Monday, 12 February 2018

Reaching milestones

Two crazy years of being a beginning teacher, MDTA teacher and part time student has paid off! Last week I was ecstatic to open an email informing me that I am officially a registered teacher! If that wasn't enough great news in one week, I also received an A- for my dissertation on integrated reading and writing instruction. I am super stoked with this result, as I put a lot of effort into setting up the intervention in my classroom, gathering data and drawing conclusions.

I am looking forward to continuing to challenge myself by sharing my practise through Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir.  The site is going live tomorrow and I am really looking forward to putting myself out there and sharing what I do.  Here is a sneak peak at my little introduction video which will be on my Class OnAir page.  Sorry it is not the best quality and location for filming, I had to film on my laptop and it was too rainy to shoot outside! I hope my video will help viewers get an idea of my personality and beliefs about teaching, as I feel that they heavily influence the way I teach and the lessons I create for my learners.  

I am glad to have my beginning teacher years behind me.  Now it is time to refine my teaching and ensure I am doing the best for my learners.  I think that Class OnAir will help motivate me to continue to push myself and get my learners to think critically. 

Onwards and upwards!

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Why "don't smile till Easter" is the worst piece of advice for a beginning teacher

I am sure that every beginning teacher has heard it before.  Don't smile till Easter.  No smiling means that you mean business. It demands instant respect with a hint of fear.  If you appear too human and friendly, it will be way too difficult to manage your students come term two...

While I can see the reasoning behind the mantra, I think it is a terrible piece of advice. It implies that being friendly and smiling is a weakness, and will ultimately lead to an unruly classroom. This is totally untrue.

Clear expectations and routines must be put in place from day one. However, it does not need to be done in an inhuman manner.  Teachers should firstly think about the type of learning environment they want to create.  Want it to be quiet, serious and teacher centered? Then don't smile.  Want it to be inclusive, positive and safe? Then smile!

 If you want to create a safe, inclusive and positive classroom environment, then ask yourself this: how does a unsmiling teacher help this? How will students feel safe to take risks, share ideas and be a part of the learning community if you are demonstrating one of very things that you wouldn't want in my classroom? Is an unsmiling teacher really a good role model for how they want their class to look or feel?

If you want  to create a collaborative, inclusive and positive classroom environment, then be a smiling teacher. A smile means that you are welcoming, approachable and positive. It shows that you want to be there, and that you care about your students. A smile is contagious, and exemplifies the kind of disposition you want your learners to have.  Teachers have the power to set the tone of the classroom, so a smile goes a long way in helping to create a happy classroom. It helps to ease the anxieties that come with being in an unfamiliar environment with new peers. A smile does not mean that you are weak. 

Start the year the way you intend it to continue

Instead of the old "don't smile till Easter" line, here is what that I go by: Start the year the way you intend it to continue. Just because you are not an unsmiling teacher, doesn't mean that you do not have expectations and routines that you expect to be followed. Here are my tips for doing this while still smiling!

1. Give the students ownership over how they want the classroom to run/feel.  Ask the learners what helps them learn, what doesn't, and what kind of classroom would they like to be a part of.  When I do this, recurring themes are collaboration, friendship and inclusivity.

2. Start on day one with purposeful activities. Choose activities that require the types of behaviours you need to help create your positive, inclusive and safe environment.

3. Be clear with your expectations. Set clear expectations regarding behaviour during these activities and use positive reinforcement when you notice that the good behaviours are being used.

4. Whenever student behaviour isn't good enough, stop. Even if it is only a little disruption, or students are becoming slightly less focussed. Don't be afraid to stop the class and remind them when they are not using positive behaviours. Relate this back to the reason WHY it is important (how it will help create the classroom environment they want and help them to learn).

5. SMILE. Share a smile with your learners.  Remember that you set the tone for your classroom and that a smile is contagious.

These steps will help students to understand your expectations as a teacher and will help to create a classroom environment that students (and teachers) will want to be a part of!

