Thursday, 5 June 2014

Setting up iPad Edition for School Account holders

The Letter-join iPad Edition is exclusive to subscribers of the School Edition and is initially available, free, for one year. 

It is designed to run on iPads running iOS7 through the Safari Browser. If you do not know your iOS version, you can check and update, if possible, your iPad operating system by following Apple's instructions here >

School account holders can have to have up to 30 Letter-join iPads logins per classroom.

The following instructions are designed to help Letter-join Administrators of the School Edition to set-up school iPads to easily access Letter-join.
This will allow pupils to sign in using a simple finger-swipe code.

TASK 1 of 3
Set-up a finger-swipe code
a) Log in to the School Account as the Letter-join Administrator using Safari on an iPad >

b) Select the 'click here' link at the top of the page to set or change your iPad finger-swipe code, as shown below:
The finger-swipe code will become the entry point for your pupils on all your school iPads.

c) Create your finger-swipe code by drawing over the circles. Your swipe code should be kept simple using one, two or three strokes which can be horizontal, vertical and/or diagonal.

 Here are some examples of shapes that can be used:

After you have drawn your code you will be asked to confirm the pattern. The finger-swipe code is now set. 

IMPORTANT -  Please make a note of the code design, or print the page to share with other staff and pupils at your school.

TASK 2 of 3
Setting-up individual iPads
When this task is complete it will allow all iPad users to simply login using the finger-swipe code only.

a) Go to using Safari on an iPad. Click the iPad log-in button located on the top right side of the home page, as shown below.

b) Enter your school’s username into the box. This is the same username that is used to log in to the Administrator panel by the school Letter-join Administrator. Press the 'Next' button.

c) You now have to enter the finger-swipe code that was previously set. If you make a mistake you will be taken back to the first login page.

d) When the finger-swipe code is correctly drawn the Letter-join opening page is displayed.

The username and finger-swipe code combination only has to be entered the first time you login on an iPad. Subsequent logins only require the finger-swipe code.

Task 3 of 3
Creating a desktop icon
You can easily create a desktop icon for simple 'one click' access to the Letter-join iPad Edition login page for your pupils.

a) With the home page of Letter-join displayed on an iPad, select the 'Action' button, as shown below:

b) Select the 'Add to Home Screen' button (above) and a Letter-join icon will be added to your iPad desktop.

If you are not logged in to Letter-join, this button will take you straight to the finger-swipe page.
If you are already logged in, pressing this button will take you to 'Choose a level to practice'.

Pupil login
Pupils simply select the Letter-join desktop icon will take them to the finger-swipe page. Correctly swiping the pattern will take them directly to the opening page of Letter-join.

Alternatively go to using Safari on an iPad, click the iPad login button at the top, right- hand side of the page. This navigates to the finger-swipe page.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

New 2014 Letter-join features launched.

Introducing new Letter-join features to support changes to the 2014 National Curriculum for handwriting. 

New worksheets for printed letters, form-filling and dictation exercises added to Extra Resources.
 Under 'Extra resources' Letter-join has the following features added;
(1) New Letter-join Dictation exercises to encourage speedy handwriting and note-taking.
(2) New form practice worksheets for printed letters.
(3) Extra labelling worksheets for printed letter practice.

The 2014 National Curriculum changes to handwriting
The new 2014 curriculum has been changed to be more specific about handwriting. The following extract is taken from the DofE’s 'The national curriculum in England Key stages 1 and 2 framework document'.

“They should be clear about what standard of handwriting is appropriate for a particular task, for example, quick notes or a final handwritten version. They should also be taught to use an unjoined style, for example, for labelling a diagram or data, writing an e-mail address, or for algebra and capital letters, for example, for filling in a form.”

Please click here to download  a PDF of The National Curriculum in England, Key Stages 1 and 2 Framework Document from the Deptartment for Education website.

To support teachers, Letter-join now has a number of new resources:

New Letter-join dictation exercises to encourage speedy writin and note-taking

Example of a new Letter-join dictation exercise to help with speedy writing for note-aking
The screen image shows a CVC word page shown with an example of the written words.

Under the 'Extra Resources' button of Letter-join we've added a new section of dictation exercises.
There are three levels of exercises that progressively increase in complexity, and all follow a format of Listen, Write, Edit, Copy. Here's a description of the process:

Listen: Play the dictation exercise at normal speed for class to listen to.
Write: Play the slower version allowing time for each phrase to be written down. You may need to press the pause button between phrases. Explain to the pupils that if they do not hear clearly, or if they don't have time to write everything down, they can leave a blank space which can be filled in at the next stage.
Edit: Play the dictation exercise again at normal speed so that the class can fill in any blanks they have left, or make changes.
Copy: Display the text on the whiteboard for pupils to check and ask them to copy out their exercise using their best joined-up handwriting.

Exercises are grouped into three sections: Easy Practice, Harder Exercises, More Challenging!

Three new sections
Shown below are a selection of screen images you'll find within the Extra Resources section:

Dictation Exercises
Easy Dictation includes a selection of CVC words, Easy numbers and an Easy poem.

Example of an easy poem dictation exercise shown with the correctly dictated hand written words.

List of phrases, featured in the Dictation section.

Labelling Worksheets
To further support the new curriculum changes, Letter-join has additional Labelling worksheets for printed letter practice. These can be found in the 'Extra Resources' section under 'Supplementary Worksheets' or can be accessed from the Printed Letters section.

Form Filling Worksheets
An example of a new Letter-join form-filling worksheet. There are three in total offering different levels of complexity.