TES iBoards – Website Review

This website is full of resources for teachers to use in their lessons. It is focused around the use of the interactive whiteboard in the classroom as the activities are mainly designed to support this tool, however there are a vast range of additional resources for each board activity such as work sheets, information sheets, and lesson plans.

One activity I chose to look at was looking at adding one more or one less to a number. The resource had rabbits in a field and asked how many there would be if one were added or one were taken away. Then the teacher, or a child, can use the interactive pen to select the number the class decides on and see if it is correct. This activity is engaging as it puts maths in a real life context and can let the children interact with the resource. It is possible that, for activities such as this, children may be able to participate without adult support as the resources are easy to use.Screenshot 2016-03-13 10.45.15.png

There are many other activities like this on the TES iBoards website for a wide range of ages and subjects and, although it is a paid subscription website, it is a highly useful resource in the classroom. However, one way it could be improved is by having a way or recording work that children do on the interactive whiteboard when they are working without adult input for assessment purposes.

Along with individual activities, this website also offers ‘packs’ of resources and activities for different units of work, for example, I explored an activity where children can make their own weather reports and have them played back to them, I then discovered that this activity was part of a set of resources in the weather theme. The pack was full of documents and activities that related to weather for different areas of the curriculum, for instance, news articles for literacy and season cycles for geography or science.

I would recommend the use of this website in the classroom as it is fun, interactive, and offers a large variety of activities.

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Purple Mash – website review

Purple Mash is a website full of tools, resources and games for the classroom. The games and tools are all creative and musical. Here are some of the resources I looked at:

2Design and Make:

This app is used to display 3D shapes as nets and colour them in. There are multiple 3D shapes that children can create, including simple cubes and pyramids, up to vehicles and people. I enjoyed looking through these and experimenting with the different options. As well as simply filling the space with colour and drawing you can adapt the shape of one side and this will edit the whole net accordingly. This is really clever and in the case of this car shape you could get the children to edit the shape to make different types of cars.

2Beat

This is a good app for music, however it is simple and there are better options out there, especially using Garageband. This app uses simple notation, clicking a timeline to add rhythm. The options are bass, snare and hihat with another instrument (either clap, bongo, cowbell, shaker etc). There are multiple options for amount of beats and the tempo.

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Simple City

This is an image of a city with hyperlinks to different sections. Each section has videos, drag and drop games etc. For example when you click the zoo you go to a page with multiple zoo themed videos and games. The drag and drop game pictured below lets you drag the animals and letters into the scene. When you click the animals/letters you hear the word/sound. I don’t really know what this ‘game’ would be used for, but it would be fun for KS1.

2Code

I had a look at this for a while, it contains simple drag and drop coding to manipulate sprites. The simplest one I looked at is screenshotted below. The tasks are presented as challenges, all in different scenarios – this one is an airport. The challenge is to get the plane to take off, thus the code is “When clicked>Plane>Up”. This is very simple, however it might take younger children a bit of time and I personally had to debug the sequence a few times to get it to work correctly.

Purple Mash

Overall this website is very good for children to explore as there are so many activities – I only brushed the surface above. It would be a good website to put on a screen for Golden Time in KS1, and for simple coding, art or music lessons. I liked the simple interface, however older children would find it patronising. The apps themselves sometimes have better alternative apps with more opportunities.

Thanks for reading,

Jack

 

Website Review – Task 6

Today I looked at a website called Oxford Owl. (http://www.oxfordowl.co.uk)

I chose this website because I am a big fan of reading and understand that eBooks are becoming more and more popular in classroom, and also at home. Personally, I prefer paper books over eBooks but I was willing to explore the benefits of using eBooks through this website.

When you log on to Oxford Owl, you can enter the eBook library which provides a range of Oxford Reading Tree books for different ages, bands and themes.

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The first story I decided to read was ‘Can You See Me?’ by Roderick Hunt. The book mostly focused on pictures and questions, as the main character of the book adopted an ‘I Spy’ attitude by asking the reader to find particular objects in the pictures.

