Tuesday, December 28, 2010

SMARTBoard for a SMART Class!

During the teachers' first week of school back in August, some workmen came around to each classroom at my school and wrote "SBH" in permanent marker on the chalkboard in each room. For those of you not in education, SBH stands for "Smart Board Here." Seeing the man write that was one of the happiest days ever... especially since I was told LAST August that we'd be getting our SMARTBoards at some point LAST ('09-'10) school year. They kept pushing back the install date over and over until we finally accepted the fact that we were not getting them last year. Thus, you can understand why having an actual first step taken toward installation was quite exciting!! As they marked our boards, they were still unable to give us an install date, but said it should be soon. About a month later, someone came around and installed a new power outlet to plug in the projector. A few weeks after that, they came and hooked up all the cables for operating the SB. Then, the projectors came a little after that, but still no one could give us a definite date or even time frame for delivery. Not wanting to get our hopes up, we just kept teaching around the silver SBH marking. Finally, during the last week of November (3 months into the school year... 3 months after they marked my board...) the wondrous day arrived where we saw boxes and boxes and boxes of supplies arrive through our front doors. I literally could not contain my excitement as I saw them delivering a SMARTBoard down to my classroom. They put them all in the hallways outside the rooms as they worked their way from Kindergarten all the way around the school. It was so exciting and the kids were definitely feeding off the enthusiasm! When I left school that day, it was still sitting outside my classroom, but I knew it was only a matter of time.
Such a glorious sight to see a REAL SMARTBoard with my classroom's name on it! :)
Please don't mind the clutter! This is the "before" picture of the board... still awaiting the SMARTBoard.

This is the wonderful sight that I get to see EVERY morning!!!
Walking into my classroom that next day was SOOOO exciting... but that excitement was quickly dampened when I turned on my computer and read an email from our Technology Specialist (TCIS) saying it'd be at least a week until we got our SB markers and 'training.' Not only was I annoyed because I had this beautiful piece of technology and no way of using it, but now I also had no chalkboard space! The next two weeks (as a teacher in NNPS, you quickly come to learn that projected dates mean nothing) were a little challenging as I had to teach all of my math lessons on the back chalkboard, which caused chaos every afternoon as the kids turned their chairs around and found it more difficult to focus, as a result. The teachers kept asking when we'd get our markers and kept getting different answers depending on who we asked. We kept getting emails that said we'd have the stuff "no later than tomorrow"... and then two more days would pass and we'd get another email. The SB men who came to test all the boards said as soon as our TCIS handed out the supplies. The TCIS said as soon as the supplies were delivered. The secretary said the supplies were delivered but we had to wait for permission from Admin.... ugh. It was frustrating. Finally, after confirming with the secretary that the supplies were at school, we marched down to the TCIS's office and demanded our markers. It was seriously getting ridiculous at how long this was taking. She handed them to us and said that she was planning to pass them out that morning anyway. (Well, we all know how that usually goes!!) I headed down to my classroom, markers in hand, and immediately started projecting stuff on the board. I have used it for at least 3 lessons per day and am absolutely obsessed with it! When we did our Polar Express Day, I was able to move all the desks and play the movie on the SB with the loud speakers and give my kids their very own movie theater. It is awesommmmme and I am excited to see my kids so much more invested in learning just because they get to come up and interact with the SB.

One of my favorite stories I've heard about using the SB was from one of my fellow 3rd grade teachers. The first day we had the ability to use our SMARTBoards, he hooked it up to his computer and as his students arrived, he told them to say "good morning" to the SB. They kind of looked at him like he was crazy, but then hesitantly looked at the SB and said "good morning?" He was sitting at his computer in the back and typed, "How are you?" so that it appeared on the SB. Some of them answered it with "Good....?" Then, he wrote, "Did you do your homework?" And they answered, "Yes.....?" He kept reassuring them that it was a SMARTBoard and could talk to them. Hahahaha. Evil, evil, I know. But HILARIOUS!

1 comment:

  1. Your room was a mess!! haha. What happened to the U, V, W on the alphabet sign? Guess it doesn't matter, the SMARTBoard covers it mostly up anyways. Love the last story...even if it wasn't the first time I heard it!!