I'm going to finish this post off with a brilliant excerpt that was sent to the staff by our awesome AP.

...I have a sneaky suspicion that this kind of teacher would smile on day one!

Thursday, 1 February 2018

New year, new role, new challenges!

After a relaxing summer holiday I am ready to hit the ground running as a third year teacher.  Heading into the year, I feel a lot more confident and relaxed. I have a much better idea of what it takes to be an effective teacher, and how to a better work/life balance.  So after successfully tackling my first two years as a BT while completing my honours, I feel I am ready for some more challenges!

A change in year levels

I have made the move to teaching year 7 and 8s - a slight change from my year 6 and 7s last year. This will bring a new challenge, as we all know that the hormones will be well and truly kicking in... bringing all sorts of lovely things into the classroom! I found that the year 6 and 7 combo worked really well last year. In my opinion, it helped make the year 6s step up and mature, while still keeping the year 7s grounded. Last year there was a noticeable difference in the attitudes and behaviour between the year 6s in room 6, compared to the other year 6s. I treated them like seniors and spoke about them being seniors - despite being year 6. As a result, they really did step up! I loved teaching year 6 and 7s last year but am excited to teach year 7  and 8s. A challenge will be making sure that I am helping the year 8s to grow into being positive role models and proud leaders of the school. The year 8s have a very strong influence on the other students in school, so it is important that the year 8s make positive and responsible choices.

I'm going OnAir!

I also have picked up a new role, taking part in Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir.  I will be recording and sharing a range of lessons which embody Manaiakalani's  'Learn, Create, Share' Pedagogy.  This will offer an authentic window into what happens in my classroom and how I use LCS to engage and extend my learners.  This is something that I am both nervous and excited about. My time in the Manaiakalani Digital Teacher Academy (MDTA) has really helped me grow and become at ease in a digital 1:1 environment.  I have moved from solely focussing on making learning fun and engaging with the use of digital tools, to how I can extend and challenge my students thinking, and really make use of the affordances provided by digital tools.  Being a part of Class OnAir will help me to ensure I am always engaging, exciting and stretching my learners.

My goals

I have a four goals that I have set for myself which I think will help improve my teaching practice.

1. Stick to timeframes

So often I would want to keep teaching a group or subject, even if my allocated time was up.  Sometimes the class would be so engrossed in what they were doing, that I would let the lesson run for longer.  While I thought this was a good thing at the time, some other subjects ended up getting  less attention. This year I would like to try and keep to the timeframes so I see all groups for the same amount of time and also give enough time to every learning area.

2.  Continue to integrate reading and writing

Last year the focus for my inquiry and dissertation was to discover whether integrated instruction led to an improvement in students understanding of audience, and quality of writing.  The integrated instruction led to a significant improvement in students quality of writing and students also loved the integrated activities.  I intend to keep integrating the two practises this year and continue to extend student's quality of writing. Additionally, I would like to see if integrated instruction leads to any improvement in students reading ability. Further, integrated activities will mean I am killing two birds with one stone, which will help me with goal one!

3.  Use 'wait time'

This sounds so simple, but pausing for a second of two is not using 'wait time'.  This topic came up while I was at a Teachers Matter conference held by Karen Boyes.  After asking a question, Karen suggests waiting 7-10 seconds before speaking.  This sounds terribly long and has made me realise that I definitely do not 'wait' long enough!  Students need enough time to stop and think before they can answer a problem, and not enough time can lead to student's feeling anxious and saying 'I don't know'. However, with the use of digital tools such as Nearpod, Mentimeter and Padlet (check out my tags to find examples of how I use these tools), I find I have the opposite problem.  Students start hurriedly writing responses because they like seeing their ideas on the screen, and the anonymity helps them to feel safe.  I think using 'wait time' will help increase the quality and depth of student ideas.

