Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This Teacher Loves SMART Boards, Too

Another week, another challenge. The learning continues despite time constraints. Six preps a day, meetings, family, and homework compete for my time. No doubt, you experience similar competition for your time and energy. Teachers must learn to be great time managers in order to survive.
Last week's challenge from Teachers Love SMART Boards was to use a Touch and Scroll technique created using animations within Notebook 10. The idea is to create a rolling set of questions and/or answers that are accessed by touching a rectangle and having it roll down to the next box. My third graders are reviewing the rules for placing a comma in numbers with 6 and 7 digits. Capitalizing on the Halloween theme, I used a pumpkin template from the gallery and included a howling pumpkin at the bottom of the page at the conclusion of the activity. Since I created the page, I knew where to click to make the box scroll, so I had no problems making the animation work. In retrospect, I should have made the rectangles wider so that the numbers hidden from view wouldn't interfere. Officially, this challenge wasn't completed as required. However, I'm declaring it a success because my students had no problem with the animation. They just wished I'd created more than one page of the scroll and touch so everyone had a turn. That's an easy fix. Once again, a highly engaging activity was created that left learners asking for more. SMART Board wins again!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Touch and Reveal Challenge

Week after the week the challenges keep coming from Teachers Love SMART Boards. Last week's challenge was to create a SMART Notebook page/file that used the touch and reveal technique. When a shape or object is touched, it disappears, revealing the information underneath. I chose to create a world map activity that was used for identifying the 7 continents. As an extension, when the continent is clicked, a link takes the students to another page that includes pictures, links to learning activities, and a map game. The file proved so popular at the SMART Board with my students that I sent it to their workstations in the classroom so they could enjoy it in their free time.
My Notebook activity, Explore the Continents: A World Class Adventure, tied for first place in the weekly Best Classroom Application category. To download the file for your classroom, click here. To learn how to create this type of file, visit Teachers Love SMARTBoards.

Monday, October 13, 2008

SMART Board Flashing Text Challenge

Wow! Teachers Love SMART Boards, Jim Hollis, has done it again! Where does he get these great ideas? By capitalizing on the new features of SMART Notebook 10, Jim keeps designing challenges that features the amazing capabilities of Notebook software. Last week's challenge was to create a lesson activity that gave immediate feedback to the student by flashing text if the answer was correct. Watch the challenge and solution here.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

IWB Challenge #5 - Sort and Classify

Coming up with a theme for this week’s IWB challenge to incorporate sorting and classifying using containers in a lesson was not the problem. The problem was choosing which one to do since there are so many subjects and topics applicable to that skill. I finally settled on creating a noun and verb sort because that is a current topic in grammar. Using the Vortex Sort activity in the SMART Lesson Activity Toolkit enabled me to design the activity quickly. To the right is a table with some additional ideas for your own sort and classify activity.

The students always enjoy having their lessons on the SMART Board because it’s engaging, entertaining, and memorable. They thought the Vortex Sort/Noun and Verb activity was fun and wanted to do it again. Of course we did it again. One smart student remarked during the lesson, “Oh, I remember doing this in second grade. We did odd and even (numbers).” I rest my case.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

SMART Notebook Tables Activity Challenge

Keeping up with both iwb challenges and the third grade curriculum keeps me hopping! I do heart a challenge, though. Last week's challenge from Teachers Love SMART Boards involved using the table function from Notebook Software. Okay, I'll admit it, I had to get a hint from Jim, but I'd like to think it was because it was Monday all day long. (It really was Monday.)
I created a 2 x 4 table from the insert menu in Notebook to use with a plural nouns lesson. In the first column are the singular nouns. Around the edges are the plural nouns grouped with matching clip art. They are ready to be dragged and dropped into the second column once the student correctly spells the plural form of the noun. Witches is shown as an example. Since this challenge entry, I've expanded this activity to include other nouns and the third rule about changing the y to i before adding es. The students enjoyed spelling the correct plural so much, they begged to do it again the next day. There's just no pleasing students these days!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

IWB Challenge 4

Voice Thread Challenge 4

Awesome, terrifying, amazing, challenging, and frustrating: All are words that could describe the completion of this challenge. Having participated in several Voice Threads through my DEN network, I was familiar with the process. Setting up the VT was easy, once I figured out that my SMART recorder .wmv files were not going to load. So it was back to square one using SnagIt screen capture software. I also added an identity for my students which was easier than I thought. All the background work was completed at home due to T1 line construction at school the past 2 days. Today the internet was back and the students were able to record their responses during the math lesson. Not all students were willing to participate. They're very talkative during class but didn't allow themselves to take a risk and record. Go figure. Above is the link to my voice thread. Enjoy :)
After all the hurdles, this challenge is one I will use again with my students. Learning goes so much deeper when students think out loud.