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Bea’s tip this month is all about creating a very easy but effective classroom activity devised around hiding and matching text. 

The first step is to simply think of an easy matching exercise that you can do on any interactive whiteboard software. 
For example, you have two groups of words, one group beginning with the letter ‘A’ and another group beginning with other letters. All the words are then jumbled up and the students are required to sort them. If the word begins with the letter ‘A’ then it must be placed on the picture of the basket. If the word does not begin with ‘A’ they must be placed on the picture of a bowl. 

Now to make this more random for the students, colour your words the same colour as a small shape and place all the text into the shape (as a result hiding the words within the small shape). Students can then drag one of the words out of the shape (not knowing what word it is) exposing whether the word begins with an ‘A’ or not and placing it either on the basket or the bowl. 

There are a number of variations to using this technique to make an activity ‘random’ or a ‘surprise’ when it’s a students turn to come up to the board. 

Sample activities 

Easiteach example 

How to create: 

• Take 4 words that all have the letters ‘ai’ (as an example) in the middle of them :train, rain, paint and pain. 
• Divide the word into two colours: make the ai letters white and the rest of the word blue. 
• Divide the screen into three vertical sections 
       o Colour the left hand section the same blue as the word and place the words onto that section. You will only see the white ‘ai’ letters. 
       o Make the middle section white, so when the words are dragged over the section only the blue letters stand out 
        o Then colour the final section a light brown
• In the final section place a picture of a paint brush, a train, rainy clouds and a hand showing a red thumb to illustrate pain. 
• The kids can now come up to the board pick from any four of the ai words on the left hand side of the board (not knowing which one is which) and drag them across to reveal the word and match it up to the picture. 

SMART Notebook

How to create 

• Start a new file. Put a picture of an apple and a fruit bowl on the page 
• Create a box around 3cm by 6cm and fill it in with green 
• Create individual words, half starting with the letter ‘A’ and the other with another letter of the alphabet 
• Make the individual words the same green as the filled in box and place all the words into the box, making them invisible. 
• Now the children can come up to the board, grab a word out of the box (not knowing what it is)and if it starts with an ‘A’ they place it on top of the apple and if its doesn’t they put it on top of the fruit salad.