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The website provides the option of using ‘audio’ which reads the text for the child. This means that the child can read the book without an adult’s input. The voice is not monotone, but rather expressive which means the child can get the most from the story.

The website has play activities related to the particular book for the child to complete after they have finished reading. The types of tasks are: labeling pictures or recognising rhyming words. The activities include words that were used throughout the book which helps reinforce learning.

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The second eBook that I read was ‘Cats’, also written by Roderick Hunt. I really enjoyed this book as it had rhyming sentences in it. The play activities for this book were similar to the previous book, however it also had a ‘rearranging letters’ activity which I think was useful in terms of spelling and grammar.

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In terms of using the website, I think it is very easy to navigate around, even for a child. It is suitable for all ages as it provides a range of different types of books. The two things I like about this website is the activities included with the books and that the back of the book tells the reader which phonics are being focused on in the story.

The two things I think can be improved, are the range of activities that come with each book and also feedback on what you got right and wrong in the activities instead of just a ‘Well Done!’ picture at the end of each one.

Overall, I loved this website and think it would be very useful in the classroom for whole-class stories.

Neve

Online Task- is the website good?

For this weeks task we were asked to evaluate the usefulness and effectiveness of a website and the one that I chose to do can be found on the following link: http://www.interactive-resources.co.uk/resources

At first glance this website looks like a very useful one. It is entirely dedicated to producing and offering online maths resources got teachers and schools. You do need to subscribe and pay but you are offered a 14 day free trial to test whether it is worth getting the full subscription.

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This is the home page and it is clearly laid out with easy tabs and links to other options and resources that are open to you as a consumer. So I decided to test out one of the resources that are open to you as a teacher to use in a lesson! One of them was based on developing a quick recall of times tables.

 

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This is the screen that you are shown at the end. This gives the child an opportunity to track their progress but also allows the teacher to see which times table needs to be worked on, whether that be for an individual or a whole class activity.

This activity amongst many of the other activities that I tried are perfectly clear and easily accessible enough for children to access and complete during a lesson if it is open. The activity that is shown above is perfect for a plenary activity as a way of rounding off the lesson but also keeping their brains thinking and practicing key skills that they need to develop from a young age.

Things that I really like about this website:

  1. How easy it is to get around and find things. This is achieved through the clear and no nonsense labels and tabs taking you on through the website to further features that the website offers.
  2. I like the colours and the way that no page is very cluttered. It is using clear font that a child can easily read meaning that if a maths lesson was do various activities around the classroom; a child would easily be able to work their way around the website and find different activities that they may want to complete.
  3. That you can save and download the activities on your computer but also simply open them up through the website. Meaning that you can have the activity easily accessible during a lesson and are able to look up different activities when planning a scheme of work.
  4. I like that it has a key features page, so if as a teacher you were truing to sell the website and subscription to the school you can easily show them that page which perfectly and simply lays out the benefits that come from using the website.

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Things that could be improved about the website:

  1. If the website had a feature where you could track data that the children gather through the different activities then I think that would make it a more superior site to the others that are out there. This is because it offers a superior way of tracking the change in a child’s ability as well as making the activities and time that a child spends on there not entirely useless or fruitless.

Thanks so much for reading,

Miriam

Interactive Whiteboards – Task 5

In this week’s session, we learnt about the advantages of having Interactive Whiteboards (or IWb’s) in the classroom.

We found out that there are three different types of interactive whiteboard: 
Promethean Whiteboard, RM Easiteach and SMARTBoard.

Interactive whiteboards can support children’s learning by being used for:

  • Individual or group activities e.g. pupil presentations
  • Whole-class sessions e.g. teacher’s presentation of a subject
  • Mental warm ups e.g. interactive games related to the subject being taught
  • Games e.g. to wind-down after a long day, or as a class reward for good behaviour

We then registered an account with PrometheanPlanet, (http://www.prometheanplanet.com/en/) which enabled us to access different teaching resources to support using whiteboards in the classroom, for example, ActivInspire. We learnt that the whiteboards can be used for solving mathematical problems, improving literacy skills and presenting ideas in a fun and creative way for different subjects, such as Science.

