Archive for February, 2012

Tips on brainstorming using the SMART Board

February 29, 2012


When I use the pens to record the student’s brainstorming on the SMART Board, I have discovered that if I group it all before recognizing the handwriting, it results in nicely spaced text that is of the same font and text size.   The odd thing is that if I rearrange the handwritten items, group and recognize them, they appear in their original order.  Does that happen to you?  Another thing to know is that you can no longer move the ideas separately.

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom


Collaboration on Several Levels

February 22, 2012

Collaboration is a wonderful thing and I always marvel at the quantity and quality of sharing present during my SMART integration workshops.   When one educator demonstrates how he or she is using features of SMART Notebook software to engage students, someone else chimes in with a strategy for extending the activity.

During a recent workshop, one participant showed how she was using the infinite cloner, shapes and grouping features of SMART Notebook software to help students develop their vocabulary.   All the letters of the alphabet were placed on a page as infinite clones, with the vowels and consonants in different colours.   One student chooses a word from a list; the other students drag the letters into a box on the screen to correctly spell that word.  The teacher has created a simple hands on activity where students were able to collaborate!

The attendees at the workshop spontaneously decided to extend this activity.  They added a Google link to the page so students could easily find the meaning(s) of the word, and collect one or more images to represent the word.

What started as a simple vocabulary activity quickly grew to encompass higher order thinking skills.  I can envision students trying to agree on the correct meaning and deciding which images best represent the word.

It took about 15 minutes of brainstorming and discussion to develop a SMART Board activity that is open ended, adaptable to any grade level, encourages collaboration, and has a kinesthetic component.   I always marvel at the willingness of teachers to share ideas and encourage and support each other for the benefit of students.

Happy Learning.

Mrs Blossom

Expand your resources using Google Reader

February 15, 2012

I am really excited about the discovery of Google’s Reader.  Google Reader helps you find and keep track of interesting stuff on the web. You can subscribe to your favorite websites, and keep up with what’s popular. New content comes to your Google Reader when it’s posted, so you don’t need to visit individual sites.

First I had to sign into Google with my Gmail account and then I clicked on the More tab in the Google toolbar.  In the left column, I clicked on Browse for Stuff and then clicked on the Search tab.  Typing Smart Board into the search area, resulted in hundreds of articles that often included files I could use.  If it looked like something I wanted to follow, I clicked on subscribe at the end of the intro.  Then it was added to the left hand column and I could watch for further articles.

Check it out!
Mrs Blossom