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!