Our group decided to focus on ‘presenting ideas’ in which we drew a killer whale and labelled the different body parts on the animal. We thought this would be useful in terms of revising known facts in the classroom, especially in subjects like Science or Geography.

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The following website gives ’10 Creative Ways to use Whiteboards in the Classroom’ which I think is a very useful link for teachers to keep in mind if they are struggling to find ways to use more technology in their own class. The author suggests using it for Google Earth, recapping a field trip, team competitions and much more.

http://www.emergingedtech.com/2014/09/creative-uses-interactive-white-boards/

Thank you,

Neve

Interactive Whiteboards in the Classroom

Interactive whiteboards have been in the classroom for 10 years and they have gradually become a bigger part of a lesson. However, the impact of the whiteboard on a lesson is totally dependent on the confidence that the teacher has in the technology and how he or she can use it. A teacher who isn’t particularly confident in their ability won’t use the whiteboard to its full extent. A teacher like this shouldn’t impact the childrens confidence in technology which admittedly is becoming less of a problem as technology is more accessible and children are exposed to it at a much younger age.

There are lots of ways that you can use a whiteboard in a classroom and these pictures offer a snap shot of the opportunities available to teachers if they knew how to access and use the technology.

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Pam then gave us the opportunity to explore what an interactive whiteboard could offer in a classroom. We made a resource based on a killer whale, but the tools on the interactive whiteboard offer various options for what you would do with it. For example you could label the different parts of the animal, you could insert other pictures of sea creatures for story time or an art lesson. This would be achieved by using the clip art tool or if you want other pictures by clicking on the clip art button you can also access Google which will give other options for pictures.

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The possibilities with an interactive whiteboard and how to use them are endless and should not be limited at any point. As a teacher creating exciting resources that support and extend the learning of the children can be challenging as you may not feel comfortable in your own ability and also may not feel that the time it takes to create a useful resource undermines the effect that the resource may have on the children. However, there is a whole internet full of resources for teachers to use.

Here’s one that I found: http://www.topmarks.co.uk/Interactive.aspx – with this website you can be very particular with what you are looking for i.e. the age group you are focusing on and the subject. If you click on a subject it will give you an opportunity to look on which key stage you are focusing on. This opportunity for a teacher is immense as for those children who’s intelligence and ability is maybe above the other pupils in your classroom, you could easily download something that will challenge them so that they are still actively learning in the classroom.

The following websites either contain helpful links to websites or are full of resources themselves:

  1. http://www.teachhub.com/free-interactive-whiteboard-resources
  2. http://www.whiteboardblog.co.uk/2009/07/20-interactive-whiteboard-resources-for-teachers/
  3. http://www.crickweb.co.uk

Thanks for reading,

Miriam

Interactive Whiteboards

Although interactive whiteboards are only recently introduced, they are an extremely useful resource in the classroom when used properly. They are a prime example of how children are immersed in the modern world as they are an example of the use of technology in the classroom and education.

They can be used in many ways, for example, whole class activities such as showing videos or images and input or plenary sessions, individual work including writing practice and colouring, and group work such as presenting. They are a helpful aid to teachers who know how to use them to their full potential, so teachers need to be educated in how to use interactive whiteboards. Many resources that are designed to help teachers in learning to use an interactive whiteboard can be found online, such as BBC Active (http://www.bbcactive.com/BBCActiveIdeasandResources/Whatisaninteractivewhiteboard.aspx).

Some specific examples of the use of interactive whiteboards are using games and quizzes such as ‘PhonicsPlay’ (http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk) and TESiBoard (http://www.iboard.co.uk) . This is especially useful in plenary activities to assess what children have learned in a lesson, or to review what was learned in a previous lesson as a starter activity for the next lesson.

