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Learning possibilities endless with SMART Boards

Park Rapids kindergartner Allison Offerdahl participates in a SMART Board game that helps students learn to tell time. Several SMART Boards are being installed in Park Rapids classrooms this spring. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

Park Rapids students are learning math skills and more with the assistance of SMART Boards.

The interactive white boards are being installed in several classes at Century School. They were purchased with the help of grant funding.

Kindergarten teacher Alyssa LaVoie was one of the first to have a board installed in her room.

"It's just amazing," she said. "The possibilities are endless."

She has already used the SMART Board to display the daily schedule to students, teach them to tell time and count by 10s.

LaVoie's class also took a "trip" to Yellowstone National Park using the SMART Board to show a video.

Several interactive games are available for students to work on their math skills. One of their favorites is where they decide which clock is displaying the correct time.

"It's great because the students are learning but don't know they're learning," LaVoie said.

Teachers will receive three full days of training during the summer to learn more ways to use the SMART Boards.

Jill Stevenson, a fourth-grade teacher, has also been using a SMART Board for a few weeks.

"I bet I used it three or four times that first day," she said. "I've been having the students practice daily oral language using the board."

She puts a couple sentences on the board that need fixing and students take turns going up to the board to correct them.

Another opportunity to use the SMART Board came after her class read "Sarah, Plain and Tall."

"Another teacher had created an exercise to review vocabulary from the book and the students just loved it," Stevenson said.

Fourth graders have also been practicing long division on the SMART Board.

The boards are used like an interactive white board with a touch screen and are connected to the Internet. DVDs can also be played through the board.

"It's an amazing teaching tool," Stevenson said. "I keep thinking of more ways to use it."

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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