Hello I have just found out that I will be receiving a Smartboard for my grade 4/5 classroom shortly. I am very excited about this news and am wondering if you can help me use my time most economically in learning how to use this new tool to its maximum use. Can you tell me the best ways I should go about learning how to incorporate the Smartboard into my teaching. I want to be able to get it up and running with as little stress as possible. I am the first one in my school and one of the few in my district to receive one. I am not afraid of technology and am excited about the possibilities.
The first question I have concerns behaviour management. As an example, I found a great mapping activity which involved moving provinces around on the board...I can see all 26 faces wanting to have a turn at the activity. How would this look in your classroom? Thanks! Rhonda
Hi Rhonda, Congrats on getting a SmartBoard. It will change your teaching if you use it as intended.
When I first got my SmartBoard I knew the kids had to play with it before I could use it for learning. On the first day I showed my students how to write their names, how to convert their names to text, how to drag their names to make it bigger, how to rotate their names and how to change the font and color. I "made" every kid come up to the board to write on it and manipulate what they wrote. Having them play with it first helped a lot. Students need to get used to the technology.
Fortunately my students don't usually fight over who gets to move items on the SmartBoard. They are good at taking turns. I tell them one person at a time, and those students in waiting need to be on the side so they aren't blocking the view for others. Occasionally I'll have a few students stand by the walls to wait their turn but usually they sit in their seats and as soon as one person is done at the board someone else will jump up. If this looks chaotic in your classroom you can use a system for who goes next. When I need to randomly call on kids I have a stack of index cards with a name on each card. I simply shuffle the cards. Except for the first day, I never force a kid to go to the board if they don't want to.
I use the SmartBoard for attendance. I teach in a high school and have 5 classes a day. I created a page with the student names on the left side. As students enter the room, they drag their name to the right side. There are labels at the top that read "Who's missing?" (on the left side) and "Who's here?" (on the right side). This helps me see at a glance if someone is gone but it also allows every student the opportunity to touch the board every day.
For resources to help you learn how to use your board, I recommend the following: Teachers Love SmartBoards (a blog with lots of videos for training) by Jim Hollis Teaching with Smartboard by 2 high school math teachers from Naperville. This is a podcast and the examples are usually math related but I always find tips or tricks on how to do get more out of the notebook software.
In addition, hands on training where you can actually play with a SmartBoard is good. Before I got mine I was able to go to a SmartBoard training session at our area educational resource center. I think most states have these. Talk to your librarian. He or she should know if your state has a regional educational center with training sessions. The session that I went to had mostly teachers who recently received or were soon getting a SmartBoard but there were 3 teachers there who had one for almost a year. I asked them if the training was boring for them and they emphatically said "no." They said that there were a lot of aspects to the SmartBoard software that they were unaware of.
Lastly the SmartTech website has 2 minute tutorials on using the software. There are also lesson plans and notebook files that you can download and see what others do with the software. You are allowed to download the current software and use it for 30 days. Once you get your SmartBoard you'll need the serial number to register your software. You'll then be able to have a valid copy of the notebook software on your home computer as well as your school computer. I often prepare my lessons at home and take the files to school.
If you have a smartboard, make sure to install the program called notebook 10. With this program you can have access to 100s of interactive lesson activities, and educational games. You can also customize each interactive lesson based upon your needs. I hope this was helpful.
I love my SMARTboard! I use it EVERYday ALLday! Alot of our curriculum is online so I can pull up copies of worksheets or texbook pages on the SMARTboard and manipulate them during the lesson. It is great for those visual learners. Students use is alot too! We use it alot during centers, and it really keeps them engaged in learning new skills. Our district also has a shared drive so when teachers develop new lessons on the SMART we can put them on the Shared drive and share them with in district teachers. This is really beneficial as well because it is a HUGE time saver. I love my SMARTboard.
I love my Smartboard! It is such an integral part of instruction-- I can't even list all of the ways we use it. Ha! We use our Smartboard to demonstrate using math manipulatives, to share video projects, to create graphic organizers, and to use our Senteos to take teacher and student generated quizzes. The children love using the Senteos, and they also like playing games together using the Smartboard. I also use it to show center rotations and to record lessons to share on our blog page. This year, I recorded lessons on several math algorithms, and children referred to them from home to teach their parents. The "record" feature has so many uses, and I can't wait to use it more this year! We all feel so fortunate to have Smartboards in every classroom in our school. I can't imagine going back to teaching without one!
If you want to learn more about how to use a SmartBoard or how to use your SB better, look for training. There are lots of videos online at youtube, SmartTech and also at Moodle Tutorials. See if there is a training session at your local educational service center. Every state should have these.
There are also 2 Math teachers from Napperville, IL that do a video podcast on how to use the SmartBoard. Although they have lots of math examples, their info is fabulous for teachers in all subject areas and levels. You can find them on iTunes. Their podcast is called "Teaching with SmartBoard." You can also find their podcast and the files at their school web site.
Training is truly the key to unlocking the potential of the SmartBoard. You also have to allow yourself time to play with it and get to know it. This does take time but like most things with teaching, the results are worth it if you invest the time up front.