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The Magic of “Interactive” WhiteBoards

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This video below displays the true magic and capabilities of the Interactive White Board. I have been so blessed to have one in my classroom and the children just love it. However, what they love most is when it is their turn to “touch” or interact with the board.

When I first integrated the Interactive Whiteboard into my classroom, I was unsure of how to involve each and every child. I must admit that I used it to show short videos and read-aloud animated story books. However, as I became more comfortable with its capabilities, I learned how to manage my students so that each child truly interacted and had a turn at some point in the day. This took practice and patience (from my students). I finally came to the point that each time we sat down for a lesson or activity at the IWB, not each child would have a turn. I helped them understand that if they did not have a turn at that moment, that they would later. Since tracking who had a turn was a challenge for me, I gave each child a number. They learned their numbers so quickly. Whenever it was time for a child’s turn, I simply called out the next number. And believe me-no one forgot when it was their turn, who had a turn already or who was absent and couldn’t have a turn!

I must emphasize that the most important feature is its capability to interact. The worst thing that it can be used for is a tv or movie player. Let’s face it, our students go home and watch tv-and most likely – alot. Their brains need interactive stimulation. They need to stand up and move their bodies and fingers. They need to think about the appropriate action. They do not need to just sit and listen. The IWB should not be used as another “teacher” who just talks and provides knowledge.

So, I encourage you to allow the students to interact with the board. Remember-its not just a whiteboard. It’s an Interactive White Board!

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Zoodles! A Kid Friendly WebSite Surfing Tool and More!

If you haven’t checked out ZOODLES-you really should. It is a great website and app that I am having trouble explaining how awesome it is! My kids love it. It is free and took just a few minutes to set up my children. By typing in thier birthday, the app/website automatically generates age-specific games, stories and websites for that child. My kids love opening the app and clicking on thier name and picture to direct them to their very own learning site!

I downloaded it on my Kindle Fire, iphone and home PC’s for my own 3 children. It send me a report each week of what they did. It is educational and provides age and kid-friendly websites and YouTube video’s for each of them.

I think it is a great way of keeping track of what a child has been working on. It can also be used in the classroom. Think about those children that are not easily motivated…..well this could be a solution. Zoodles has games, website, and a doodle pad to encourage creativity. Each picture that the child creates, is saved and sent to you on a weekly email report. It’s like a portfolio.

Here is what the weekly report looks like…..

Drawing that the child made….

It even has video mail! You send an email to the person you will allow and then they can send a video message email! How cool is that, right?!!

It is great! I just had to share my excitement with you!