Task 1: Word sort activity
These letters make:
Having used the SMART Notebook software on my last professional experience, I was fairly familiar with how to navigate the program. However, I had mostly been taught how to use SMART Notebook as more of a PowerPoint presentation, rather than for interactive purposes or for student-centred activities.
Completing the word sort activity, I found the program to be not very user-friendly and quite fiddly. It took a long time to make a simple animation. Perhaps using concrete materials instead would be more time efficient and yield the same results in regards to student engagement.
Task 2: Critical Reflection on IWBs
English lesson – Rhyming Words
Students will use the IWB to drag words from the word bank to make groups of rhyming words.
Overall, I believe that this is a good activity that could be implemented in a Early Stage 1/Stage 1 classroom to develop phonemic awareness. The lesson can be used in a number of ways that encourage student participation and interactivity.
The lesson incorporates aesthetically pleasing graphics, which has the potential to complement and enhance the lesson (Higgins, Beauchamp & Miller, 2007). Moreover, the lesson clearly allows for teacher modelling, which has been recognised by Higgins, Beauchamp and Miller (2007) as an important component of IWB lessons and tasks. By first modelling the task, it allows the teacher to reveal their thought process when completing the activity. This type of instruction encourages students to engage in similar behaviour.
However, there are a number of ways in which this lesson could be improved. For instance, the lesson does not come with a lesson plan, so it lacks an in depth explanation on how the activity could be implemented in the classroom. Moreover, the lesson offers little room for scaffolding or differentiation. This would be particularly noticeable if the activity was used as a whole class activity.
Higgins, S., Beauchamp, G., & Miller, D. (2007). Reviewing the literature on interactive whiteboards. Learning, Media and technology, 32(3), 213-225.