4. Encourage more creativity

Because I am a part of Manaiakalani, I am confident with using digital technologies to enhance the learning process within the Learn, Create, Share pedagogy.  I have also worked hard to empower learners to share their learning on their blog (read here).  This year, I would like to encourage more creativity.  I have spoken before about learners at Glen Innes being unfamiliar with the creation of DLOs (Digital Learning Objects). Most students are only familiar with using Google Presentations, Google Drawings, and some storyboard creators. This year, I don't want to use this as an excuse for not encouraging creativity. During the first term I will ease students into the idea of creating DLOs, but by term two I would like to encourage learners to become more creative when sharing what they have learnt.

I am looking forward to tackling the new year and continuing to become the best teacher I can be!

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Dealing with conflict in the classroom

This term has seen some significant changes in my classroom. Due to an almost school-wide reshuffle, my classroom lost 4 students and gained 5 more from another, younger classroom. This was something that my class really struggled to cope with. Prior to the class change-up, room six worked hard to create a close-knit classroom.  Everyone was mates, and nobody wanted their mates to leave. At the same time, the new students were coming into an unfamiliar classroom environment - one which had a very close bond. This made the new students feel somewhat unwelcome and apprehensive to join their new classroom.

This term we have had to work hard to work hard to establish a new classroom culture, where both new and original room sixers feel included, safe and happy. This is an honest reflection of the realisations I have come to.

Here are some important things I have discovered when dealing with conflict in the classroom

Getting to the bottom of problems ASAP

As soon as I have gotten wind of a problem, I have made it my priority to deal with it straight away. Sometimes this has meant that I have had to leave the rest of the classroom whilst dealing with a small group. I think this has helped because things were not left to escalate, or become worse by others getting involved.

Two sides to every story

This is something that we all know- but do our students?  Before starting a restorative conversation, I have learnt the value of expressing this to my learners. There are two sides to every story, and there are always truths on both sides. Emphasising this fact helped my learners to understand that I was willing to listen and support both parties. As a result, situations were calmed down because both parties knew that I cared and would listen to what they had to say.

Compartmentalising problems

I noticed that often the 'big problem' between the two parties was created from many smaller, unrelated problems.  Some of these problems involved intentional unkind acts, whilst others were not.  I felt that it was really important for the students to see that while there were some instances of meanness, other times it was just misinterpreted and innocent.

As a group we work through each problem in isolation. Initially this is difficult, as students will bring up other issues when trying to deal with the one problem in particular. I needed to remind the group that we would make sure we shared and solved each problem, but it was important to focus on one at a time.

Asking why

A problem isn't solved unless you get to the root of it, and find out what caused it in the first place. Asking why helped to find out more details, understand the feelings and thoughts behind actions, and also find out how the problem began. It also helped to discover when actions were intentional or just misinterpreted. The more information you ask for, the better you understand the problem and how best to solve it.

Taking time to talk, listen and say sorry (and mean it)

It turns out that one of the biggest problems we had this week was due to a fight that happened last year.  There a physical altercation between two groups and it was broken up by the teachers.  It turns out they were still holding onto what happened a year ago, because they never actually dealt with the problem.  Instead, they were just told to apologise.  This meant that body language, meaningless comments and moods were misinterpreted as angst towards the other group.

The biggest problem with this is that they never able to move forward because there was never any restorative conversation.  Instead, their anger was just left to fester and become much worse. It can be easy to just make children apologise and expect them to move on. However I have seen the value of taking time to allow all learners to share their perspective of what happened, why and how it made them feel.  It was much easier to give a genuine apology once they understood the thoughts and feelings behind the actions. Following that comes the joint decision of how to move forward.

Understanding learners cultures and family backgrounds

This is probably the biggest thing I have learnt. Due to their cultural and family backgrounds, children deal with conflict in different ways. At home, some children are free to share their problems. Others are expected to 'suck it up' and never voice their problems. Some children are even punished for speaking their minds. It was pretty naive of me to think that all learners would be able to voice their issues with ease.  In fact, this turned out to be a huge barrier to dealing with conflict.  This had meant that small issues were left to fester, leaving all parties more upset, angry and confused.

It is really important that students know that they have permission to share what is making them angry, hurt and upset.  In saying this, it is also important to acknowledge that all families deal with problems differently, and that is okay. The last thing I would want is to come across disrespectful towards my students families and cultures. While stressing this to my learners, I also explained that at school we need to be able to talk about our problems so we can solve them together and move on.

And lastly...

Everyone always says it, but it is so crucial to know your learner.  I have found that if students feel valued and cared for, they are more likely to open up and respond better to restorative conversations. The hardest students to get to talk were the new students to room six.  Building rapport takes time to develop but I feel it can make such a difference.

Summing it up

This week has been quite the challenge. I have seen how important it is to deal with problems as soon as they arise. I also have learnt that students home lives and cultures can play a huge roll in how they deal with conflict. This can make it difficult for some learners to openly express their feelings. In saying this, it is super important that students understand that they are encouraged to share what is bothering them. At first it felt personal that my learners were unwilling to share how they were feeling.  But taking the time to the right ask questions allowed me to learn so much more about my learners.

Monday, 17 July 2017

My inquiry: the research design of my study

As discussed previously, my dissertation/inquiry this year is about the effect of integrated reading and writing instruction on students understanding of author's purpose.  It is my suspicion that if students are able to identify and articulate why authors have chosen to use specific structures and language features to communicate their purpose, then students could transfer and apply this knowledge in their own writing.  Initial data gathered from writing samples and student work indicated that students did not have a strong enough understanding of the structures and features used for specific purposes.

Action Research

My action research will gather quantitative data relating to effectiveness of an integrated reading and writing approach. As the integrated reading-writing instruction will be standard classroom practice, all students will be involved in the intervention.

After looking into the current literature and studies supporting integrated reading and writing and considering the needs of my learners, I have created an intervention.  The intervention period has begun, and will continue until the end of term three.  In order to determine whether the integrated instruction will make a difference, I have taken a number of measures which will allow me to compare students writing samples and awareness of author's purpose before and after the intervention.  A survey containing a number of tasks was given prior to the intervention period. Writing samples were also collected.  The samples were graded against a rubric, which specifically assesses whether students have deliberately chosen structures and features appropriate to their given purpose. 

During the intervention period, I will have detailed lesson plans. I will also keep a diary which reflects deeply on the student's ability to identify the structure and features author's use to convey their purpose, as well as their ability to  transfer this knowledge and apply it in their own writing. I will also have informal check-ins, gauge students understanding of the learning during the experiment. These will be audio recorded and transcribed.

My inquiry: integrated reading and writing instruction

Does integrated reading and writing instruction affect year 6 and 7 Maori and Pasifika students understanding of author's purpose in writing?

This year I have merged my teacher inquiry with my dissertation. I have chosen to investigate the effectiveness of integrated reading and writing instruction, with a focus on understanding the author's 'purpose' of writing. 

Why have I chosen this?

I have chosen this topic for the a number of reasons. Current data from my school suggests there is a need for some kind of change in the way we deliver reading and writing lessons. Also, many theoretical frameworks support the use of integrated reading and writing instruction. The theoretical framework has also led to numerous studies that have found that integrated reading and writing instruction can lead to improved outcomes for some learners (Aminzadeh & Sadat Booyeh, 2015; Cho & Brutt-Griffler, 2015; Corden, 2007; Fitzgerald & Shanahan, 2000;  Griffith, 2010; Jesson, McNaughton & Parr, 2011). As the integrated reading and writing instruction is a broad topic, I chose to narrow my research and focus on author's purpose.

Underachievement in writing

In Aotearoa, Maori and Pasifika students are underperforming in writing (Amituanai-Toloa, McNaughton, Lai & Airini, 2009).  The data for students achievement in writing in my classroom  mirrors the trend in New Zealand of Maori and Pasifika learners underachievement. Therefore, a change in the way writing is taught is necessary.

