Monday, 17 November 2014

Great Graph!

Every 5 weeks we graph our learners reading levels to see their progression and what next steps we need to address. This year I have been amazed at how all the children have shown acceleration in reading, with majority of the class reading within the wedge, and only two just out... but still accelerating!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

GEG NZ Hangout

Great night sharing with the Google+ education community. So much to tell about our great year. I hope enough was captured to help support those taking on a new adventure in a 1 to 1 environment!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Let's keep rewinding!

How can I move some writers who just can't seem to maintain their focus? They know lots of HFW, can find words around the room and can HR some sounds? In our micro groups today I had them record their stories as a sound bite on Explain Everything. They played it back and wrote the first word. After looking up at me and hearing me say "play your story back" they would play it back, write the next word and then re-read their story. This cycle went on and on until their stories were finished. Another wonderful thing about the rewindable nature of Explain Everything. Check out the before and after story of one of my students.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Term 3 and all is well!

Looking back over the two terms the progress made by both student and teacher has been phenomenal. Class 20 has gone from using the iPad to simply take a photo to now using it in all learning areas within the curriculum. The final area being 'Inquiry' where our wonderful Mrs Belt has designed a site the students access via a QR code. The site has been built to introduce the children to the countries involved in the Commonwealth Games and to the sports they are being represented in. Not only is the site wonderfully interactive it can also be continually updated depending on the sports and accomplishments of the day.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Peer Tutoring at 5!

From our recent testing we needed a focus on backward sequencing from both 10 and 20. We divided the class in two and worked on both manipulatives and EE. As an 'after activity' Karen chose a peer tutor to help support his friend in need. What developed was a magical moment in time.

Peer Teaching maths from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.

Scanning to locate

Throughout the year, the children have been given the responsibility to find their reading activity in 'Explain Everything' (EE). It's an easy search, usually on the first or second page of their EE. They've gone from having to notice what's in their reading book and searching for the appropriate illustration on their EE to having to now having to notice print. Life gets tough as you get higher up the reading levels!! It was interesting today watching the scanning that went on from reader to iPad screen in order to locate their reading activity!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Waffles and Integrated Learning

This past week we incorporated Explain Everything in to our 'Integrated Learning' which, this term is Science- looking at the Physical World using everyday technology to"Work Smarter, Not Harder." Class 20 looked at equipment used in the kitchen that has been designed to make our lives easier.  To support our understanding we made waffles in the classroom!  The first step was to describe and discuss the equipment to be used use. Language was developed, recycled and ideas shared. Labels were made and placed on the white board for further development. The learners then had to take photographs in Explain Everything adding in a new page for each new piece of equipment.  The labels were then placed on the equipment and the learners toured around class using their stylus to correctly label each photo.

During middle block we made some waffles using all the equipment and the special ingredients. We followed the recipe making sure that at each step we discussed the ingredients used. They were broken down into 'wet' and 'dry.'   Once again labels were made placed on each ingredient. The learners took turns using the measuring equipment and adding ingredients to the mixing bowls.  It was decided that an electric beater made it easier to mix the batter than a whisk.  As Arkar said "it was really hard to mix using the whisk."   Great outcome!

After all the excitement of eating waffles the students took photos of the ingredients and again wrote the words underneath each photo.  They then used Explain Everything to create a picture of themselves making the waffles and talked about their pictures.   The resulting creation was a their very own booklet with vocabulary and illustrations immediately available for them to use in their story writing.

Thursday, 5 June 2014


Spark (formerly Telecom) have put together a video about digital learning featuring some of our learners in Class 20!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Identical shoes

Identical shoes from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.

One day Nature and Kahurangi came to school with the same shoes. They both noticed and from this a discussion was formed. We started to think about another word we could use instead of 'same.' Kahurangi came up with 'identical.' And so a song was developed! Another unknown word taken into the known!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

The zookeeper and the birdhouse!

IMG 0018 from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.

IMG 0029 from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.

Another example of building stories into song to help understand and remember how technology was used at the Zoo. Here are two examples showing their understanding of how a pulley was used in the bird enclosure. This then linked into writing allowing the learners to recall what they wanted to write.

Writing changes...

Our writing has finally taken another step. Now that some groups have more control (fine motor and letter formation) we have gone from writing (rather large) high frequency words on an Explain Everything blank sheet, to writing our story during Guided Writing time. Today we focussed on hearing and recording sounds, locating unknowns and the 'old chestnut' finger spaces. The girls in this group were then able to save their work into their writing folder on Teacher Dashboard.

Saturday, 12 April 2014


The adage 'slow and steady' has been at the forefront of any of our decisions and so far has proved to be advantageous to both the teachers and learners. Last week, the day after Fiafia, we were all exhausted so decided to up our game and throw together two learning skills the children had been working on separately. With a bit of scaffolding the children were asked to draw and record their experience from the previous night. The whole class know how to use the drawing tools on Explain Everything and the recording button so put them together and we have a wonderfully illustrated story!

fia fia oalii from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.

nature fia fia from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Number pictures

Here is one way we have used Explain Everything for maths. This can be used in all maths stages. To make sure the children are on task we have a 'number' checklist they must complete. Today Francis was asked to show his understanding of the number 5. He put 5 insects on to his 10 square, took a photo, re-sized it, saved it in Explain Everything, re-positioned the picture and then wrote the number 5 using his stylus!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Ilaisaane playground from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.

As promised, today we sung our story. Interestingly not as much recycling was needed to get to this point! I also filmed ALL the class singing on their own. Check out Ilaisaane...her abililty to not only sing the whole story but also to monitor her voice so the audience can hear and understand her speech.

The suns rays from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

What a great language session today. Karen gave the class a picture of the playground. With some nudging and prompting a simple story was designed.... "I like to play on the playground." Next offering was "with my friends."the children were told we needed to add on to make it more interesting. From here it grew from "in the sun" to "sunshine" to "suns' rays"---all within seconds of each contribution the stakes were upped! Our final draft... "I like to play on the playground with my friends in the suns' rays." We built a song around our this space as we'll go public with our it tomorrow! Next step-we will re-visit and re-craft a more interesting sentence starter!
Today, as part of our post writing activity, the children were asked to open up an 'Explain Everything' and write their full name. After previous discussion we decided to begin this process as part of our writing programme inorder to help with size, letter formation and of course knowing how to 'write my name!' On completion their work was shared on the 'Apple TV' and previewed by their classmates.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Which Technology?

After a wonderful PLD with Manaiakalani 1-4 Team Leaders and Dorothy Burt, I came away questioning and reflecting our timeline decision with regards to our formal writing encounter and when we should consider doing more writing purely on the the iPad. I ran my reflections and considerations past ‘Karen’ my MDTA BT (and co conspirator). She felt the same way I was feeling. Although the learners get multiple opportunities to write on their iPads formal writing has been paper and whiteboard focussed.
Keeping with our adage ‘slow and steady’ makes me feel comfortable with all our decisions to date and when questions like this pop up it’s always good to rethink our pathway and reconsider the future goals! Next year may be completely different once we have experienced the new encounters!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Straight to their folders!

Over the past week we decided that we needed to start saving the children's learning into a more viable area other than their camera roll on their individual iPad (which we would later transfer into their Drive). Karen sorted out a way to send work directly from 'Explain Everything' directly into their folder on the Teacher Dashboard. This is is a wonderful time saver and allows them to save both photos and movies straight into their own folders. We have been walking the children through this process in small groups at the teaching table but will at some point create a pictorial for those who may need extra support.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Hard copies and EE Activities

Today we had a productive and successful guided reading session. We used hard copies and activities that were pre-made and purpose built for the book being read. The children remained at the teaching table so the book activity could be explained and begun. Even though the learners have had some experience with cut up sentences on EE on their iPads it was noticed that they haven't been recording their learning. Today we focussed on getting the children to record themselves and listening to the playback. Rae Jae was amazing. He needed support the whole way through the re-build of his sentence. He was scaffolded with each move of a word. The sentence was repeated after completion. On playing back the recording Rae Jae spoke with the recording-pre-empting his own voice over with the correct text. UNFORTUNATELY, as I went to save his work he had already 'not' saved any changes!! I was able to capture Casshius and Atlanta.

Atlanta rock pools from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.

Cassius rock pools from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.

