The children have enjoyed using the template on the letter "Tt" (made by Karen Belt), listening to the sound bites, matching words and going around the class taking photos of something beginning with "t". Some have difficulty using their time wisely and end up with little to show while for others it is an opportunity to work independently and see what exciting things they are asked to do on the next slide. They enjoy sharing their work and discussing what they have found.
For reading we have been using templates (created by Michelle George and Karen Belt) that require the children to use their existing skills. For the children on the beginning levels these need to have very little reading as they find it frustrating when they have to ask for help to do the tasks. After discussing and demonstrating the tasks, the children like to be able to do the tasks with very little input from the teacher and they get a great sense of achievement from doing so. Because there is a variety of tasks, with recording, matching, sequencing, drawing and writing they seem to be far more engaged, especially for the children who normally find writing quite a chore.
The sequencing tasks are showing the children the importance of looking closely at all aspects of text - upper and lower case letters, speech marks, full stops and "does it make sense? " One doesn't have to rewrite the whole sentence if one makes a mistake - a real bonus that gives a struggling writer a sense that he/she can achieve as much as others.