Collaboration on Several Levels

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

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