Lesson Activity Toolkit Tip of the week – 1. Using the Random Group, Random Name & Spinner! (all subjects!)

Some great little tools from the SMART Lesson Activity Toolkit (2.0) to use in your lessons – suitable for all curriculum areas! To find them simply click on the gallery tab in SMART notebook, select Lesson Activity Toolkit and then in the search box type what you are looking for i.e. “Random Word Chooser”; “Random Group Chooser” or “Spinner”. Let me know if you have any problems. Please also let me knows of any particular ways these have been useful in the classroom so we can share the ideas with others.

RANDOM WORD CHOOSER

A great little tool – simply type in a set of words and click select, the tool will flick through the words and randomly select one:

Ideas for use:
I’m sure you can all think of lots of uses for this little tool, but a few ideas to get you started……. let me know of any other ways you think of and we can share them on here.

  • AFL tool for identifying students during questioning – input class set names and randomly select a student for answering a question
  • Key word terminology – Revision activity – input a set of key terms related to a particular area – randomly select one and ask students to define the key term.
  • Maths starter – you can type in numbers (thus equations or sums) and not just words – could get computer to select 5 at random as a little starter?
  • MFL – key words in the target language for a particular topic area – randomly selected and students have to give the translation.

Random Word Chooser

2. RANDOM GROUP GENERATOR

A great little tool for any activity in any subject involving group work and for which you want to randomly mix students.

(i) Simply insert the names of the students in your class and select the number of groups you want to split them into

RandomGroupGenerator

(ii) Click generate…. and hey presto…!

Group Generator

3. SPINNER

A simple spinning tool – you can add text or simply have colour coded segments. To edit click on the arrows on the right of the spinner and you will get the selection box below. To type a word into each segment, make sure you keep clicking on the relevant segment or it will simply save over the one you have just named.

Spinner_edit

Ideas for use:
Again I’m sure you can come up with lots of ideas for use – just drop me an email so I can add to the list!

1. Name selector (again add names and then set the spinner) – would work ok for smaller groups like VI form
2. Revision – topic areas on spinner – ‘hot-seating’ – students have to select a topic area and then answer a question from it
3. Revision – simillar to above but student selects a key term / case study using topic and then has to tell the rest of the class as much as they know about it, or describe the key term etc.
4. Again numbers can be inputed as well as text – enabling maths equation style questions.

 Examples:

Topic areas / Revision use:

Spinner1

Name selector:

Spinner 2

Games for the IWB

A quick reminder as we start the new year of the value of interactive games in the classroom, particularly now all teaching rooms have access to IWB facilities. There are lots of free games aimed at particular subjects available on the web, however remember we also have access to software in school, including the Content Generator software (Penalty Shootouts etc.) to make our own games. For more details please see last years post on Using Games in the Classrom.

HOT POTATOES QUIZ SOFTWARE – Now free

Hot_Potatoes

You can find out more about what Hot Potatoes quiz software can be used for including examples in the using games in the classroom post. But you should be aware that the software is now freeware and therefore can easily be downloaded and used at home.

You can download instructions from the website – but if you come and see me I have 3 spare printed help guides.

quandary_350x100Hot Potatoes have also now made their Quandary software free. This software enables you to create web based action mazes which can be used for problem-solving, diagnosis and surveys/questionnaires etc. Students are faced with a series of options – the option they then choose will lead them on a particular path for which they are then given further options. To get the idea – try out this Henry II and Thomas Becket history action maze from Andrew Field.

Here is a list of just some of the many websites offering online sources of educational games:

Remember there are also lots of templates for creating games using the Lesson Activity Toolkit in SMART notebook - I will be posting a reminder of some of these over the next few weeks.

Ideas to Inspire

Ideas_to_Inspire

Today I came across this superb site relevant to most curriculum areas and it certainly does what it says on the tin – it has many  “Ideas to Inspire“! The site has been put together by Mark Warner and is a collaborative project including a series of presentations giving short overviews of creative ideas for use in the classroom. The presentations have been put together using ideas contributed by classroom practitioners and provide real inspiration for engaging students.

