Increasing Engagement and Motivation in a Kindergarten Class Using SMART

A SMART Consulting story with Rachel Jordan, Edward Gideon Elementary School Philadelphia, PA

Teachers and School

Rachel Jordan
Edward Gideon Elementary School Philadelphia, PA. 

Challenge

Kindergarten teacher Rachel Jordan noticed her students were having difficulty staying engaged and motivated in the classroom.

SMART Solution

SMART Board® 6000 series
SMART Learning Suite 

Result

Interactive lesson and game-based activities on the SMART Board kept students — even the more active ones — consistently engaged. The students became more eager learners.

“As educators we are lifelong learners. We should always embrace various strategies that may enhance our students’ growth in education”
– Rachel Jordan

Goal: Engaging Students’ Attention

Edward Gideon Elementary, a community-based school, strives to help learners become confident in achieving success while providing students with opportunities for educational excellence. Rachel Jordan has worked as an elementary level teacher for 11 years. She shares the same goal of student success as her school. She knew that helping her kindergarten students get engaged and motivated to learn were the first steps to helping them succeed. Jordan had noticed a lack of stamina in her students during lessons—particularly that they had difficulty maintaining their attention. She chose SMART to help her keep her students motivated and engaged in what was their first classroom-style learning environment.

Illustrating Butterfly Life Cycles with SMART

This school year (2018-19), Mrs. Jordan’s students had several project-based and collaborative learning initiatives. One of the science projects had students learn the life cycle of a butterfly. Students were first introduced to the concept using a KWL chart, which was presented in SMART Notebook®. Students could see and engage with the background information and growth stages displayed on the SMART Board as they investigated the life cycle. After recording the students’ prior knowledge and curiosities, Jordan used SMART Notebook to create lessons. Students could then conduct their own inquiries by moving through a series of butterfly activities.

Jordan knew the importance of engagement and hands-on learning. She gave the students time to explore through a hands-on approach while taking care of live caterpillars and watching them go through their life cycles.

Jordan reinforced the concept with interactive lesson created in SMART Notebook and presented on the SMART Board, and with game-based activities in SMART Learning Suite. The students were visual and tactile learners, so this additional component in the learning process met each student’s individual learning needs.

How SMART Solutions Improved Learning

At the beginning of the school year, these kindergarten students had no idea how to use the SMART Board. But by midyear, many of the students’ were captivated by the interactive display as they were introduced to all the ways the interactive display could be used to enhance lessons and learning objectives, and make things fun. As the year progressed, students became more independent learners. They navigated the lessons and various components of the lessons themselves. They voiced a preference for using the interactive display to help them understand a lesson they struggled with. Interactive lessons and game-based activities on the SMART Board kept the students engaged and motivated. Even Jordan’s more active students became more eager learners. Their focus improved and they showed a desire to participate in the hands-on portion of the lessons.

“Students wanted to be independent in their learning and the SMART Board was definitely a catalyst to their independence. Not using it to enhance learning would be a disservice to myself and my students. I want to be able to prepare my students for the various facets of life, and I know the integration of technology into learning is a great start.” 
- Rachel Jordan


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Posted: June 19, 2019
in Outcome Studies