Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Trying to use an IWB effectively in maths (Part 1)

One of my personal targets this school year is to use my interactive whiteboard (IWB) effectively. Last year I had a Promethean IWB installed in my room and I only used it as a digital whiteboard with PowerPoint. So this year I have set myself a target to use it effectively.

My progress so far!

1. I trained myself up using the ActivTips videos free on ITunesU - these were very inciteful and sparked lots of ideas - these are amazing so do check them out. I downloaded them to my Ipod and listened / watched whilst doing housework (sad but true). I have had no training on using the IWB so this has been a trial and error process.

2. I searched the web for the useful resources - which proved a massive waste of time. I searched the TES and Promethean planet but found the resources very poor. The TES has some fantastic resources but nearly every teacher classifies PowerPoints as IWB material - PowerPoints are generally not interactive so I gave up on this. I could not refine my search in the TES to find anything specifically for the IWB. Promethean planet was an even bigger disappointment - the quality of the resources was very poor. I was really disappointed with the presentation of peoples flipcharts - most of the flipcharts were not suitable to use so again this was another dead end. If you have found any good flipcharts please pass them on.

3. The positives from my search were  1 .ActivInspire activity packs and resource packs from Promethean planet and  2. The Whiteboard Blog. Danny Nicholsons blog is a fantastic website which provided me a great starting point for my lessons - his blog is full of ideas and one I always look out for in my google reader account.

After all my research I decided the main focus'  for using my IWB would be 

  • To create interactive resources that would give pupils a better understanding of a topic;
  • To get my pupils involved / engaged more in the lesson.

The successful flipcharts

My first resource is a starter  " Balloon activity" - this was using the idea from Danny's blog. This is  a resource that could be applied to any subject or topic.In this activity I use a random name generator to select a student to pick a balloon. The student comes up to the whiteboard and pulls a balloon - and answers the question. I used this activity with 3 classes and they all loved it - and asked for it next lesson. It is a nice easy activity to create and use - feel free to edit this one and make your own. Please share any you make with me.

 Another resource I created was a rotational symmetry demonstration flipchart. I used the rotation tool and about a point which I have hidden behind the drawings. Thanks to MEP CIMT for there questions - I used them to create this page. A visual demonstration of rotational symmetry which can be easily replicated - I then asked the students to go away and find me 3 digital examples of their own - stating the order of rotational symmetry. I will compile them and put them together as a recap for them in the near future.

Another topic I decided would be good to use the IWB for was compound shapes. I have found lower ability students struggle to picture missing dimensions in compound shapes so I created this flipchart - compound shapes

In this flipchart I have allowed all the dimensions on pages 1 and 2 to be dragged and to create a copy - this allows the students to move all the dimensions. On page 3 I have added in an idea on how to make a more difficult compound shapes clearer for students. On this page you can explode the shape by dragging out each separate shape.

In part 2 I will upload some more resources and look at some other sources of good IWB activities including Geogebra, SWF files + a few others. I will also include some failures :( 
If you have any recommendations or ideas for a good IWB resource or thoughts on any of the above please add a comment.


  1. If you feel the need, check out and click on the link to Activ Flipcharts. There are several downloadable pre-made flipcharts that may help generate ideas for you!!

    Happy hunting.

  2. Thanks Baz, I look forward to checking it out. Always on the look out for extra resources.