This article originally appeared on the EDCompass Blog. Click here for the original URL. Shared with permission.
If you’ve read any of SMART Exemplary Educator John Mein’s previous blog posts, you know he often employs student-centered games with SMART products to engage his middle school learners. Now he applies that same spirit of interactivity to lesson planning — check it out. This post originally appeared on John’s blog. Used with permission.
By John Mein
I hope everyone has had a wonderful summer vacation thus far. We’ve been very busy this summer, between summer camps, family reunion road trips, and hanging out with my family and friends, it’s crazy to me that July has come to an end. We all know, with the end of July comes the beginning of August and Back to School Bonanza starts gracing the aisles of Walmart again. Ugh, lesson plans… is there anything more mundane?
The only thing worse than having to write lesson plans is having to reteach after students have been sick, on vacation, or are in an alternative education placement. You have to come up with new examples that break the flow of the current lesson you’re trying to cover. If only there was a way to effectively keep track of every day of the school year. You could reteach using the same examples in the same way that everyone else was taught. You could even post those lessons online to be viewed, or reviewed, by your students that need at-home remediation. They could download the lessons posted to a class website or blog, and they could open them using www.smartnotebook.com.
With this in mind, I created a Flash-based calendar that should solve just this problem! This is based on a model that I have used in my district for the last three years, and I have found it to be highly effective. The only reason I haven’t shared it worldwide up to this point is that it was through SMART Notebook software, and it wasn’t logistically possible for me to set the links in a manageable way.
The general idea is that it works very much like a daily organizer. You select the month and then the date, and a NB file for that date will be automatically downloaded to your computer. Everything you do on that day will be saved locally on your hard drive so you may refer back to it when needed. When you have a student come in that has been absent, you can print out the presentation, you can save the file to Dropbox and post a link on your class website, or you can email it to the student/parent that has requested it. Each day is formatted in four areas: warm-up, guided practice, independent practice, and interactivity. This provides for the needs of all grade levels. The beauty of the calendar, itself, is that I don’t have to create a new one every year because it is formatted by date- not by day. It is live now, and it’s ready to be utilized.
This was my first Flash venture, so more than likely there will be some hiccups. If you manage to run into one, please send me an email or make a comment in the thread.
Run Smart Calendar HERE. Enjoy!
Thanks for stopping by,
About John Mein
John Mein is a seventh grade Language Arts teacher in Kerrville, Texas. He’s a SMART Certified Trainer as well as a SMART Exemplary Educator. To explore more tips, tricks and resources to help you use SMART products in your classroom, visit John’s blog at mrsmarttrainer.blogspot.com and follow him on Twitter at @johnmein.