Have you tried a visualiser to enhance your teaching?
The principle use of the visualiser is to show children what a good one (piece of work) looks like (WAGOLL), allowing the teacher to model the learning process …
Children produce better work when they can see why something is good, and how to go about achieving it. There is no use in sharing learning objectives if the children don’t understand how to go about completing the task.
What is it?
A visualiser is (typically) a downward-facing camera which can be hooked up to your classroom projector or display. Anything drawn or written can be displayed to the whole room, including live assessment in front of a class for a demonstration.
Sometimes, even taking a quick photo of work to use in an eportfolio is a quick way for using these powerful tools.
I have used visualiser in every part of a lesson – during input, for mini plenaries and in a full plenary after the work has taken place. As long as you stress feedback must be positive, children are always eager to show off their work, even if it has mistakes in it. Feedback can be directly from me, or I can invite feedback from the learners.
Visualisers for writing
I have previously found it difficult to teach extended writing to the whole class. Without the use of a visualiser, I find it difficult to refrain from interrupting individuals to give feedback as work is taking place. Instead, I now give better feedback by seeking out examples to display and deploying mini plenaries. Visualisers lead to more efficient teaching and fewer interventions as a whole!
Successful learners in numeracy
Let’s say our pupils are learning about fractions. Children need reminding of the strategy we are practising. They also need to be reminded of teacher expectations for written work throughout the entire lesson. Again, a three-minute mini plenary ‘here and there’ is a powerful tool to achieve this goal.
Share a story with your class?
Another way my visualiser has made my life easier is when I want to read with my class. Place the book under the visualiser and read to the whole class – it’s easy! Trying to find a class set of novels and photocopying extracts from a book are a thing of the past!
I usually don’t like technology in the classroom as it can be a distraction from learning. But, coupled with my whiteboard, my visualiser is a definite exception!
How have you used a visualiser to improve outcomes?