ActiveBoard Tips and Tricks

Your Promethean ActiveBoard is a wonderful teaching tool. I consider it a giant, interactive monitor for my computer. I use it as a white board but I also use it as a classroom management tool, a teaching tool, and a motivation tool.

If you are lucky enough to have an ActiveBoard installed in your classroom, I suggest you join Promethean Planet. This is the online community developed and hosted by Promethean that provides the following resources:
  • Training videos - can be downloaded to your laptop or iPod as well as viewed on the site (video introduction to the planet). I love the Activtips videos!!!
  • Resources - backgrounds, images, clip art, fonts, etc for the development of your flipcharts
  • Lessons - flipcharts you can use in your class
  • Forums and Blogs - connect with other ActiveBoard users and share ideas
  • Support - answers to questions and updates on software

Everyday Management Uses (other than the expected teaching lessons with flip charts)

1. Create a student name page. I teach 5 classes daily so I have an attendance flipchart with 5 pages - one page per class. List each student's name as an individual text object (in its own text box) so you can click and drag each name around the screen.
Use this page for
  • attendance
  • grouping
  • seating charts
2. Give Instructions. Post the daily warm-up activity (morning work) so that students can get to work immediately upon entering the classroom without verbal instructions from you (thank you, Harry Wong).
3. Color code your pages. For example, always make your warm-up activity pages bright yellow, notes pages white, lab instructions pale blue, etc.
4. Use the clock/timer tool to keep your students on task.
5. Use the dice tool as a random student selector. I have my student desks numbered 1-22. I can use the dice tool to call on students. I select 4 dice and roll. Add up the total on the dice for the student selected. (If you happen to get 23 or 24 or an empty desk, roll again!)
6. Use page notes for notes to yourself:
  • things you want to remember during the lesson
  • reflecting on the lesson - what do you want to remember to do differently next year or next time you teach this lesson
7. Use the tickertape tool to give instructions or make announcements
  • directions to an activity or assignment (answer the following questions in your science notebook)
  • birthday wishes (Happy Birthday, Martha)
  • announcement of upcoming events (Chapter Test Thursday)
  • homework (finish the lab report for homework)
  • learning objective/standard
8. Print flipchart pages for students who are absent or who need copies of notes as part of their modifications. Print 4 or 6 slides per page.
9. Show videos while the desktop flipchart is active (example: Brainpop). Do not show in full screen so that you can annotate the area around the video.
10. Use ActiveVotes wtih BrainPop quzzes.
11. Take and import lots of photos into your resource library so that you can use them often in your lessons.
  • photos of students for grouping (instead of names) or seating charts
  • photos of student labs so students can visualize directions
  • photos of lab setups so students can set up their materials boxes for the next class