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Using Multiple Board Magnets

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Here is a question we received about our board magnets:

I do have a question about the different board magnets. There are 1) colours, 2) letters, 3) shapes, 4) shapes & colours and 5) shapes, colours and letters. Why are there different sets? Why not just, for example, use colours all the time? And do you envisage a teacher using more than one set at a time - say, colours and shapes?

By way of an answer to your question above here is my attempt. All teachers teach differently so it is important to give as many choices as possible. There is no doubt in my mind that the more teachers/people who use the CAPTUR paddles the more ideas will flow. Initially I had just thought about the one style of paddle, the one which has a shape, colour and letter on each face. Then it occurred to me that with young children a simpler paddle (colour and shape only) would be more appropriate. And with very young children just the colours. We have also thought about the possibility of just a two-colour paddle so that a 3 or 4 year old child will also be looking at the colour which they are showing the teacher.

Two of the reasons for having three choices on each face are:

  1. to give the user the opportunity of using more language;
  2. to set up a blackboard like the two images below.

Now let's address the two images below. In the first image, three columns of answers were prepared. If you really wanted to get fancy you could set up six columns. That is a left and right side for each. Anyway as it is there is an almost endless set of questions that can be asked for each column.

board with magnets

So first, direct your students to a column and then discuss the meaning of the answers. Then, start your questions.

Note: There are two very good positions for students to hold their answers. One is the answer is held against the student's temple i.e. it represents their thought. The other good position is against the side of the mouth, representing their spoken answer. Either way it does mean that you will be looking at the faces of all your students. I have noticed that since using CAPTUR I am making a lot more face to face connection with my students.

Letter column - example questions:

  • How often to you read a newspaper?
  • How often do you use disposable chopsticks?
  • How often do you ride on public transport?
  • How often do you eat shark fin soup?

Colour column - example questions:

  • How well can you swim?
  • How well can you drive?
  • How well can you cook?
  • How well can you play football?
  • How well can you make a chocolate cake?
  • How well can you use chopsticks?

Shape column - example questions:

  • How much do you like studying maths?
  • How much do you like playing baseball?
  • How much do you like doing kendo?
  • How much do you like sleeping?
  • How much do you like talking with your father?

So for the second image - please excuse my poor drawing - imagine that this is drawn on a blackboard. The CAPTUR teachers kit magnets can of course be moved. This means that the pointer lines with nothing can have a CAPTUR magnet moved to it.

Drawing of man with magnetsSo the kind of questions I envisage are:

  • Which colour is pointing to his wrist?
  • Which colour is pointing to his pinky?
  • Which letter is pointing to his shin?
  • Which letter is pointing to his thumb?
  • Which shape is pointing to his elbow?
  • Which shape is pointing to his toes?

It's up to you whether or not you ask a question for all the colours, shapes and letters, but please bear in mind that if you ask three of the colours for example then the fourth colour will be obvious. Personally I usually don't ask questions which could be considered facile. However there is a good argument for asking the fourth question since you are checking on how well students are paying attention.

So if you had only shapes and colours or just colours you are limited on how much preparation you can do. But with younger children this would probably be a good thing.

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  • Bill Pellowe said More...
    Ironically, the initial conversations... 6 years ago



May 21, 2016 at PanSIG Conference in Okinawa We're giving a demonstration of Captur paddles at the PanSIG conference in Okinawa. The conference dates are May 20-23, 2016; complete details are available on the PanSIG conference website.…