Friday, November 18, 2011

Instructional Use of The Smart Board

Technology Reflection Assignment

In seminar we saw a SMART board in action. The SMART board essentially acts as a digital white board with a large interactive interface. It is hooked up to a computer and the image from the computer is projected on the SMART board where a pen can be used to interact with the screen. I learned that not only does the SMART board act as an alternative interface for the computer, but there are also special programs designed for the SMART board.


  • Learners: First grade students.
  • Learning outcomes: At the end of this activity, students will have a better understanding of how to add and subtract.
  • Assessment: Students will be assessed on whether or not they answer the problems correctly, and students who are in their seats will be assessed on sitting quietly and only speaking when prompted to.

The activity would start with reviewing the basic rules of addition and subtraction such as regrouping and borrowing. Once these rules have been refreshed, an initial math problem will be placed on the board. Students will raise hands for a chance to come up to the board and use the pen to write their answer. Once the answer has been written, the teacher will ask the class to raise their hand if they think the answer is right, and then to raise hands if they think the answer is wrong. If the consensus is the answer is wrong, a volunteer will be allowed to go up to the board and show the other student the correct way to solve the problem. The class will then be re-polled if they believe the new answer is correct. This continues until everybody has had a chance to come up to the board.



  • Primarily, this lesson uses drill and practice to teach basic math skills. Drill and practice is well suited for math, especially basic math that forms the foundation for all future math to come. The SMART board would provide a more active way for the students to participate in the typical math drill and practice exercises. Also, having the rest of the class vote on whether the answer is correct or not keeps them actively involved in the lesson.
  • Students may struggle with two main concepts. For addition, they may have difficulty with regrouping ones into tens. Subtraction provides a different problem. Subtraction can involve borrowing, which may need to be demonstrated to the students using base 10 pieces, as it can be difficult to grasp.

  • The SMART board would serve as an interactive interface for drill and practice activities. It works well for my lesson plan because the SMART board can turn a drill and practice exercise into cooperative learning. By doing the problems in front of the class on the board, it provides the rest of the class with an opportunity to jump in and help the student if they don’t get it. Conversely, it provides the rest of the class with an opportunity to learn from a fellow student who can do the math problems correctly.
  • I would need to use non-verbal cues to keep the class in line while a student is up at the board. It would be important to keep the class quiet and paying attention without calling out and interrupting the student who is up at the board.

--Technological Pedagogical Content:

  • The SMART board brings in a cooperative learning aspect that can help the students better learn how to add and subtract. Slower students can gain knowledge by watching students who are good at math complete the problems up at the board. And students who have a good understanding can further that understanding by finding out how to explain the addition or subtraction to their fellow students.
The lesson would not be as interactive without a SMART board. A normal white board could be substituted, but it would not feel as special for students who get called up to the board. Getting to go up and use the SMART board almost feels like a reward for students, when really they are just learning addition and subtraction through drill and practice activities.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Respinse to iPad

You pointed out a lot of things that I didn’t think about that I really like.  For instance, iPads can assist students in improving their fine motor skills.    In addition, I also agree that the iPad should be seen as a positive reinforcement to students who are well behaved and who have complied to instruction.  You also saw this as an opportunity to test students listening and allow “leader” students to participate in a little teaching as well. 

I feel as though the iPad enhances lessons and makes students more interested in reinforcing what they have learned.   I also really liked the Mathboard app and truly believe that students would respond favorably while learning. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Technology Reflection: Instructional Use of iPads

During our last seminar, we were introduced to the Apple Ipad. They Ipad is essentially a user-friendly tablet PC. It has a large touch screen interface that even young students with weaker motor skills can still use with relative ease. The Ipad download software known as applications or Apps. The apps can be anything from a virtual chalkboard on which to write math problems, to spelling games like hangman. With the thousands of Apps available for educators to download, the possibilities are almost endless when it comes to integrating Ipads into the classroom.
Learners: This lesson would be appropriate for 1st or 2nd grade students.

  • Learning outcomes: Students will complete simple addition problems using the numbers 0 to 20. At the end of the lesson, students will be able to complete basic addition problems including those that require carrying a one over.
  • Assessment: The App would be the one demonstrated for us in seminar, Mathboard, and it would keep track of the student responses along the side of the screen. Mathboard also denotes whether the response was correct or not. By viewing which problems the students got wrong, I can determine what kinds of addition problems they are struggling with.
  1. Assuming I have 3 Ipads for my class, I would first take 3 of my most well-behaved students and teach them how to use the Mathboard.
  2. I would then direct the students to a 20 question addition problem activity on Mathboard that they would be given 40 minutes to complete.
  3. Once the 40 minutes is up, I would check the students and see what they missed.
  4. Later that day during math class, I would use the results from Mathboard to work with students on the addition problems they struggled with 1 on 1.
  5. The next day, I would trust these well behaved students themselves to show the next group of 3 students how to use Mathboard.


The use of Mathboard will work well as a drill and practice program for simple addition. It will allow me to have 3 students practice there addition each day while I can work with other students. The Ipad does not serve as a second teacher, but it will allow me to strengthen and ensure knowledge of the content.

I think that the Ipad will enhance this lesson for the students. The level of interaction it provides will make the addition problems more engaging for the students. The Ipad also frees me up to work with other students while 3 students practice addition on the Ipad. After they have completed the 20 question activity, the feedback Mathboard gives me will allow me to target areas where the students are struggling .


