At Forehill Primary School, I am responsible for teaching children with literacy difficulties from P4 to P7 (ages 7-11). I also assess children for dyslexia, using an ecological assessment pack – the South Ayrshire Assessment Framework.
We’ve been using Clicker for a long time, and recently purchased an upgrade from Clicker 6 to a Clicker 7 Site License. The reason for choosing it initially was for the home use function. We didn’t like that we were teaching the children to type, write and compose using Clicker, for them to have to go home and do handwritten homework. It will be great to start using this to give the pupils more support, especially for children that have dyslexia or other learning difficulties.
The Clicker Board tool has been particularly great. We’ve only had Clicker 7 for about a month, and I can already see that the use of this feature will be long-term. I can teach the children to plan using the mind mapping tool, then use the spell checker, before making the Clicker Board into a Word Bank for their writing; they’re supporting themselves!
The children have been really enthusiastic about it; they really enjoy planning their work as a group on a mind map, before going off and doing their independent work. It helps them order their ideas. Before using Clicker 7 they would make plans on a piece of paper, and sometimes their handwriting would be illegible or they would lose track of their ideas as they couldn’t make sense of what they had written. However, being able to do this on the screen is so much better – they love colouring in the background and the cells to mark different categories of words.
Another feature I really like about Clicker 7 is being able to add Voice Notes onto the children’s work. Sometimes, children will come up and show me their work and I’ll tell them things they need to change, such as missing words or sentences that need more work. But by the time they’ve sat back down at their computer, they have forgotten most of the instructions – maybe because they have difficulty processing or just struggle to remember. So, what I do now is record Voice Notes throughout the text so they have aural feedback. It’s as if they have the teacher sat beside them and they can make the changes independently without forgetting what I’ve told them!
I asked one of my groups, P5, for some feedback on Clicker 7. They actually created a Clicker Board! This is what they said:
*names have been changed.
So, they’re obviously really enjoying it!
I also have a couple of children who have autism that are using it in their writing groups. One of the kids is in P6, and he’s been quite disengaged with writing. He wasn’t coming to sessions, or he would turn up and say, “I’m not coming in”. But since we’ve started using Clicker 7, he’s been really motivated in his class and he’s even been getting involved in discussions! It’s a big, big difference. In fact, the educational psychologist was really impressed that he was so engaged in his own learning. He tells everyone about Clicker 7; he even comes to the session early before the rest of his classmates to check that the computers are turned on so that they can get started – it’s fantastic.