Learning is....
Planting a seed in our brain... learning to
water, nurture and grow it.... so we ca
n live on the fruit of our learning
and plant more seeds.


Saturday, 15 December 2012

ActivClassroom: Actively engaging students in a modern learning environment

The last breakout I went to at ULearn12 was the ActivBoard one.  My class has had a SmartBoard since the beginning of Term 4 2011, but there was no SmartBoard presentation at ULearn12, so I decided to go to the ActivBoard one because I figured somethings just cross credit!!
 
This breakout was led by Rachel Clapp.  You can follow ActivBoard on Twitter at @ACTIVboardNZ which tweets updates and ideas.
 
Rachel began with the classic You Tube Clip Did You Know which has been updated for 2012.  It is a great thought provoker and gets discussion moving.
 
Then Rachel talked about Flip Charts.  To know how to make a Flip Chart go to this You Tube clip.  Rachel showed us a Flip Chart called Rugby World Cup.  It uses a reveal tool so kids can check the answers.

Top Tip:  Download flipcharts from Promethean Planet for free:  http://www.prometheanplanet.com/en-us/.  Some top contributers to look for are:
  • Barb Knapp  NE-Y4 - maths resources you'll want to steal
  • Pat Verhoeven  Y5-8 - maths resources

Rachel then introduced us to poet Kenn Nesbitt - he has great poetry for kids.  She recommended using his poem videos for sequencing.  She showed us how to change the colours of words to highlight verbs, adjectives, etc.  My class loved his poems when I introduced them.  They really appeal to kids and have lovely twists.  We did our own podcasts and created PhotoStorys to go with the poems.

Build Your Wild Self - this lets you make a new character and you have a choice of body, hair, eyes, mouth, clothes, headgear and more - this is a great starter for descriptive writing.  Before the children start their writing they can use the recorder in the ActivBoard to tell their story.

Thinkers Keys flipchart, created by Rachel, is a fun flipchart filled with activities based on the thinker's keys (Tony Ryan). Great for before school thinking and when children have finished their work. Suitable for whole class and small groups. These activities promote thinking, creativity and imagination. - this can also be download from Promethean Planet.

Question Keys - put up a picture - get kids to write five questions with that picture as the answer.

There are heaps of ready made Brainteasers on Promethean Planet readymade.  Search for Catherine Iler as she has many available to download on the website.

Rachel talked about enhancing ceativity
- use the screen recorder
- put on wiki and YouTube
- recording strategies and assessment of children's thinking
She recommended Bevan James from St Marys Rotorua as a great example of the above.

Science on Promethean Planet:
  • National Geographic
  • Horrible Science - have to pay for (Scholastic) but well worth it, all pages have notes, cost $2NZ.

Magic Reveal really is something I must use more!!!  Click here to go to a You Tube tutorial on how to use and create Magic Reveal.

There are resources specifically for New Zealand teachers for the ActivBoard at http://activboardnz.com/education/for-teachers/resource-packs/ including Te Reo Maori and Samoan language resources from ActivBoardNZ to download.  Other useful resources include Hectors World for cyber safety, Life Education resources, road safety, water safety, food safety, Sun Smart and Hiwi the Kiwi's fishing sustainability message - all destinctively Kiwi!!

Rachel demonstrated how to add music to the page.  She used a body and attached the music to different body parts, so then you can "pull out" the name of a body part and kids have to move it to it.

Top Tip:  Go to the 'most downloaded' on Promethean Planet and see who else you can stalk and get new resources weekly.



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