Case Studies from Early Years and Primary Practitioners

Creating innovative learning resources for the interactive whiteboard for use with Year 1 English as an Additional Language (EAL) pupils

Author: Cynthia Pinner, Class Teacher, The Cape Primary School, Sandwell. Date: 2005

The teacher describes her approach to using the interactive whiteboard for teaching English as an Additional Language. She emphasises the importance of tailoring her materials to the particular needs of the students, demonstrating concepts within the realm of their own experience, introducing new concepts with a range of sensual stimuli, and addressing diverse learning styles.

Through observation, reflective discussion and lesson evaluations with peers, the teacher concluded that engagement, attendance, self-esteem and the production of homework were improved by the use of the interactive learning materials. She suggests that the approach has lead to increased attainment, with 92% of the class making measurable progress in language and communication, and 100% of the target group now reaching the national average levels of speaking and listening.

View the full case study: http://tinyurl.com/6exopo

Innovative use of the interactive whiteboard with Year 1 English as an Additional Language (EAL) pupils in literacy

Author: Cynthia Pinner, Class Teacher, The Cape Primary School, Sandwell. Date: 2005

Summary

The creation and use of e-books led to a dramatic increase in the uptake of home reading books, and the production of homework based on reading done at home.

Action

The teacher created:

1) an interactive whiteboard presentation using virtual flash cards of phonemes for use as a 5-minute “warm up” at the beginning of each lesson;

2) an e-book which enabled students to re-create stories read together previously. The e-book included resources such as words, pictures and recordings of the children reading the story that students could manipulate independently to re-create the story. The e-book was initially used as both a whole-class teaching tool, and for individual and group work at the PCs. The computer could check the accuracy of the student’s re-creation of the story.

Impact

Through reflective discussion and lesson evaluation with peers, the teacher observed several impacts, including: a sharp increase in the uptake of home reading books’ children producing homework based on reading done at home’ increased student interaction and increased attainment. All students have made progress, with 68% attaining NC level 1 in reading and 24% exceeding their reading age.

View the full case study: http://tinyurl.com/639vsg

Innovative use of the interactive whiteboard with Year 1 English as an Additional Language (EAL) pupils in numeracy

Author: Cynthia Pinner, Class Teacher, The Cape Primary School, Sandwell Date: 2005

The teacher designed innovative learning resources for use on the interactive whiteboard in numeracy lessons for Year 1 EAL students.

She observed that the appearance of the materials stimulated learner engagement; the strong use of visual representations reduced the reliance on language to assimilate concepts, which was especially important for EAL students, and that the pace of the lesson was improved. She reflected that these benefits cannot be achieved without creating a supportive ethos which views mistakes as learning opportunities and meaningful interaction between students and the teacher.

View the full case study: http://tinyurl.com/6hcwpy

 

Evaluating the contribution which an interactive whiteboard can make to improving letter formation in the reception class

Author: Lynn Skinner, Class Teacher, Hunwick Primary, Durham Date: 2005

Summary

The teacher investigated the impact of using an interactive whiteboard on the letter formation of three boys, who had good reasoning and verbal communication skills but poor letter formation skills. The teacher modelled letter formation on the interactive whiteboard, which was also used to display software programs and multimedia phonic children’s worksheets. Observation indicates that the uses of an interactive whiteboard only resulted in a slight improvement in the pupils’ letter formation, but did have a positive effect on the motivation and enjoyment of both the teacher and the pupils.

Methodology

The nursery nurse made written observations and took photographs of the children being taught phonics using an interactive whiteboard. The teacher conducted interviews with the children afterwards, and also observed them while the nursery nurse taught them phonics without the use of ICT.

Findings

Comparison of the boys’ writing at the beginning and the end of the week when the interactive whiteboard was used indicated a slight, but not significant, improvement in their letter formation.

Use of the interactive whiteboard seemed to produce greater motivation in the children to understand letter sounds. It may, the teacher hypothesises, help children who do not have good fine motor skills.

