It has often been said that the classroom is the second teacher in the class; just as a classroom’s layout and environment can be a second teacher, the effective use of your Interactive Whiteboard in the classroom can become another teacher in your classroom- it provides you with resources that allow students to become more engaged with the lessons, it draws them in and leads them to rediscover learning through technology.
When I first started using my Interactive Whiteboard with my Spanish immersion students, I was pleasantly surprised to see the level of engagement the students in the class had from the activities.
Working with Early Childhood students, I often had to find different ways to keep students interested in our daily activities and looked for ways to keep them excited about the lessons in class. As I became more familiar with the ready-to-use lessons in Gynzy, I noticed that my students not only were excited to use the activities, they were also excited about their learning and became so familiar with the site that they often requested specific lessons so they could sharpen their math, handwriting and science skills.
Develop language skills
The use of the tools Gynzy provided also helped students develop their language skills, although the activities were in English, I was able to explain all activities in Spanish and to read to them the instructions in Spanish in such a way that they were able to participate and do all activities without compromising the language and quality of learning. With time, students would explain to each other the activities we had been using and did so in Spanish!
As an Early Childhood educator in an immersion setting, I’ve benefited from the use of the tools Gynzy’s provided because their lessons are simple, easy to use and above all they’re ready. I was able to do all my Morning Activities using my Interactive Whiteboard and when it came to letting students know how much time we had for clean-up, wrapping up an activity or for going to the playground, students looked to the Gynzy Timer to know how much time they had left while learning about how many seconds in a minute at the same time.
Another flexible addition to Gynzy has been the option teachers have of adding their own images, videos, and other tools that are content specific to the lessons in the class. I was often able to create my own sorting charts where students could drag images from my library and arrange them accordingly. These images where often related to our Units of Inquiry and helped me determine how much my students understood about the subject before and after.
Track students progress
The student-led activities also helped me to document the progress throughout the year- as I used the Interactive Whiteboard to save their work, I was able to track which students needed more time in a particular area and which other were ready to move on the the next level. In this regard, I find that the use of an IWB in the class facilitates the work for teachers to differentiate learning in the classroom. The different activities provided by Gynzy, allow teachers to direct specific activities and tailor them to the specific needs of students and maximize their learning in the classroom.
Increase effectiveness by differentiated learning
This particular area of differentiated learning in an immersion classroom proved highly effective as it saved me time, paper and it gave me specific tools I could use, reuse and adjust depending on the level of math, language and fine motor skills of the students in my class. It increased my effectiveness as a teacher and I had more time to spend with students who needed more attention in certain areas of struggle.
The advantage of using technology in my classroom was that students, regardless of their learning styles, were able to jump right into the activities because they were already familiar with other touch-screen technology, thus allowing our lessons and activities to flow smoothly and maximized our learning in the classroom in a very fun way.
Interactive Whiteboard as extra teacher in your classroom
Slowly, the Interactive Whiteboard in my classroom became another teacher in the class and as students became adroit users, I was able to find a balance between the time we were spending using the IWB and the face-to- face time we had in the classroom