Whenever I teach PD courses, I often find myself relaying to attendees how much the infinite cloner is their friend. It really is…especially if you teach a mathematics course. In a math classroom that uses manipulatives, the smartboard can be used to model and interact with pretty much exact replicas of the concrete objects that students are using at their desks.
For starters, Algebra tiles are already sized and ready to use in the Algebra tab under Gallery Essentials. To match our classroom tiles, I simply changed the color of some of my tiles using the properties tab.
Once I have all of the tiles that I need, I actually do an “area select” of every object that I would like to infinitely clone and using one of the selected drop downs, I choose infinite cloner.
For many of you, this may not be a new idea however, the event that followed clearly showed the impact that SMART has even in the simplest of task.
After working through a few factoring activities with SMART and concrete tiles, one of my students…who has NEVER volunteered to do anything in front of the entire class insisted on going up to the board and completing the activity with the board tiles. This particular student has a form of autism and is normally more comfortable whispering her answers to me or writing it down on paper for me to see. She won’t even use our Response XE clickers for several reasons and that is perfectly fine with me.
However, today, this “simple” colorful and interactive activity brought her to the board to interact for probably the first time in front of an entire class and maybe a first with SMART technology…period. I noticed that she created the model at her desk first, then correctly and independently mimicked the same steps on the board. When her board work was completed, she then went on to HELP other students around her who were slightly confused…another first!!
To say that this was a remarkable moment was an understatement. A simply created activity laid the groundwork for an extraordinary moment.