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Using Interactive White Boards to Engage Students

Regardless of what brand your school is using, interactive white boards are a really valuable tool to get students up out of their seats and engaged in the learning. Users move objects, words, and text – providing a rich learning experience. The software that is provided with the board allows teachers to create multimedia presentations with templates and visual elements build right in as well as the ability to integrate media from other web resources. In addition, the media and the presentation can be saved and shared with students who need extra reinforcement at home or other teachers who’s students are learning the same concepts. If you are new to teaching with IWB or you are an expert, check out this community of educators to find more resources and ideas. You also must check out Jim Hollis’s blog and website!

Ways to use Interactive Whiteboards in the Classroom

  1. Brainstorming
  2. Use in the 6 trait writing process
  3. Use it with Kidspiration or Inspiration to organize information in any curriculum area
  4. Teach editing skills using editing marks
  5. Use highlighter tool to highlight parts of speech – nouns, verbs, adjectives, phrases
  6. Illustrate and write a book as a class. Use the record feature to narrate the text
  7. Use the built in maps or Google Earth geography – continents, oceans, countries, or communities
  8. Take notes directly into PowerPoint presentations
  9. Reinforce skills by using on-line interactive web sites such as virtual manipulatives in Math
  10. Teaching steps to a math problem
  11. Manipulating information to create charts and graphs
  12. Use the software to create lessons in advance at home or at school. Then save them for future use or to be shared with other teachers
  13. Diagramming activities
  14. Graphics and charts with English language learners and special needs students.
  15. Save lessons to present to students who were absent


There are tons of great Math sites that can be accessed on the internet, but when looking for a high quality site where the students can really be engaged as they are learning a concept, look for interactivity. Find sites that allow your students to move and manipulate data, text, and manipulatives. Here are a few good examples:
Mathsfame Interactive Whiteboard Resources (early elementary)
Crickweb – from UK
Virtual Manipulatives
Everyday Math Resources
Illuminations: Activities
Interactive Flash Activities
NCTM Electronic Examples
National Standards Wiki from the UK – IWB lessons (elementary)
Interactive WhiteBoard Websites – most of these are for math, but there are some for other topics. They look pretty fun.

Prepared Smartboard Materials

Manipulating Information

Creating webs, brainstorming, organizing information can be done using these web based programs. They all require a log in, but once the teacher logs in and begins the process, the students can participate in creating and manipulating information into a graphic organizer.
LinkUp – Interactive activity that is customized with vocabulary
Word Magnets – Check out the backgrounds to find ways to use
Draft It – Cool writing tool that takes you through the writing process
ReadWriteThink – Student interactive activities for all areas of literacy

Lesson and Activities Resources

Don’t reinvent the wheel! Check out these site which have been created by other educators with loads of web based activities as well as presentation templates in every content area!
Teachers Love Smartboards – This is a wonderful resource. The writer of this blog will even take requests for specific lessons!
PBS Interactive Whiteboard Games – for younger students
Smartlinks Wiki
Smartboard Challenge Wiki
Interesting Ways to Use Your Interactive Whiteboard Slideshow
Whiteboard Resources
Georgial Department of Education

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