv at the end of the class.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Photography, cropping and little voices.

Class 27 used their photography skills to further support their learning. Today they learnt how to crop their photo, lock it down, use the keyboard to add text and voice record a story to support their photo and text. We approached the activity slowly with the students coming back to the mat after each step in order to reinforce and support the next stage. Here's one little example of what we got up to!

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

1st Stylus day.

Today in one of our Year 1 / NE classes we used the Stylus for the first time.
I began by going through our process of taking a photo in Explain Everything and sharing it on the Apple TV. I chose to take a photo of my favourite book in the library corner. We co-constructed a story about our favourite book which I  wrote it on the white board with their support. I introduced the Stylus and had a full Kawa of Care explained to me from these amazing 5 year olds! The 'what' and 'why' we have to look after our Stylus was a delight to hear!
I continued sharing on the Apple TV as I transcribed the story from the whiteboard on to my i pad under the photo of my book.

Now it was the children's turn. The room was a buzz with activity while photos were being taken. When it came time to use the Stylus there were some "I can't" but that was short lived. The room was now a hush with stories being written.

A WOW moment: One of our little learners, who has not been engaged with school since starting, completed the task (his first to date) and was so proud of himself.

We also had deviation from the story with one little girl completing her sentence by incorporating the title from her chosen book.

Feeling really excited for these wonderful learners...their engagement and excitement is so encouraging!!

Week 3...

The classes are slowly diverging in their use of Explain Everything. The Year 1's continue to progress adding on one new tool at a time. This week it's the 'pencil', choosing a colour and writing a simple sentence under a photo they had taken. All Year 2's and the Year 2 / 3 mix have focussed on cropping their photo, locking it down and typing their story followed by a voice recording.  The Year 2 / 3 mix have also been pushed further during the week by their teacher and are learning how to write in a Doc and publish on their Blog. After this week all the classes are ready to add text to any of their creations by using either the stylus or keyboard. I've been pushing the need to practise, practise, practise!!
It will help not only the learners but also the teachers be more adept and faster at using Explain Everything. A win win situation!

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Week 2...slow and steady wins the race!

The end of week 2 and the end of the first 'real week' facilitating. Last week each class learnt how to take a photo on their iPad. This week our focus was on how to take a photo in Explain Everything. I used icons to map each stage for every class and every step was done slowly and pedantically. Year 1 hadn't attempted this at all and so was a whole new learning adventure. Year 2 & 3 had given it ago with their teacher but some learners hadn't quite understood the whole process. For these learners, I went over the process again, adding in the pencil tool and either voice recording or locking the photo down depending on the ability of the class. With each class now knowing how to take a photo in Explain Everything it opens the door for the teachers to begin using this activity in a wide range of creative opportunities for the learners.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Photo of a Photo

This week has marked the the 'kick-off' of our 1 to 1 programme in Years 1 to 3. Slow and steady has been our motto! Each class has gone through all the safety procedures and routines pedantically. I went into two classes today to support their first visit outside taking 1 photo at a time. The children were fantastic. Unlike last year, each child only took 1 photo at a time following a specific instruction. Back in class we shared one child's photos on the Apple TV. As we looked at each photo we began to build the children's oral language into extended sentences. As a class each child was shown how to access their own pictures to share with their neighbour. Next step was to 'double click' on the home button and swipe off the camera app ready to be put away. Something interesting from our Photo time... a little girl wasn't able to "take a photo of something yellow" so her friend said "take a photo of my photo!" What a cool idea...out of the mouths of babes!
Every day I'm continually blown away by the creativity coming from our little 5 years olds!

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Set Up 'Day 2'

Our first day was so successful 'Day 2' was devoted to Routines and Planning for the first 3 weeks of the term. In 'starting routines' we pushed the need to be pedantic about everything from iPad care to being at the right place when using your iPad. We gave clear planning guidlines for the first 3 weeks...Take it slowly and just focus on photography! The second week, with teacher support, begin exploring 'Explain Everything' during micro group guided reading time! Week 3, we will start taking photos within 'Explain Everything' and embed these ready for creating.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Set up "Day 1"

Today all the Year 1-3 teachers at Pt England School spent the day setting up their class iPads. The learners personal Apple ID's were loaded in and Explain Everything, Google Chrome, Google Drive, Blogger and YouTube personalised. All of the iPads were labelled with the learners name and this was recorded for school purposes against the enrolled number for that specific iPad. What was expected to be a very time consuming job was made easier with the help of our Manaiakalani colleagues. During the day, we also discussed routines and expectations of the learner around the care of, and use of their iPads.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Time to start set up.

The following day we began connecting the iPads to Apple Configurator to mass configure using the ‘Preparation and Supervision’ aspect only. This allowed for updating to the latest version of iOS, assignment of the Apple ID and sequential numbering for enrolment. We then used Meraki to push our customized apps and ensure security settings were in place. Two full days were spent in this part of the set up.

And so our year begins...

This week we received our iPad shipment from Apple. Enough Minis and Airs for Years 1-3, along with all the appropriate covers.
A day to unpack and sort into class groups in preparation for deployment!