Observation showed that all the children enjoyed the interactive whiteboard, and the teacher reported that she herself felt more enthusiastic.

The teacher’s reflections and observations of the nursery nurse indicate that having an adult to support and encourage individual pupils is the most significant factor in developing good letter formation.

View the full case study: http://tinyurl.com/54vvqs

 

Evaluating the effectiveness of the interactive whiteboard in the introduction and teaching of the concept of measure in the reception class

Author: Sam Leonard, Willington C of E Primary School, Durham. Date: 2005

The teacher investigated the impact of using an interactive whiteboard as the main teaching tool to introduce the concept of measure to reception children. The children used images of monkeys to measure other animals on the interactive whiteboard. The study focused on low attaining children within her class. Observations, questioning and written notes formed the basis of the evaluation.

The children on whom the study focused responded very positively to the interactive whiteboard. All of the children were engaged in watching others demonstrate measuring on the whiteboard, and several were motivated to do the measuring themselves. The children were confident in applying their conceptual learning to their practical work, and questioning revealed that even those who were reluctant to participate had a clear understanding of the theory. The teacher concluded that the interactive whiteboard had had a profound effect on engagement and motivation, but noted that its effectiveness depended on the training and confidence of the teacher.

View the full case study: http://tinyurl.com/5d4set

 

Using interactive teaching equipment in assemblies

Author: Jackie Barbet, Deputy Head teacher, Furze Infants’ School, Barking and Dagenham. Date: 2005

Jackie introduced the visualiser into assemblies, and interviewed children to gauge their perceptions. She found that the use of the visualiser improved behaviour and engagement. This was largely due to the increased audio and visual clarity in presentation that the technology offered, particularly for students bringing objects for ‘show and tell’ and for amplifying the voices of students addressing the audience. The style of the visual presentation engaged students effectively, perhaps because “children are used to a very high level of sophistication in their entertainment these days” and presentations on the visualiser come closer to meeting their high standards.

View the full case study: http://tinyurl.com/5of89w

 

Evaluating the contribution which a digital camera and interactive whiteboard can make to improve speaking and listening in the nursery

Author: Elizabeth Hayton, Willington Primary School, County Durham. Date: 2005

Summary

Digital cameras and the interactive whiteboard were used effectively to boost speaking and listening skills and parental engagement, and to give teachers greater insight into students’ personal interests.

Action

Many students have poor speaking and listening skills upon arrival at the nursery. To try and stimulate speaking and listening in the class and at home, the teacher sent home a teddy and a digital camera with two students each weekend, to take pictures to show the class on Monday. The interactive whiteboard was then used to display the images while the child spoke.

Outcomes

The teacher perceived some improvement in overall speaking and listening in the class. In reporting back to the class, the visual hook of the photographs supported students’ speech, while the rest of the class listened and asked questions. Motivation and eagerness to speak were boosted by the enthusiasm for the project.

Parent-child communication was stimulated by the collaborative project, and parents came into the school to view the photographs presented on a display board.

Teachers gained insight into the children’s lives and interests, and were then able to tailor their teaching strategies to particular students, encouraging engagement in a wider range of learning activities through the use of favourite themes, such as a tractor. Such insight is not always easily attainable from students with poor communication skills.

View the full case study: http://tinyurl.com/5cdn26

 

How the interactive whiteboard has changed the way I teach

Author: Emma Prior, Willington Primary School, County Durham. Date: 2005

Since joining an ICT Test Bed school, Emma has converted from being a sceptic to an ICT enthusiast. Here, she gives specific examples of her use of ICT across a range of subjects, and reflects on the value of technology, including enhanced demonstration capability and the generation of learner engagement and motivation.

Her reflections suggest that the greater interactivity afforded by technology is key to learner engagement and achievement. The reciprocity rule suggests that you get out what you put in: by providing more opportunities for learners to participate practically in learning exercises, technology can correspondingly enable the students to get more out of the classroom experience.

