readilearn: Lessons for the interactive whiteboard – Christmas

  • Published on December 15, 2017

Christmas activities interactive whiteboard

I loved the addition of the interactive whiteboard to my classroom about ten years ago. I embraced the use of computer technology from when I bought my first home computer in 1985 and first used computers in my classroom in 1986. The interactive whiteboard was a way of making use of the technology inclusive. Instead of one or two children taking a turn on the computer while the rest of the class were engaged in other things, we could all be involved at the same time, if desired.

I used the interactive whiteboard with the whole class for introducing topics, brainstorming ideas and explaining concepts. It was great for modelled writing lessons and collaborative reading. I found it particularly useful for demonstrating the processes to follow in the computer lab.

I used some purchased software, but also spent a lot of time creating activities to teach or practice particular concepts or skills. Versions of many of these lessons are now available here on readilearn.

While PowerPoint was a reasonably effective tool for creating interactive lessons, the result was unsuitable for sharing with others as the functionality of the presentations varied from computer to computer. Fonts and image size would change, and animations and interactions would behave erratically. What I created on my home computer wouldn’t always behave as expected on the school computer; so, I certainly couldn’t rely on it to perform as intended on another’s computer.

My desire to share interactive lessons with others necessitated creating my own website. While other sites such as Teachers Pay Teachers make it easy to share printable resources, they don’t have the facility for uploading interactive resources. While I could have uploaded PowerPoint resources but, as previously explained, I was unable to guarantee their integrity when downloaded by others.

After considerable investigation, I found a program that enables me to make and share interactive resources that maintain their integrity when used on a computer. With a new one added to the collection this week, there are now over twenty interactive, and even more digital, resources available, keeping the number slightly above the ten per cent I determined to make the minimum.

Two new resources – available free for a limited time

This week’s new interactive resource What’s my shape provides children with opportunities to recognise and match shapes to their shadow image.

matching shapes to shadows

Due to the expenditure of both time and money required to create interactive resources, I usually make them available to paid subscribers only. However, as a special gift for Christmas, I am making this resource available free until 10 January. To use, all you need to do is register.

While many teachers are now on holidays, this activity is suited for use by parents with their younger children, up to about five or six years of age. So, if you have children in that age group, please take the opportunity to try it out. Please note, functionality of digital interactive resources is optimised on a computer.

Mac users – feedback please

If you use What’s my Shape on a Mac, please let me know how it goes. I am using a new program on trial and want to be sure the quality remains the same on both Windows and Apple computers before I commit to the purchase. You can send me an email or let me know in the comments. Thank you.????

A second resource also uploaded this week, though not interactive, is more suited to the older six and seven-year-old children.

logic puzzles Christmas lower primary

Which gift? Playing Secret Santa – a logic puzzle provides children with opportunities to engage in deductive reasoning, reading and mathematics as they attempt to work out who gave which gift to whom. The activity is equally suited to the classroom or home. Once again, I have made this resource available free until 10 January 2018. All you need do is register to use. (Please note, while your email address is required for registration, it will never be shared with anyone else.)

Interactive resources are available in Literacy, Mathematics and Science curriculum areas with others suitable for Cultural Studies and Games and Puzzles.

Check out these other interactive Christmas resources:

who's hiding cover

Christmas poems

interactive 9 square Christmas puzzle

and these free Christmas activities:

fine motor Christmas activities

3D classroom tree display

Free resources are available in almost every category. All I ask is that you register to use.

Register now to begin using free resources, or Subscribe for access to all resources.

special gift

A readilearn subscription also makes a special gift to let early childhood teachers know their work is appreciated. Contact me for details.

Resources beyond worksheets – lessons for teachers made by teachers.
Let readilearn lighten your workload.

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    Norah, these are brilliant! Seriously, why aren’t you famous? LOL Your templates should be selling with Einstein children’s learning activities! 🙂 x

    Oh, Debby, you’re so sweet. Thank you. I have no desire for fame; just a desire to make the teaching role a little easier for teachers, and the learning a little more enjoyable and meaningful for children. I am in favour of anything that encourages us to nurture children’s curiosity and creativity and believe that even a little bit of fun goes a long way.

    Wow, I wasn’t even aware that such whiteboards even exist! Good to know that you are up-to-date with that technology, providing those resources with your subscriptions. We all need to get the word out to the teachers in our lives.

    Thanks, Charli. The boards are wonderful, as long as they are not used just as glorified whiteboards. There are many great ways of using them to enhance learning. My resources really just scratch the surface of their potential. It’s really up to the teacher how well the boards are used. I try to make lessons that will support teachers teaching and save them time in preparation. I design activities that children will enjoy too. The interactivity ensures that they are participating, not just consuming (or switching off). The value of the lessons comes from the discussion that evolves between students and teachers.

    I love the interactive resources you design. They are so creative. Remember how primitive the first computers were? You were before your time. Many businesses were just getting computers. Remember the green screens and they were really more like word processors. And, I wasn’t familiar with white boards until the 1993??

    Thank you, Patricia. I really appreciate your kind words. My first computer was an Apple IIE and, yes, it had a green screen and everything was pixelated and printed out in blocks on a dot matrix printer, on reams of paper that had tear-off perforations. The programs were very basic. In fact, I taught myself basic and even made a few little activities for the children to do. They were only useful and exciting because they were on the computer. No one would even give them a glance now. You were familiar with whiteboards far earlier than I was. Technology always seemed to be introduced in the US long before it was here. But I worked in Government schools too and they are not as well resourced as private schools, so I was late in getting to use one. I do love what we can do with technology and always said that I was born too soon. I think it’s such an exciting field to be in.

    I worked for the military and they were popular when they were first introduced. We’ve certainly come a very long way. I am not tech savvy although I do hold my own. I finally started using my husband’s iPhone, when he upgraded. Didn’t want to be married to a smart phone.

    I think I’m like you – not necessarily tech-savvy, but I know enough to keep myself out of deep water. Most of the time. It took me a long time to convert to using a smart phone. I didn’t want to use it for anything other than a phone. But now I like the convenience of looking up information or checking directions when I’m out. I do use far less than its full capacity though.

Please share your thoughts. I love it when you do.

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