Wednesday, January 02, 2008

INSET @ Fullwood

Effective use of the Interactive Whiteboard

Simple ideas
Use Images to remind, stimulate and inspire:
  • Consider using relevant images when counting with younger children; a sweet or a dalek may have more relevance to some children than a collection of simple red counters
  • Use Screen capture to create personalised slides and tools such as self registering.Children love to see themselves on screen and it is easy to cut out and store faces in Activ Primary using the screen capture tool in Activ Primary

The screen Capture Tool in Activ primary is one of the special tools

A "Who has go their PE kit slide?" made with screen captured faces. A further application for older children could be as shown below, here a rule is associated with a child in the class in order to make it more memorable. ( Though in the slide below I have shown four rules, I would really only have one to two per page/ lesson)

  • The right image can be a powerful tool to inspire poetry or story writing. Google images is a good source of pictures, though the photo sharing site site Flickr offers a wider choice of images. These can be searched by a tag that the photographer ascribes to his or her image, these can be anything from "Barkingside" to the more abstract "fear". Searching in this way offers teachers a greater selection of photographs than would be available under Google images.
A photo tagged with "Barkingside" from Robert Brook

A photo tagged with 'lonesome' by Nekominn

Also by searching through groups you may find large pools of picture on themes or locations, there is even a London Borough of Redbridge Pool of pictures.

Use the Whiteboard as a tool for shared writing and reading
  • Typing on-screen can be another form of shared writing and allows the teacher to work as a role model for good ICT or typing skills
  • There are other sources of texts available on-line, for example Wikkipedia or some of the Information texts available on the BBC, for example their famous people area has a great section on Florence Nightingale
  • As mentioned under LGFL below, a further source of good on-screen texts comes from 2Simple, they have a new resource (Talking stories 3 ) , which is free to use in school, but will need to be logged into @ home. This suite of stories contains engaging animations alongside activities that the children could complete both in and outside of the ICT suite.All of the stories and associated plans are linked to the Renewed Framework for Literacy.
  • As a Redbridge school, you will be able to download and access Testbase for Key Stage 1 and 2 Maths and English, once installed the software's new whiteboard features can be used to good effect, including the ability to add thought and speech bubbles to characters and to gain easy access to comprehension questions. Visit the Redbridge assessment pages, login toLGFL and download! (You may need to get support from your technical people, if you don't have admin rights on your PC) Visit

Use other peripherals/ resources
  • Dry wipe boards- an under used resource due to complaints over pens running out, however these can be an excellent tool for interaction and feedback. They give the children the opportunity to "show" what they know and what they can /can not do. This makes them an easy assessment tool.
  • Other children- provide opportunities for children to talk to each other to vocalise and formulate ideas and clarify thinking.
  • Card board clocks- display a large clock on screen using an ITP or the Teaching Time resources and ask children questions such as can you show the time an hour age?; in five minutes etc
  • Electronic Microscopes- chances are there is at least one of these sitting gathering dust in a cupboard somewhere. Why not use this to enhance Science and literacy work, items can be magnified clearly upto 200 times. These images can be exported into Word, pasted onto your Whiteboard presentation or just printed. One of the highlights of my time in Year Four was when using one of these. The children has each collected small samples of water from the pond and we looked at each of these under the microscope. One of these petri dish samples looked like nothing more than pond weed and twigs and then a monster (small pond creature magnified ) began to swim across the 'screen'. The children talked about that lesson for weeks afterwards. Help sheet for using the Microscope and associated software can be found on these Kent Grid for learning pages here.

A finger under the digital microscope

Employ Effective Questioning

Research has shown that teachers can sometimes limit the questions they ask to just closed questions. These may just be the final answer to a computation or a the retrieval of simple information from a text. It is often worthwhile familiarising oneself with resources such as Bloom's Taxonomy. Furthermore the National Numeracy Strategy Vocabulary book has a number of useful questions to aid understanding and help pupils make connections in the opening pages. For Literacy comprehension, our literacy team has developed a number a set of question stems that address the assessment foci that children will come up against in both guided reading and end of year tests. This is a very helpful list to aid you in your planning for Guided and shared reading of both books, film and ICT texts.

Make Use of effective web resources
  • LGFL Content-
(note these will work in a London school but will not work @ home unless you log in)

  • iboard- Excellent drag and drop activities ideal for Foundation and Key Stage 1. These activities cover aspects of the Foundation Stage Curriculum, along with Literacy,Numeracy, Science and some foundations subjects for Years 1 and 2. visit :
  • Virtual Experiemnts- each area of QCA Science is covered here with a virtual representation of an experiment, coupled with data charts to interpret and objects to be dragged into the correct place.There are packages for Year 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6 Visit for year 3 and 4, for year 1 and 2 and for years 5 and 6.

