I just love it when technology works! My SMART Slate has become a natural part of my classroom. We use it every morning for attendance and calendar work, during writing time incorporating a Google Presentation and the Expanding Expressions tool, during math with Prezi presentations and SMART Board activities!I will continue my SMART Slate/SMART board repertoire and look forward to beginning the 2012-13 school year with my new tech tools!
Sharrie's going to send us off into the world of Smart Slate as of the end of today's last workshop! Sniff! Sniff! There's SO much in the Smart Notebook software, I feel as if I've only made a tiny scratch in the surface of it. The very cool thing is that I've been able to put what I know to immediate use in my classroom!! Yesterday I created a Smart Notebook activity to assist with delivery of a writing lesson to my 1st and 3rd graders. Using the Smart Slate, I was able to move around the room during the lesson. My first page stated the "I Can" statements (which we revisited at the end of the lesson to see if "we" could actually all do what we set out to do)! The 2nd-5th pages introduced the Expanding Expressions introductory lesson about a secret object. On the last page the students did a collaborative writing piece using what they learned. Talk about collaboration...my student teacher was involved as well! (I was pretty pumped that I just grabbed my slate, turned it on and it was READY to go!!) In the time allotted we accomplished SO much and all the while the students were engaged! Our speech pathologist even sat in on the lesson and now wants to tweak HER delivery! My goal for this summer is to set up the remaining Expanding Expression lessons for use with my Smart Slate for use in the 2012-13 school year! And I can't wait to do the next lesson next week!
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Giving the parents the opportunity to experience our morning check in and calendar procedures with the Smart Slate turned out to be a great idea! All but 4 parents were at conferences so I feel good that the majority of the parents got a taste of a small piece of things happening in our room! They were a bit clumsy for the most part (much like I was and still am some days!) but intrigued, interested and had fun working on our Smart Slate! My student teacher took about 1 minute to show them when they walked into the room for their conference and they had to check in as their child, indicating what they wanted for lunch (this will also be a great reminder to those parents that "forget" to send in lunch money or a packed lunch!!). For those parents that brought their student with them, their child "assisted" in the Smart Slate "instruction" which was also fun to watch! I think I'll do this same thing at the beginning of next year at our Open House the day before school starts!
So I'm sitting here thinking...how could I incorporate the Smart Slate in a new way this week? This busy week of conferences, data collecting, finishing work and projects, and secretly thinking about spring break!! I know it'd be a good idea to show parents the technology we have available but how do I do that during the small amount of time that is allotted each parent (10 min.)?? Maybe I could have the Morning Calendar activity up and running as parents arrive. They could "check in" the same way their child does each morning! That's what I'll do. Not much but it's a start!
We used this activity last Thursday to review for a 3rd grade math test. 5 students played an I Have, Who Has game to review multiplication facts, 5 students played Multiplication Bingo, and 2 other groups of 5-6 students each, played Whack A Mole with the student teacher (2 teams competing for points). I found the Whack A Mole activity on SMART Exchange then edited it to fit our needs. I realized after doing it with the students that I'd like to edit it some more, to make it self checking. I will do that by adding a Pull Tab with the correct answer on it or a Checker Tool on each "problem" page. Next week I'd like to try scanning a practice page and letting the students write in the answers using the SMART slate.
My students continue to use the Smart Slate and "Mrs. Donley's Morning Calendar" activity to 'check in' every morning. The slate sits in a designated spot each morning and the kids sign in as they arrive. Each child moves his/her marker to the appropriate space on the chart showing his/her lunch choice for that day. Then the VIP of that day completes the remaining pages for the calendar, season, weather, etc while the remaining students complete their morning work at their desks. I worked with my student teacher to incorporate the Smart Slate into 3rd grade math review for tomorrow (Thursday). I shared some Smart Notebook sites with her (love the Longwood site!) and together we looked at what needed to be reviewed for the 3rd grade math test in order to pick an appropriate SMART activity to accomplish that task. She chose the Whack-A-Mole activity and I am in the process of editing it to use review problems from our math books. So this week we've continued one activity (started last week) and added this review activity! It's becoming a more natural part of our day (and it's been working like a charm)! While working with my student teacher, I'm wondering how much exposure the Teacher Education students are getting to technology in the classroom.
During this process of learning to utilize the smart slate myself, I'm also encouraging my student teacher to do the same.I've suggested she look for a Smart Slate activity that can be done with 3rd graders for math test review for next week. We'll see what evolves!
Monday-Successful transferring of Notebook check in/calendar activity from my home computer to school computer. Kids "checked in" with this Smart Slate activity (I call it "Mrs. Donley's Morning Calendar Work"). Instead of moving their magnets at the door to show they're in attendance and what they want for lunch, they did it with the slate. (I hid their magnets so they HAD to use the slate!!) The VIP of the day did the remaining pages-March calendar, etc.
Tuesday-My student teacher prepped the slate for morning attendance prior to kids' arrival. 5 minutes after it was on, a warning box popped up on the projector-OVERHEATING....darn! A quick email to tech and they had someone right over (I pleaded with them and told them I use it EVERYDAY and that I was worried!! I think I owe them a plate of cookies! They're so good to me!). They cleaned the vents (that's all it was) but in the meantime we had to have the kids finish attendance, etc on the computer.
Wednesday - All is well. Kids getting used to checking in the "new" way!! (My principal happened by on Monday when we were doing it for the first time and was very interested and impressed!) Student teacher can connect the slate successfully and pull up the Notebook activity too!
I've been making GREAT progress today on a Morning Calendar activity for my room. I've got the lunch count, attendance page, and a few other pages done...all tailored to my room with my kids' names on it! I even took an object from another one I found on Smart Exchange, unlocked it, ungrouped it, revised it for my needs, grouped it, locked it, put it in my gallery and added it to my calendar!! :) I wish I knew how I could put a print screen shot of it on this blog! Any suggestions?