Creating the smart notebook files by far consumes the vast majority of our professional learning time: In addition to pairing appropriate warm up or "minds on" activities with the lesson proper and a follow-up or practice activity and homework assignment, we are attempting to really ensure we have met the specific curriculum expectations for the grade 3 level.
Just because a problem is a good one, doesn't mean it is relevant for grade 3, and with so much to cover in such a short amount of time, we want to ensure we aren't doing all kinds of extraneous "stuff"; the textbook, while well laid-out from a mathematical perspective, goes beyond the scope of the curriculum, and to be honest, one could ever fit it all in, especially in grade three, where nearly a month is lost due to early wrap-up/EQAO!
Once we've paired warm-ups and problems with one another, and matched them to the curriculum, we are trying, too, to lay them out in a sequence that makes sense and is developmentally appropriate.
Have we succeeded? Next year, I think, would be the year to determine this. Having developed a comfort with the equipment and the process, it is then that we might have a chance to pause and reflect in a deeper, more meaningful way. For now, we are impressed with just how much work goes into such a project as this one, and are ever more aware of why some folks just don't teach this way. It is good, good stuff, but incredibly time-consuming, especially in the preparation stages, and we cannot hold it against any colleague who does not have the benefit of multiple "days off" to plan and prepare such lessons. Hopefully, our bank of lessons posted on this site will help people who want to try teaching in such a way, but aren't sure where to begin.