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  • A New School Year…Get Set for Science


    Well, here we are again at the start of a brand new school year. We hope you are well rested and ready for all the challenges and fun that a busy year will bring.

    We have been working really hard over the summer break creating lots of exciting and engaging activities to help get your students off to a flying start this year. We have been particularly focusing on updating our bank of science resources for all ages – so look out for some fantastic resources to support your elementary science curriculum. 

    Already on LearningGrids you’ll find topics covered like Animals, Plants, Materials, Forces, Magnetism, Circulation, States of Matter… and many more! Activities range from simple matching to open-ended speaking tasks and demonstrating scientific knowledge.

     

    From Clicker classics like sentence building, reading books, and word banks to alternative activity ideas such as picture prompt discussion resources, sorting activities, charts, and investigation writing frames – all designed to help get your students thinking and learning scientifically.

    Keep checking the website regularly because, as ever, we’ll be working hard to make sure we continue to bring you inspiring ideas and classroom resources, focusing on curriculum coverage as well as topical and seasonal themes this fall.


  • Here is how I might plan a lesson around the topic of animal groups for kindergartners through 2nd graders using Clicker.

    First, I would always search LearningGrids for ready-made resources. In Clicker Explorer choose ‘LearningGrids’ on the Files tab and enter ‘animal groups’ in the search box.

    Searching for resources on LearningGrids

    We've found 59 resources! You could narrow these down using the age-slider and/or by selecting specific activity types from the top right.

    To introduce the topic, the very first resource in the list is ideal – ‘Find Out About Animal Groups’.

    Find Out About Animal Groups resource

    This set is a great way to introduce the concept of animal groups to the class. I might start by asking if anyone knows which group an animal belongs to and then click on the information buttons to get more detail. Depending on the grade of the class, you can always edit the activity to simplify the description.

    Next we have two Clicker Connect activities. As part of my differentiation I might choose which one to assign on a group basis.

    The first one is called ‘Animal Sorting’. The student selects a cell from the first grid and then clicks on each tab in turn to add in animals that belong in that group:

    Animal Sorting resource

    For more confident individuals I would use the ‘Animal Groups’ Connect Set where the students can write full sentences about different species.

    Animal Groups Connect Set

    As a plenary I might finish with a Clicker Board to visually sort some animals. I created this by using the paint tool to draw crossed lines on the background and then added cells for the groups and the individual animals.

    Clicker Board - animal sorting activity

    Tip: To align the cells on the board, CTRL and left-click on each box to select multiple cells and then CTRL and right-click to access the alignment options:

    Aligning cells in Clicker Board

    Please get in touch if you would like more information on how you can use Clicker 7 in your lessons.

  • Back to School with Clicker 7!


    Welcome back everyone! The “Back to School” season is a season of “new” for teachers: new classroom arrangement, new students, and new teaching materials. The classroom teachers that I work with spend hours preparing their rooms and materials for the first days of school. Luckily, I have been able to reach out to these teachers with some time saving tips for starting the year with Clicker 7.

    A very popular and engaging writing activity for the beginning of school is to write about summer vacation. Did your students “catch” the craze of the summer’s hottest game? Did they travel around town or travel far away to add to their collection? This activity not only gets the students writing, but it also allows them to share about themselves and to learn about their classmates. Clicker 7 can support the students in your classroom with this assignment. 

    Word Prediction

    The predictor can be turned on to help students finish words that they might be struggling to type. It will also predict words based on the way a word sounds! Students can right click to have that word read to them and are able to select the correct word! This helps your students work independently and does not require any programming by the teacher.

     

    Clicker Sets

    Some students may need more support when writing. This may be in the form of sentence starters or vocabulary suggestions. Creating and editing Clicker Sets could not be faster, but the start of the year is hectic enough, so I suggest LearningGrids to my customers. This is a great website that is accessed directly through Clicker 7 and contains premade, free, and differentiated resources. All the teacher has to do is download the resource and then the students can use it to enhance their writing.  Just type a word into the search bar, for example the word “beach”, “park”, or “playground”. These are great resources to use when describing a location and what you did at that location. 

     

    There are Word Banks on LearningGrids that provide alternatives for overused adjectives and verbs, as well. This is a great way to encourage students to use more interesting vocabulary and, maybe, expand their commonly used phrases.

    If searching for a particular kind of resource, a little box next to the type of resource can be checked and unchecked so that only that kind of activity appears. This is another way to find a resource at lightning speed.

     

    Hopefully, these tips will help you “level up” to a fabulous year.

  • Using Clicker 7 at Home


    As part of the Clicker 7 Unlimited OneSchool  License, teachers and students can install Clicker 7 on their home computers.

    I work for a school. How do we give Clicker 7 to teachers and students?

    If the school has purchased a Clicker 7 Unlimited OneSchool  License, you can request special serial numbers that will enable teachers and students to use the software at home. These are provided in the form of PDF letters for you to print and give out.

    • Visit http://activate.cricksoft.com.
    • Enter your serial number and register if required.
    • On the Clicker 7 License Management page, click Claim licenses for home use.
    • Follow the on-screen instructions.

    The website will generate a single PDF file containing your chosen number of letters.

    Each letter contains a unique Clicker 7 Single Computer serial number, along with information about Clicker 7 and where to download the installer.

    Print the PDF file once only and hand out each unique letter to a different teacher or student.

    I’m a parent. How can my child get Clicker 7 at home?

    Please contact your child’s school to check whether they’ve purchased a Clicker 7 Unlimited OneSchool  License.

    If they have, they can provide you with a letter containing your own Clicker 7 Single Computer serial number and a download link.

    If they haven’t, you can purchase a discounted Clicker 7 @home license by visiting the home user section of our website.

  • Talking About the Weather with Clicker 7


    There are lots of ways in which children can explore their ideas and existing knowledge around a topic using Clicker 7. Working with a talking partner, for example, might be a good introduction to learning about the weather. 

    Strand: To identify different types of weather

    Objective: The children will learn about the different types of weather and make associations between the weather and seasons

    Key questions:

    • What types of weather can you name?
    • What is the weather like today?
    • Is the weather always the same?
    • When does it change?
    • Is there certain weather at certain times of the year?
    • Why isn’t it hot in December?
    • What changes when it is sunny, rainy, windy, cloudy?
    • How does this weather change what you wear?
    • What is your favorite type of weather? Can you draw it?

    As a starting point, I used one of my favorite resources on LearningGrids, called ‘Interview Me’.

    You’ll find over 800 ready-made resources here. These can all be used as they are, or can be very easily edited to suit your particular topic or needs. Don’t forget these are regularly added to by our own curriculum team, so it’s worth having a look to see what’s there to tie in with what you’re doing throughout the quarter!

    I searched for ‘Interview Me’ and then opened it by clicking on ‘Run Now’.  

    Interview Me activity

    This could be used by so many different grades in so many different subjects. But I decided to adapt it then save my version of it.

    Customising the activity

    I clicked on ‘Edit Clicker Set’ (bottom left) and then selected the Sound and Video tab at the top. Clicking on one of the question marks allows me to type in alternative text that I’d like Clicker to say out loud.

    Edit mode - Interview Me

    I changed the first question from ‘What is your name?’ to ‘What is the weather like today?’. I then replaced all the other questions in this template with my own in the same way. The activity is now ready!

    Children click on the question marks to hear each question, then click on the microphone icons to record their responses. They could work individually or in pairs. They have plenty of time (up to a minute for each recording) and can listen back and re-record at any point if they wish. Their recordings will be saved when the activity is saved.

    My final question was ‘What is your favorite type of weather? Can you draw it?

    Clicking on the paint brush icon will open Clicker Paint and enable students to illustrate their ideas without the inconvenience of having to go into another piece of paint software – they simply stay in Clicker!

    adding pictures to the weather activity

    Demonstrating understanding with recordings and pictures

    In the next stage (or in another lesson), we can listen again to all the recordings and review the picture, before having a class brainstorm using Clicker Board, the new planning and graphic organizer area in Clicker 7. Just double-click anywhere on the Clicker Board area to create a text box. Then, just click in the box to start writing.

    Creating a mind map with Clicker Board

    Many teachers have told me they love the way in which the whole class remains engaged as they see everyone’s contributions and suggestions instantly appearing on the whiteboard.

    Weather mind map example

    It’s a great way to use Clicker as a whole class teaching tool!

  • Clicker 7 is a fantastic way of giving children the opportunity to try out different ways of structuring sentences and to be experimental with language use. Why not try making a Connect Set with a very basic sentence at the top of the grid and a bank of interesting vocabulary below?  This will give the children a chance to improve sentences with adjectives or interesting verbs that have been provided for them.

    Using Connect Sets to encourage more adventurous vocabulary use

    As an extension from this, why not use some of our ready-made Sentence Sets on Learning Grids and ask the children to improve them by putting the sentence together and then free typing to add additional content.  They could work in pairs to allow them to discuss the vocabulary they could include.

    Combining sentence building activities and free typing

    To look at the variety of ways sentences can be constructed (including the use of dependent and adverbial clauses) I have created a simple Connect Set.  

    Clicker Connect Set example

    If you need any advice on how Clicker can be used to develop specific literacy skills, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us!