The site is divided into 3 areas:

(i) Curriculum Ideas – specific ideas and resources for areas across the curriculum (e.g. Maths, Science, Geography etc.)

Inter_Maths

(ii) Interesting ways to use ICT in the classroom - one of my favourite sections – this takes particular ICT tools such as the IWB, Visualisers etc. and looks at creative ways of making the most of these to enhance the teaching and learning experience.

Ideas_IWB

(iii) Other Collaborative presentations – such as this superb one on “Techy” tips for not so “Techy” teachers!

Techy_Tools

The site is rapidly increasing and Mark has reported 500 ideas already and 50 new ideas on the site just this week!! A brilliant site – well worth frequently returning to (I have added it to the Professional Development links) – a huge thanks to Mark and all the other collaborators for sharing such a wealth of ideas.

Using Audio-visual resources in classroom (1) – Creating resources using Moviemaker

Audio_Visual

Last weeks Teaching and Learning group meeting was focused on looking at the use of audio-visual resources in the classroom.

Audio-visual resources can greatly enrich the everyday classroom bringing to life teaching and learning opportunities and giving the potential to bring the outside world into the classroom broadening and enhancing our students experience. There are many ways in which audio-visual resources can be utilised and this is an area we will keep returning to.

The aim of our last session however was to look specifically at the use of combining audio, video and images to create short educational presentations in video format which can be played using programmes such as Windows Media Player or Real Player, or converted to a .flv file (using zamzar) and inserted into a Smart notebook file and then annotated etc.

Using video presentations in the classroom:

Examples of how Audio-Visual Resources might be used in the context of short video presentations:

  • Creating an atmosphere and setting the scene for a task
  • Providing a stimulus for students to help them empathise with others as well as develop their understanding of the subject
  • Introduce a new topic
  • For the creation of quizzes and revision opportunities
  • Explain and demonstrate a concept
  • Celebrating achievement, recording experiences such as fieldtrips etc. (although child protection issues must be considered carefully with relation to storage and use of images)
  • To widen the experience for students and present things in other ways

At the meeting I showed example presentations for each of the above – if you were not able to be there and would like to see them to get an idea of how moviemaker can be put to use give me a shout!

There are many programmes which can be used to create video presentations and they vary in their degree of sophistication and thus what is achievable. A great starting point, is Windows Moviemaker, which is a free application which is available on all computers which run Windows.

Using Windows Moviemaker

1. Instructions for creating a simple movie - I have created a simple set of instructions which can be downloaded here on how to create a simple movie using Windows Moviemaker – including the addition of images, video, text, audio etc.

The important thing to remember is that there are TWO stages that you must go through when you actually save your movie. (i) Save Project as (this saves the actual file so that you can come back and edit it) (ii) Save Movie File (you must do this so that you can play back your movie in the classroom! – remember it is the .wmv file you will need to save and take in!). Please read the full explanation of this in the instructions leaflet.

2. Getting used to the interface – the Windows movie maker interface is very user friendly – this downloadable outline may help you identify the main parts of the interface that you will be using frequently.

Interface

There are lots of resources and ideas for using Windows Moviemaker – including some great templates for giving a really professional look to your videos. Try out the following two links for some further ideas (thanks to Adam Lawson for suggesting these):

  • Windows Movie Makers forum – lots of great ideas as well as a forum where you can seek help!
  • Hit the Bongo – some great extra titles and transitions here which you can download and make use of (including the James Bond example shown in the meeting!)

Copyright Issues

Please make sure that you bear in mind copyright issues when making audio-visual resources  – particularly if you are sharing resources with students on line. There are many photographs, music etc. which are shared under creative commons licenses which enables them to be used in creation of resources as long as the owner of the copyright is credited (e.g. in a credit list at the end).

Here are some examples of sources of audio-visual materials:

Photographs:

(most just require credit to owner of photograph (could include credits list at end!) – see the terms and conditions on individual sites from more details)

Video:

Some video clips – such as those in YouTube can be downloaded using zamzar (www.zamzar.com) into a format which can then be used in video editing software.

Music / Soundtracks / Spoken Word

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