Use the Smart Board to Greet Students before the Bell Rings.
Open up a notebook page on the smart board that students can sign the moment they pass through the classroom door. Each child will enjoy signing his or her name in rainbow colors using the digital pens. The teacher can post a happy face or star beside each name every time the child signs in early before the bell rings.

Morning work can be posted to the smart board with a ‘ do now’  heading. The teacher can greet children at the classroom door and remind them to read the smart board for instructions for the day. Children will know to write in their journals, what math problems to work out, what science facts to study, what historical date they should remember or what book they can read after they finish the other morning work assigned to them by the teacher. A motivational quote by a famous person posted at the top or end of the assignment could inspire the students to do their very best each day. Students can also draw pictures or list ideas about what they could do differently to have more fun in class or help the school.

Visual Tools

Graphic organizers visually organize information using charts and graphs. Teachers are able to use these tools for the smart board to motivate students to think, create ideas, organize information and serve as a connection between concepts and critical thinking skills. Examples of graphic organizers include clocks, cluster word web charts, flow charts, ice-cream cone charts, idea wheel, persuasion maps, story maps, time-order charts, Venn diagrams, goal-reasons web, idea rake, inverted triangle, observation charts, planning charts, time line, tree charts and many other graphical organizational displays. A word wall is an organizational display of words used to support the teaching of important words, subject-specific terminology and the addition of new vocabulary words to promote independent reading and writing skills. The word wall also helps students retain the connection between words and conceptual ideas.

Concept mapping is a tool used for the creation of conceptual and mind maps. The purpose of conceptual mapping is to demonstrate knowledge previously obtained and research answers to questions that will be used for an inquiry project. Conceptual mapping will explain search strategies that will help students find informational sources that will validate the credibility of a Wikipedia article. An example of using a concept map is to have groups of students create Google search strings that include keywords used to search for information on a given topic. The teacher can help students test different operators and keywords. The results containing the best searching strategy would be recorded on the smart board concept map. The teacher and students could use digital pens to annotate the page. After touching the screen, a dialog box will appear asking if the ink layer should be saved. Pressing this option button will save the ink layer into a computer file that the students could use to compare keyword search strategies and notes.


Playing interactive educational games using a smart board is an excellent way to review content and help students understand important concepts. Pictionary is one game that can be played using the smart board because one student can draw clues for the other students trying to guess the answers. Students can draw illustrations of new spelling, vocabulary, theme categories or grammar words to learn using the smart board tools. Math games are suitable for the interactive environment of the smart board. Learning problem solving skills is a fun and enjoyable way to solve new mathematics problems. Students can show the results of the solved problems on a new ink layer. Other game templates for the smart board include Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Are you Smarter than a Fifth Grader and Jeopardy.

Another creative game idea is for the teacher and students to write a story as a group using the smart board. Displaying a picture with a writing prompt on the smart board will help start the storytelling process. A different person can write a line of the story with a different colored pen. The teacher can transfer the completed story over to a Microsoft Word text file. Students can print out a copy of the story. Cutting and pasting the same story line into different paragraphs is an excellent way to demonstrate how there can be multiple interpretations of one line of text.