SMART Board and iPads: Collaborative Learning in Elementary Music Class

This article originally appeared on the EDCompass Blog.  Click here for the original URL.

Combining an interactive SMART Board activity with 1:1 iPads provided the perfect opportunity for collaborative learning in my elementary music class this week.

Interactive SMART Board Activity

The  4/4 Rhythm Shuffle SMART Board activity combines music and math. Briefly, here’s how to use the SMART Board activity: I divide my class into two teams. Each child takes a turn “flinging” the game piece across the SMART Board. Thanks to the updated Notebook software, anytime an object is tossed across the screen, it bounces off the walls of the SMART Board screen. It’s so wicked cool! When the game piece comes to rest, the note values within the boxes the game piece touched are added together to make a score for that move.

SMART Boards and iPads

I had the children open EduCreations on their iPads. Their assignment was to work together as a team to tally the points scored on each turn. They had to agree on how many boxes the game piece touched and they had to agree on the number of points each note value received. This was a learning experience because not all of my second graders take piano and know the value of notes. Having each child keep a running tally was great practice for math skills AND kept the team working together. Working on the iPads made it extra cool and they were easily able to compare scores.

Wrong score — no points!!

If the children didn’t work as a team to agree on the correct score, they were not given any points. They had to be sure of the score before saying it. The teams had to keep a running tally and report their agreed upon score several times during the class. … more math practice.


Watch the following video highlighting several moments during this SMART Board Rhythm Shuffle activity. Notice the way the kids are working together (and sometimes independently). I like how they check each other and self-correct without my prompting. They are teaching each other how to keep tally marks, how many points each note value receives, the difference between a half-rest and whole rest, etc.

Download the 4/4 Rhythm Shuffle Game here.

Although I’ve written about this Notebook file before, it’s the first time I’ve actually used it in my classroom with 2nd graders and their iPads. I have a floor version, but this SMART Board version was a delightful change.  I hope you can use this game and have many similar experiences!

If you do, I’d love to hear about them!

About Cherie Herring

Hi there! I share creative ideas for teaching music with technology. I am a SMART Exemplary Educator teaching with 1:1 iPads and a SMART Board, I create interactive SMART Notebook lessons and blog about technology integration in the music classroom.

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