First, let me say that bigger is better. I cannot imagine having had the smaller board. We absolutely did the right thing by getting the big one!
Happily, my colleague Dale had taken the time to research a few little ditties online like, for example, a balloon pop attendence activity and a flying goose activity. I have been using the latter almost daily, in order to just get the students used to using the board. They do seem to enjoy making their geese fly away during attendence each morning, however, with this activity emerges the first challenge: The good people who installed the board installed it way too high, so that the dear children can only reach up to perhaps the middle of the board!!! (Note to self: Upon leaving Dixie, reccommend to principal that my room be turned into a Grade 5 room, with taller students, lol!)
I must say I do love how I can just take a document and write all over it as a lesson proceeds (for example, the four corners oral language activity shown in the middle photo). I also am liking how as a demonstration tool, many things can be first focused on and then stored for later reference -- in the thrid photo above, we did a warm up activity using pattern blocks (from page 10 of the GEIM in patterning K-3). As we debriefed, I made some notes, including a table. I then selected, grouped, shrunk and moved this information to make way for the vocab chart we were generating, and the 100s chart we were looking at, but I was still able to leave it on the board, off to the side, for reference as needed.
One thing is that I need to get more proficient at using the tools, shrinking things, enlarging, moving, etc. I also find that I have been using the board more as a presentation tool, rather than a learning tool for students. Dale and I are hoping to visit a classroom in the coming weeks that uses the board with students. Now that we've mucked around with it in a real classroom with it as beginners, we need to see it in action as facilitated by an expert user!
One final complaint is that any leaning on the projector table causes the darned thing to require recalibration.
But, so far so good.
I hope to make the time for a more coherent and focussed blog pos