Raising Literacy Levels with Technology Dan Versteeg - Year 4 Somerfield School

Inspiration for this project - Liz Mclennan from Breens Intermediate

This is a very exciting opportunity for the students. Last year, we trialled a class using one-to-one devices for everyone in the classroom and it was incredibly successful. We know that everyone having access to a device in a classroom can certainly enrich the learning of all students. If your child has a device, they will have the option of ‘anywhere and anytime’ learning rather than having to wait for a device to become free.
My study at the Mind Lab over the last 24 weeks has also shown me some great new tools and pedagogy for the changing role of the classroom teacher in the digital / creative age.

The purpose of this unit is to use my current passion for integrating technology into an effective literacy program. The hope is that by integrating the technology as a tool for learning the students will be motivated to write and learn. For students today the technology they use is all around them. To them it is not new but simply a part of everyday life. So why restrain the use of technology from the class, as to traditional literacy lessons, but use it to enhance the student learning experience.

An integral part to this succeeding is the added communication with parents and sharing their learning with others. A classic line for making the work purposeful. If it will be shared on the internet or seen as being valued by others then students will more likely 'buy in' to this system. I first must understand the technology to be used in the classroom and focus on the quality of learning and sticking to a set instructional program - 'not throwing the baby out with the bathwater'.

I want to change the children's perceptions on traditional writing lessons, their attitudes towards writing and provide real-world learning contexts.

We used a clip recorded on my iPad from the latest Star Wars movie as our inspiration. I then created a popplet as our brainstorm planning template and taught the students about describing words, adjectives, verbs and adverbs. The students used their plans to create a minute long script (the time was a great idea as they had a goal for the length of writing on the page). In imovie we then recorded the scripts with the audio tool and overlapped the video clip.

Popplet - Story organiser.

Camouflaged learning. In this lesson we read the passage in Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo. It describes his first encounter with being on a deserted island. We read, highlighted the descriptive words in green and created a vocabulary bank of 5 interesting words. I then had the students draw their map in detail. Now the fun part. In groups the students has to create their island using Minecraft. They were given a time frame and asked to capture 5 screen shots of their island. They then created their own scripts and had to describe their island using the 5 senses. Once again they used imovie to insert their pictures and recorded their scripts over top. The use of the new vocabulary was a real positive for this lesson and all students engaged.

Minecraft for learning
Working with a targeted group of students - raising student achievement for those currently at risk.

We have identified a group of students who are currently at risk of not meeting the end of year expectation for reading and writing. I will be working with these students to leverage digital and integrate technology into their writing program. We will meet daily for guided lessons. We hoped to select students based on their current interest in ICT and a responsiveness to working in small groups with added attention.

Using the app Seesaw to share and reflect on our learning.

A bit about Seesaw. Seesaw is a classroom app where students can post and reflect on their learning. It will help teach them the skills the need for collaboration, digital safety and digital citizenship. This will align with the model currently being used by the year 5 and 6 team through google app platform.

The benefit of Seesaw is that it is simple, students can post and add information, the teacher has full control and moderation of what is added, parents can be linked to their child's account, it can be integrated with a class blog. For these reasons it has been chosen over the etap parent portal. Also there is potential for this to be used across and middle and lower teams through the ease of use.

Story Creator is a great way to publish and share pieces of writing. We also began to explore the use of Microsoft Powerpoint and Word.
App - Story Creator

Jaedyn T, Livia H, Logan D, Tobias L, Lily C, Kate H, Jacob M,

Writing Attitude Survey

Notes from survey - Tobias - attitude is based on volume of writing, also that teachers don't think he is a good writer because he doesn't get much on the page. Livia has a positive attitude to writing but is unaware of her lack in ability. There are mixed feelings about what makes them a good writer.

Robot Factory App ios
Student self reflection and understanding of their steps.
Student analysis using the learning progressions in literacy - understanding the small steps

Communication - Creativity - Collaboration: Our links to the 6 C's

ULearn 2016

Presentation at Ulearn16

What I was seeing at conference helped me to justify the move towards integrating technology into my practice and what we were doing lined up with conference presentations that I attended. Classrooms working with 1:1 devices was a particular theme.

Teacher Inquiry - Working with others. Sharing my expertise and noted attitude of students in our team.
Sources of Inspiration
Using TKI story starters - Logan success story. Teacher Inquiry and passionate writing inspiring others.

An analysis and samples - what we started to see

Writing sample - Livia start of year
Livia - iPad writing
15 pages of writing from Livia
Lily beginning of year sample
Lily end of year sample
Jacob beginning of year sample
Jacob end of year.
Tobias start of year sample
Tobias end of year sample.

Standards and levels.

All students were at risk of not meeting the national standard for the end of the year. Lily - 2B to 2p / Logan 1A to 2P / Livia 1A to 2P / Kate 1A to 2P / Tobias 1A to 2B / Jacob 1A to 2B / Jaedyn 1A to 2B /

4 / 7 students met the end of year expectations and the other 3 are very close. However it is also about the attitude change and the small steps we have made...

Attitudinal Survey - All students said that 'yes' they has become a better writer

Only one student said they were not sure if the teachers thought they were a good writer.

What have you improved? "Punctuation, full stops and caps". "I'm starting to use capitals correctly. I'm getting better at punctuation." " I'm doing more interesting stories that hook you in". "If I make a mistake I can check and change it". " I know what I need to do and can check my book for my next step".

What did you enjoy about writing? "We get to choose more about what we write". "We get more choice in our writing and other types of writing". "That I can do it on technology".

All students agreed that being given the choice on what they got to write, made them feel positive.

All students agreed that they were a better writer now than they were before. "Because I was bad at the start of the year. I am now better at the end of the year".

"I've been practicing in class and doing more at home".

All students also agreed that using technology has helped them in their writing this year. "When you spell a word wrong it helps you. It is easier to write with. It helps to find words to use". "Because it helps me focus and I can get it done faster". "I can do it faster. I don't waste time writing it with pencil and can get my ideas down quicker". " I can practice in my book then enjoy using technology to create".

It is faster, better and it makes me write neater. I can be creative and write more. I like to use technology.
So what? The movement and progress we have made.

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