Science Notebook Files for your Smartboard


Posted by Danny Nicholson | Posted in General Science, ICT | Posted on 21-01-2011

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Four years ago I produced a pack of Smart Notebook files for Steljes, the distributors of Smartboards over here in the UK. They formed part of a teachers pack that was distributed to schools around the UK.

The files were also available via the Steljes Software site. That site had a revamp a while back, and the files are no longer available online.


I have copied the files onto my Think Bank website so that Smartboard users can still access them. Each file has a corresponding teachers’ guide in pdf format.

The six lesson packs cover the following topics:

  • The Blast Furnace (KS4)
  • Cells (KS3)
  • Forces (KS3)
  • Metals (Ks3)
  • Muscles and Joints (KS4)
  • Reflection and Refraction (KS4)

To download the files, and the corresponding teachers guide, click here.

If you don’t have a SMARTboard  – you can open them via Smart Notebook Express

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Weather Forecasting Resource


Posted by Danny Nicholson | Posted in ICT | Posted on 11-09-2010

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Here’s a really clever little resource for geography/science that lets students produce their own weather forecast by dragging symbols onto a google map. They can even customise it with their own logo.

When they’re done, you can then run the presentation on an IWB and the screen will sweep around the map just like on the professional weather forecasts.

You can access the weather map here :

Sky Palette

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Lesson Starter Ideas for your Whiteboard


Posted by Danny Nicholson | Posted in General Science, ICT, Resources | Posted on 02-07-2010

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Here are a few ideas taken from some of the talks I have given this year for ideas on using your Interactive Whiteboard during lesson starters. They could also be used as plenary tasks. Some of the ideas you will have seen before in various places, but I’m bundling them up into one file.

Here are some of the activities that are in the file:

Organ Reveal : A student comes to the board and pulls out an organ. They then have one minute to talk about the organ and its role in the body without repetition or pauses…. I’ve also included the fishing rod and balloon activities from previous presentations.

Put it in the box : This activity makes use of the layer feature. One group will go into the box, the other group will not go into the box. Drag the insects into the box….

Keyword Bingo : Pupils use a selection of words to create a bingo grid on a piece of paper. Teacher can then reveal definitions at random. Cross it off the grid and see who can get three in a row and a full house.

Plenary Circle : Simple idea, but can be used at all key stages. Pull in pairs of words to make “I know that…. ” sentences. If you have a more able group, you could leave one word in for the next pupil to use in their sentence – this means you have to think more carefully about the range of words you put around the edge of the circle.

Word Builder : How many words can you make that relate to science. Give everyone time to make as many words as they can. Students can come to the board to show examples of the words they have made.

Use the links below to download a version of the file for your whiteboard:

Promethean ActivInspireVersion : Download here

Smart 10 Version : Download here

If you use the files, I’d love to hear how they went. If you do adapt them, please let me know what you did – I’d be interested in having a copy.

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Science Keyword Bingo Game


Posted by Danny Nicholson | Posted in General Science, ICT | Posted on 06-03-2010

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Heres a link to a great lesson starter/plenary idea from the ICT Games website. Science Bingo. It uses the Primary Science vocab words from the Kent Scheme of work, which will suit most Primary Science classes.

Download a pack of Bingo cards to photocopy for the children – then use the Word generator to select words to cross off the bingo grid.

It’s a simple, fun idea  to help with keyword recognition.

Thanks to Jason Dilling (@jasondilling) and James (@Wigglemyears) on Twitter for coming up with the resource!

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iBoard – Free interactive KS1 Resources


Posted by Danny Nicholson | Posted in General Science, ICT, Resources | Posted on 05-02-2010

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iBoard produce an excellent bank of interactive resources for Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 classes in several subjects, including literacy, numeracy and science.

In November last year iBoard was purchased by the TES and made available free of charge to all teachers, which is an excellent development.

If you are involved in teaching KS1, this is well worth a visit.

You can access the resources here:

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10 Primary Science Ideas for your IWB


Posted by Danny Nicholson | Posted in General Science, ICT, Resources | Posted on 03-02-2010

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Here are 10 websites that will prove useful to any teacher of Primary Science looking for things to use on their interactive whiteboard:

The Children’s University of Manchester. Several excellent interactive resources for Primary Science.

NGFL Cymru : Early years, KS1 and KS2 Science resources from the Welsh Grid for Learning.

Simple Science : I love these excellent science song videos. Great for lesson starters or reinforcement of key facts. KS1 and KS2 interactive science resources (and other subjects)

BBC Bitesize. Always worth a visit, some excellent resources here for Ks2.

