Archive for August, 2012

Faulty Pen Tray? Not Quite.

August 29, 2012

There was a few days where one of the pens in the pen tray would not work. The little indicator light would not illuminate and we could not work with our green pen. We figured our green pen was broken and we weren’t sure about how to rectify the issue.

After speaking with a wise SMART Board consultant who supports our school, she informed us to examine the sensor that’s underneath the pen to see if anything might be obstructing it. It turned out that some seeds from our science work had fallen into the sensor, causing the sensor to think it was full and the pen was still over top. At that point we were instructed to clean the pen tray in one of these recommended ways: using a soft cotton swab to lift out the seeds; to use compressed air to blow out the seeds; or to suction the seeds out with a vacuum if necessary. Luckily for us we were able to remove the seeds and the green pen became operable again. We are much more conscious now of removing any debris that might collect in our pen tray and using a soft cloth to wipe out the tray before a real issue occurs.

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom

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Back to basics – Cleaning the Board

August 22, 2012

We recently had an open house at our school where parents and students (and their younger siblings) were invited into our library for a presentation on our new SMART Board. Following the presentation, people were freely mingling throughout the library. During this time a younger sibling had gotten hold of a permanent marker and wrote upon the SMART Board. Much to our dismay, we could not remove the permanent marker from our SMART Board despite us using some of the safe products you can use to clean the surface of the Board with (those include: whiteboard cleaner, soap and water, Windex, a vinegar and water solution). We contemplated using a product that contained alcohol but we knew that wasn’t a good idea. We also knew that acetone was not allowed on the surface of the Board. After contacting a wise consultant who works for our school board, we learned the following trick to remove permanent ink from our SMART Board: you need to use a dry erase marker and go directly over top the permanent marker to remove it. Apparently there’s a chemical in the dry erase marker that lifts the permanent ink away. Fortunately enough for us, this worked! This helpful trick saved our Smart Board and I wanted to share it with others in case they were in the same predicament. Good luck.

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom

Back to basics – Orienting your SMART Board

August 15, 2012

I recently learned how to correctly orient my SMART Board and it has made a huge difference with the precision of my touch on the Board. I always thought that all you had to do was use your finger to press anywhere in the target until all the targets were complete.At times the target might have skipped on me and I assumed that was fine. However, when I went to use the SMART Board I would experience times when I would touch objects and they wouldn’t respond or I would write on the board and the ink would appear a fair distance away from the end of my pen. I am now orienting the SMART Board by picking up a pen from the pen tray (as the stylus tip is a lot finer than your finger), placing the pen firmly on the Board and dragging into the target and releasing my touch once I arrive in the very middle of the target and not in the red X.   I learned that the orienting of the Board is not about the pressing of the target but about the release of the target and making sure you are releasing in the very middle. This dragging into the target is a lot easier for me than trying to come at the target from a distance and trying to touch the very middle. Using the stylus has also allowed me to reach the top targets a little better (as they were a bit high for me) and to avoid the shadowing of my projector (as it seemed there was always a black shadow over the target I was pressing).  We can now work with precision (and no frustration) on our SMART Board.

Click here for a pdf on how to Orient your board

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom

Powerpoint vs Notebook software

August 8, 2012

I have officially transitioned from Microsoft PowerPoint to SMART Notebook software to meet my lesson creation needs.  I have come to realize that PowerPoint is strictly a visual tool where students need to process information from a distance.  Notebook software on the other hand is a kinesthetic tool.  Dr. Maria Montessori believed that the hand was the tool to the mind.  Notebook software allows the student to be kinesthetic on the SMART Board as they use their hands to interact with the digital manipulatives on the Board.  Being able to manipulate content utilizes higher order thinking skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, and analysis.  Students are able to construct knowledge in the moment with Notebook software, versus just visually processing ready made content and then recalling it at another time.

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom

Many learners… many learning styles

August 1, 2012

SMART Notebook lessons have the ability to reach many learners and many learning styles.  In order for the lessons to meet the needs of a variety of learners, we need to keep in mind this particular acronym V.A.K..  The “V” represents the visual.  The “A” represents the auditory.  The “K” represents the kinesthetic.  On the SMART Board we can be very visual, auditory, and kinesthetic  by drawing from the resources available in the Gallery (over 5000 pictures and close to 400 interactive and multimedia resources), creative commons sites, interactive websites, video clips and podcasts.  The kinesthetic aspect can also be incorporated by building moveable objects into your Notebook file for your students to physically manipulate on the SMART Board. I am always cognitively aware of this acronym when I look for Notebook files online as well as when I create my own Notebook files.

 

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom