Do you have a smartboard? Do you know what it can really do?
I was SO excited when PTO purchased a smart board for my classroom. I love trying new things, but getting started was a little overwhelming. Although I’m no techie, I couldn’t live without my technology (email, online shopping/banking, facebook, iphone, ipad — you get the idea!), and I use it as often as I can. Once I went through the training on how to use the smart board, I didn’t know what to do with it next. The school year had already begun, and I didn’t have time to create elaborate lessons, especially when I barely knew what I was doing! To be honest, I did not use my smart board to its fullest extent the first few years I had it (or even to it’s mid capacity extent). But you don’t have to let that happen to you! Here are some shortcuts to get you started. Once you get those creative juices flowing, be sure to post your favorite ways to use the smart board:
1. Starting at the Smart Exchange website is a MUST! There are hundreds of FREE teacher-made lessons on every subject. You can search for lessons by topic, subject, grade level, or most popular items. Once you download the lesson, you can customize it any way you want. I often take a page out of one lesson and combine it with another.
You can start even simpler by downloading fun and motivating games that you can use to review any subject area:
Smartlessonstop.com makes really cute, comprehensive, interactive lessons for $2 (geared toward primary grades). Even if you know how to create the elaborate lessons that they have available, I thought it was worth $2 to save me the time! I am especially excited to use the following lessons in my classroom:
- Ways of Learning History: This lesson is a great introduction for teaching history. It teaches what history is and different ways/resources you use to learn about history. This matches the 2nd and 3rd grade GLEs perfectly!
- Prehistoric prefixes
- Baking up comp0und words
I now have smartboard lessons for sale too! Check them out at teacherstuff.info
Or find my smartboard lessons and many other creative resources from different teachers at Teachers Notebook.
2. Start with something you will use everyday. If you put a lot of time and energy into creating a lesson that you only use once, you won’t be very excited to try it again. Attendance, morning calendar, and morning message are what I started with. First, I have a fun-themed attendance page. This month I used leprechauns and a pot of gold. The students have to drag their name into the pot of gold to show that they are here today. I change the attendance theme every month to keep things fun and novel. It’s very easy when they’re already made! Just delete the old attendance page and drag in the new one. I also have a weather calendar that the students fill out, a page where I write a message (with mistakes so the students can correct it using the magic pen), as well as morning math activities. I switch the activities whenever we’re ready for something new.
Here are some of my favorite attendance pages:
- Back to school attendance page
- Penguin attendance page
- Balloon attendance
- Circle Time Essentials
- Attendance files throughout the year