Meet Belinda Blick! Belinda is a Professional Learning and Development Facilitator and Literacy Support Teacher with 20 years of experience. Born in Auckland, New Zealand, she has worked in schools all over the world and currently resides in her home country. In recent years, she has been working as a literacy support teacher, and that’s what led her to find Explain Everything.
Belinda’s passion for teaching children to write has also inspired her to create her own website, thewritelesson.com, where teachers can find materials to support them in the teaching of handwriting and spelling.
Check out our interview with Belinda to see what she has to say about using Explain Everything to teach both 5- and 6-year-olds and underachieving older children basic literacy skills.
What does Belinda use Explain Everything for?
To assess which letters kids do and don’t know, both upper- and lower-case
This is also how she is preparing her own 5-year-old daughter for the New Zealand public school assessment of 6-year-olds. By creating a video with letters popping up on the screen every few seconds and recording her daughter’s audio, she can see exactly which letters her daughter is having problems with to then work specifically on those! Belinda has called this technique Letter Recognition Assessment.
To assess which letters students can and can’t recognize and write down independently
Using a pre-prepared template, the child listens to a recording of the teacher’s voice saying a certain word and then writes down the letter the word starts with. The entire process is recorded, meaning the teacher can later analyze what letters are giving the child trouble.
To teach kids to form letters themselves
Kids trace them using a template she prepared and a stylus or Apple pencil. The entire handwriting learning process is recorded using the screen recording functionality.
To make short and digestible 2-minute videos to send to parents
This is great to monitor the progress of both 5-year-olds and older kids who are struggling — it helps keep parents in the loop.
Belinda’s pro tips – how to use Explain Everything as effectively as Belinda
Have students mute their microphone when recording their writing exercises so as to avoid their voice overlapping with the teacher’s. After watching the videos above, you can see how muting the student’s mic could be helpful in avoiding a cacophony of little voices talking over each other.😉
Use Explain Everything with the special templates Belinda created (or create your own!) to help your child learn to recognize and then write letters and words, and monitor their progress every step of the way.
Letter Recognition Assessment
Handwriting Assessment – Regular
Handwriting Assessment – Cursive
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, Belinda has created her own website to support teachers who may be struggling to teach their kids literacy skills, so once again, be sure to check it out here: thewritelesson.com. You can also contact her to arrange a “Making sense of sentences” workshop at your school.