Thursday, September 29, 2011

SMARTboard Expertise

One of my student teachers, Erika Kirslis is completing her student teaching in Julie Roger's first grade class at Allenbrook School in Williston. For several years, Julie has been an expert in, and advocate for, the use of SMARTboards in public school classrooms. Julie can now develop her own applications though the use of Studio 10 software for use on the SMARTboard which means she can use it to teach whatever she feels the students need to learn and she needs to teach using this incredible piece of technology.

So far, I have observed Erika incorporating the SMARTboard into her instruction for two math lessons she has taught and she has done it brilliantly. Today she was teaching the students the concept of sequencing using coins. She had prepared a repeating pattern using quarters, dimes and nickels and was asking the student to continue the pattern. One of the wonderful things about the SMARTboard is the ease with which things can be done, even by first grade students. In order to continue the sequence all the first grader needs to do is place her finger on the appropriate coin and drag (a copy) to the next place in the sequence.

After the students had completed two sets of three iterations of a pattern Julie suggestions they say the coin sequence chorally as a rhythm. At that point I couldn't help but suggest that what they were doing in the first example was musically 3/4 time since there were 3 coins repeated in the pattern. In the second example there were four coins in the pattern so it was in 4/4 time. There are so many connections between music and math.

Once again this is a wonderful example of the incredible quality of the public school teachers who host our student teachers as well as those students in field placements in other courses. We are all at St. Mike's very grateful to have such great role models.

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