Math Activities Using Interactive White Boards

Interactive Whiteboards have started to play a huge role in classrooms in elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools.  Interactive whiteboards allow students to become more involved in the activity and do an excellent job at engaging the entire class.  Using Interactive whiteboards in math has become very popular and truly provides students with a visual and hands on learning experience.  To learn more about Interactive whiteboards you can go to School Computing a blog that contains posts that go more into depth about what an Interactive whiteboards.   I read the blog Interactive Whiteboard Resources for SmartBoard. by teacher Sanny Tendilla who blogs about many different ways in which Interactive Whiteboards can be used to facilitate math activities.

This blog is extremely helpful to teachers because it provides activities, instructions, and tutorials on many math activities.  It also does a great job of spanning a wide grade range with the math activities it incorporates.  One excellent program he has on his blog is a game called Fling the Teacher.  This game deals with both one and two digit number multiplication problems.  The children get to design a teacher and then if they select the correct answer to 15 problems in a row the teacher gets flung across the screen.  It is a fun game and allows the children to physically touch the screen and see the numbers.  Multiplication can alway be difficult for children, so being able to see the numbers and answers can really help.  The game corrects wrong answers and congratulates correct ones.  It also gives positive reinforcement when the children get a correct answer.

In one of my favorite posts she uses the Interactive Whiteboard to create a powerpoint on adding and subtracting decimals.  The 15 slide powerpoint beings first with the lesson on decimals and how they are added and subtracted.  Fun colors and effects are used, and the information is visible to all of the children.  Then the class as a whole reviews what they have learned by taking a mini quiz using the board.  They get to see the problem, work it out as a class, and pick the correct answer.  This allows the children to review what they have just learned in a fun and interactive way!

Example of a Problem Using an Interactive Whiteboard

The picture above shows an example of a problem using an Interactive Whiteboard.  The children are presented with an equation to solve and then click the right answer on the screen.  The device will either respond with GREAT! or Try Again! to let the child know if they have selected the correct answer.

The activities that I have shown as examples are all very suitable to Interactive whiteboards.  The activities are able to be visually represented and they have the ability of engaging the entire class.  Another site outside of the blog by Sanny that has a wide variety of activities suitable for Interactive whiteboards is a site called Smart Exchange.  This site breaks activities down all the way from pre-school to high school with age appropriate activities and fun games.  Interactive whiteboards are excellent resources for classroom of both children young and old.  The two pictures below demonstrate activities from an Interactive whiteboard that represent two different grade levels.

This is a life cycle activity for a younger student in elementary school.  This shows how Interactive whiteboards can be used in different subject areas and grade levels.

This image on the right is an activity for students a little bit older, perhaps at the middle school level.  It shows that math activities on Interactive whiteboards can be used all throughout grade levels.

As technology is becoming a huge part of our world today Interactive whiteboards are becoming more and more prevalent in classrooms.  As we begin our teaching career this tool will likely be something that we need to become familiar with.  After looking at this tool  can you see yourself using it in your classroom one day?  Is there a favorite activity that you saw either from the blog or Smart Exchange?  Have you seen the employment of Interactive whiteboards in schools?  If so were they effective? Feel free to comment, and share your ideas!

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22 Responses to Math Activities Using Interactive White Boards

  1. Kendall C says:

    I think Interactive Whiteboard use in class is very effective as I have seen in one of my practicums. Each day, the class opens up by doing sentence corrections on the Interactive Whiteboard to work on grammar, sentence structure, and other mechanics. The students seem to enjoy that much better than things like worksheets, plus it allows them to get up and move around the classroom. It also fosters a lot more discussion than the teacher simply stating grammar rules. Additionally, the students become the teachers for a short while because when they approach the Interactive Whiteboard (in my classroom it is a SmartBoard), they are responsible for explaining why their answer is correct. I think this is really good because, as you talk about, it allows students to demonstrate what they know in a creative way. Even though your blog specifically talks about using Interactive Whiteboards in Math classrooms, it works well for English classrooms as well.