Guided Reading App

This past week we introduced PM e-Collection into the class reading rotations. The week prior we set up the programme, making groups and establishing each learners library. We chose to trial the app on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This idea was floated as we don't have many of the titles offered online. The children need to take a hard copy home in order to consolidate their learning so the plan was to send home books on the e-Collection days that we either had a hard copy of or books they had pre-read. The first group logged on easily using a pre-made card displaying their username and password. Once 'in' each iPad had to be changed to 'Guided Read' so the words did not jump around and the voice over would not be activated when pointed to by the children. Each page loaded partially and then fully a few seconds later. For being a first day the experience was pleasant for both teacher and learners. The second day of the trial was however, gruelling! Out of the two groups (4 groups would normally be seen) who came to the teaching table the App would not open... either the password/username was incorrect (no matter how many attempts were made)or there were no books loaded in the individual learners library. This is something we have to look into....what is causing these issues.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Sing, sing a song...

Class 20 had a great day today! As reading was winding up Deborah and Nature began singing a story we had co-constructed a few weeks ago. They not only videoed each other singing but made sure they used each others device---aware that by doing this meant they were capturing and saving themselves on their own device. They then shared on the TV asking politely if they could go first. It was a real joy seeing them take charge and experiment with their prior learning. Interestingly, Natures first attempt had her forgetting her lines half way through. She stood back in class so she could see the story and followed along reading 'some' of the words as she sung and completed the song. By saying 'some' I am summising she was picking up on the words she knew and was able to continue by filling in the gaps of the song using her memory.

Nature 27 Feb from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.

Deborah 27 Feb from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Today Ilaisaane asked if she could do the EE activity with the numbers to 5 AND record it. Ilaisaane presented on her first day of school as extremely shy and every day would cry as soon as mum left. Her oral language is very soft and in most cases unclear. Her recycling of language is usually incomplete with only the major or easier words being verbalised. For her to ask today was a very big step... not only for her learning but also her confidence!

Ilaisane to 5 from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Explain Everything + More!

Today we took another step into 'Explain Everything.' Using the above pictorials we had the children access their Google Drive to retrieve and work on a pre-formed EE sheet. By using the strip the children easily accessed their work, completed the task and after using voice recognition saved their work as a video to share on Air Play. Tipene was able to continue his counting on his own, after initial prompting, once he realised he had pressed the record button!!

Tipene from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.

Kahurangi was able to go away and work on his own- recording and then sharing his learning.

Maths Kahurangi from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

New App: 'Explain Everything'

Today we used 'Explain Everything' (EE) for the first time. Karen and I discussed how we wanted it to work within a lesson, what features were the priority and how we planned to roll it out. As photography has been our focal point we decided to go with that feature first. Our old template was used to build a new pictorial showing the learners each step they needed to; take a photo, draw on that photo, voice record the process and play it back. Maths was chosen as the area of focus using a micro group at the table to introduce the app. The intention was to work on numbers that come before and after. Following the pictorials, the learners took a photo of a number, selected the pencil, wrote the numbers on either-side, voice recorded their (with prompting where necessary)and played the process back. The children really enjoyed the process and when the first DLO was played back the look on their faces was priceless as they heard their voice and watched their picture evolve! Karen and I both marvelled at how well it went, both agreeing that we, so far, feel very comfortable with the introduction of Apps slowly and using only those that link and build to support others further down the line, e.g. the camera and understanding of what makes a good photo!!
Next step: Google drive has been enabled on all the student iPads so we can share pre made projects on the iPads. This will open up a whole other line of learning!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Let's share and build on those ideas!

Todays story was built around an oral brainstorm motivated by a picture of Pt England kids playing in the sand. Words and ideas were gifted and meanings explained to begin the thinking process and also at odd times throughout the sharing time. Each learner was given the opportunity to 'think and prepare' before they 'shared.' As the stories were shared they were recycled continuously so everyones story was memorised. Interestingly, each child added on something a little different to their own idea/story by using what they had heard from the learners preceding them on the mat. It's easy to see which sentence was the first one shared!
Today we designed a story around a picture from last years picnic. I gifted ideas and words to the children and we went with a basic story. As we sung the children added in more bits and pieces to make their story more interesting. Listen to this wonderful story from a group of children who had difficulty holding a sentence 2 weeks ago!

