Revista Digital Educamadrid
Fecha de publicación 6 de septiembre de 2019
Education has changed. The process of teaching and learning is oriented to the learners. In order to keep their attention, it is important to use innovative methodologies and different types of resources and materials in the daily class, in order to keep children highly active and motivated. At our school we value the use of individual white boards and tablets to achieve this.
CRIF Las Acacias 6 al 8 de junio de 2017
Therese Kuettel, Ana de la Cruz y Sara Sánchez Quero
CEIP Ciudad de Nejapa (Tres Cantos)
1. CONTEXT OF THE EXPERIENCE
According to Gardner (1983), students learn in a variety of ways and teachers have the responsibility of catering to the broad spectrum of learning styles. It is a big challenge for the educational system. Taking the official curriculum as a starting point, schools need to adapt it to the reality of their population in the School Educational Project. The teacher is the one who is in charge of writing lesson plans to adhere to the concrete needs of the individuals as well as to the whole group.
Using a variety of methodologies and resources helps to encourage students to be active learners. It is logical that students who are engaged learn more. At our school, teachers are very concerned with the need to reach all students. In our daily classes we use the following:
- Individual white boards which are excellent tools to meet all students´ needs.
They can be used to help every lesson come alive. Students love them because they are fun. Corrections can be made quickly. Individual white boards are an inexpensive resource that can be made, used and stored easily. The variety of ways to use them is endless.
Students can be assessed at all times, because the content of the white boards can be easily seen, shared and controlled.
- Educational applications which are an attractive tool for teaching English and other areas.
They allow the possibility of working on the four skills of the linguistic competence as a whole: listening, speaking, reading and writing. By using different applications students are allowed to show their abilities with fun, with instant feedback and without fear of failing. New technologies can be used also for assessing and evaluating students.
2. DESCRIPTION OF THE EXPERIENCE
2.1. Individual Whiteboards
The use of individual white boards in Primary permits a highly effective teaching-learning process because each student is actively engaged at his or her individual level of learning. With Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences (1983) in mind, teachers can plan a variety of activities to help students to focus on individual skills as well as a combination of skills.
Speaking and listening become fun when this resource is used in activities like Group Drawings where the students express their ideas. Two Hand Sentences foster longer responses.
Writing can be practiced at the letter, (phonics) word, sentence and even paragraph level. The Think-Pair-Share technique encourages students to first try to write on their own with the confidence that after a short time their pair will help them to evaluate and improve their work. Students are then invited to share their work in the big group; the text is big enough to permit others to read their work.
Even students with learning challenges are motivated to let others see their work since the teacher or peers have previously given tips on how to make improvements. Self-esteem increases significantly!
Drama is simplified throughout Primary with the use of Individual Whiteboards. Younger students can use an easy 6 line photocopied script that is put inside the plastic sleeves. Older students can use a photocopied script with blanks to finish the lines. The most advanced students can invent their own scripts. Since students have no problem reading the short conversations on their whiteboards due to the large text, it is easy for them to act out their ideas while using the whiteboards for support.
Using Individual White Boards for Drama activitites
How to Get a Class Set of Individual Whiteboards:
- Put a piece of light coloured card into a plastic sleeve. Different colours can be used to group students easily.
- Buy whiteboard markers by the box; they are cheaper than buying them individually. Black seems to last longer.
- Ask the students to bring a piece of material or cut up “bayetas” for the eraser.
- The marker and the eraser can be stored inside the plastic sleeve.
- Whiteboards for the younger students can be kept in a box. Older students can keep their whiteboards in their folders or their binders.
Variety of Group Settings: Individual, pairs, small groups, whole group
Evaluation. Assessment is constructive with the main focus on what the student has done well. One idea for improvement is “2 stars and a wish”. This Assessment for Learning described by Paul Black(1998) offers constructive feedback from both peers and the teacher which helps to increase a “can do” attitude that is essential to continued learning.
2.2. Educational apps
In our school, we use apps to enhance the learning-teaching process. They have become an essential tool to encourage pupils to be creative by developing their own materials. Besides, there are countless applications in education to help teachers. This is an excellent resource to keep motivation high.
The most common apps used in our school:
- Write About. This is a platform for creating prompts using photos and voice. It offers different levels to suit students´ needs. Once it is finished it can be downloaded and shared.
- MyStory is an application that allows students to create their own stories and e-books. It is a simple tool that helps students develop literacy, creativity and imagination, as well as their storytelling skills. It can be used to work on specific grammar aspects and verb tenses. Voice can be recorded and combined with pictures and text.
- Postale. It is an attractive way to invite students to write about events. They get digital postcards that can be customized and sent by e-mail.
- Audioboom. Podcasts can be recorded. It is also useful to record chants, poems and songs. It also provides the opportunity to create a QR code that can be shared and used with different purposes.
Example of digital postcard
Example of a page of e-book created by students in 3rd grade
Showing knowledge by creating products:
- Popplet. It is used to design mind maps as a starting point of a unit or as a revision.
- Genially. Interactive images can be made to make presentations more dynamic.
- Piccollage. It allows students to create their own posters and infographies with the information obtained. It is useful to represent information in a visual and attractive way.
Sharing reflections and documents.
- Padlet. It is very useful to provide personal information about one topic or answers to questions. Images and text can be included. It can be incorporated to a blog, so students can easily collaborate.
- Kahoot and Quizizz. Both platforms are used to assess and evaluate students. They are very attractive and provide feedback instantaneously.
- QR codes are very common used for providing the solutions to riddles and also for Math activities. The action of reading the QR or creating it gives students a sensation of secretiveness that promotes a high performance.
Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (1998). Assessment and classroom learning. Assessment in Education, 5 (1), 7–74.
Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind: the theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Basic Books.
Revista Digital EducaMadrid
Fecha de publicación: 6 de septiembre de 2019