Archive for Our Classroom

Drumming up some fun!

Today the U-Mass Drumline visited our school and our class was invited to attend this wonderfully fun, loud, impressive show!  My students were mesmerized by the rhythm, beat and precision that these very talented young adults demonstrated by “hitting the drums”.  As the show concluded, keeping a beat with invisible drumsticks, many of my students asked if they could “hit the drums”.  Enter two websites:  1.Virtual Drumming -play drums using the keyboard. Great to watch on the SMARTBoard.  The drums as very life-like and the drum sticks move to the beat. 2.Drums Online Player -play drums with the keyboard or mouse- so perfect for SMARTBoard interaction as it allows students to touch the drums to make music. Here’s  a sample of Scott’s musical talents using the keyboard to showcase his “Ringo Starr”  moves on the Virtual Drumming site: scott-drums.wmv

Posted by on May 8, 2008 at 6:15 pm and tagged , ,  | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink


Last week Jim Hollis from Teachers Love SMARTBoards reviewed a fun flash file that mimics bubble-wrap.  We took a maiden voyage yesterday and it turned into a wonderfully fun way to reinforce counting skills. This morning the students were asking if they could “pop the numbers again”!!! Take a look…


Posted by on May 7, 2008 at 9:11 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Using the SMARTBoard

 The SMARTBoard has been an AMAZING tool, opening educational opportunities for many of my students.  Today, with a big smile and overflowing with pride, it is my pleasure to introduce you to my students through our most recent ANIMOTO video…

Posted by on April 30, 2008 at 4:30 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Our ANIMOTO video

Here is our very first ANIMOTO Class Production– Parallel and Intersecting lines. The students found pictures on the internet and then took photos of intersecting and parallel lines in the school to create this video. I am sooooooooo PROUD!!! It really is quite easy and VERY motivating. Just wanted to share….

Posted by on April 29, 2008 at 6:39 am and tagged ,  | Comments & Trackbacks (2) | Permalink

Bird nests

We have been learning about animal habitats and this week we concentrated on birds.  As part of the learning process I always try to include hands-on activities so this week the students made bird nests. The first nest was made with paper bags and natural materials that we found outside– we tried to replicate an actual nest. Once completed we displayed them on the bulletin board… dsc01688.JPG

Today we made my favorite type of nest– the kind you can eat, complete with lots of melted chocolate and pretzels!!!  dsc01687.JPG

Posted by on April 4, 2008 at 5:19 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Writing his name…

The SMART Board has been like a key unlocking the educational treasures that have been unreachable within some of my students who have significant cognitive challenges. The interactive component allows my students to express and communicate their thoughts in ways that they never were able. I liken it to the Christmas special “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” when Santa Claus, led by Rudolph, lands on the Land of the Misfits, rescuing all of toys and finding them homes. It’s Christmas every morning in our classroom when we turn on our SMART Board! The SMART Board has exposed my students to a whole new world of educational opportunities, in a sense rescuing them from a world where they couldn’t always demonstrate their true abilities. Today I want to share a success story that exemplifies the “power” of the SMART Board.  One of my students who is16, and recently enrolled in my class, asked me why he was unable to write his name.  After a brief discussion I told him that I would do all I could to help him achieve this goal. So in comes the SMART Board– I began by having him simply make straight lines on the board using his finger, progressing to drawing circles with his finger.  After 2 weeks he began to put the two together to write his initials RB.  The first time he completed his initials independently on the SMART Board he was so excited he went to 2 different classrooms to announce his accomplishment!!! It was AWESOME!  Soon he was using the SMART pens to write his initials on the SMART Board and after several weeks of practicing this skill, he graduated to writing his initials using a pen and paper.  It truly has been an amazing journey for this young man and once again confirmed by belief that given the right tools and a chance, we can all succeed and reach our goals. I have included a recording of RB writing his initials on the SMART Board for everyone to share in this wonderful accomplishment. I think this video says it all…


Posted by on March 25, 2008 at 3:54 pm and tagged ,  | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink