EDCompass September 2008 - Differentiating Instruction

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EDCompass September 2008 - Differentiating Instruction

  1. 1. newsletter September 2008 NEWS AND RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS USING SMART PRODUCTS Differentiating instruction I N T H I S I SS U E N a N c y’S N oT E S Expectations Nancy’s Notes .......................................... 1 Classroom Content ...............................2–4 News ....................................................2–4 Feature Article ......................................... 3 SMART Showcase School Profile .............. 4 At SMART, we start each day with the objective of meeting our customers’ expectations. Product Spotlight ..................................5–6 This extends all the way from product design to product assembly to service and support for new and not-so-new products. We care about your experience, with our products and with a N oT E f r o m T H E E d I To r us as a company. Welcome to the September Over the last few months, the volume of products we have shipped to customers around the world has exploded. issue of EDCompass™ newsletter! That’s a good thing, because it means our customers have found value in our products and Differentiated instruction has certainly that they are rushing to put them in as many classrooms as they can. become a hot topic over the last few years. How can you design your curriculum to That’s a bad thing, because this volume explosion was unseen. It has left us reacting to an meet the diverse learning styles of your immediate need for our products and then responding to our customers’ questions as they get students and create more success stories their classrooms up and running for the new school year. in your classroom? In this issue of the newsletter, you’ll find best practices, tips Thankfully, the length of time it takes to put our products in your hands is now back to normal and lesson activities to help you do just – even as demand remains high. New orders are shipping from our plant with minimal time for that. You’ll also learn about the SMART normal processing. Board™ interactive display frame, a new product that adds interactivity to your We are still not where we want to be on the service and support front, but our team has a plan plasma display. and is working hard to get back on track. Wait times on calls have been significantly reduced, and we will reduce them even further. As always, if you have any comments about the newsletter or any of the articles We take heart that our customers love our products and the experience they provide. You can featured in this issue, we’d love to hear be assured that we are working hard across the company to meet your expectations. from you. Please e-mail your feedback to education@smarttech.com. Nancy Knowlton is the CEO of SMART Technologies. September 2008 | PG 1
  2. 2. c l a SS r o o m c o N T E N T NEwS Teacher-created Try the SMART Notebook Student Edition beta lesson activities You’ve no doubt experienced the ways SMART Notebook software can transform your lessons into interactive learning opportunities. Now, with the SMART Notebook Student Edition beta, this powerful and intuitive software is available for your students. SMART Notebook SE will enable them to organize their projects and complete assignments in a personalized and nonlinear way. This new software has an intuitive interface that allows students to quickly find and categorize their notes and to manage due dates. Whether collaborating on shared computers, using PDAs, working on in-class activities or completing homework assignments, SMART Notebook SE will ensure your students spend less time organizing and taking notes, and more time processing and analyzing their lessons. Complete this form to download the beta at no charge. The full version of SMART Notebook Student Edition will be available winter 2009. For more information, visit www.smarttech.com/notebookse. Students can share their creativity with the world! Did you know you can find teacher- created lesson activities for SMART Notebook software on the SMART Exchange? We’re offering your students We’ve included a few in this issue that you a chance to make a permanent impact can use in your classroom. Try them out, and on SMART Notebook SE. They can then try posting your own. You never know, enter now to have their personal My we might feature it in an upcoming edition Home creation added to the My Home of the newsletter. templates, which will be included in Don’t forget, if you’re not already a member the full version of the software when of the SMART Exchange, you’ll need to it is released next year. sign up to be able to access the site and My Home is a personalized home share your lessons, best practices and tips page for your students’ computers. with other educators around the world. It’s a creative and customizable space Here are a few science, ESL and math that they can adorn with their own lessons to try with your students. pictures, thoughts, doodles, notes or drawings. The full version of SMART Even and Odd Numbers Notebook SE will contain several student-created templates. Second-grade math students can learn how to identify numbers as even or odd by using Students can share their templates by uploading their submissions on the SMART pairing and place value strategies. Exchange. All images that students use must be copyright free. Comparatives and Superlatives The top designs will be announced on the Exchange on December 15, 2008, and will K–12 ESL students learn to use adjectives be featured in the January 2009 issue of the newsletter. These winning entries will in their comparative and superlative form. be included in the full version of the software so students around the world can use them. All students in the winning classrooms will also receive SMART Notebook SE USB Global Warming and Our World arm bracelets, so they can take SMART Notebook Student Edition with them to each Science students in grades 7–10 learn about computer they use! greenhouse gases and how global warming Visit the SMART Exchange now to find out how your students can participate. is affecting the earth and its habitat. September 2008 | PG 2