What the literature says 

Integrated reading and writing instruction is supported by the theoretical conceptualisations about the similarities in knowledge and processes involved in reading and writing. Prior to the 1980s, reading and writing were taught independently of each other.  At that time, reading was believed to be a receptive skill, and writing a productive skill (Tierney & Shanahan, 1991).   In addition, developmental ‘readiness’ theories also played a role in justifying the separation of reading and writing. Educators had believed that writing was dependent on the previous attainment of reading skills (Fitzgerald & Shanahan, 2000). The receptive skill of reading was posited as being the basic, foundational skill which had to be mastered before acquiring writing skills (Shanahan, MacArthur, Graham & Fitzgerald, 2006). Educators were fearful of teaching writing prematurely, as it was thought to be was ineffective, perhaps even harmful (Fitzgerald & Shanahan, 2000). Therefore, educators would not teach writing skills until students had mastered reading skills. 

During the 1980s, the traditional theory of reading and writing as separate domains was challenged. Tierney and Pearson (1983) presented the argument that both reading and writing involves the processes creating meaning and composing texts, thus questioning the notion of reading as a passive skill.  Readers create meaning through considering the author’s purpose, information in the text and their own knowledge and experiences (Lee & Schallert, 2015; Tienery & Pearson, 1983; Wittrock, 1983). Essentially, readers are composing a text in their minds in an effort to create meaning from these cues (Lee & Schallert, 2015). Writers also create meaning through using their experiences, considering their audience’s prior knowledge and experiences and what they want their readers to think or do (Tierney & Pearson, 1983; Wittrock, 1983). Therefore, readers and writers use the same cues to construct meaning and compose texts.

The 1980s also marked the new understanding of shared cognitive processes involved in both discourses. There are four fundamental types of knowledge that readers and writers must use; metaknowledge, domain knowledge, knowledge about universal text formats, and procedural knowledge (Lee & Schallert, 2015). Understanding the shared knowledge between reading and writing allowed educators to better understand how an integrated reading and writing approach would strengthen students understandings in both domains.

What previous studies have shown 

Many studies have concluded that integrating reading and writing can lead to improved outcomes for learners (Aminzadeh & Sadat Booyeh, 2015; Cho & Brutt-Griffler, 2015; Corden, 2007; Fitzgerald & Shanahan, 2000;  Griffith, 2010; Jesson, McNaughton & Parr, 2011).  An integrated reading and writing approach allows learners to transfer their knowledge of reading strategies to enhance their writing skills.  

Many studies have found integrated instruction leads to improved outcomes for ELL and tertiary students (Cho & Brutt-Griffler, 2015; Plakans, 2008; Sadat Booyeh, 2015). However, there is little action research or experimental studies that inquire into the effect the approach has on English speaking learners in primary school.  Therefore, more research is needed in order to discover the impact on English speaking learners in primary school contexts.

Additionally, there has been little inquiry into reading and writing integration for a low decile learners in New Zealand.  In saying this, Jesson, McNaughton and Parr’s (2011) case study uncovered the elements of effective teaching of integrated reading and writing programmes. Their case study involved an in-depth, descriptive look into four teachers who had been recognised as ‘effective teachers of writing’ (Jesson et al., 2011). While the study was insightful, I believe it would be useful to have a study of an action research design, to further discover the effect of integrated reading and writing instruction. The 'intervention' period of the action research will allow me to discover whether integrated reading and writing will have an effect on my students achievement in writing.

Author's Purpose

Upon examining students writing samples, I noticed that there is no evidence of deliberate use of structures and features when writing texts for a purpose. I hypothesize that strengthening students understanding of 'author's purpose', in both reading and writing, will improve their writing.  It is my thinking that if a student is able to identify the structures and features authors use to communicate their purpose, then they will be able to transfer this knowledge when they are writing their own texts.

Summing it up

Given the current data on underachievement in writing, it seems a change the way that writing is taught in my classroom is necessary.  Literature and current research into the effect of integrated reading and writing instruction suggest it can improve students achievement in writing. I endeavour to discover whether it will have an impact on year 6 and 7 Maori and Pasifika learners, as previous research has not been aimed at this particular demographic.


