SMART Boards represent the future of the classroom. Every teacher wants one and those that have one always use it. It is innovative, idealistic to lessons, and can help struggling students in all aspect of their learning.
I am a teacher in Los Angeles at a charter school so the funds can be light at times. We rent classrooms from a local, district, junior high school while we are waiting for our permanent site to be built. This also makes for an interesting situation, as these are not our classrooms, so we cannot do anything that we want to them, and waiting for approval can often be a daunting task.
Being a teacher is all about making adjustments and thinking on the fly. One day, before I had ever even seen a working SMART Board, I was giving my daily lecture portion of the days assignments. I often use PowerPoint’s to show the lessons outlines, so that the students will have a visual reference to what they are learning. It gives them context, visual abstracts, and a more enjoyable experience overall.
I had actually shown up late that day so I was a little unprepared. I jumped on Google and began to search for a presentation that another teacher had done on the same topics as we were covering (actually a common practice among teachers, why reinvent the wheel). Without completely reviewing the material before I began I noticed quickly the presentation that I had downloaded was for an advanced class, and the one I was teaching was not. I had to break down the info. The only problem was that I did not have time to modify the slide.
I then realized that I was projecting one the white board. I then took my Expo marker and began adjusting the slide on the board by underlining and circling and writing notes. It seemed to be working. The kids loved it. It made them feel like they were almost cheating in a way by excluding a lot of the material. It made them motivated. It was great.
Each time I needed to go to the next slide I just erased the board. This was very similar to one of the functions of the SMART Board so I called it my Ghetto Smart Board. It caught on. The kids loved it.
Next time you want to mix it up on your lecture, try this. Your kids might like it too.