Thursday, August 14, 2008

How we're using our SMART board

We were lucky enough to be given a SMART board by our district when they decided to go with Prometheans. Lucky us! We love it and use it every day. Ours is on a portable stand which allows my wheelchair users access and lets us put it away when we're not using it in order to create more space in my room.
Some of our favorite SMART board activities...

Ben likes to watch the itunes visualizer on the board. He also likes to scrunch down in his favorite comfy chair and use his feet (!) to activate games like Big Bang from Inclusive TLC. Yes, I said his feet. He has this thing about needing to put deep pressure on his hands and extension/ compression into his wrist and shoulder joints all the time. He HATES computer activities because he just wants to chill out and watch, not use his hands (he does actively and readily use his hands for all his other work tasks and ADLs so I'm not complaining too much). But if we let him take his shoes off and use his feet, he'll happily engage in cause effect activities on the board.

Wayne LOVES to play the Priory Woods switch adapted videos on the SMART board. His absolute favorite is the "I Will Survive Alien" followed closely by "Mouse and Cheese" and "Banana Phone." Believe me, we all have these songs memorized. He also enjoys Big Bang, the SwitchIt! series (his favorite is Diggers) and reading adapted books on the board and likes the multimedia group presentations we've been doing.

Right now Nicki just prefers to watch what's going on on the board but when she's really in a good mood she will reach out to activate it for music or visual activities.

Michael likes that the board makes everything REALLY BIG so he can see it. We're not sure how much he sees, but he certainly responds to it.

The best part about the board for Chloe is actually the surround sound stereo that was installed with the projector. She also likes doing group activities with it.

We do morning meeting on the board using Speaking Dynamically Pro and, as opportunities arise, Intellitools Classroom Suite activities.

I do a weekly music class with the kids and their peer buddies and we use the board to show short videos, display song lyrics, and show the itunes visualizer while songs play and we sing along (this tends to keep their attention better).

We do News-2-You activities on the board.

I did para training on the board this year rather than making lots of copies. It let us do some planning activities more easily than if everything had been on paper. It worked so well, I might do my IEP meetings with it too, if only to save on paper.


  1. We LOVE our SMARTBoard too! It has had such a positive educational impact for my students-- not to mention it's really cool and fun!! I had to smile when I read about Wayne and the Priory Woods videos-- those are also favorites of our students.
    anne marie

  2. I teach preschoolers with visual impairments and blindness, and multiple disabilities. Our school just got a "smart board" for a classroom where I have 5 students. Kids are wheelchair bound and cognitively impaired as well- I'd welcome any ideas you might offer on activities, programs, etc. that have worked with your kids. I've read a bit, and am excited to have a chance to learn to use this. Also any link to an on line training in how to use the board would be appreciated. Many thanks. Patti