Archive for the ‘Collaborative Classroom’ Category

Adding a PDF file to SMART Notebook 17

June 20, 2018

If you have a SMART Board in your classroom, you may already know that you can write on PDF files.  But, what if you want to highlight, spotlight, magnify, or use a screen shade?   Maybe you would like to add blank pages or games to the file.  Many of us are accommodating this by using the PDF files within Notebook.  It is easy!  Just follow these steps.

  1. Open the PDF file in Acrobat Reader or similar PDF program.
  2. Click on File in the top menu.
  3. Click on Print.
  4. Scroll until you see ‘SMART Notebook Document Writer’.
  5. Decide which pages you want printed.
  6. Click Print.
  7. You are presented with 3 options
  8. Choose a. We will discuss options b and c in a future blog.
  9. The file will open in Notebook. Each PDF page will appear in a new page in Notebook.

This is a flat file.  You will not be able to edit it although you can drag to make it larger or smaller.  One thing I have found is that it is best to move the resulting text/graphics up and then lock them down to make sure they remain in place.

The GREAT news is that you can print any page into Notebook… from internet web pages, to Outlook calendars.  Try it out and engage your students with additional tools.


Happy Learning!


Importing PowerPoint Files into SMART Notebook Software 17

June 6, 2018

Many teachers have created PowerPoint presentations to deliver the content of their lessons.  In the last blog, I mentioned the SMART Ink toolbar that is found in PowerPoint’s slideshow mode.  It adds more functionality but we can allow even more interactivity if we import the PowerPoint file into Notebook.  Here are the steps:

  1. Open Notebook.
  2. Click on File in the top menu.
  3. Click on Import.
  4. Navigate to the PowerPoint you want to use.
  5. Click Open.

Soon a new Notebook file will open.  If there were 5 pages in your PowerPoint, there will be 5 Notebook pages.  The backgrounds and all the text will there and you will be able to rearrange them as you wish.  Now you can add Youtube videos, graphics, links, and sound and you will be able to use the spotlight, screen shade, and magnifier.   You will also be able to add a game, access Shout it Out for instant student feedback, and deliver a quiz to gauge student understanding of your topic.  The good news is that you can do all this from one program… SMART Notebook (17).

In the next blog, find out how to add a PDF file to Notebook.


Happy Learning!

Using PowerPoint on the SMART Board

May 23, 2018

When I was in the local high school the other day, I noticed that a couple of teachers were using PowerPoint on their SMART interactive flat panels.  They were happy to tell me some good news.  They discovered that when they are in slideshow mode, there is a small toolbar that allows them to enhance their presentations. This permits them to ink their presentations, highlight important words, and add pages.  Adding pages to a PowerPoint presentation allows them to conduct a brainstorming session, make notes about a discussion or create quick illustrations or diagrams.  The art teacher was using a blank page to show perspective and the geography teacher’s students were brainstorming the influences of natural phenomena on their daily lives.

Find out more about the PowerPoint toolbar here.

For even more interactivity, see the next blog about importing PowerPoint presentations into SMART Notebook software.


Happy Learning!

So… You are really sick and you can’t get into work!

January 31, 2018

You probably know what it is like when you are too sick to go to your classroom but you have to get a lesson plan into your supply teacher.  A fabulous new feature of the SMART Board (SB) with integrated IQ makes it possible for you to send your work from home directly to the SB.  When the supply teacher walks in, the students can make sure the board is on and the files will all be there ready to use.  This also works for you so that you can prepare ahead of time.  See the instructions here.

SMART Notebook Files and SMART Activities are all fully interactive in the Notebook player which is found in the IQ mode.  Here is a link to a ‘how to’ so that you can start using the feature right away.  In the next blog I will explain how to send and use non-SMART files.


Happy Learning!

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I Be Jammin’

September 27, 2017

Yesterday, as part of my professional development, I had the opportunity to play with a Jamboard.  What is that, you ask?  It is a classy looking whiteboard with a difference… or two.  Made by Google (and globally distributed by BenQ), it integrates with G-Suite (Google Suite).


Here are a couple of You Tube videos that illustrate the features… a picture is worth a thousand words after all!


You can see that the videos show the Jamboard in a business environment but when I think of coaching, math, science and more, there are many reasons I would like one of these in my classroom.  The words that come to mind are EASY, COLLABORATIVE and ENGAGING.  Why wouldn’t I want one?  Check it out!


Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom Signature

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


Happy Learning!

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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!

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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…



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!

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