This week, I had the pleasure of visiting our Year 6 Enhanced English class as well as their teacher, Mr B.
We had planned a special session to introduce them to the Microsoft Surface, Windows 8 and, in particular, Wordament.
Wordament is a fabulous word game that can be downloaded for free from the Windows 8 App Store. However, we must warn you – it is very addictive! 🙂
It was the last lesson of the day and we had reached an incredible 37 degrees Celsius! As you can imagine, the students were exhausted as they arrived for their English session. Initially, Mr B and I were concerned as to “how much we would get out of them”, given the less than ideal conditions. However, we needn’t have worried!
During the first part of the session, we introduced the Wordament app via the SMART Notebook software. A screenshot of a Wordament grid gave the students the opportunity to get a feel for the app prior to playing the real thing. By using the “Magic Pen” in the SMART Notebook Software, students were able to show how they could make words. The markings of the Magic Pen would then fade, in time for the next student to make a word.
When introducing the Microsoft Surface to the students they were immediately excited by what they saw. In particular, many of them had seen the television advertisement and were keen to see the “cool keyboard” and “what Windows 8 was really like”. There is no doubt that students take to touch screen devices “like ducks to water”.
The students then had the opportunity to play the game in pairs while the remaining members of the class worked on another pre-set task. It was fabulous to watch on as the students encouraged each other and discussed words they could make. “What about Latte?” “Would Latte be allowed?” Wordament’s “traffic light colours” instant feedback was very valuable for the students. Green when they located a word successfully, yellow if they had already located the word and red for letters selected that did not actually form a word. At the end of the game, students saw a follow-up screen that showed the number of words they had located as well as other “common” and “obscure” words that were not found. I can see that by taking screenshots of the app, a great deal of follow-up work could also be done. “What does tritium mean?” “What does nutria mean?” were the types of responses that could be heard after each game.
After this session, we are certainly looking forward to exploring more opportunities that the Microsoft Surface and Windows 8 can bring to teaching and learning!