Secrets to attention-grabbing IWB content

Porter said high-quality IWB content has:

  • Learning objectives that focus on observable and measurable student behaviors. “We want our students to be engaged in learning activities rather than merely clicking a button and watching something animate, or passively watching the teacher,” Porter said. These learning objectives provide a measure of improvement, communicate expectations clearly, and make it easier for teachers to select appropriate learning exercises, she said.
  • Assessment that is appropriate to the learning objectives. Teachers should teach exactly what they wish their students to learn, and not teach around the topic without touching on key points that will appear in assessments. Learning objectives and assessments might include the ability to dissect a frog, spelling words on a spelling list, or identifying mammals versus reptiles.
  • As many opportunities for the student to practice the skills as possible. Repetition builds fluency, Porter said, and student responses must become not only accurate, but fast. The difficulty level of the response opportunities should be sequenced appropriately, building from few to many or from easy to difficult. In addition, correct answers should not be “given away” by cues.

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Tracy Tishion, K-12 technology resources instructor with the Brookfield Public Schools in Connecticut, took webinar attendees through a step-by-step IWB lesson construction and pointed out necessary and unnecessary lesson components.

Using a title page models good practice for students, she said, but it also helps educators who post IWB lessons in full on class or teacher websites remain organized.

Lesson objectives should be stated clearly at the beginning of the lesson. Posting daily objectives on a board or displaying them in a classroom helps students keep their learning goals in mind, Tishion said.

Although using an IWB is a move from passive to interactive learning, Tishion said educators can use lessons they’ve already created and build on them to add interactive elements.

Laura Ascione

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