Emma does not consider the impact of her use of technology on standards. She does, however, list her top websites and offer procurement advice, arguing that, given the choice, she would rather have a Promethean whiteboard with the Active Primary Suite (visualiser) than a smart board.

View the full case study: http://tinyurl.com/59wf4s

 

Researching whether the use of ICT in reception motivates and promotes children’s learning in numeracy

Author: Caroline Percival, Teaching Assistant, Hartside Primary School, Durham. Date: 2005

Caroline investigated the pupils’ perceptions of using ICT in numeracy. She compared the teaching of three different topics, taught once with the use of ICT, and once without. She evaluated the children’s views on the use of ICT by means of a simple questionnaire that included a range of suggested answers from which they could choose. The children’s preferences for ICT or non-ICT equipment varied between different activities, and were randomly spread across different ability levels and genders. It was difficult to draw any conclusions about the children’s preferences from the data collected. Caroline also asked two teachers about their perceptions of the children’s learning with ICT, both of whom believed that it was a major motivating factor.

View the full case study: http://tinyurl.com/5r5k4x

 

An evaluation of the impact of ICT on boys’ attitudes to literacy in early foundation stage. A focused study on four learners.

Author: Julie Fisher, Class Teacher, St Cuthbert’s RC Nursery, Durham. Date: 2005

The teacher conducted observations of four boys participating in a variety of writing activities, some of which involved the use of a range of ICT (such as software, laptops and PCs). The observations showed that the boys had a very positive attitude to learning literacy through ICT. Interviews with the focus group revealed that they liked spelling their names using the ICT equipment. The teacher felt that her pupils used the ICT as a means to scaffold their learning, in order to work at a higher level than they would otherwise have achieved.

View the full case study: http://tinyurl.com/6g5dot

 

The changing role of the teacher in using the Interactive White Board (IWB)

Author: Victoria Eaton, Class Teacher, Sunnybrow Primary School, Durham. Date: 2005

The teacher reflects on how her role has changed since using the IWB with her Year 3 and 4 children. She felt that originally, despite the children coming up to the IWB to click, drop and drag, lessons were still very much teacher-directed. During one numeracy lesson the teacher decided to sit to the side of the class, allowing the children to the front to direct the lesson. The children rose to the challenge, and with careful questioning explained their reasoning. They began to question and collaborate with each other to solve the maths problems, rather than automatically looking to the teacher. In Victoria’s words, the learning became “personalised, appropriate and relevant.” She feels that the IWB excites children, such that they want to become active participants in their learning. Informal interviews with the children reveal that they feel the IWB makes them think for themselves, and though they feel that they are working harder, they still enjoy it far more than lessons without the IWB. The teacher has noticed that children with special educational needs are also more motivated to interact and have a turn.

View the full case study: http://tinyurl.com/6jy83o

 

Evaluating the contribution of Activote within the classroom

Author: Martin Holt, Hunwick Primary School. Date: 2005

Summary

The teacher incorporated the Activote system into numeracy lessons to see if it had a positive effect on children with Special Educational Needs (SEN). He found that the children enjoyed using Activote, leading to greater participation from children normally reluctant to contribute in class. He also saw evidence of improved results in maths tests.

Action

The teacher used Activote in numeracy lessons with an interactive whiteboard to display a pre-prepared Activ Studio 2 flipchart containing 8 maths questions, based on the Year 5 National Numeracy objective to use decimal notation for tenths and hundredths. This allowed him to assess a particular learning objective for each individual, while the children were given practise of using mental methods of calculating answers within a limited time – a requirement of the SATs mathematics examination.

Outcomes

The teacher noted that the instant feedback from Activote enabled him to provide tailored guidance to those pupils who needed it, particularly children who would normally be reluctant to participate in class discussions. He also found from the children’s comments that they enjoyed using Activote and that this led to an improvement in results under test conditions.