  2. Emmie C. says:

    Holly, I found your blog post of Interactive White Boards to be extremely insightful, and I thought the tool itself was very interesting. I have seen SmartBoards being used at many of the elementary schools I volunteer at, and I can tell the children enjoy using them. It is a great way to get student involvement and promote collaboration among the classroom. The games and applications the Interactive White Boards offer that you describe, seem like a great way to make the teaching process much simpler for teachers, and much more exciting for students. It is also interesting how Interactive White Boards can be used in many different subjects (Math, English, History, etc.). I enjoyed reading your post and learning more about what Interactive White Boards have to offer, and I will definitely consider all of the benefits the closer I come to being a teacher.

  3. Kate H. says:

    Holly, I think this topic is a very interesting and extremely relevant to the technological world that is appearing in classrooms today. Similar to Emmie and Kendall, in the classrooms I have been to, I have found the increasing use of SmartBoards. In the fall, my second grade class would use the SmartBoard every day, whether it was for math, vocabulary, science or social studies. The children would get very excited and eagerly raise their hand in order to participate. The specific games that you wrote about seem to be excellent tools for students learning mathematics, giving them the opportunity to practice in an exciting way. Also, as Kendall mentioned, this gives students more of a role in the classroom, which they quickly jump to. Feeling important and being given the opportunity to participate in front of your class acting as the teacher not only aids learning but also other important skills that will be valuable later in life such as speaking in front of a group. This is a great tool that will be helpful in the future!

  4. Elizabeth L. says:

    Holly,
    Like other students above have commented, your blog post was great! Interactive whiteboards are definitely a new phenomenon that can definitely be used by every teacher to make the classroom a more engaging environment. I have seen smart-boards used in classrooms before and I think that students really enjoy being able to see everything laid out in front of them. Things like math problems and vocabulary words can become easily visible to all students and the teacher can ask students to come up and write their own responses on the board itself. Participation will be encouraged and students who are visual learners will benefit from more activities in the classroom. Great post!

  5. Katie R. says:

    Holly– Great job with your blog post, it was very informative and showed how interactive whiteboards can really help us teachers in the future. I remember when I was in high school, we had smart-boards and they were very fun to interact with. A great way to get the students interested in what they are learning. Students really enjoy “playing” with these smart-boards which is great because when they are “playing”, they are really learning! Great job!

  6. Sydney B. says:

    Holly, I loved all of the examples you gave us! I played “fling the teacher” because I wanted to see what would happen! So, I know it’ll keep the students interested because I was! As everyone has said, interactive whiteboards are such a great tool for us to use in our classrooms. The popularity is growing and the games to play are getting better and better. All of the math examples were great but I agree with the other responses, the interactive white board can be used for any subject! It’s cool to see teachers use interactive whiteboards in new and unexpected ways. I hope that as we start teaching, we can learn how to use the interactive whiteboards in ways that engage the students more and more!

  7. Holly G. says:

    Holly,
    I like how you pointed out some ways to use the interactive whiteboards in a fun way. In my experience, interactive whiteboards were used pretty much the same way that normal whiteboards were – to write stuff down, draw shapes, work out homework problems, show images from the computer. Of course, my experience comes from my freshman year of high school, well before they were used a lot and before a lot of these games were developed for it. I have seen an influx of interactive whiteboards recently, even in the high school classrooms I’ve observed. Last semester, the classroom I was working in got an interactive whiteboard, as did the rest of the history classrooms. My teacher didn’t see the point of using it, and I don’t know of any of the history teachers who actually planned on putting it to use in the way it was intended. After I read your post, I realized there are more interactive ways to use the interactive whiteboards. I do wonder, though, what activities are available for high school students, particularly for History and English classrooms. Regardless, great post! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Maddy R. says:

    As soon as I saw the word “math”, I was hooked. Interactive whiteboards are seen in many classrooms today, and your post is very similar to my blog post about mathcasts. Math is boring when the teacher is up at the board just showing students how to do a problem. Interactive whiteboards allow the students to learn all about math in more of a hands-on manner. Putting the concepts up on the ‘big screen” with animations and color and games and activities makes learning so much more fun and easy to grasp. I can definitely see myself using interactive whiteboards and getting the whole class involved and engaged through these learning exercises and games. I can also see myself using the games and activities shown in the blog posts as additions to my lesson plans rather than substitutions because they can be great practice and review problems after the material has been taught. Interactive whiteboards are definitely going to become more and more popular and will soon be seen in all classrooms as our world becomes more and more technologically based.