  3. 3. c l a SS r o o m c o N T E N T NEwS Helping yourself and adding value with Senteo question sets SMART’s knowledge base In last month’s issue, we highlighted the passion that our services team brings to making every customer interaction extraordinary. In addition to providing high-level technical support and training services, the team is committed to empowering our customers to help themselves as much as possible. How does SMART do this? One way is by providing a readily available, unrivaled source of SMART product-related information – our online knowledge base. The extensive knowledge base on the support section of www.smarttech.com provides easy access to a vast library of technical documents that cover virtually everything you need to know about SMART products and their installation, administration and use. This resource includes product and quick-reference guides, technical bulletins, how-to articles and a series of highly focused troubleshooting articles. You can find a database of Senteo™ Of particular note is Top troubleshooting tips, which you can find in the popular downloads question sets on our education website. section of the support site. This document offers fast and simple solutions to minor issues you Each question set includes 10 questions may be dealing with. It’s regularly updated to cover the most current questions customers have that are correlated to local curriculum and can be regarded as your first source of information when seeking a quick answer. standards and are compatible with a matching SMART-created lesson activity on If you don’t find your answer in this particular document, you can easily search the many other resources on the site. Simply go to the Search the knowledge base section on the right-hand the same topic. side of the support site main page and enter a relevant keyword (or a document number if you Here are some of our newest Senteo know it) into the search tool. question sets that you can use with your math, social studies and science students. The knowledge base does more than just help you solve problems quickly – it also adds further Try them out today! value to every SMART product you use. In much the same way that in-depth knowledge and previous experience enables master artisans to get the very best out of their tools, the Rounding to the Nearest knowledge base can help you maximize your products’ full potential. Whole Number Math students in grades 4–6 can test their f E aT U r E a r T I c l E ability at rounding decimals to the nearest whole number. Reaching every learner Acid Rain, Effects Social studies students in grades 7–9 If you ask Bruce White, differentiated instruction is just good teaching. White is a can test their knowledge of the effects learning technology coordinator based in London, Ontario, who supports 33 schools in the of acid rain and its significance for the Thames Valley School District. Much of his time is spent encouraging and assisting teachers to environment. differentiate their instruction by making full use of the technology tools in their classrooms. Fractionation of Crude Oil “Differentiated instruction is making sure that every student is engaged. It means that as a Science students in grades 10–12 can test teacher you look at the needs of your students and you try to modify your course and your their knowledge of the products that are instruction to match those needs,” White says. Read the full article. created from the fractionation of crude oil. September 2008 | PG 3
  4. 4. c l a SS r o o m c o N T E N T S m a r T S H owc a S E Sc H o o l P r o f I l E Lesson activities offer SMART Board interactive whiteboards shape ideas for differentiation learning at Oak View Middle School This year, Richard Sheets’s students scored 14–16 percent higher in American history than they did last year. And that, he attests, is because the implementation of SMART Board interactive whiteboards at Oak View Middle School in Newberry, Florida, has TeachersFirst.com offers a range of helped his eighth-grade students become engaged and excited to learn. resources and interactive activities for all grade levels and subject areas that you can Only one year before the 2007–2008 school year, Oak View’s ranking had slipped from a B to a C, according to Florida’s Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). Administrators use with your SMART Board interactive whiteboard or Senteo interactive response at the school found this grade unacceptable and committed to improving students’ system. The activities address the needs of assessment scores. Just one school year later, FCAT scores at Oak View have risen from a C grade to one point away from an A. This success garnered Oak View Middle School your struggling and gifted students with tips on how you can tailor the instruction SMART Showcase School status in May 2008. for both. “We are in a generation of students trading textbooks for text messaging,” says Sheets. Here are a few activities to get you started. “Kids learn everything visually through games and interaction, and SMART Board interactive whiteboards present lessons in a language that they understand. That has Save the Apples made a tremendous improvement in our scores across the board.” Read the full article. Math students in grades 1–5 can use this activity to practice their addition, NEwS subtraction, multiplication and division skills. You can change the difficulty level to easy, Sharing best practices medium or hard to differentiate the lesson for each of your students. Do you have any helpful tips or best practices to share with other educators about Learning Resources how you acquire ICT funding? What advice would you give to your peers? Send your story in English students in grades 8–12 can about 150–200 words to edcompass@smarttech.com, with “grants and funding story” in improve their reading comprehension of the subject line. nonfiction text. This online activity uses actual CNN news stories to strengthen Be sure to read next month’s issue to see if your story is featured! students’ abilities to make inferences and draw conclusions. Note: All entries submitted become the property of SMART, and you agree and grant your permission to allow SMART, in its sole Visit the site today and see what you find! discretion, to print or reproduce your entry as it sees fit. September 2008 | PG 4