Aminzadeh, R., & Booyeh, Z. S. The Comparative Effect of Reading-to-Write and Writing-Only Tasks on the Improvement of EFL Learners’ Writing Ability.

Amituanai-Toloa, M., McNaughton, S., Lai, M. K., & Airini (2009). Ua aoina le manogi o le lolo: Pasifika schooling improvement –  final report. Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland UniServices Limited.

Cho, H., & Brutt-Griffler, J. (2015). Integrated reading and writing: A case of Korean English language learners. Reading in a Foreign Language, 27(2), 242.

Fitzgerald, J., & Shanahan, T. (2000). Reading and writing relations and their development. Educational Psychologist, 35(1), 39-50. 

Griffith, R. R., PhD. (2010). Students learn to read like writers: A framework for teachers of writing. Reading Horizons, 50(1), 49-66. Retrieved from

Jesson, R., McNaughton, S., & Parr, J. M. (2011). Drawing on intertextuality in culturally diverse classrooms: Implications for transfer of literacy knowledge. English Teaching, 10(2), 65.

Lee, J. , & Schallert, D. L. (2015). Exploring the Reading–Writing Connection: A Yearlong Classroom‐Based Experimental Study of Middle School Students Developing Literacy in a New Language.  Reading Research Quarterly, 51(2), 143–164.doi:10.1002/rrq.132

Plakans, L. (2008). Comparing composing processes in writing-only and reading-to-write test tasks. Assessing Writing, 13(2), 111-129. Retrieved from

Tierney, R.J., & Shanahan, T. (1991). Research on the reading–writing relationship: Interactions, transactions, and outcomes. In R.Barr, M.L.Kamil, P.Mosenthal, & P.D.Pearson (Eds.), Handbook of reading research (Vol. 2, pp. 246–280). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum

Tierney, R. J., & Pearson, P. D. (1983). Toward a composing model of reading. Language arts, 60(5), 568-580.

Wittrock, M. C. (1983). Writing and the teaching of reading. Language Arts, 60(5), 600-606.

Friday, 7 July 2017

What my kids think about using digital tools

As term two draws to a close, it has been a great opportunity to gather feedback from my students. Along with my surveys about my teaching, I also wanted to find out my classes perspective on using digital tools.  This has been a massive change compared to how they had learnt in their previous classrooms.  I use digital tools on a daily basis, and not just Google Apps for Education (such as Docs, Drawing, Slides).  While I love teaching using digital tools, I wanted to know what my kids actually thought about it.

Digital tools vs. traditional Think-Pair-Share

I have spoken previously about the affordances of digital tools, compared to the traditional and verbal Think-Pair-Share approach. I have always believed that they increase engagement and participation, as they help students to feel comfortable and willing to share their ideas.  I also believe the quality of responses is higher. My own opinion on digital tools vs traditional T-P-S proved to be the same as my learners.  I posed the question: Do you prefer sharing ideas verbally, or with digital tools? Out of the 16 students who took part in the survey, 15 said they preferred digital tools, while one student said he liked both.

Here is what they had to say about why they prefer digital tools:

Because it is better

Because it's easy to use and it's really fun

because it  is faster and because half of the class don't even share there ideas verbally.

Because we can share our ideas and  I like the word clouds.

Because I can see everyone answer.

because I don't like writing on paper

because it easy and a little bit fast.

Sometimes I like doing it on both.

Because it helps us with our learning 

I like Nearpod because it helps us answer questions on what we learn and you get to write as many words as you can.

because it's good for us to learn 

I like nearpod because it shows your Ideas on the screen.

I like using it because we share our ideas with the whole class.

I like mentimeter because It has lots of things and its fun.

Because you can write more sentences.