  9. Christiana C. says:

    Great post Holly! Almost every classroom that I’ve been in since coming to Elon has had a Interactive Whiteboard in the room and without a doubt every class I have worked with in the elementary schools has a had a Interactive Whiteboard. I love the idea of using the Interactive Whiteboard in the classroom, however I have always found it a little overwhelming since there are so many options. The games you wrote about seem like a great way for teachers to zone in on specific subjects and really utilize all that these Interactive Whiteboards have to offer. I especially loved the “Fling the Teacher” game, I feel like that is something that would totally appeal to kids and they would be learning while using technology without even knowing it!

  10. Hilary S. says:

    Great post, Holly! Every classroom in my middle and high schools growing up had Interactive Whiteboards, and as they become more popular it is important to know how to use them correctly in the classroom. I can agree with Christiana that I’ve often felt overwhelmed by all of the things that the Interactive Whiteboard can do. I think Interactive Whiteboards are a great way to play review games with the class, especially because the whole class can participate because it’s in front of the class and so large! From my experience, children at the elementary level are always so excited to “play with the Smartboard”, so it’d be a great way to get students engaged!

  11. Emily D says:

    Holly,
    I really enjoyed your post on Interactive Whiteboards. I think a lot of us have had the opportunity to see them in action, but the examples that you provided, in addition to the helpful links provided more depth and specific examples. The Fling the Teacher game is something that is visual and also entertaining, which is an activity in which I imagine most students will be engaged. In addition, the concept of Interactive Whiteboards just seems so vast to me, and I love that you took the time to provide a few specific examples. By seeing you provide just a few examples makes me more comfortable with my future interactions with these Interactive Whiteboards. I can now take a deep breath and think about the smaller things I may do with these instead of just imagining everything that I could do.

  12. Madison L says:

    Holly,
    I think your blog on Interactive Whiteboards is amazing! At my high school, we had interactive whiteboards in almost ever single room, but I never really cared to figure out what they could actually do. Now that i have read your blog and see what they are actually capable of i am quite impressed. I really admire the fact the these whiteboards can do so much such as fling the teacher. I could most definitely see myself using an interactive whiteboard in order to teach my students because as the name states, it’s interactive. Students will able to have more fun while they are learning about different concepts and subjects, plus the simple fact the students are learning through a visual perspective which I think is the best way of learning.

  13. Sarah C says:

    Holly this is a great blog post! I think adding interactivity to any classroom is beneficial, but especially within a math classroom. I know that personally, math was never my strong point, however with a resource such as this that allows for interactive practice, that may not have been the case. Many students struggle with math and as a result, find it to be something that they dislike. This tool allows students to bring more fun to a subject that might otherwise be simply a struggle for them. It’s so important to get students excited about the subject they’re learning and I think this is a great tool to help them do that!

  14. Anna H. says:

    Great post, Holly! I really like the concept of using interactive whiteboards like SmartBoards in the classroom, and I love the information you’ve provided about using them for math lessons! In the classroom that I’m working in this semester, the teacher uses the SmartBoard for her math lessons, and I can definitely say from first hand experience that the kids get really into the material due to the way it is presented! I feel that the constant movement, color and change that can be provided through the interactive whiteboards keeps students engaged, and makes them even more eager to volunteer or participate, especially if that means getting to come to the front of class and use the board themselves! I know that the second the board goes blue from lack of use (usually when the students are working on worksheets regarding the material from the lesson), the students I have worked with race each other to get to be the one to touch the board and “wake it up.”

