Log in

Support for Priority Learners

  • Public
Started by RosL 09 Jul 2014 3:36pm () Replies (5)

I have been asked to look for online resources that might help our Year 9 and 10 priority learners who struggle to access the curriculum, have literacy and language difficulties, short attention spans, difficulty following instructions etc.  I am hoping someone can point me in the direction of any resources they have found useful, or at least a reference point to start my search.  

We already use Mathletics at school and are investigating Reading Eggs.  I am interested in trialling some brain games but have only found two online programmes with some science behind them and both are out of our budget.  I am not convinced that some of the free or cheaper types of games are all they are cracked up to be but would be interested to know of anything out there that people are having success with.  

Any help/suggestions/useful links or other ideas would be much appreciated.   

Ros Lee
Otumoetai College


  • Mark Maddren (View all users posts) 09 Jul 2014 4:09pm ()

    Hi Ros

    This is a great blog from NZ that reviews a variety of speech to text iPad apps that can help learners get their thoughts on paper.

    The Chrome browser also has a variety of apps and extensions that can help learners who do not access literacy and language easily. Dictanote is a free speech to text app or Announcify can read a website to a learner. Movenote is a great way for learners to present their learning.

    Enabling text to speech on your computer or tablets can help learners access the digital information.

    This site may also be of use - http://udltechtoolkit.wikispaces.com/.

    No games sorry but hopefully some tools there that can open up learning for the learners you are aiming at.

  • Roxy Hickman (View all users posts) 10 Jul 2014 9:10pm ()

    Hi Ros, 

    You may find the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) group helpful. There are lots of discussions around inclusive practice and creating learning opportunities and environments that consider and cater for everyone from the outset. 

    Of particular interest to you may be the discussions:

    Start with the learner at the centre and what their specific learning needs are, when considering if an app or tool is relevant for each student. 

    Take some time and have a look at how the UDL Guidelines may help influence your practice, by providing:

    • Multiple means of engagement
    • Multiple means of representation 
    • Multiple means of action and expression

    I hope this helps with your search.

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 14 Jul 2014 10:09am ()

    Hi Ros, literacy can definitely be a barrier to learning for some. Roxy and Mark's ideas about UDL, help to 'level the playing field' with accessibility to learning. Without know specific areas of the curriculum, here are some more tools/games/resources to consider: 

    Browsing the Internet: We want all our learners to access new information, learn digital literacy skills as well as be able to process knowledge in a way that suits their learning needs. Try:

    • Accessing information/knowledge areas via multi-media sources like Youtube (with playlists in a variety of learning areas) helps to meet a variety of learner needs. In addition to listening/viewing the clips, a transcript of the video moves through the timeframes, as the video is played.
    Lessonpaths screenshot
    Create your own Playlist on LessonPaths!

    Teachers can embed digital tasks into learning sequences that reflect learner needs as well as being culturally responsive in delivery and content. For example:

    • Links to digital tools/games can be compiled in one-page - with simple navigation and instructions using tools like Thinglink.
    • Students can access interactive multi-media games/resources designed to support the NZ Curriculum, from Digistore (over 5000 digital learning objects). You can access this via your Education Sector Logon, as part of TKI's 'single sign on' system or create student log-ins.
    • If you’re interested ideas/examples/resources that might help address explicit ways of working with technologies that would reflect cultural responsiveness for your priority learners, then there are some urls listed in this collaborative Google doc under Examples/Resources.

    Ros, I'd love to hear your thoughts on these resources shared. I’d also love to hear what others are doing in this particular area of need – especially in a secondary context too. Smile

  • Barrie Matthews (View all users posts) 21 Jul 2014 5:32pm ()

    Hi Ros

    You could find LEARNZ useful as we make an effort to engage with NZ learners in more than traditional ways and to save you time. It won't cost you anything - it is partly funded by the Ministry.

    You might be interested in one of our examples of a reading scaffold which could work with your emerging or reluctant readers. Each of our LEARNZ virtual field trips aims to conform to UDL principles, including material in written, oral, and visual forms so students can get familiar with the topic whether they are good readers or not.

    It could be also be good way to incorporate science in a cross-curricular way. If any of your students have smart phones or if your class has access to tablets or computers, the experience should be rewarding. Otherwise a teacher can do quite a lot with a laptop and data projector. 

    Happy to suggest a particular field trip or to help further.

Join this group to contribute to discussions.