We received our Smart Board last fall. It looks – and acts – like a giant touch-screen tablet mounted on the wall, and it can do everything but tie the kids’ shoes. (Okay, that’s a bit of an overstatement. But it is amazing!)
One of the ways we use it is during our morning routine. Although we snagged great ideas from the Smart Exchange website, I have customized them all to fit our particular needs.
We begin the morning with a check-in routine where – in April, at least – the kids each drag the Easter Egg with their name on it into a basket. They stand up and use a pointer to do it, which helps with hand-eye coordination, gives them a little movement and is just plain fun. (I haven’t decided what we’ll use for May, but it might be tulips.)
After checking in, the kids sit criss-cross applesauce on their colors (we have a color block carpet in front of the Smart Board) and we choose our leader for the day. We sing our month song while our leader puts April into today’s box. Then, we move to the next page, sing our day of the week song. We dress 3 bears in t-shirts that represent yesterday, today and tomorrow. The leader drags Tuesday onto the yesterday’s bear, Wednesday onto today’s, and Thursday onto tomorrow’s.
Weather is next, and then math. Finally, we write a morning message. We are off to Learning Centers after that!
The morning routine changes as the kids grow and learn. Slowly, for instance, the kids begin to take over the rolls I have at the start of the year. The leaders work the Smart Board, and the kids direct her (“Yesterday was Monday! Today is Tuesday! Tomorrow is Wednesday!”). This allows the students to become classroom leaders and take on roles of more responsibility … which is, after all, the role of the teacher.