Mrs Williams is the class teacher in the Infant Specialist Teaching Facility in Cwmbwrla Primary School. Her class is made up of six children who have specific speech and language difficulties from the Keystage One age group.
Within the classroom is an interactive promethean board which is controlled using a pen. The board is mounted so that the children can freely reach all areas of the board with carpet in front of it and benched seating around the carpet itself. This means that the children are comfortable when sitting in this area.
Mrs Williams wanted to improve a range of aspects about the children’s speaking and listening skills. The children within the class experienced difficulties listening to others, retaining eye contact with peers and adults as well as retaining and recalling information. The children also found it difficult to take turns and waiting to speak at an appropriate time both on the carpet area and in class life in general.
The class teacher looked to make slight changes to the way in which the class undertook its weekly feedback to each other about what they had got up to over the weekend.
The class teacher set up a template which is used every week with the children’s names on the left of the page. The template is shown on the board via a ceiling mounted multimedia projector.
The children take home with them a diary which they keep with the help of their parents or carers over the course of the weekend and return it to school on Monday. The children then sit on the carpet or benches and feed back to each other in a teacher led discussion which involves the children explaining to the class what they did over the weekend.
The children in the class then are asked be the teacher “What can we say about what Ceri did?” with the teacher then facilitating the writing of what the child did as explained by the children into the interactive smart board software displayed on the whiteboard. This was repeated for all of the children with good eye contact and turn taking emphasised.
The children would then as part of the school timetable go to a whole school assembly during which time the class teacher would jumble up the responses that the children gave to answer their own question so that an incorrect response would appear next to the child’s name by selecting and moving sentences around using the interactivity of the board software.
When the children return to class it is their job to recall what each other did and move the information to the correct name using the interactive smartboard. This involves a lot of talking to each other as well as recalling what each other did over the weekend.
When the group is satisfied that the information is re-arranged correctly the teacher checks with each child that the information next to their name is correct.
The class teachers and Learning Support Assistants have noticed through their observations and assessments that there have been a wide range of benefits for the children in the class.
They felt that the use of ICT through the smartboard gave the children an added incentive to join in with the speaking and listening activities. They found the jumbling up of the sentences to be a really fun aspect of the activity which sparked a lot of conversation and interaction between the children in the class. The class teacher used to use this activity before the smartboard was involved but found that it is far more effective and engaging when using the smartboard software.
The children have seen improvements in the way that they are willing to take turns in speaking within the class setting, with recalling their own information and the information of others.The class teacher has been really pleased with the impact that the use of ICT has made to this activity both in terms of developing speaking and listening, ICT skills and also the enthusiasm of the children towards the activity.