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Smart Board Ideas

Compiled By: techteacher

The Smart Board is making its way to your classroom! Be prepared with some of these ideas from your proteacher friends.

Posted by: School Time

There is so much you can do with a Smartboard! There are many pre-made activities out there. Smart Technologies, the company that makes the boards, have many free resources. If you do an on-line search, many schools and individuals have posted their activities also, It is very easy to make things yourself.

The way the board works is that your computer sends the information and it is projected on the board. You can use the markers that come with it or your fingure to "write" on it. You actually are not writing on the board itself. You can print something and then change it to a text box. You can insert pictures, too. You can move objects around the screen by touching them.

An example of what I have used mine for: We were discussing living and nonliving things in second grade. I found pictures of various objects, such as plants, animals, toys, cars. The children came up and moved each item into a circle labeled "living" or one labeled "nonliving." When we learn to count money, the children have coins on their desk. They come up one at a time and find a given assortment of coins ( 1 dime, 3 nickels, 4 pennies), place them in order, and then count on to find the value, writing the amounts under the coins.

You can also scan pages into the computer and put them on the Smartboard and interact with them. My textbooks have elelctronic versions that I can open on the board and write on the pages.

Smart Technologies does offer free training. There are also tutorials available on-line.

IIt is a great invention!

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Smart Board...
Posted by: Brooke

I have had a smart board now for about a year and I love it. Recently, I had to move into a portable for the last month of school due to construction and couldn't take my smartboard with me - ohhh, how I missed it!! First of all, it's great to show kids things on the internet that assist with your teaching. There's lots of great websites out there that have smartboard lessons, OR are just meant to be one on one lessons, but you get to use them in a whole class setting now. It makes math and writing a lot more interactive because you can model a lot of strategies on the smartboard. I use the smartboard for the internet, powerpoint, and also smart notebook. I HIGHLY SUGGEST you take a training in smart notebook. I'm pretty computer savvy, but when I first looked at this program I didn't know where to go. I took the training and now I like to use it whenever possible and plan on doing so next year. If you have any other questions, feel free to email me -

I use a Team Board
Posted by: BeaJay

Our school purchased Team Boards. They are like the Smart boards, just a different manufacturer. I use it every day. Most of the classes in our building have them mounted on the white boards, but mine is mounted on a movable stand. Pros and cons both ways. I use it for morning work. All of my Daily Language reviews or drops in a bucket have been scanned into a powerpoint and I project it onto the screen. Once the students have finished I just click a marker color and we can write and correct right on the screen. I use a LOT of interactive powerpoint where the students come up to choose the correct answer. In Math I use math blaster almost daily as a review. The kids just divide into teams and go to the board to make their choices. I also use it as one of my centers with a computer game in the laptop so that several students can play at once. I NEVER use it as a white board and use the dry erase markers that came with it. Sometimes they will not erase completely and I just don't want to risk having permament marks. Each teacher in our building has one either in their room or on a movable stand. We are expected to use them. I also use Tom Synders' Graph club and neighborhood map machine as well as time liner as whole group activities. Kidspiration activities work well with this concept. I love mine!!! Just post if you have any more questions.

interactive white boards
Posted by: Melissa in TN

I don't use the smart board, but I do have the Promethean ACTIV Board and LOVE it! Better yet, the kids love it! They are really motivated. Our tech person did research on the different options out there and we went with the ACTIV Board. The boards are different and the software, etc. I like this one because it is a hard, sturdy board! I have a wireless slate that the kids can use, as well as voters--so I can get a quick response to questions in the blink of an eye. It will also export it into Excel or something. Anyway, your school is lucky to have this technology! Have fun with it. I am the only one in our school piloting the board. I say it pays to be a computer geek sometimes!

smart board
Posted by: phatpat

I have used an interactive white board for the past two years and love it. My students are very comfortable with it and since I use it a lot as a "chalkboard" they don't see it as something different. It is fun when they have figured out some applications for it that I don't know. I am still learning all that can be done on the board. I really don't get any discipline problems while using it.