BBC Learning Zone - lots of videos to use in Science and other lessons.

Birmingham Grid for Learning – some excellent resources here, and links to other sites.

Crickweb – great flash-based games for KS1 and Ks2 Science.

Fossweb - US site with some interesting interactive science activities.

Primary Resources – Home to some great resources – IWB files, powerpoints, links and more! Also worth checking out is Teaching Ideas, which is on very similar lines.

Don’t forget, if your school subscribes to Espresso, there are some excellent resources for EYFS, KS1 and KS2 in there. (OK, so that makes 11, but Espresso is well worth a look)

Image Credit : Kevin Dooley

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Showing sounds on the Smartboard


Posted by Danny Nicholson | Posted in ICT, Physics, Resources | Posted on 23-09-2009

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Here‘s a nice simple resource that could be used to teach Sound and Waves in Science. There are several sites that show oscilloscope traces when looking at sounds, and this is another one. It’s produced by Aartpack, and they call it a Digital Theramin – named after the staple musical instrument of 50s sci fi movies :)


What I like about this one is its simplicity. Plus it would work well on an interactive whiteboard to show how the shape of the sound “wave” changes as the pitch and volume changes.

Click the Menu button to show the optionss, and set it so that the Sine Waveform is set to a value, and the other 3 are turned off (no scale), like this:


Then if you click anywhere on the screen, a sine wave will be drawn and a note will be played (turn up your speakers!)

If you drag your finger/pen to the right the note will get higher and the waves will get closer together. Likewise drag your finger/pen to the left and the pitch will get lower.

If you drag up the screen the note will get louder, drag it down the screen and the note will get quieter. The amplitude of the sine wave will reduce.

This would be very nice to demonstrate sound waves at KS2 or Ks3.

The only drawback is that there is no way to set it up so it works without having to touch the board. I’d like to have seen a mode where you could place a button on the screen, and move that button up/down left/right to change the note. That way you could let go of the board to address the class and keep the note playing/displayed. I’m pleased to see it will resize to full-screen so you can make the resource fit the entire whiteboard.

There are more complicated settings that you can play with if you want to do some more advanced stuff, but the sine wave feature alone makes it a very handy bookmark to have for your Sound lesson! You can access the digital theramin/oscilloscope here.

There are other interactive resources on the Aartpack website too. It’s worth looking around the whole site to see what they have for other subjects too.

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Interactive Primary Games for Science, and other subjects


Posted by Danny Nicholson | Posted in General Science, ICT, Resources | Posted on 07-07-2009

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Here’s a new site that you might be interested in if you are looking for games to play on your interactive whiteboard: Primary Games Arena

While I’m a little uncomfortable about a site repacking other people’s material on their own site, you can’t doubt there’s a tonne of useful games to be found here.

Personally I think that linking to someone elses resource in this way is depriving the original sites of visitors and in some cases banner ad revenue, so I would always suggest you go and visit the originator of the games to show your appreciation.(and if they have banner ads, click one to help them!)

But with this said, the Primary Games Arena does make it convenient to find games for all subjects and it looks like a future addition will be Schemes of Work searches.

So take a look at Primary Games Arena, but remember to go visit the people who actually made the games too – like Crickweb, ICT Games and Manchester Childrens University.

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Science Smart Notebook Files


Posted by Danny Nicholson | Posted in ICT | Posted on 26-06-2009

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I’ve put a batch of my Smart Notebook files up on my Think Bank website for anyone who wants them to download.

Best thing to do is to right click and “save target as” since Smart sometimes gets confused.

Fishing Rod Keyword idea


Pulse Rate Fair test planner

Generic Post It Planner

Living or Non Living

Food Chains


Body Parts

Plenary for Space

Plenary for Electricity

Plants and Flowers

Weather Forecast

Frog Life Cycle

Properties of Materials anagram activity (includes countdown themetune)

There are also a few Literacy and Numeracy Smart Notebook files on the site as well as some simple Flash activities on the site as well.

If you want the Blockbusters game, you can download that here.

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Simple Science Videos


Posted by Danny Nicholson | Posted in General Science, ICT | Posted on 08-12-2008

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Here’s a great site for using songs to help the teaching of Science in the classroom. Simple Science has videos for many KS2 topics with songs, and also explanations of some of the concepts.

Videos are hosted on Vimeo, which means they are higher quality than YouTube, and also means they are accessible in schools that have blocked YouTube.

The videos are free on the website, but if you like them, you might want to buy a DVD of the high quality versions.

4F Electricity Song from Simple Science on Vimeo.

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