Using SMART products to support Algebra 1 classes

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

Algebra-1 is a course that lays the foundation for many upper level math courses. Ensuring that I reach all of my 8th and 9th grade students in this foundational course is made possible with the help of SMART products that promote student collaboration.

Promote collaboration, interaction and differentiation

Our class has used the SMART Board interactive whiteboard for over four years.  The interactive whiteboard has allowed me to customize and differentiate my Algebra-1 lessons so that every learning style is addressed.  The interactive whiteboard has also allowed me to develop lessons that draw my students in and encourage them to become participants and not just spectators.  Working in teams to solve problems on the SMART Board interactive whiteboard, competing in SMART Jeopardy tournaments, find slope using the interactive Gallery tool, or solving multi-step equations with erase and reveal, are all activities that promote student interaction and collaboration in our class.

Make assessment easier and more engaging

The SMART Response interactive response systems have also played a big role in classroom collaboration. Students are able to work in teams during a lesson and submit answers after group analysis.  The SMART Response XE units allow students to enter algebraic formulas, square roots, exponents, percentages and many other math specific responses. Several SMART Response team games can be found on the SMART Exchange making formative assessment more fun than ever!

Try new ways to work at problems

Our Honors Algebra-1 class is piloting the use of iPads this school year in a paperless environment. Lessons and notes are completed in SMART Notebook 11 collaborative learning software and placed in the classDropbox. Students are able to use the SMART Notebook iPad app to retrieve the lessons for class interaction and to work out examples right on their iPads. Collaboration on group projects is also much easier this year with the iPad and the SMART Notebook app.

Find helpful resources

In addition to student collaboration, teacher collaboration is important as well.  Social media such as Edmodo,Twitter, and the EDCompass blog provide shared resources to assist me in promoting a higher level of learning in my classroom.

These are just a few of the ways we are making our classroom a SMARTer collaborative classroom through the use of SMART products.

Martha Fairley is a SMART Exemplary Educator and SMART Certified Trainer at Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy in McDonough, GA.  Martha teaches 8th and 9th grade Algebra-1 and also serves as the Technology Integration Coordinator. Martha is a major advocate of SMART products at Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy and provides professional development for K-12 faculty on SMART products and integration. Martha’s passion is to teach educators to plan for and use technology in their classrooms to reach all students regardless of learning style.


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