Mathboard presents the math problems in a format that should be very familiar and intuitive for students. The screen simulates a chalkboard, the only difference being that the students use their fingers instead of chalk. The problems themselves are also presented as I teach them, so the students should be able to complete the activity after a short demonstration on how to use its various features.

I would have to keep in mind the possibility that students may have used Ipads before. In that case, I would have to vary my introduction to the Ipad based on how much prior Ipad experience the students have. I would also have to consider that some students may never have even used a computer before, let alone a touch screen tablet PC. However, I would think that the Ipad would be pretty intuitive even for somebody who has never used or seen one before.

  • The Ipad would be used to administer the addition problems activity and would also provide me with feedback on student performance.
  • The Ipad would enhance this activity because it would make the math problems more engaging for students. Mathboard provides students with distributed practice on their addition skills if I can manage to get students on the Ipad at least once a week.
  • Even though the Ipad allows me to give students an assignment and walk away, I will still need to check up on them as they complete the lesson. I could occasionally walk by and ask them how they are doing with the Ipad. I also would need to make sure they were actually using Mathboard and not some other App they do not have permission to use.
  • As previously stated, the Ipad makes simple activities more interesting. There is something about a virtual chalkboard that is just more magical and engaging than a real chalkboard. Not to mention there is less cleanup.
  • The Ipad would make the lesson more engaging and meaningful. Meaningful learning leads to longer retention of the information. This is especially important for addition skills, as the will form the foundation for their math skills.
  • Using the Mathboard app will be effective because it was designed with students in mind. It has a simple interface, and displays what questions the students got wrong for me to see.
  • The Ipad will allow me to drill the students faster and more often. It also makes the content more interesting for the students, hopefully causing them to learn more.
  • I would adjust my teaching strategies based on how the students perform on the Mathpad activity. If the students do well than I will continue teaching the way I teach, but if they struggle I will know to devote more time and effort to those content areas.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Technology Reflection: Instructional Use of Edmodo

Technology Reflection Assignment

In class today, several new technologies were demonstrated to the class. The first was Emodo, a social networking site for educators and students. It was pretty simple to use, and could be great to use with older students who already have things like facebook. The site provides an opportunity for teachers to connect with students, teachers to connect with other teachers, and students to connect with other students. Social networking sites like Emodo allow the influence of teachers to extend beyond the classroom and into students’ home.


Learning outcomes: Students will learn how to convert fractions to decimals to percents.

Learners: 4th grade math students

Assessment: I would be able to access what the students learned by looking at their quiz scores. If I see a pattern of many students missing the same question I will know that the class as a whole is struggling to learn that mathematical concept.


  1. In order to give the students the prerequisite information, I would do a lesson about converting fractions to decimals to percents that day in class.
  2. That afternoon, I would compose a quiz that will be given through Edmodo covering the conversions we went over that day in class.
  3. The quiz would become available to take through Edmodo approximately 1 hour after school lets out that day.
  4. The students will have to log in to Edmodo and take the quiz by midnight. The quiz itself would be around 20 questions, and would have a 45 minute time limit on it.
  5. The next day I would have the scores compiled and would reinforce any concepts they are struggling with.



When teaching topics like fractions, decimals, and percents, it could be helpful to teach the content through visuals, or better yet, objects that students can hold in their hands. The classic example is to represent fractions with pizza or a pie of some sort. This applies the topic to real life, tangible examples that the students are already familiar with. Many students will come in to the lesson with knowledge of simple fractions, percents and decimals, but with limited knowledge on how to convert them. Dividing something into pieces is an experience many students are likely familiar with already. Some students from low SES may not have much experience with services like Edmodo as other students.


Edmodo allows for the education experience to continue at home. It provides a way for teachers to send content such as quizzes and practice material to students outside of the classroom. Beyond just assignments, it allows the teacher to develop a rapport with their students. The website itself is easily accessible, but of course requires that the students have access to a computer that has an internet connection. This could be a problem for low SES students.


Edmodo would be used to administer an online quiz on the mathematical concepts explored that day in class. In terms of changing how I teach the activity, I would have to make sure to really teach the concepts well enough that the students could use them on their own at home that night. I would likely have to spend more time than usual on the topic to ensure the students can do the problems on their own. Edmodo would not really require me to change my classroom management strategies, as it would be used outside of the classroom for the most part.


I would have to present the lesson on converting fractions in a way very similar to the way the quiz will be formatted. Likely, I will get them accustomed to solving problems such as “convert ½ to a decimal” and the problem could be accompanied by a picture. I would have the students do some independent practice with a worksheet in order to ensure they are able to do the math on their own.


For a lesson on converting fractions to decimals to percents, it would be important to teach the concept both verbally and visually. In addition to talking about how the conversions work, I could also use visual aids like pictures, or give the students little plastic pie slivers to visually represent the various fractions. In order to teach the students how to use Edmodo, I would have to demonstrate it for them in class, and then take them to the computer lab to practice using it themselves with my guidance.

Edmodo would enhance this lesson because it would put the students in a situation where they would be reinforcing their knowledge through independent practice outside of class. Provided the students do well on the quiz that night, I could move on to more complex concepts using the core concepts they mastered the day before. By providing practice outside of class, Edmodo allows me to move confidently move on to the next topic, or review the previous day’s content if they do not score well on the quiz.

Edmodo would provide an opportunity for me to modify my teaching strategies if I see that the students were unable to apply the concepts from class. By observing how the students perform on the Edmodo quiz and comparing it to the teaching strategies I used that day, I could continuously modify my teaching strategies to those that result in the highest Edmodo quiz scores. This also ensures that I would be teaching in a way that allows the students to recall and apply the content learned in class.