  15. Allie W. says:

    Thanks for this post! I agree with everyone else in saying that while we had these in our high schools, we don’t necessarily have a lot of experience with interactive white boards in an elementary school classroom. I feel it could be used in a lot more ways to entertain not only one child, but an entire class at one time. It allows the students to get up and interact with the entire class, rather than watching a teacher write things on a regular board. While I had never seen it used for anything except the same things a white board is used for, this post opened my eyes to the fact that this piece of technology has developed since its recent popularity and has geared a lot of tools toward elementary school classes. I look forward to finding more ways to use this piece of technology to benefit my future students.

  16. Kaitlin L. says:

    Holly,
    I thought you showed some great examples of how to use a Smart Board with diiferent subjects and grade levels. I know that the two math classes i had where the teacher had a smart board were some of the most interesting lessons we had. I was wondering if, in your research, you came across any really fun applications for English teachers? I can come up with a few good ways to use one offhand, such as diagramming sentences or highlighting figurative language in a passage, but I was wondering if you saw anything more original.

  17. Hannah D. says:

    Holly, I thought your blog post was great! I really liked the examples you gave of how you can use the interactive whiteboard! I thought the Fling the Teacher game was really funny! Especially when you got to choose your victim. I think using an interactive whiteboard with math is extremely helpful for students, it helps them really see what they are doing, and it makes it a lot more fun for them when they can get up in front of the class and do something. We used smartboards in my high school and it was still fun then to run up and be the one to touch the board, so I think it would be a lot more exciting in the younger grades! Great post!

  18. Erin M. says:

    Holly, I agree with the others in that interactive white boards are extremely fun and beneficial resources in the classroom. I had never seen or used one of these boards prior to last year when I was tutoring at an elementary school in Burlington. I remember when it was a huge deal to have a dry erase board in my elementary school classroom rather than a simple chalkboard, so when I saw the interactive white board I was amazed. Students really do all benefit from being able to physically write on, edit, observe and critique their own work and the work of their peers. As you said it allows them to take a different perspective in the classroom rather than just sitting and watching the teacher fill the white board with problems while the students copy them down and individually do their work on paper. I really liked the sites you put up too, they have some really great ideas that I would never have thought of, like using the interactive white board in science lessons as often as in math lessons.

  19. Anna K. says:

    Holly, this post was very interesting. In one of the classrooms I have worked in I saw the students using smart boards to learn to write, but I loved hearing about how it could be used for math activities. I know that I learn better from doing instead of just watching the teachers doing something on the board over and over again. This is a good way to get involved and keep the class interested! Great job, Holly!

  20. Rebecca S. says:

    I never had interactive whiteboards in my classrooms while in elementary, middle, or high school and because of that, I don’t think I am as aware of their usefulness as I could be. Your post helped me learn about what all an interactive whiteboard can do! I think I am a little old fashioned in that I would rather write on a regular whiteboard than an interactive whiteboard, however the traditional whiteboards definitely don’t allow students to play games like “Fling the Teacher”. Interactive games and activities that students can do on the interactive whiteboards are great! Kids always love to play games–even educational ones, so I can definitely see the pros to using interactive whiteboards.

  21. Riley K says:

    Holly this is a great post on a subject (technology) that will be used more in the future. Interactive whiteboards give students the chance to try to different ways of learning in games such as “Fling the Teacher”. Kids feel more involved this way and it provides a different way of learning than traditional white boards. I especially like how when the correct answer is given it gives positive feedback such as “Good Job” or “Great Work” such positive reinforcement is important in the school and encourages students to keep on doing what they’ve been doing. When I used interactive whiteboards in high school it got the whole classroom to pay attention to what the lesson was and everyone wanted to participate which was refreshing than a normal class day when regular whiteboards were used.

  22. Kyle W. says:

    I really liked the SMART Tools link with activities divided by age and content area. I think the Jeopardy template is great, because what kid doesn’t like Jeopardy? It gets students engaged in a little friendly competition, and I can see it be applicable in a HS english classroom. I’ve seen so many teachers simply use SMART boards/interactive whiteboards as projector screens…maybe I’ll show my practicum teacher this website and blog post!

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