Creating DLOs

As Glen Innes School is a part of the Manaiakalani cluster, our pedagogy is Learn, Create, Share.  I wanted to focus on the 'create' aspect, and discover how my students really felt about it. After students have learnt something, they use any app they like to create a 'Digital Learning Object' (DLO).

Essentially, a DLO is something that is created by the student to show their understanding.  A way that it is explained to students is that it can be used to teach somebody else.  Therefore, a DLO needs to be clear and easy to understand.

Again, I used a likert scale to find out whether they liked creating DLOs for reading, writing and maths. I wasn't surprised with the responses I received:

Overall, students enjoy creating DLOs to show their learning

It is pretty clear that my learners love to create DLOs about maths.  My class was relatively new to the concept of creating a DLO, so I initially focussed on creating DLOs in maths.  Now that they are experienced with creating DLOs for maths, my class absolutely loves it.  They are always engaged, and their DLOs are becoming more detailed and articulate.

While the response towards creating DLOs for writing and reading is still mostly positive, there are students who either don't like it, or feel impartial.  In an effort to boost their enthusiasm, I am working on introducing new tools for learners to use. I wonder whether their lack of exposure to creating DLOs in reading and writing has contributed to some of the students not enjoying it.  I am hoping that over time the students will enjoy creating DLOs in reading and writing as much as they do in maths. 

Students perspective on using digital tools

I used likert scales to determine how students felt about the commonly used digital tools in our classroom. Here are the results:

Class favourites

The most common favourite digital app was Kahoot, followed by Google Apps (Docs, Drawings and Slides) and Canva.  Some students chose more than one favourite, which is why there is more than 16 responses. To help make sure these really are my students favourites, next time I would list all the digital tools we have used to help learners pick a favourite. There is a possibility that the students choose these apps because they were spoken about and used in the last two weeks. 

Here is what they had to say about their favourite apps and why...

Read theory because when you are done read you can answer the questions 

google doc,google drawing,and more

Collaborative Problem solving

Cause it's fun playing on kahot! and plus learning from you  mistake.

kahoot because it cool

Kahoot, quizizz and canva

Quizzes because you don't have to wait for the teacher to press Next like on Kahoot. 

Canva because you can create your own posters 

I like kahoot because it's fun and it is also helpful

I like using them for work because they're easy to use.

I like DLO because it helps us what we did for maths.

Kahoot because we want to win so it motivates us to read the question carefully and be fast to answer it. Nearpod because I think it helps me understand that it doesn't matter if I get a question wrong, because I'm not the only one who got it wrong. Canva because I get to be creative and make inforgraphics.

youtube and because you can play music and a movie

I like mentimeter because its fun 

Kahoot because you can play games and learning games.


  • When students mentioned DLOs I counted this as GAFE because they mostly use Google Drawings and Slides to show their learning.
  • I have copied and pasted the responses exactly how they were written - hence the typos and grammar issues.

Least favourites

Here are my students responses to their least favourite digital tools:

ANSWERGARDEN because it doesn't let us write lots 


nothing I like all the digital apps that we use.


Socrative because it dose not have funny meme's like quizizz.

Kahoot because you have to wait for the teacher to press Next.

Answer garden because you can only use 40 letters or 20

Mentimeter because I don't like how it is created. 

none because I like them all.

I don't have one.


play store because you can download games 

Answer garden all you got to do is write the answer for the question and the words get bigger  

Answergarden because you can only write like 40-60 letters

While the majority of students said they don't have a least favourite digital tool, the next most common response was AnswerGarden.  I think this is interesting because their reasons is one of the reasons why I personally like AnswerGarden.  Because of the word limit, AnswerGarden forces respondents to be succinct.  This can be a challenge for students.

Summing it up

It is great to see that the response to digital tools is mostly positive.  Digital tools help to increase student engagement, as they are more willing to share ideas and collaborate on tasks. My survey has also shown that the class prefers using digital tools over traditional verbal methods of sharing and collaboration.  I will continue to expose my learners to new and exciting digital tools, as I think this will help them to become more comfortable with using them.