Technically Invisible

Technically Invisible: Interacting with the Whiteboard

SPRING, 2011

I recently had an interactive whiteboard (IWB) installed in my classroom (thank you, PTO!!!!).  I’ve been working really hard to find ways to include the IWB less in my teaching, and more in student learning.  My goal is to have each student touch the board (purposefully) 8-10 times per week.

Each student uses the board every day to take attendance and choose their lunch for the day:

In math, I create multi-slide files, with one slide for each student.  During small group  and individual work time, students visit the IWB  as if it were a center. I can watch their progress from across the room, and I can also tailor each problem to fit his or her needs.

So… I’m off to a good start.  If I create similar activities for Language Arts, Science and Social Studies, I’ll be in good shape (and hopefully my students will be as well!)

September, 2011

September is a month where we spend time setting up routines and expectations in all areas of the curriculum. The SMARTBoard is not immune.  We’ve worked with our knuckles to move our names for lunch count and attendance. We’ve used the pens to answer math box questions for our Unit 2 intro lesson. We also used the Bamboo tablet to construct some super-tricky fact-family triangles.

Here are some pics:

All students are taking attendance and choosing their lunch on a daily basis.

All students have been introduced to the SMARTBoard pens and here we used them on a Math Box lesson.

Our FIRST time using the SmartBoard as a center during math. Students used the Bamboo as a tool for entering their formulas. We have a ways to go, ha ha!

We also used the camera capabilities of the SMARTBoard to upload some notes we went over in class about MODE (so tough for 3rd graders) – here are the notes that were posted on the blog for parents and students to peek at if needed.

September wrapped up with two local newspaper articles featuring the work I do in the classroom.

One was in the Falmouth Enterprise (subscription required to view article) and the other was the Falmouth Bulletin (no online article to date).

Here’s an article in our local Falmouth Bulletin, as well (click the pic)

Now let’s see what October brings!!

October, 2011

Well, it seems that I have to get better at snapping photos.  I’ll have to dig through my stuff and see what I else can share 🙂

We talked a bit about the topics we will cover in Social Studies this year. Here is the list, hot off the SMARTBoard. I like the fact that the IWB can save notes taken in class – so my absent friends, or those with fuzzy memories can revisit what we shared.

Did you hear the news? Said is Dead! We used the Media Cart and FableVision’s Stationery Studio to brainstorm a list of words we can use in our writing to replace the word “said.”  I was so impressed by the vocabulary of my 8 and 9 year-olds!!

This year’s MassCUE’s conference was a great experience for myself and my third grade team.  Presentations galore, and so much to learn.

Four Falmouth Teachers 🙂

November, 2011

We have been measuring maniacs!!!  We have been working with the SMARTBoard, Ladibug and individual student white boards.  Here’s a peek:

We start whole-class with student whiteboards, watching the SMARTBoard.  I demonstrate with example after example, as to how we measure to the nearest quarter-inch.  Students “flash” their answers at me so I can gauge the level of understanding.

Next, students head off to work on measurement papers that look very similar to this one – to independently practice the strategies we’ve been doing whole-group.

While students are working independently, I open the SMARTBoard as a math center – where students circulate through (in number order) to solve measurement problems from the FunBrain measurement practice site.  Today, we cycled through all students three times, so they were each given many opportunities to try their hand at these problems.

I enjoy watching them from where I sit nearby, working with students having difficulties.  My goal of using the SMARTBoard as a center is becoming more and more of a reality in Room 204!

Hey!! Here’s another reason to celebrate in November!! I created a video of my students using the SMARTBoard as a learning center while practicing perimeter…

December, 2011 (REALLY???? DECEMBER????)

December brought about an opportunity to use the SMARTBoard as an “Information Center” while researching planets in our Solar System.  Students sign up for time on one of our three Information Centers:

SB – SMARTBoard (using the app SolarWalk)

C1 – Computer 1

C2 – Computer 2.

The numbers represent student numbers, and I circle the student who has the right to go “first” next time.  Students must have a purpose for searching before they begin work on any Information Center, and that helps keep their time to a minimum.

While she was driving, I heard a student suggest she create an eclipse. She did!

January, 2012

Math Centers, continued — we have been working on learning our math facts.  For third graders, understanding how to use a multiplication table can be tricky.  We talk about how it is one big swimming pool, and the Factors sit on the edge, dangling their feet in the water.  When two factors jump in the product pool, they swim towards each other.  The point at where they meet is where their product belongs. I put a big, empty table on the SMARTBoard, and kids cycled through as a center during math time, to fill it in.  They seem to be getting the hang of it!

Finding the product of 3X6W

Winter, 2012:

I’m a softee — my students asked me if on Fun Fridays, they could rotate their names on the morning board.  I agreed.  They are actually quite adept, now!!!  One thing I should mention, that I haven’t before – I create 5 different morning boards – one for each day of the week. That way, I’m only having to tweak the announcements each morning (or the evening before). It makes my own routine much more efficient!

Fun Friday board

Today (3/15) we used the SMARTBoard as a center in Science. We are in the early stages of studying Food Chains and Webs. While students worked cooperatively around the room in their books and journals, pairs were invited up to the board, where they could assemble different food chains!  Take a look at our video:

Science Center from Suzy Brooks on Vimeo.



Another year, another chance to think of ways to put the SMARTBoard into the hands of kids!  We are day 13 of school, so it’s still a time to be setting up routines and such, but I decided to be brave yesterday and let the kids use the board during math games.  It actually dawned on me, as I was teaching the new math game “Guess My Number”, that when we all broke into pairs to play, there was no reason why two friends couldn’t play on the board.  They did a great job, and it was a simple way to start introducing the SMARTBoard as a center, because the remaining students were focused on their own games, and didn’t watch the kids at the board.

Playing Guess My Number at the board…

The rest of us played at our desks. This is my Guess My Number Buddy 🙂




4 thoughts on “Technically Invisible: Interacting with the Whiteboard

  1. Pam

    Great ideas! Thanks. I would love to have a smartboard/interactive white board in my room, but I do have access to one most of the time that I would like to use it. I may try some of your ideas with my linked second and third graders when we study telling time. Do you have any suggestions of websites for use on the board? Thanks.

    1. Suzy Brooks Post author

      Thanks, Pam – I went a loonngggggggg time without an IWB – you’d be surprised how much you can do without one! Enjoy the remainder of your year, and thank you so much for stopping by! As for websites for the SMARTBoard – I don’t have a whole bunch. I create so many of my resources myself – just simple, hand-written activities – with one “slide” per student at his/her level. It makes more sense to me than a ready-made program that might or might not meet each student’s needs. I’ll keep my eyes peeled, though!!!
      Thanks again,

    1. Suzy Brooks Post author

      Thanks Tirzah, for stopping by and leaving a comment – I love Pinterest and hope you share your ideas as well!!

      Take care,

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