Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and it got me thinking about what resource I am most thankful for in my kindergarten class. Believe it or not, it is SMART Notebook software! That’s why today I want to share about using SMART Notebook in Kindergarten.
I do not know if most teachers would feel the same, but SMART Notebook software is an essential resource for my students and for me. Our math block is an hour each day and is kicked off with a focus lesson, which we call math warm up. We complete a variety of activities on the SMART Board as a class, and the activities change monthly to reflect their math progress and the classroom theme of the month.
We do not do all of the topics daily but I choose a variety of the following each day: calendar, number talks, geometry, measurement, graphing, sorting, patterning, and computation. The activities include math games to practice good sportsmanship. After all it is kindergarten, and we always have to remember that they are accomplishing so much academically at such a young age but still need to learn how to share and work together.
After the math warm up, children break up into four math groups for math stations and complete a required math station. Then they make a choice for their second math station that day. Every day we use the laptops which are loaded with SMART Notebook games I have created for them to use. If the games are for a choice, it is always the first choice taken. They LOVE the games!
Once the activities are made, it is no work for me. I am not printing, laminating, cutting, copying, sorting, etc. I give them the laptops, and they play the games to collaborate and practice their math skills. I also have noticed that my at-risk students are more inclined to participate with technology.
Tips for Using SMART Notebook in Kindergarten:
1. BACK UP PLAN:
It is technology and can fail. Always have a Plan B. I have children move to another computer to play in bigger groups if a computer is not functional.
2. SET UP FOR SUCCESS:
I always clone each game multiple times, so that if the children ruin a game they can move on to another copy of it in the file without interrupting me. I also do not let them play with the original copy of the file.
3. TECHNOLOGY IS THE FUTURE:
Our students are growing up with technology and need to know how to problem solve. I always show them the problems and we solve them together during math warm up as a class, so they learn how to troubleshoot on their own. Yes, it works, even in Kindergarten!
Children learn as they play, and they have an innate draw to technology. Any board game can be turned into a SMART Board game. They are engaged and learning!
So have fun and give my FREE Thanksgiving SMART Notebook for Kindergarten Number Games a try. You will forever be thankful for the SMART Notebook software too! Happy Thanksgiving!
Here is a little more about Laurie:
I earned my BA in elementary education at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I completed my MEd. in reading at George Mason University. I have taught for twenty years the following grades: kindergarten, first, and second grade. I also was a technology specialist. I have coached new teachers in the primary grades in the county. Over the years I have designed curriculum for Fairfax County Public Schools, including science assessments and differentiated lessons. I have served as Lead Mentor, Technology Lead, Team Leader, and Science Lead at my school. I was nominated for Teacher of the Year in FCPS in 2003.
Personally, I met my husband at my school, we got married, bought a house in the neighborhood, and had a son. Now the three of us go to school together every day. My life is my school! My first grade son is the editor and consultant on all of my TpT projects and receives a stipend of $5 each month for his work. Everything in my store is kid tested and approved!