Friday, February 17, 2012

Interacting, Engaged & Happy Children = SUCCESS!!

Although interactive white boards/SMART Boards have been around for quite some time (I used them in college nearly 10 years ago) it seems that they are as popular as ever right now. Nearly every school has at least one and many schools have one in every classroom. Sheesh...some classrooms have I-pads too!!! (in my dreams...but that is a whole other blog for another time!!) Our school is finally getting a SMART Board in nearly every classroom and everyone is pretty excited. This is my first full year with one and let me tell you...I don't know how I ever lived without it! It captivates the student's attention, it keeps them engaged and allows for them to come up and be a part of the lesson more than ever before! 

Each morning my students come in and answer the question of the day: Are you at home or at school today? If they are present at school they will move their name from "at home" to "at school". At the beginning of the year, this gets them the practice that they need to used the SMART board for other activities. It doesn't take long until they are professionals at moving their names and objects on the SMART Board.  At the beginning of the year students look for and move their first name. Then when the third quarter begins, I change it so they are looking for and moving their last names.

This is also the first slide in my calendar file, so we can revisit and do the math on how many students are actually at school that day! To see what else I do during my calendar time click on the pictures below. The one in white font (to the left) is what I start the year with. I left some of the writing and problems up so that you could see what we do on each page. The one with black font (to the right)is the one that I am currently using. You will notice that my calendar is not as full now as it was at the beginning of the year and that is because we use a lot of those other skills during our center work and during our actual Math time now. (Also please note: I do know that Abe Lincoln's birthday is also in February but when I uploaded my file, I hadn't taught about Abe quite yet...and they wanted to wait to put up his birthday :))


At our school, we use Jolly Phonics to teach letters and sounds. Our school has graciously purchased the Jolly Phonics Interactive Whiteboard software sight license for us as well. So I use my SMART board to teach my Jolly Phonics lessons daily. This software is awesome for initial instruction, for review AND for Literacy Centers! Below I have taken a couple of screen shots of the software in use...the screen shots I took are great for review or for centers!
Students write the words

Students sound out the word and slide the word up to the correct picture

I am adding one extra center idea...great practice for ABC order! Connect the letters in order to make a spider web! Just click HERE

These are just a few of the thousands of wonderful things that you can use your SMART board for! And don't don't have to make all of this stuff on your own! You can ask ME to help or...You can go to SMART Exchange and find all sorts or SMART lessons for FREE! You can download them and edit to make it how you want it or you can keep it the way it came!

Starting from scratch is fun too but you will need a lot of time to do that. 

ALSO...Lakeshore has some really wonderful software for interactive white boards/SMART boards. A lot of their software would be great for your literacy centers!

For those links click on the words below!


  1. Yeah! My oldest son's school has them in each classroom. The kids are pros at using them. Last year, they had the eagle cam on in the background and saw the eaglets hatch and grow.
    Have fun with your new tool!

    1. Oh how fun! That would be like watching a MOVIE!! We watched the eaglets last year too but I didn't have a SMART board to show it on, so all my kids had to watch it on a small computer screen. And yes, you are right, the kiddos are PRO's at using them! They sure learn fast!

  2. Thank you for this well written description of SMART boards. It helps to tell people about them. Carolyn

  3. I hadn't heard about interactive white boards until I was working toward my master's degree a few years ago. We were lucky to have a class where we got to experiment with lots of activities and software for them. Amazing what can be done! Your activities and resources look great, Carie! I pinned your post to the Group Board: Professional Development in Early Childhood Education at

    1. They truly are amazing inventions that engage the children...and TEACHERS too! :) Thanks Deb!


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