SMART lab

Gamification that Gets Your Students to Stand Up and Take Notice

I teach fifth grade in a small rural community in Pennsylvania. I have a very unique classroom in that I have chinchillas, a rabbit, a sulcate tortoise, and a bearded dragon lizard. In addition, we are raising over a hundred trout that we hatched from eggs, and we have a river tank. We also have a schoolyard habitat. As the head of the “high-tech” section of our Maker’s Club, I have a 3D printer in my classroom, a Dash and Dot robot, a Meccano Mecanoid Robot, a BB8, a Sphero, and ozobots to name a few.

As you can see, there is plenty to stimulate my students, so what could SMART have done that could possibly make them stand up and take notice? It’s their new SMART lab activities and the bells and whistles that come with them.

In the new version, SMART Notebook 15.2, part of SMART Learning Suite, there is a button on your dashboard that makes it very simple to add flashy lab activities to your presentations in minutes.

gamification-abertheny-1
  • FB
  • TW
  • G+
  • LI

For example, for math class we were studying metric prefixes. I clicked on the button and chose “Rank Order.” There were four different versions and the option to choose whether items were checked right away or after student had ranked all items. With two clicks, I was on to the next screen.

gamification-abertheny-2
  • FB
  • TW
  • G+
  • LI

Here I wrote my prefixes in order from largest to smallest. Also on this screen, I selected from three choices: first to last, smallest to biggest, highest to lowest. I chose highest to lowest and I was on to the next screen.

gamification-abertheny-3
  • FB
  • TW
  • G+
  • LI

This is where you add the game component. This is the game changer! This is what gets the student’s attention! There are five choices: a timer, a buzzer, dice, a hat, and a spinner. So far, I have only used the hat and the spinner.

When you click on the spinner or the hat, you are asked whether you want to use numbers on your wheel. If your students have numbers, you can use that. The other choice, however, is much more powerful. You can submit a list of your students’ names! Once you input those names, they are saved for future presentations, so you only have to do this once. You click save and a small spinner shows up on your slide and your slide is complete. The whole process takes about five minutes!

gamification-abertheny-4
  • FB
  • TW
  • G+
  • LI

When I use the SMART Board in class, students usually sit on the floor or bring chairs closer to the front of the room. When I unveiled my first new SMART lab activity and hit that spinner, my students were out of their seats. They never sat down through the whole activity. They couldn’t wait to see whose name would be called next, and they were always alert, because they never knew when they might be called to come to the board.

gamification-abertheny-5
  • FB
  • TW
  • G+
  • LI

If you’ve used the new SMART lab activities, comment below and tell me how you used them or how you used some of the other game components. If you haven’t used it yet, feel free to leave a comment or questions, too!

Get your students to stand up and take notice with your free trial of SMART lab, part of SMART Learning Suite.

(Visited 140 times, 1 visits today)
Jan Abertheny
  • FB
  • TW
  • G+
  • LI

About Jan Abertheny

My name is Jan Abernethy. I am the leader of an amazing group of fifth graders who have named themselves the Futuristic Foxes. Their goal is to change the world, starting with their community. My passions are teaching, technology, robots, nature, animals, horses, and golf.

You can also follow the @futuristicfoxes on Twitter. Our website is http://jabernethy.com and there are links to all of our blogs, including our Picture of the Day Blog.

8 thoughts on “Gamification that Gets Your Students to Stand Up and Take Notice

  1. Jan your dedication and amazing teaching abilities with y he technological world NEVER cease to amaze me. You, as well as your students, are always energized. They are lucky to have you!

    1. Funny you should say that. Looking at it now, it sure doesn’t look like it, but I know it came from a screenshot I took from LAB. I just don’t know why the icon looks so odd.

  2. Clear explanation and example. I believe that when you took a picture to show the “flashy lab activities” your Red arrow was misplaced. The red arrow should point to the little gamification dude in blue – not the “gold” smart response button. With this correction others will be able to clearly follow your directions and have success.

  3. Hi there! What sharp eyes you guys have! We are in the midst of changing the icon for SMART lab and included a screenshot of the latest and greatest icon. You’ll see the change in your software in late April. Thanks everyone!
    –Catherine, SMART Marketing Manager

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *