With all my anxiety over the Possibility of Ipads in the Fall, I realized that I will still have my SMARTBoard and that it has been the center of my instruction for 6 years. I love my SMARTBoard.
The first time I had my own SMARTBoard was when I walked into a new job at the high school and a giant box sat on the floor. The principal said, “The previous teacher wrote a grant for this before he left. It’s yours now.”
I had NO idea how to use it.
Luckily, I had a dozen students who were more than happy to show me how it worked. In the two years I was in that position (OGT Prep/Intervention), I learned a lot from them and a lot from just playing.
There were two lines that came up during that time, memorable quotes that have stuck with me over all these years…
The first from a boy with an amazing sense of humor, “You have to be smarter than the SMARTBoard.”
And one that I am pretty sure I said in one of those “Man, I love this thing” moments, “Have you hugged your SMARTBoard today?”
While the SMARTBoard can be viewed as a presentation tool, it is really an interactive instructional tool.
And for me, it is a planning and organizational tool.
There are so many ways to organize lesson plans, materials, and resources. I’ve tried them all over the past 17 years.
Organizing Lessons and Materials
By the week
+ Good if you use the same lessons year after year
– Makes finding bits and pieces of a lesson more difficult if you need them at another time
– If the schedule gets disrupted by a snow day, sick day, underestimation of time, there goes the “week”…
In folders by the reading selection or unit
+ Keep all the resources for one story in one place
+ Ready-to-go options when you read the story the following year
– Requires you to pull together and reorganize the unit each year
– Easy to hoard things that you don’t really use or need
– Need to weed through often
In SMART Notebook files by story or unit (obviously my favorite and a major point of this post)
+ Like the folder option, lets you keep all you resources in one
+ Automatically feeds into currently technology (Don’t know what I’ll do when the SMART Board is replaced by something else)
+ Allows you to easily pull in templates and frequently used pages
+Provides the option to create interactive activities
+ Allows you to include links to media, websites, and other files
+ Easy to rearrange and reorganize (Try grouping the pages)
+ Labeling each page with a keyword and/or standard keeps you focused
+ The capture tool allows you to “steal” from anywhere (This is how I incorporate pieces and parts of other resources in find online,worksheets such as the ones I linked to here, and in the accompanying workbook.)
+ Easy to clone pages for quick editing or differentiation for different class periods (No examples in this lesson)
+ Export and print as a PDF and attach it to your lesson plans (Looks like this: No Guitar Blues lesson)
As the year ended, I was cleaning up my bookmarks and folders on my computer. I decided to compile my favorite websites and share/store them here. These are resources I use all the time in my Resource Language Arts class.
I know many of them are worksheet based but I simply use the content to make SMART Notebook files and group activities. Rarely do I just print a worksheet and pass it out for students to complete.
Here they are in no particular order:
- Achievement Strategies On a recent professional development day on curriculum mapping, I discovered a great website. This is an amazing list of templates, tools, and resources for everything Common Core! This is how I mapped out 2 years worth of units for my Resource Room.
- ReadingResource Recommended by our speech-language pathologist for teaching struggling readers (specifically labeled as a “Dyslexia Resource.”)
- WorksheetWorks Customizable, printable, and free worksheets for math, English, geography, puzzles and other random resources.
- Free Language Stuff Very unique worksheets that I talked more about here.
- ReadTheory More details here on these comprehension selections
- English for Everyone – Related to ReadTheory but expanded to cover grammar, writing, and vocabulary as well.
- Readworks I still stand by this favorite for non-fiction reading. The fact that you can search by grade, skill, and keyword is the best!
- eReading – Printable, but also on-line interactive quizzes I found late this year and only used a few times, but definitely worth going back to.
- ReadWriteThink – My favorite activity is the flip book generator.
- Daily Teaching Tools: 180 Journal Writing Prompts 180 random and unique writing prompts at your fingertips.
Are any of these your favorites too?
What is bookmarked on your computer?
Share links to your favorites in the comments!