Thursday, September 27, 2012

Worth the Wait

At work, my SmartBoard was finally installed. It was ordered in May, came in August, and has been sitting in our library since then. The installation guy gave me a brief training and as soon as he left me, I quickly got the CD and started the installation of the software. Gosh, the install took a long time. By the time in finished, I had to leave to pick up my son. I packed up my laptop even though I knew I wouldn't have any time to create a flip chart or find one on the web. What I had was determination...I was going to have something ready for my first graders the next day.

I was right, I didn't have any time to explore or create, so I made it a point to get up early. About a 1/2 hour before I had to leave for work, I sat down and turned on my school laptop and my personal laptop, too. I knew I was getting a SmartBoard so I already had some websites bookmarked on my personal laptop. I ended up on the Smart Exchange website. I downloaded a few activities and then I was off to work.

I got everything ready for my first class. When they arrived, I greeted them outside and told them that there was something new in the lab. I told them when they entered to sit at their computers and to raise their had if they knew what I was talking about. By the time everyone was in the class, many were already raising their hands. The looks on their faces told me what I predicted.

The wait was worth on.

Some grade levels ask that I focus on some area of instruction and others allow me to do what I want with them. Grade 1 teachers requested that I focus on math, specifically, adding up to 10.  I found a flip chart that had several problems for the kids to solve. I demonstrated answering the first problem. I used my finger to write the answer...the children gasped. I told them that, yes, this board is a touch screen! I tapped the arrow to the next problem and asked, "Who wants to solve the next problem?" I had everyone's attention...all hands went up.

Everyone was engaged and excited throughout the entire lesson. They helped each other...even if they weren't chosen, they helped the person who was. When the problems ended, they wanted more.

So, was waiting for four months worth the wait? I say it was. To see kids who are engaged and excited about learning or practicing what they are learning makes the wait worthwhile. I plan on using this SmartBoard to continue doing this.

I'm just glad the wait is over!

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