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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
- Using Technology as a Tool of Engagement - July 27, 2016
- How to Deliver the 4Cs in Education - April 26, 2016
- Gamification that Gets Your Students to Stand Up and Take Notice - March 22, 2016