research journal: differentiation & iPads

I had two new beginner students, plus an existing beginner student,  one student who is orally very strong but a very weak reader & then the usual mish mash of E1 readers.

The Plan: To have a vocabulary re-cap warmer on the topic of food as a lead in to a reading task about healthy eating.

The Preparation:

One set of pictures of different foods to be used as prompts for a spelling test type activity. One set of words (to be used to match to pictures) & one list of food words with two incorrect & one correct spelling.

eg. chicken / chken / chikan.

A reading text & a photo of the reading text on the iPad which was inserted into the Ask3 app where I then made a video reading the texts aloud.

In class:

vocabulary re-cap

1) most students were given pictures of food items that they needed to identify and write (aka a spelling test) This they did in groups of three.

2) the three beginner students had the same pictures but had to match the words to the pictures.

3) the strong speaker, but very weak reader/writer was given the same pictures but a choice of three words – only one of which was spelt correctly. eg chicken / chken / chikan. He had to circle the correct spelling and then write it.

reading taskdifferentiated reading

1) most students read the texts (on paper) and answer questions

2) the three beginner students were given the text on Ask3, where they could listen to the text being read out and identify the food words (they’d just been looking at)

3) the strong speaker/weak reader was also given an iPad so he could read/listen but answer the same questions as the other students.


This was one of the first lessons where I really felt that I had differentiated appropriately for the students & that the iPads had been really beneficial for this. Having the ability for the students to listen to the texts being read aloud; the pause, rewind, listen again functions were all available so the students had control over how many times they listened. It also meant that I was able to monitor and support all the students, where often I find during a reading task I am so focused on the beginner students that the E1 students get a little neglected.SAMR

SAMR: I think this task is Augmentation. The technology is a direct substitute for the teacher reading the text aloud to students, who would them either answer the set questions or find the food vocabulary. Having the recording of the text gave students the independence to watch/listen at their own pace & as many times as they wanted & freed the tutor up to monitor & support the whole class, rather than have a focus on the beginner students.

The resources were adapted from the Straightforward Starter book & can be found here

  1. […] Following this discussed what the text may be able based on the topic we’d been covering (Local Services) & they did the reading task. Ask3 was used again here, where I took a photo of the text & recorded myself reading it so that the weaker readers in the group were able to listen, follow & answer the questions. (as I had done in this lesson here) […]

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