Sharpening The Saw

3/08/2009 10:34:00 am

I've been using a SMARTboard in my class for a little more than two years now. I know I've seen dramatic growth in the way I teach and present information to my students in no small part because of it.

I'd like to publish a series of posts transparently sharing how I use the SMARTboard to teach math and encourage anyone who reads/hears it to leave me suggetsions on how I might better use the affordances offered by the SB. Please share your critiques, comments, concerns, questions, complaints, confusions, uncertainties, anxieties, and suggestions for improvement with me by leaving a comment on this post or directly in the VoiceThread I've created to share my process.

I'd encourage other teachers to do the same; we could learn a lot from each other this way.


Teaching Slides
Student Authoured Scribe Post


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  1. Very neat tool. I tried to record a comment but I don't see it, I'm hoping its just awaiting approval and it didn't get eaten by the internet.

  2. Darren,

    Thank you for sharing this lesson. A lot of teachers in my area now have interactive boards, and I am looking for resources to share with them. Do you create all your own lessons, or have you found any websites that have good material prepared for use with the interactive boards?

  3. @Kate Comments don't need approval, I've got them open. You do need to have a VoiceThread account though. It should prompt you to create one (free) when you try to leave a comment.

    Give another shot. If it doesn't work leave me a comment here and we'll figure it our together.

    @Mrs. Simpson (Jeannie) I create all my own lessons. There many places online where you can download lessons put together by other teachers (mine are all on SlideShare), the SMARTboard Revolution Ning is a good place to start.

  4. Mrs Simpson the Smart Technologies people have soem pretty good stuff available for download. Click here and search.

    Darren I thought I did create an account yesterday. I will give it another try tonight.

  5. In the last few months I have heard a lot about using the smart board in writing for editing purposes, however not a lot for math and science. I watched the video and really commend you for taking the time to redo lessons in a way that is reflective of how students learn. I am very interesting in using this in math and physics if our school approves our request this summer. I hate using overheads and then washing them off between classes and I also do not have a ton of room to even write on a white board. Any other post on how you use SMART board would be great.

    Lastly, do you see a change in student involvement with the “dry” lessons? I love physics and this is my first year teaching it and I am looking for new ways to make it exciting.

  6. @Kate Looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the VoiceThread. ;-)

    @Erin I hope to do a series of posts similar to this. I chose this one as the first because I thought it one of the most dry and painful lessons I teach.

    An interesting thing about this particular lesson happened towards the end. When we reviewed all the previous work and explanations contributed by the students and contrasted it with the approach I took, they were really engaged and focused.

    The end of the lesson is usually where they are least engaged. I was struck by their level of attentiveness at that point in the class. I think we needed to drag ourselves through all that came before to arrive at that point. The seeds I planted in this lesson bore fruit in future classes.

  7. I believe that we need to teach in a way that grabs students and makes them interested for the next lesson. Do you use this on a daily basis or just to introduce lesson with notes. Are there any other forms of technology that you use in math classes?

  8. Hey Darren I couldn't sleep so I decided to share how I use my smartboard to broadcast lessons on ustream.

    how I boradcast on a Smartboard
    Hope the code is done right for the link. Great post.

  9. @erin I create my own slides for every lesson. When I can I like to plan ahead and just carry unused slides forward from day to day. You can see all my lesson slide decks in my SlideShare account.

    @Chris (Mr. H) The link was broken. This one works. Thanks for adding it to this discussion. Great post!

  10. Hi Darren,

    The sharing here is just fantastic. Sort of "blows the doors off the classroom!"
    It sounds like you have set up a great culture of sharing in your class and this is the key to what you are achieving more than anything else I see.
    I went to the scribe page and I want to ask you, do you make the smartboard pages available to the student scribes so that they can reference these in the scribe blog? I know that they use sitmo for the equations but I am guessing that they also have access to the pages, right?
    Thanks again for sharing.


  11. Hi Paul, I do make every day's slide deck available to the students. Every class blog has all the slides from each day embedded on the blog (look for the label down the right hand side of the blog: Slides). Students often clip our whole slides or parts of slides to annotate and include in their scribe posts. You can view all my slide decks (approaching 800 all told) in my slideshare account.