Picnic Time from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Atlanta shines

Atlanta 17/2/14 from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.

Atlanta shared her story today both on the mat with her friend and on the iPad. A real break through!

Our sharing time is blossoming!

Ilaisaane 17/2/14 from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.

Our Little shadow reader came out in to the sunshine today!!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The Class Sings!

Class 20 from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.

After two days of building and recycling a co-constructed story we filmed the children singing our new story. The nice thing about today is that all the children who started on day 1 now have the confidence to sing and act with the class. They have retained the story, which was quite a large chunk for many of them and on top of that they learnt a new word...'Paddock.' The new children (2 days at school) are still a bit lost!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Nature 10 Feb from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.

Kahurangi 10 Feb from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.

Today we did a 'think, pair, share' about the weekend. This is the first time we had attempted anything like this so the children were a bit unsure. Four of the children were able to share but their partners were unwilling to share. With teacher support and prompting all but one were able to share. The stories were recycled as a class and then written in the children's books. While some children were writing others were sharing their stories with some support. An interesting twist in both Blog samples is a little girl who shadowed the children during their oral story time. She was able to fill in the 'others' gaps, however, would not attempt her story... A WORK IN PROGRESS!

Friday, 7 February 2014

Casshius 7 Feb from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.
Casshius was reluctant to have a turn but after watching his peers came to the board. He attempted the story and with teacher support he quietly repeated each word after he heard it.

Kahurangi 7 Feb from Team 1 PES on Vimeo.

Today we began building evidence of the children's Oral Language. Each learner was given the opportunity to share in front of the class a story we had co-constructed and built into an action song which was recycled over 2 days. Kahurangi confidently sung the story back to the class and identified many of the words. The learners were filmed on an iPad to keep it as normal as possible.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Goal: Introduce the stylus pen.
All pens were named  and housed in a named holder.
We gave very specific instruction on the delicate tip, how to hold the pen,  and the named 'house' they needed to live in.
The first use was after a photo session during maths where the children were to collect a specific number of objects, photograph it and come back to the mat to share on the Apple TV. All the children took turns to use their stylus while following the visual directions from the previous day. All the children were able to follow the 'sharing' directions with 2 not needing them at all. The pens were all treated appropriately and housed back next to the child's name. We have come to appreciate the need to move slowly and reiterate the previous days learning to consolidate.

On discussion with Karen we have decided to collect video for evidence of and for a starting point for oral language acquisition. 
This evidence will be collected on the friday of the first week of school and at the end of each term.

Monday, 3 February 2014


Today we went over the procedure for taking a photo again. The class walked over  the field with the instruction they had to take a photo of their friends and the horse next door.

Todays Goal: To show the learners visually the process to share their photos on the Apple TV.

Each icon was showed separately on individual A4 laminated sheets. The steps were also displayed on the iPad. Each leaner was given the opportunity to share on the Apple TV using the visual process to prompt them. Each child successfully shared all their images. The process will now be displayed in a continuos horizontal line on the wall for quick referral for learners.

Update: During maths the learners were asked to select a number and count out the correct number of objects to match. They would then share these pictures via AirPlay. One of our learners was so clever they would continually share their photos bumping off those whose turn it was.
New Rule:  Courtesy:  Only one person at a time on AirPlay.... check to see who is on and wait your turn!

Class 20 kicked off with 5 children. All children are english speakers except for one boy from Burma who is ESOL. Our first day was mainly getting to know the children and letting them get to know their new environment. Reading, writing and maths were attended to as well as iPad focus time. Three out of the five children had had previous experience with an iPad.

Goal: To establish opening the iPad, selecting the camera and taking a picture.

The learners were shown how to hold the iPad safely and where highly scaffolded as to the steps needed to take a photo. Instructions were clear, concise and very tight. The camera icon was shown so the learners were clear as to which button to press.

We ventured outside and photos were taken of the park and  adjacent bulldozer.
Back in class the photos were streamed on Apple TV and discussed.

We walked the children through the process of sharing and at this point we decided we now needed more icons to display in order to support the sharing process.  This had crossed our minds earlier but we wanted to wait and see exactly how much visual support would be needed.