In our ICT seminar on interactive whiteboards, we were given the opportunity to explore a software called ‘ActivInspire’ and look at how it can be a useful resource in the classroom. We were able to discover all the different functions that can be used, for instance, children can use electronic pens to draw or write on the board. This is especially helpful for Reception children in letter writing because they can have a large version of the letter as a reference, along with a big space to write in.

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Interactive Whiteboards

In our session today we looked at the use of interactive whiteboards in the classroom. There are three types of IWbs (Interactive Whiteboards), Promethean Board, SMARTBoard and RM Easitech. They can be used for the same things as regular display boards such as PowerPoints and videos however they can also be used for more engaging and interactive purposes. Children can come up and write and draw ideas on the board, & we can even use clip art and other features to make things more exciting. Children can highlight text or drag and drop words into sentences, and it makes learning more interactive and involves the children much more. It means that the teacher doesn’t just transmit information but the children are involved and are active participants in the lesson. Teachers need to be familiar with the technology and be competent enough to use it well so that children can get the most out of it, especially considering the expense of an interactive whiteboard and the technology needed.

We looked at a software called ‘ActivInspire’ and multiple ways of using it within the classroom. We learnt how to use simple things like the pen tool, erase tool and highlighter tool.

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We also looked at more complex things like drag and drop and creating shapes with specific colours and even making a flipboard where a magnifying glass will only show certain multiples of numbers by manipulating where the numbers are in relation to the magnifying glass (the equivalent of ‘send to back’ in a Microsoft package!).

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Topmarks.co.uk, literactive.com and iboard.co.uk both have a plethora of resources that can be used in the classroom. I personally really like the Topmarks and Literactive boards as they have a really good educational purpose, you can order numbers, sort letters etc. You could easily use the maths pages as a simple starter for the children to complete.

http://www.literactive.com/Download/live.asp?swf=story_files/Fishing_Bowl_US.swf

http://www.literactive.com/Download/live.asp?swf=story_files/letter_formation_US.swf

http://www.topmarks.co.uk/ordering-and-sequencing/caterpillar-ordering

http://www.topmarks.co.uk/Flash.aspx?f=HigherAndLower

Thanks for reading,

Jack

E-safety

When looking at e-safety, there are unfortunately many threats to online users, especially children. In our seminar on internet safety, we looked at some of the dangers we face as adults, and what pupils in our class may face as children, such as exposure to inappropriate websites, cyberbullying, and talking to strangers.

We discussed our role as teachers in keeping children safe online and ways we can do this, such as privacy settings, web filtering, and parental locks on certain sites, and monitoring their use of technology to try and prevent cyberbullying.

This not only involves ensuring that children are safe when they are online, but also keeping ourselves safe and professional on the internet, for example, making sure we keep public profiles private.

E-safety in school is important as it is part of our role as a teacher to keep children safe as much as possible, and safety on the internet is a significant part of this.

Here are some links to information on e-safety, particularly involving children, and resources that may be shown to children to teach them about staying safe online.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/13908828http://

http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/topics/stay-safehttp://

http://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/

Animation

In our third ICT seminar we learnt how to animate using the program ‘Animate It’. Before this session, I hadn’t created an animation before so I was enthusiastic to learn something new.
We were given a variety of resources including plasticine, card, paper, feathers and googly eyes to create a scene for our animation. Our theme was ‘Under the Sea’ and from the materials we were able to make all sorts of ocean themed creatures, such as mermaids, whales and fish. We connected a camera to the computer and took a picture of our scene, we then moved each of the sea creatures around, taking a new picture after every slight movement. The program then allowed us to view all our pictures as a film, forming an animation.

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Some useful links:
http://www.teachingideas.co.uk/multimedia/animation-ideashttp://www.fractuslearning.com/2013/12/06/animation-in-the-classroom/