  5. 5. P r o d U c T S P oT l I g H T SMART Board interactive display frame Fast facts • Pencil enables you to write and erase in digital ink. You can also perform mouse functions with your fingers. • Lightweight frame weighs 9–11 lb. (4–5 kg), depending on plasma screen size • Frame’s small footprint adds less than 1quot; (2 cm) to the width and 2quot; (5 cm) to the height of the plasma panel • Glass-free frame lets you touch the display surface directly, enabling precise touch control • Native wide-viewing angle of the plasma panel ensures that students clearly see information on the screen, regardless of where they are in the room • Projector-free system eliminates shadows cast on the screen and light in the presenter’s eyes • Inexpensive initial installation and no ongoing or costly consumables makes for low maintenance and total cost of ownership You can now transform your plasma display into a SMART Board interactive • System needs to be calibrated once only display, enabling you to interact with SMART Notebook lesson materials or access the at time of installation Internet. Weighing a mere 11 pounds (5 kg) or less, the slender frame attaches easily to • Frame supports most commercial plasma most commercial plasma displays to make them interactive, while retaining their high- display sizes ranging from 42quot; to 65quot; resolution, brilliant images. (107–165 cm) • SMART Notebook software ships with The SMART Board interactive display frame can increase productivity and improve the unit learning outcomes in large classrooms, where additional displays can enable students to work in small groups to complete assignments. It’s also ideal for smaller classrooms “The SMART Board interactive display – which some state governments have regulated – and special needs classrooms, where frame creates learning spaces for next- having unobstructed visibility of the board is essential. With this projector-free solution, generation whiteboarding and classroom you never have to worry about shadows cast on the screen or light from the projector collaboration. This is the first product of its shining in your eyes. The interactive display frame dramatically extends the application of kind for classroom environments. With the your existing plasma displays. frame, teachers can create learning stations Multiuse pencil tool for small group work within the classroom, or they can also use it as the primary The SMART Board interactive display frame comes with a new interactive display in small classrooms. It’s innovative pencil tool. With it, you can use one end to write on also ideal for special needs students who the board and the other end to erase your notes, and you can have limited mobility because they don’t still use your finger to interact with material on screen. You have to worry about casting shadows on never need to return the pencil tool to its tray, making it the screen.” even easier for you and your students. You can find more information on the John cook SMART Board interactive display frame Product manager on www.smarttech.com. SmarT Technologies September 2008 | PG 5
  6. 6. P r o d U c T S P oT l I g H T Flexible classroom What’s the deal with flat-panel displays? scenarios With the SMART Board interactive display frame, teachers can • Facilitate small group work with a combination of SMART Board interactive whiteboards and displays Flat-panel displays have hit their stride and are fast replacing the old cathode ray • Turn existing plasma displays into tube (CRT) televisions. interactive learning centers Flat-panel technology was once out of reach for all but a few well-funded schools and • Use a single interactive display for small districts. But with prices dropping 20–30 percent each year, educators are now finding class sizes that flat-panel monitors are a viable replacement for old, bulky TVs and a logical choice • Mount the interactive display on a floor for new classroom deployments. Any CRT TV is going to take up a sizable chunk of stand and share it between classrooms space, sometimes in classrooms that are already crowded. But other than the obvious • Accommodate special needs learners with space-saving advantage of flat-panel displays, educators are attracted to their long-term a shadow-free display and intuitive pencil investment value. When teachers have flat-panel displays in their classrooms, not only are they getting a superior product with enhanced image quality, the costs associated with cleaning filters or replacing expired lamps are eliminated. Up next Plasma display technology Plasma displays deliver unsurpassed image quality and reliability in any viewing Watch for the next issue of environment and offer adaptable, cutting-edge technology in a sleek, flexible design. EDCompass newsletter that will highlight They have a life span of 50,000 hours or more to reach half life, they have no grants and funding opportunities to purchase consumables (bulbs or filters), and they can be integrated into a simple wall or floor- and implement education technology products stand installation. Attaching the SMART Board interactive display frame to a plasma for your classrooms. This issue will also panel enables you to transform learning and provide unparalleled interactivity and introduce our new SMART Table prototype. spectacular image quality. September 2008 | PG 6 © 2008 SMART Technologies ULC. All rights reserved. EDCompass, Senteo, SMART Board, smarttech, the SMART logo, the EDCompass logo and all SMART product logos and taglines are trademarks or registered trademarks of SMART Technologies ULC in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other third-party product and company names are for identification purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners. 11027-08

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