Do you have a SmartBoard? Do you use graphic organizers? Want to combine the two? Then it's time to begin using Inspiration on your SmartBoard. If you want to see student engagement soar (even for a lesson involving the interactivity of a whiteboard), open up Inspiration and have your students create a bubble map (as they are known to my kids).
During my first years of teaching, Inspiration was a tool that I used all the time. Over the past few years I rarely used it at all. Last year I switched to a room with a SmartBoard and rediscovered the program. Not only does it engage my students, but it forces them to think and apply their learning. Below is a completed example of a concept map that my math students made on measurement. It was not this neat when I first projected it. The bubbles were scattered across the screen and there were no connections. Over the course of about 15 minutes, my students came to the SmartBoard, organized it, and made the connections. There were some mistakes and it was pretty cool to watch the kids correct them.
In science, I had my students construct a complex food web with a dozen animals. I'm not going to post it here because I took all of the photos from the Internet (you can copy and paste photos to your maps), but below you'll see an example of a food web made with the program:
Check out the Inspiration website and download the 30-Day trial. The site is also full of lesson plans and other resources.
Check out: Alphabet Symmetry | Waves of Immigration | Slavery in America
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