I've been wanting to write a review on an awesome new program I've been using in class for a while now, so here it is. It's called Literacy Planet!
I've been trialling this program in my classroom for a few weeks now and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Every lesson the kids ask if we'll be using Literacy Planet!
Now I'm sure most English teachers would agree that getting and keeping students engaged with things like spelling and grammar can be difficult! Well let me tell you, Literacy Planet has got my kids saying things like "I'm totally addicted to spelling!" and "Do we get to do spelling today?" and "Miss, I completed all my spelling activities last night, can you set some more?"
With responses like that you'd be mad not to integrate Literacy Planet into your classroom ASAP!
You might've seen some of the ads for Literacy Planet and Word Mania on TV or you may have seen the review on A Current Affair. Literacy Planet is certainly taking Australia by storm at the moment! Check A Current Affair's report on Literacy Planet by clicking the link.
HOW IT WORKS:
Teachers upload their students into classes and the program automatically generates logins. Teachers can set tasks from the multitude available and can also create custom spelling lists as needed. There are activities to promote spelling, grammar, and reading skills for students from Prep to Year 10.
The interface can be clunky to navigate at times and I've heard mention that the team are working to update certain areas to make them easier to use, but overall Literacy Planet is fairly easy to navigate from a teacher's point of view, and from a student's perspective it's even easier! Plus, it's super easy to organise an online training session with one of the team for yourself, your faculty, or even your whole school to find out all the tips and tricks!
Here are some of the positives I've noted:
Some room for improvement:
HOW I USE IT:
I've tried both the web version and the iPad app in class and at the moment I'm predominantly using the app. This is because it's quick and easy for the kids to jump on without having to take time starting up, logging into a computer, and navigating to the web page, and also because I don't have consistent access to computers for all my classes. The iPad app is great, although it does seem to be a little glitchy at times, however this hasn't affected the overall effectiveness of the program. Some of the sections you can access on the website aren't available on the app, but all the essentials are there.
Generally I use it in 10-15 minute slots twice a week as part of our weekly spelling routine (remember I teach high school) and the kids who have internet at home (which is most) jump on and complete activities as part of my weekly homework requirement.
At the start of the week I hand out our spelling words and the students look at their spelling test from the previous week to see which words, if any, they need to revise again this week. Then they jump on the app, upload their list of words in the My Spelling section, and off they go completing activities until I call time. They love it! I think the highlight so far was when I overheard one of the boys in my Learning Support class, who often struggles with basic Literacy skills and can be difficult to engage, tell one of the other boys that he was a little embarrassed to admit it but he was on Literacy Planet for ages last night and he thought he might be addicted to spelling!
This is a relatively new tech tool for me, so I'm still working out the best ways to use it in the classroom, but so far I'm so excited with the results. Not only are my kids positively engaged in practicing and improving their Literacy skills, but overall the attitude in my classroom has generally improved. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it continues!
You can try Literacy Planet for one month for free, but after that your school will need to purchase licenses for students to continue using the program. Contact the Literacy Planet team to discuss pricing, they're very quick to respond and happy to help!
Based on my experience so far I would definitely recommend trying Literacy Planet in your classroom, or at least jump on the website and check it out!
Welcome! I'm Meagan Caesar, a high school English and Humanities teacher in Queensland, Australia and I've designed this site for teachers interested in using more technology in their classrooms.
I don't represent any of the companies listed in any way, nor do I make any guarantees for the effect of these resources in your classroom. I simply want to share my experiences, ideas, resources, and information in the hopes that you will find some of these technologies useful, engaging, and rewarding.
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