How to Adjust to your Interactive Whiteboard: The Chart Page
Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs) have the potential to draw your students into lessons in ways that weren’t possible without substantial planning, troubleshooting, and cut-and-paste work on your part. In this second of what will become more posts, I’ll teach you how to quickly make a “chart” page that you can use over and over again. Then I’ll provide suggestions on how this chart page can be incorporated into various content areas at the middle and secondary level.
Why a “Chart” Page?
A “chart” page is easy to make and easy for you and your students to manipulate. You will use this page over and over again. Once you’ve saved this page, you and your students can quickly and easily create flow charts, concept maps, and other graphical representations of key ideas and concepts. As your students go to the IWB to demonstrate their thinking, you will find them more engaged and better able to retain information.
Below are instructions on how to create a “Chart” page for Promethean and SMART boards, the two most popular classroom IWBs. If you have different IWB software, you can follow these instructions but will need to adapt them for your program.How to Create a Chart Page using ActivStudio (Promethean Software)
Right click your pen tool and select the shapes you want to make available to your students. To change the shape’s color and fill, double click the shape and choose the properties icon (it most likely has a red checkmark on a white rectangle). Place all objects where you want them. Then right click each object, choose “Edit” and then choose “Drag a Copy.” Make sure you enable actions. Now students can drag, resize, and rotate copies of your original shape.How to Create a Chart Page using SMART Notebook (Smart Software)
Select the shapes button on your tool bar (has a circle and square on it) and pick the shapes you want. To change the shape’s color and fill, right click the shape and choose properties. Select “Fill Effects” and pick your color. Place all objects where you want them. Then right click each object and select “Infinite Cloner.” Now students can drag, resize, and rotate copies of your original shape.
How do I get my Students Involved?
In small groups or as individuals, have students create a flow chart or other graphical representation of a key idea. In my government class, I have my students illustrate how unitary, federal, and confederate governments assign sovereignty. Then send students up to your board to create and explain their graphical representation.
What can a “Chart” Page do in My Content Area?
You will want to tailor your chart page to your content area. Below are a few suggestions to get you started.
Foreign Language (most of these ideas will require you to write on the board and have students “match” colors or shapes to different words)
- Distinguish between tenses
- Identify conjugations
- Identify parts of speech in a sentence (noun, verb, etc)
- Map Sentences
- See also Foreign Language
- Balance equations visually
- Plot charts
- Order of Operations (a shape or color needs to be assigned to each operation)
Performing Arts (music, theatre)
- Plot notes
- Show science of sound
- Visually demonstrate concepts (e.g. crescendo, staccato)
- Compare and contrast parallel characters and/or their foils
- Map out potential consequences of character decisions
- Plot the rising action, climax, falling action, and denouement of a story
- Show character relationships
- Balance chemical equations
- Create atoms, complete with protons, neutrons, electrons and electron shells
- Create and solve punnett squares
- Illustrate Vectors
- Plot the Solar System
- Show how species in an ecosystem interact (food chain, etc)
- Cause and Effect
- Chain of Command (e.g. military, bureaucracy)
- Circular Flow of Economic Activity
- Five Themes of Geography (e.g. assign each theme a shape or color and apply it to different situations)
- Relationships (leaders-people, nation-nation, flow of power, etc)
- Timelines (big v. small events)
Technical Classes (automotives, carpentry, etc)
- Basic drafting
- Demonstrate gears, torque, etc.
- Roughly illustrate of how machines work
If you have other ideas or applications, or have found something that works exceptionally well, let me know!