Archive for the ‘Collaborative Classroom’ Category

Comment on: I Don’t have Time to Teach my Students how to Use the Program

March 8, 2017

This is my personal observation and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of those with whom I work.   I do invite debate and would love to hear from you about how much we need to demonstrate to our students.  For me the teaching includes safety, ethics and consideration for others.

From time to time I talk to teachers who say that they like the games in SMART Lab and in the Table Activity Toolkit but they just do not have time to show the students how to play them.  Let’s consider this.  When was the last time an adult sat down with their child to show them how to use an electronic game?  Often it is the other way round!  The child shows the adult.  I remember when an enthusiastic, 7 year old Minecraft player tried to teach me the ropes.  It caused him to be more articulate and to slow down!  I could almost see the wheels turning as he tried to figure out how to explain it all so that it made sense for someone else.  As for me, I was blown away by his understanding of the intent, rules and strategies and he had learned either by himself or by soliciting advice from his brother or friends.

Chances are that when you put the students in front of any of the games, they will figure them out, or they will ask a friend and that friend just may learn how to teach others effectively.  Additionally, if they do not play in the way it was intended, does that mean that they are not learning?  Sometimes they use the game in a way that teaches them something they need to know.  The fun and learning just may be in the challenge of figuring it all out.

What are your thoughts?  Comment below or email me at pd@advanced-education.com

 

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom Signature

Screen Capturing Drop-Down Menus in Notebook

October 5, 2016

Sometimes I want to share my Notebook instructions with other teachers and with you!  This means that sometimes I have to screen capture drop-down menus on my PC.  Here is how to accomplish this.

  • Click on the drop-down menu of the item.
  • Hold the alt key and press the prt sc button. This captures the whole screen.
  • CTRL V to paste this image onto a Notebook page.
  • Use the camera screen capture tool or the Windows’ Snipping tool to capture the part of the image you want.

 

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom Signature

Gallery Collections

June 17, 2015

I just checked out the Gallery collections on the SMART Exchange.  SMART has been busy!  There are some really cool collections, like the research, math, organization and evaluation galleries.  When you go to the Exchange, type in gallery and then you can view them.  If you download them, you do not see much happening but they install in My Content in the Gallery.

Primary teachers may like to download the Sound Galleries, high school science teachers may like the DNA gallery, everyone will like the research gallery but there are so many more… in fact today when I looked there were 118 collections.

What’s your favorite?

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom Signature

Discovering Shapes

March 18, 2015

We were discovering shapes in the grade one class the other day and we found a fun and easy way to do it on the interactive whiteboard. When using Notebook software, we put a graphic on our interactive whiteboard and then we traced the shapes that the students saw. We removed the graphic and they all saw that the shapes that remained. It was neat to see the pattern they made. Details of the activity are found here…

shapes

 

Put a picture from the neighbourhood into SMART Notebook Software. I used the camera capture toolbar from SMART Notebook to grab a picture from the street view in google maps.

  1. Lock the picture down so the students can’t move it while they trace the shapes. (See the lock feature in the drop down menu of the image.)
  2. Have the students trace the shapes that they find. We use yellow because it shows against dark backgrounds.
  3. Unlock and delete the image.
  4. The students will see the shapes remaining.

If you are working on fine motor skills, the students could trace more complicated shapes as well. For instance, trace an animal and then remove the animal picture to reveal only the drawing.

 

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom

Hitachi Interactive Projector

February 18, 2015

We just got a Hitachi interactive projector for one of our classes.  This projector can be used with a white board or a wall and suddenly they become interactive surfaces!

One of our teachers said that she loved it because there was instant orientation.  On some interactive white boards we have to press in target zones to orient the boards but with the Hitachi, press one button and it orients itself!  How much easier could it be?

 

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom Signature

Activity Card of the Month – February 2015

February 4, 2015

Card #9 Heads or Tails

There are many ways to have students experiment with probability. I might post other ideas later but right now, here is one method. Get the card of the month which will explain how to use the coin flipper and use it with a tally chart.

The kids get really excited about predicting if it will be heads or tails and when they are right, you can hear the collective, “YES!”.

Click here to download Activity Card #9 – Create a Probability Lesson

 

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom

Activity Card of the Month – August 2014

August 6, 2014

Card #3 Graphic Organizers on the Fly!

I like to have a few things in my head that I can do on the fly and one of them is the instant graphic organizer. I brainstorm with the students and we write as many words as we can and then we organize them. The SMART Notebook card of the month will help you make your first one. After a bit of practice, you can make these in a couple of minutes and you can save and open them another day for review. Here’s to fast lessons!

Click here to download Activity Card #3 – Create a Graphic Organizer

 

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom

 

Capturing Spring

May 21, 2014

I have ten Samsung Tablets in my classroom and this is a great time of year to use the camera! The students were out this afternoon, taking pictures of spring changes, from large puddles to budding trees. We are going to share our pictures and put them into SMART Notebook where we will create an interactive story with links to the web and the students’ voices telling the story. I am so glad that SMART added a voice recorder to Notebook. Check the drop down menu of any object on the page and you will see the ‘sound’ choice.

galaxy_spring

 

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom

Finding Locations on a Grid

September 25, 2013

I have been trying to think of educational things to make with the table tool.   One thing I know that some students needed some practice with was finding locations on a grid.  We can play submarine but I wanted to find something a Little different.

Finding an idea on the Scholastic website, it was adapted into Notebook  and a random reward was included.  Check out my Notebook file with the Grid Location game for students in grades 2, 3 and perhaps 4.  Instructions are provided in the lesson notes on page one.   (Email me at mrsblossom@blossomlearning.com)

grid

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom

Group Problem Solving

September 18, 2013

You have likely seen this little puzzle on Facebook.   You are asked to count the number of squares.  I have seen answers from 18 to 32.   I think I know the answer, but I’m not sure!

square-puzzle

I handed a copy out to pairs of students in the class and they used different colours to identify squares.  After some time, they used the Samsung tablets to take pictures and send them to the SMART Board using Extreme Collaboration.  We had a lot of fun finding squares that were missed and being surprised by squares few had found.  It was GREAT problem solving.  Score one for the new Samsung Tablets and Extreme Collaboration!  I have provided a pdf of the template for this activity here.

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom