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Reflective Summary - Jo

Reflective Summary - Jo

Last updated by Gina Kitchen Comments (1)

Room 1 have continued their use of ICT mainly in three areas, publishing, gardening and geometry.


The class were familiar with publishing using Activinspire and enjoyed the creativity of using the camera tool to embellish their text. One issue the students had with this program was the lack of spell check. In general the students do not have a great spelling awareness and had some rather creative spellings that required further teacher input when ‘publishing’ on Activinspire.

We tried using word to remedy this problem. The effect was instant. The red line under words alerted students to their mistake independent of the teacher. The green line fascinated the students who had only ever had a teacher point out grammatical errors. Discussion ensued. Light-bulbs went on. Hooray!

These are students who are either still working on or have just recently mastered their first 100 words and common spelling patterns. These prompts gave the class the tools they needed to further their independence. Use of the spell check became part of the writing process.

It was painfully evident that despite widespread mastery of the x-box controller many students were ‘hunt and peckers’ when it came to typing actual words. The ‘Dance Mat Typing’ program with it’s gooney English accent and colour coded step by step progressions became a hit in Room 1. The students could see the need for this type of practice and many took the teacher’s advice and worked on typing at home. It was surprising how many students made this their mission and although the class are a way off touch typing at least they have the idea of how to more effectively approach a keyboard.


What does gardening and ICT have in common? Quite a bit if you’re in Room 1. We are currently part of a community of gardeners linked through the Tui School Garden Competition and as such have access to ideas on line. Students have created a flipchart to inform the senior syndicate of what our ‘Whanau Time’ is all about and have also created a seed planting instructional flipchart for reference.

Photos of the garden and it’s progress are collected during each 2 weekly session and put into a folder for the month. That way we can keep track of progress for accountability and to refer back on for future reference.

Google Sketch-Up.

Room 1 have a keen community of sketchers, mainly boys, who have taken to Google sketch-up as the next best thing. After a ‘tutu time’ introduction where the students helped each other to find out how it worked we embarked on a project as a class. What I found interesting as the teacher were the students who, despite having access to computers had only now really interacted with one thanks to the instant and forgiving nature of sketch-up. Because we have to share these reluctant souls had literally let the stronger of the partnership take over despite my best efforts to manipulate the situation. The journey continues with Google Sketch-Up. It is easy to seem to master at first but with our design brief being about the re-design of the old sandpit space (5mx5m) we have encountered as a class a very real need to understand many geometry based learning outcomes. Technology is driving the creativity and is providing a real tool in which to understand scale, area, volume and shape. Watch this space. 


  • Gina Kitchen

    Hi Jo

    Your class has come up against the two most confounding issues associated with digitally publishing their work i.e. the challenge of not knowing how to use a keyboard quickly (something I still have issues with), and spelling / typo errors. ActivInspire does have a spell checker, but I have found it to be very poor in practice. For example if I type the sentence “the dog waked in the gras” (should be “The dog walked in the grass.”) all that is picked up is gras with a suggestion to capitalise it! A possible solution for your students in class might be for them to create and spell-check their text in Word, the cut and paste into Inspire.

    The use of technology across the gardening programme is fantastic! Your students are using a number of different ICT tools very effectively in an authentic learning context. This is technology use as it should be, with students using the appropriate ICT tools to make recording, publishing and communicating their ideas more effective and to a wider audience. I would love to see this become “second nature” in all learning settings across the school. Similarly with Sketch-Up, you have really hit the nail on the head in your final sentence, “Technology is driving the creativity and is providing a real tool in which to understand scale, area, volume and shape.”

    Keep up the great work Jo. Great things are taking place in your classroom with regard to ICT use.