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Posted by: Liz Sheldon

Although a smartboard does allow the projection of the computer screen to one that is viewable by an entire class, its real plus is that it can be intereactive. If something is drawn on the smartboard (i.e. circling specific items, adding notes, etc) those changes become part of the document on the computer, thus they are great for meetings, brainstorming sessions etc. The other interactive feature is if you are using a "shape up" , Inspiration or such program where things can be "dragged and dropped", or on the internet, your finger becomes the mouse on the smart board! You just put your finger on what you want to move and "drag" it across the board or point/tap on whatever you want to "click" and the computer reacts. It is very cool!
As for cost, I am not sure, but you can investigate by going to their website. I do know that in the past they have offered "grants" towards the purchase of smartboards. When they were first available, they only had one style -- sort of a "stand alone" variety that would have wheels for transporting to different locations. Now they have other designs available. The only drawback I have noticed with them are they have to be "configured" each time they are used (to identify the viewing area) and sometimes lose their configuration during use if they are jostled or such --- that feature may have been improved over time. I also found that initial "stand alone" style kind of awkward to move around.
While you certainly can go to smartboards website, also check out They are distributors of a number of computer products including smartboards and also a product called "mimeo" which connects to a computer and projector to make an already existing white board into a "smartboard" with the interactive features.

Finally, even using a smartboard requires an lcd projector which provides you with that capability of projecting what is on the computer screen. You need to decide what your purpose is (and how much $$ to have to spend)-- are you looking for the interactivity or just a way to project your computer screen for all class viewing and teaching? If just for all class viewing, a projector may be all you need.

Good luck!


Posted by: mhiestan

We have two smartboards in our school, to be shared between all teachers, and one permanently installed in the computer lab. I have used the one in the computer lab fairly often, but like the other poster said, it is really too cumbersome to bring one to my classroom. If it was going to be permanently placed in your room, I would say it would be a great investment. What grade do you teach? We use it in first grade for interactive manipulatives in math, to practice word wall words, etc. Even if you don't use the interactive aspect of it, it will at least be a big computer screen that all of your students can see at the same time. But you will need a projector to use the smart board. I am not sure what an in focus machine is. When I googled it, it looked like a type of projector... You will need a projector to use the smart board.

Hope this rambling helps!

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Posted by: msharkey

I teach first grade and this is my second year using my interactive board. Last year, honestly, I "played with it" a lot. My district was very proactive about giving us inhouse training and have trained staff members in each building to help us/coach us if we would like.

As you get to "play" with the toolbar - which is fabulous- and all the resources, you will be AMAZED at how motivating it is for the kids and how fun it is to use.

For example; we do Making words which we normally use letter cards in a pocket chart to do. Over the summer, I made "letter cards" on Kidspiration and the kids can manipulate the letter boxes around to form words.

Anything you can make on the computer can, at the very least, be displayed on the whiteboard.

This year I plan on making my Holidays Around the World Power Point more interactive .

And the resource sites others gave you are wonderful. I use them pretty regularly myself.

Hope it at the very least, gives you some encouragement.

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re how do you teach
Posted by: teacher from England

Not sure what age is 4th grade in your system. I currently teach 7-8 yr olds in our system and use some national materials from a website in the uk. Search for primary National strategy and then look for relevant spelling materials. I have used the Y2/Y3 spelling transition materials and the children's spelling age has gone up by nearly 12 months in only 5 months!The material on this site will give you information from age 5 to age 13/14.
If you have an interactive white board you will find some good materials that you can download to help with teaching units of work. There is a huge amount of material that has been developed over the last 3 years in England and each local education grid for learning has really good literacy resources. Try looking on a site called and you will find links for all subjects. We took our literacy approach from Australia so they also have some good material. We have one hour blocks and have to do a mixture of word, sentence and text level work in every lesson.I don't envy you a two hour block though. Best of luck.

Posted by: TeAcHeRinFL

It's a large interactive board (like a very large computer screen or television) that gets hooked up to a computer and an LCD projector. The SmartBoard becomes the computer screen and you can use it for lessons and other interactive activities. The teacher gets a tool that is used on the screen like a mouse would be used. There are also voters that can be purchased where each student gets to enter their answer for a question on the screen and the teacher can view who got it correct ot not, so its good for assessment.

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Posted by: BeaJay

I use the smartboard in my classroom on a daily basis. My kids [3rd graders] love the interactive powerpoints. I use them in each subject area. I also use it with my overhead. Example: English lesson where students go to the teamboard [I actually have a teamboard, essentiall the same thing as a smartboard.] and correct sentences on the board. Math lesson: use my laptop to project divided circles on the board and students go and shade in for fractions. The Tom Synder graph it software works well with it as students can create class graphs and also the Timeliner software where students can manipulate and make time lines. Hope this helps.