Avondale School teacher, Rae Marsh talks about how using iPad writing app Screen Chomp has made a difference for one of her Year 5 students in learning how to form letters correctly. With a combination of Google Docs and Screen Chomp, her student is able to participate in class activities and express his creativity.
My name is Rae Marsh and I teach at Avondale School for the Year 5 class.
We’ve been working with him with his physical handwriting. He’s had difficulty over the years – oh he’s left handed –forming his letters correctly. Initially many, many letters have been incorrectly formed.
We started to think at the beginning of the year what sort of things could we do to support him, so I got him typing a lot. And, I thought in the end well he’s still going to have to use handwriting so what can we do to enhance his handwriting. So, when we got the iPads the opportunity was absolutely golden.
That was using Screen Chomp and School Writing. (Was, you know) fallen in my lap and it was magic. It’s working really well. We used Screen Chomp as a tool to see, to clearly show the way he formed the letters, how much time it took him to form the letters. You could clearly see his thinking time, so you could see what was automatic and what isn’t.
When we made a table up of looking at what he’d done from each different time, he was getting quite excited about which letters he could form quickly, Doing it together I think has made the huge difference. Not just me going away and saying well this is how long you took etc. etc., doing that part together and I think the last time we did it, there was quite a nice change. It’s taking time but I think that’s partly because we are doing it together.
Last time we met, a couple of days ago, we talked about what else could we do to enhance what he’s doing. Because what I would tend to do was watch him write. And then I would be making notes, this is back to front da-da-da-da, but this means he can go back as well and see exactly what he’s done, and that just gives him the heart to keep on going I think. It’s been, yes it has, it’s been really, really good for him.
Those two things combined have given him, given him the sense that he’s improving but it’s coming across in everything. So this week he’s been into young writers' course, so we’ll just continue supporting him with his creativity with him using Google Docs and Screen Chomp, the writing app with me – he’s working a lot with me and I think that’s done a lot for his self-esteem. So I think other regular type class activities he’s actually joining in far better. So it is hard to know what you can attribute to the technology, and what individual attention – which is difficult to do in a class, as we all know – how much is attributed to that. But it certainly has made things a lot easier with the apps than, you know, if I’ve looked at this sort of thing over the years, well you just can’t make this sort of change in interest I don’t think.