  • Talking Stories- as mentioned earlier these animated stories and non fiction text are a good means of showcasing multi-modal texts, what's more these texts come in a variety of community languages. Visit or

Find and show video clips that enhance the lesson

With so many video clips available there is no excuse not to make use of such media. Children are born into a clip culture and expect variety, for many of us who grew up with four channels an FM radio this is easy to forget. Video does not have to be used to replace texts either, rather it can greatly enhance stories from big books or make the pages of a text book live.

  1. When reading Owl Babies in Key Stage 1, consider downloading/showing a clip of an owl form the BBC motion gallery, after all how many children in Year 1, will have seen a real owl before?
  2. In Key stage 2 Science children often look at food webs and food chains, why not enhance this by linking an on-screen food web to video clips of the animals in the food web, rather than just show the picture in the usual text book. Seeing the predatory seal eat the bird, or the Orca beach to capture it's seal prey is far more memorable than work sheet completion.

A whiteboard slide showing a food web in Canada

The killer whale captures his prey- a clip from BBC Motion Gallery
  • Teachers TV Video Starters- free to download and great to use these short clips can be used as a great way to start a lesson or inspire an activity. For instance the Story Starts clips contain a short video of a man waling across a beach, complete with the sounds of crunchy footprints, crashing waves and screaming seagulls. While the waves crash a man calls from the cliffs and then suddenly the camera cuts away and we are left wondering what next. As the clip is so short we can review, pause and discuss the sights and sounds, all before the children answer the uqestion in their writing or their drama of what happened next. (Note in order todownload these clips
Teachers TV Story Starts 1
9 More Teachers TV Story Starts

In these clips you will find:
  • a girl who wanders into a spooky basement
  • a kite that causes trouble in high winds
  • a piglet that explores a farm
......and others

Each individual story start ends on a cliff-hanger, encouraging pupils to continue the story from this point.

Teachers TV Key Stage 2 8 Numeracy Starters

In these clips you'll find
  • Using angles to find Pirate Kate's lost treasure
  • Using fractions and percentage to help Nateisha with her packed lunch survey
....and others

Youtube videos can also be great for inspiration and they are also part of many children's televisual diet. Howver the sitecan be difficult access in schools, therefore a site like zamzar is good as it allows teachers to download and concvert videos into usable forms and also avoid any difficult content.The (youtube) video below shows how this can easily be done.

(Note if you are in school this clip may not show)


Podcasting has been defined as “the practice of making audio files available online in a way that allows software to automatically detect new files and download them.” To be a true podcast, these audio files need to be episodes or a series. Users can subscribe to these episodes and have their computer automatically detect and download the latest episode.

Over the last two years Podcastsing has grown in popularity in both the media and education. It's beauty is both it's ease of creation and the portabaility of the final product. This means I can use a free program like ITunes to subscribe to the Ricky Gervais or Russell Brand Podcast from the internet. Each time a new episode is released Itunes will detect this and the episode will be downloaded to my computer. I only need to plug in my Ipod to grab these radio shows for ease of lsitening at another more convenient time. There are Podcasts on every subject from simple computer maintenance to ITN bulletins, there is even an Archers Podcast.

Creating a Podcast could not be simpler, all is need is a microphone some music samples and appropraite software. Once the audio has been recorded and edited it needs to be uploaded to a website, where it can be hosted for other to access your work. Thankfully the London Grid for Learning provides free hosting on the new Podcast hosting site.

Note you will need to login to this site using an atomwide account, please contact your ICT coordinator if you do not have one of these accounts.

But how do you make the Podcast in the first place. This is simple or easy peasy as the producers of the software like to say. First decide on your purpose for Podcasting, don't just do a Podcast, remember there are lots of opportunites to podcast within the Renewed Famework for literacy, both as a means to perform poetry and as a journalistic tool.

Once the purpose has been decided next comes script writing, a simple script alvoids speakers drying up on the microphone,it may only be a poem or a complex radio show with interviews and comment.

Then perform the podcas, ensuring that everyone is clear and that everything has worked.

Now insert sound clips and edit and improve the lenghth and volume of the sound clips.

The whole process is made easy by the use of software like Podium or the less user friendly Audacity below:

Podium an easy, primary Friendly tool for Podcasting

Audacity- a less friendly interface, though it does allow you to multi-track

Links and Resources

  • A redbridge network of primary schools, that are creating and innovating with podcasts are recording their progress on a blog - click here
  • The LGFL have also put together a new mini-site of their own called Podcast-Central. This does not support Podium, but does give helpful advice on how to create video and audio podcasts. visit Podcast Central here


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the detailed post. You mention BBC Motion Gallery - just to let you know that I'm involved in a project with them and Heinemann to provide a curriculum-matched library of video clips. Hope you don't mind this comment, but hopefully useful to your readers.

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