Interactive Whiteboards in Australia

News, ideas and discussion about interactive whiteboards in education

Posts Tagged ‘literacy’

IWB Maths, English, Science, SOSE and IT for K-3

Posted by rosiemacalpine on March 2, 2010

Until recently, iboard software produced high quality, engaging software for any brand of interactive whiteboard for paid subscribers. Now TES (Times Educational Supplement, an UK education newspaper and website) have bought the activities and made them available FREE, without signup, for anyone!

These are really lovely activities which are well organised and cover a wide range of topics. For example there are 93 numeracy activities for Year 1 alone with titles such as ‘Adding Two Dice’, ‘Comparing Jungle Animals (Height)’, and ‘Months of the Year’.

The activities are split into Reception, Year One and Year Two so you should find suitable activities for K-3 in Australian schools.

Click here to visit the iboard site. Thanks to The Whiteboard Blog.



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Exploring rare words on an IWB

Posted by rosiemacalpine on February 4, 2009 is an interesting dictionary website that would work really well on an IWB in a primary or secondary English class.  I came across on the Cool Websites blog post on

It has a simple but attractive interface, made up of magazine cuttings of rare or out of date words that are no longer used. Hover over a word to see it enlarged, click on the word to see a definition. (There’s a rather irritating sound of ‘ooh, pick me!’ as you hover over the words, but luckily there is a mute button at the bottom of the screen).

Here are five ideas for using it in the classroom:

1.  Choose a student to pick a word. Hover to enlarge but don’t write it down. Ask students to write down possible definitions (silly or sensible) then check the real definition.

2.  Predict the word type: noun, adjective, verb? Predict and hold a class vote before clicking on the word to reveal the answer.

3.  Choose ten words, read the definition for each one, then choose an alternative word or phrase that has a similar meaning.

4.  Use the camera tool to take a snapshot of the word and send to a flipchart, then the definition. Repeat this for about five words. Then challenge student to match the correct word to the correct definition.


5.  Each definition features a sample sentence. Ask students to write another sample sentence featuring the word. 

The language used in the sample sentences are provided on the site make it better suited to an upper primary or secondary students. 

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Picture books on the IWB (Part 1 of 2)

Posted by rosiemacalpine on January 13, 2009

One of my favourite things to do with a junior primary class and our IWB was to read books on the whiteboard. There are two main ways of doing this:

1. Finding online books.

2. Scanning an existing book and turning it into a flipchart

Today’s post will focus on online books. Here are some good sites I’ve found.

1. Big Universe

This site contains a mix of teachers/ class-made books, and professional books. It’s also got a nifty book creator, so your class can have a go at creating your own and share it on the site.


2. Storyline Online

The books on this site are well known children’s books read by members of the Screen Actors Guild. It gets an extra thumbs up from me for featuring Sophie’s Masterpiece which is a former favourite of my class. The site features streaming video of the actors reading the texts. The pictures in the book are shown and you also have the option of captions.


3. BBC Cbeebies Stories

There’s a great collection of online books here, with clear interesting pictures and some animation. This is the site that I used most with my Year 2 class.


4. International Children’s Digital Library

I only found this site yesterday, and I think it’s an absolute treasure. It has a huge number of books in many different languages. Audio isn’t included, but the text and images are clear, the pages can be enlarged and it has a simple filter function which lets you look for books by age group, length of book, and genre. This link takes you to all the books in English.


5. Lookybook

Lookybook has hundreds of well-known, high quality pictures books. It’s free to register and you can create your own bookshelves with your favourites. The site is designed to attract you to buy the book after having a preview. So the image quality isn’t the best, and the text can be hard to read. Books with minimal text and large pictures work best, so it may be more useful for kindy/ pre-primary teachers.


The next post will explain how you can scan your favourite book to view it on the IWB.

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Visuwords online graphical dictionary and thesaurus

Posted by rosiemacalpine on December 7, 2008

For a dictionary with a difference, have a look at Visuwords.

Type a word into the search bar and a beautiful web of movable, colourful words will appear. Here’s a  screenshot of a portion of the results for “milk”.


The words bob and sway gently. You can zoom in, drag the screen around to view different parts, grab the words or hover over them with your pen/ mouse to see a pop-up definition.

I love the idea of using this to introduce or explore a topic, to find out about new words, imporve grammatical understanding and discover links between different subjects. It also has some encyclopedia type functions – typing in Perth produced some information about our beautiful state capital (but no results for Perth, Scotland).

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