Tutorial 3: Using the IWB

Creating a word sort activity.

Using the file from today’s lesson I created a word sort activity that could be used on the IWB. The word sort activity is based on Cunningham and Cunningham’s (1992) Working with Words Block. Using tiles on the IWV to manipulate into words (beginning with short and building into longer words) children look for patterns and rhymes.  The letter combinations I used and others can be found on this website.

Capture
Letter tiles, words hidden under vanishing eyes
Capture2
Hints for words that use all letter tiles

Words:  net     pet     pets     pest     nest     rest     rent     sent     spent     enter     pester     present     serpent

Sort:   -et (net, pet)      -est (pest, nest, rest, pester)     -ent (rent, sent, spent, enter, present, serpent )

Transfer Words:  wet     west     chest     vent

Secret Words:   present, serpent

While this was an extremely fiddly task it was only the first time I had used the Notebook software. By the end of the task I was editing the slides much more efficiently so I am sure that in time I will be able to use Notebook software with less frustrations! The below resources, activities and ideas have been copied across from the class blog so that I can utilise these in the future.

Activity ideas

Most IWB activities are skill focussed in one way or another, from maths to English. Although there is scope to bring in higher level concepts and thinking as well as content  and interaction from other websites, getting some of the basics down is useful if you are going to use an IWB in your classroom.

Here are some word activities that are useful to know how to create.

Vortex sort

Crossword creation

Sherrie’s SMARTBoard Smarts – IWB lesson plans.

SMART Notebook Express software –  allows you to modify any SMART Notebook files you have made or create simple ones.

Lost Thing SMART Notebook Lesson Plan – the notebook from today’s lesson.

SMARTBoard Exchange – IWB lesson plans.

Critical reflections on using IWBs.

IWB English lesson evaluated: Incredible Inferences, Stage 3, downloaded from SMARTBoard Exchange.

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 7.13.17 pm

Lesson objective: Students will make inferences by using the text clues and what they already know.

I have used the IWB evaluation rubric to evaluate this resource, considering the lesson plan notes, citation of sources, design and layout, pedagogical principles, scaffolding and interactivity.

The lesson plan and notes are easy to follow and could be implemented by another teacher at the drop of a hat. Although there are not many sources, none have been cited. It is unclear whether the passages of text were created by the teacher or taken from another source. Scaffolding appears to be present as the lesson includes modelling and opportunities for students to participate in a supportive environment

Exploring inferences is a fun and engaging topic and there are more creative many ways to incorporate quality literature and multimodal texts than done so in this resource. Whilst I think that this lesson does have all essential elements of a lesson on inference (explicit teaching, modelled, guided activities) I believe there is scope to use more engaging resources throughout the lesson. There isn’t a hook or attention grabbing start to the lesson, the definition for inference is simply displayed. Some of the key benefits or tools of IWBs that Betcher and Lee (2009) discuss could have been used, for example using literature, multimedia or even the extensive IWB gallery to get students to experience what making an inference is first. By playing a clip or reading the start of a book and asking what they think might happen next will link to students prior knowledge before launching into the definition.

In terms of design and layout, I would say the author makes okay use of font, colour, graphics. Whilst the layout is quite clear it is not very engaging with few graphics and simple purple background and text. It is quite text heavy which at times appears to be more like a PowerPoint presentation. Although there is some interactive use of the IWB throughout this lesson (popping balloons to select the correct inference after reading a passage of text), not using IWBs interactively is one of the disadvantages discussed by Higgins, Beauchamp and Miller (2007) and Knight, Pennant and Piggot (2004). Interactivity could be enhanced by making use of the drag or layer function to move, sort, classify or match inferences with the stimulus. This would increase the variety of creative opportunities for students to physically manipulate learning objects, rather than many examples of the same manipulatives.

As a result I think it is clear that while I have identified strengths and weaknesses for this resource, pedagogical choices have still been made in the development of this IWB resource. While I have noted engagement and interactivity as key areas for improvement, elements of these areas have still been included. Modifications could easily be made to this resource to enhance this resource.

Reference List: 

Betcher, C., & Lee, M. (2009). The interactive whiteboard revolution: Teaching with IWBs: Aust Council for Ed Research. Chapter 6 – Designing Lessons. 77-87.

Cunningham, P. M., & Cunningham, J.W. (1992). Making Words: Enhancing the invented spelling-decoding connection. The Reading Teacher, 46, 106-115.

Higgins, S., Beauchamp, G., & Miller, D. (2007). Reviewing the literature on interactive whiteboards. Learning, Media and technology, 32(3), 213-225.

Knight, P., Pennant, J. & Piggot, J. (2004). What does it mean to ‘use the interactive whiteboard’ in the daily mathematics lesson?, Micromath, 20(2), 14-16.

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