I first got an interactive whiteboard in my classroom in 2008. I was teaching Prep at the time and it was a steep learning curve to discover how I could best use it to engage my students and improve learning outcomes.
Fast forward three years and I am teaching Grade Two in an open classroom with Kathleen Morris. I love the enormous range of interactive websites and tools available for my students, and while I could manage to teach without an IWB, I wouldn’t want to! It is difficult to think of any lessons where Kathleen and I don’t utilise the IWB and our planning documents include many links to websites each week.
We use the IWB during our twenty minute blogging session every day, and it is often used for our CAFE reading strategy too. We also regularly use the IWB during our reading groups each week. We find websites for the children to use that either link to our weekly reading strategy or reinforce an ongoing skill. Thus, our literacy focuses are reinforced and practised consistently. These sites are saved in our favourites folder on the IWB, so students can access them at other times too.
Below are just a few of the games our students have used this year.
Read Write Think (Construct a Word) – This was used by some of our weaker readers, who were focussing on using beginning and ending sounds in words when reading.
Wall of Words – This game focuses on sequencing sentences correctly and adding correct punctuation. There are two levels of difficulty.
Alphabet Soup – Students need to read and comprehend a question and think of a possible answer using jumbled letters.
Synonyms Sam’s Lab – Great for extending students’ vocabulary by having them think of synonyms for a range of words.
The Magic Key (Code Calling) – Another good synonym game where students need to replace words with similar meanings.
Stories of the Dreaming – Our Integrated Studies topic this term is “Aboriginal Australia”, so we had students watch some dreamtime stories and formulate questions about the stories to ask each other.
What websites do your students use during Literacy?