View the full case study: http://www.evaluation.icttestbed.org.uk/files/p41_evaluating_activote.pdf

 

Evaluating the effect of ICT on two children with specific learning difficulties

Author: Elizabeth Hayton, Willington Primary School. Date: 2006

Summary

Elizabeth reflects on the use of ICT with two children in particular, one who has autism and one with less severe special needs. She describes how the use of ICT stimulated both children and encouraged them to become more involved in class activities.

Action

PCs, an Interactive Whiteboard and a digital camera were among the tools used to help the children become more involved in the classroom, although the teachers were careful not to use these to the exclusion of more traditional hands-on methods, such as painting or playing with sand and water.

Outcomes

Both children enjoyed using the ICT tools and became much more involved in classroom activities, interacting far more than before with other children in the class. The child with more severe difficulties however started to spend too much time using the equipment, and was reluctant to become involved in other activities. Elizabeth concludes that while ICT should be a vital part of the curriculum, its use should be tailored to the individual pupil where necessary.

View the full case study: http://tinyurl.com/6kx58m

 

Using ICT as a focus for self-assessment in Year 2 English lessons

Author: Sarah Sawyer, Furze Infant School. Date: 2006

Summary

Sarah discusses the use of Active Studio with an Active Slate to display pupils’ work and highlight pieces of the work for discussion with the class. Sarah used the Active Studio classroom voting system to gain feedback from the class on their experiences. Using this feedback Sarah evaluates the successes of the project, and highlights some of the possible drawbacks.

Action

Sarah used Active Studio with a class of Year 2 English pupils, highlighting particularly good work in yellow and areas where improvement could be made in blue. Each pupil’s work was discussed by the class. Using the voting system, the pupils were able to give their feedback anonymously to indicate their likes and dislikes about having their work displayed on the visualiser in this way.

Outcomes

The feedback from the pupils was generally positive, showing that most enjoyed having their work displayed to, and discussed by, the rest of the class. Some pupils however did not enjoy the experience, with one in particular finding it to be ‘painful’. Sarah felt that overall this is a very useful tool, but that it should be used with caution and that pupils should be allowed to opt out of having their work displayed to their classmates.

View the full case study: http://tinyurl.com/679nsk

 

Improving teaching and learning through the use of microscopes in Years 3 and 4 science

Author: Claire Price, Class teacher, Hunwick Primary School, Durham. Date: 2005

The teacher investigated how the use of Digital Blue microscopes would develop learning in science. The pupils used the microscopes connected to laptops,or an interactive whiteboard, to examine the structures and opacity of a range of materials. The teacher felt that the microscopes would particularly appeal to visual and kinaesthetic learners.

Using the microscopes has enabled the children to take a more active, participatory role in their learning, and to gain greater ownership of their learning experiences. The teacher observed that the children enjoy science lessons more when using the microscopes. In particular, they liked sharing their findings with the rest of the class, a process which the technology facilitated. The amount of detail provided by the microscopes enabled the pupils to draws conclusions of a much higher quality than usual and their technical vocabulary and general communication skills have improved significantly. The self-esteem of students with special educational needs has also improved significantly.

View the full case study: http://tinyurl.com/67vkxt

Can digital microscopes promote learning in Literacy lessons?

Author: Claire Price Hunwick Primary School. Date: 2005

Summary

Following on from a previous study that found that the confidence and understanding of children with special educational needs (SEN) was considerably enhanced by the use of digital microscopes in science, this study looks at using digital microscopes to support creative writing in Literacy.

Claire concludes that the microscopes impacted in the following areas:

  1. Improved confidence, responsibility and independence of SEN children.
  2. Boys’ improved descriptive vocabulary
  3. More able and talented children. The use of a digital microscope enabled the teacher to spend more time developing the gifted and talented children.
  4. Usability. The flexibility of the resource – Claire comments that not all areas of literacy are suited to the use of digital microscopes, but she also names several areas where they could be used effectively.

View the full case study: http://tinyurl.com/638joy

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