Lynnmour Elementary in North Vancouver was highlighted earlier this year with its Tier 2 Classroom-Based Solution supported by teacher Tessa Harrington and Principal Kelly LaRoux. Their earlier story, Lynnmour Kindergarten Students Click with iPads Indoors and Out! focused on the implementation of the Clicker Books app, developing a use for the JustStand, and the power of printing practice using the iPads with teacher modeling from an iPad to the TV projected via Airplay. So much learning was already taking place!
As of mid-April more lessons are being learned by both the teacher and students. Students, in most cases, are finding game apps less appealing than seeing themselves in pictures, and reliving school experiences by re-reading stories about their activities. The Clicker Books app and the classroom books produced this year are a hit with this kindergarten class and as a result it is often a choice activity as you can see here in this short video: view short video
Those who aren’t choosing from the selection of Clicker Books are practicing their letters or other literacy skills when it is their time with an iPad. As a visitor to the class, it was amazing to watch the focus as they practiced their quickly developing skills. At Lynnmour, the children are able to re-connect with activities, seeing themselves and friends in real world experiences and loving the independence of spending time immersed in the memories, aided by a book app, photographs and a new to Clicker child-like digital voice. As the re-designed BC curriculum suggests, “…personal and social competency encompasses the abilities students need to thrive as individuals, to understand and care about themselves and others, and to find and achieve their purposes in the world.”
For teacher Tessa Harrington, her strengths and stretches are evident. A keen believer in outdoor education and connecting her students with the environment, Tessa ensures that even when they are indoors, outdoor elements are with them. Small saplings on tables, calming colour schemes, burlap textures and outdoor influences have helped anyone who enters the classroom to feel close to nature and it assists with self-regulation of her energetic bunch!
North Vancouver is considering the benefit of extending the Classroom-Based Solution through next year. Tessa feels that there is much more to do and learn. Having had training and support through SET-BC this year, she will be off and running if this idea of ‘first year supported and second year extended’ is finalized. Thinking ahead to September, Tessa will incorporate the tools and skills she acquired this year right away by using a Clicker Book as a way of introducing staff to the new crop of kindergarten students. This will be ready to go as soon as possible and will set the foundation for teaching the skills for using the app and navigating Clicker Books independently and successfully. Tessa is also hoping to target some of the students who need additional practice with letter skills and like this year she will collect data to monitor their growth. Although she can’t link the gain in letter recognition directly to app/iPad use, the extra practice and the independence in targeted skill acquisition makes students who are behind their peers less likely to realize it. This approach addresses the diversity of skills in the class and using headphones means struggling students are just students learning at their learning. They don’t need pull out, and are able to work on targeted skills independently while feeling successful at their level.
Looking ahead to the 2016 – 2017 school year and knowing there will be some students with motor and cognitive issues coming to her classroom, Tessa feels that what she has learned this year incorporating technology into the school day will be beneficial in addressing many levels of diversity that will include motor issues, impulsivity and cognitive delays. With what she has learned and the adaptability of the tools she has at her disposal, she feels prepared to approach a multitude of needs and learning styles in the coming school year.