Here's to a SMART Start.

Kacy Mitchell

  • Eanes ISD Educational Technologist
  • Previously worked for Region 7 ESC
  • Background in Secondary ELA
  • Worked in CO and TX


Email me!

Technical Tidbits

Calibration (orientation) of the SMART Board

It's important to keep your SMART board calibrated so that it responds to your touch at the accurate point. It's a good rule of thumb to calibrate your board every time you disconnect it from the projector or if you notice that the point is off when operating it.

There are two options for calibration:

1. Use two fingers to press the buttons on the front of the board and use the pens provided to press in the middle of the crosses that appear on the board. Be sure to do this as accurately as possible.

2. Go to Start-->SMART Technologies-->SMART Board Tools-->SMART Settings--> Orientation and Alignment Settings-->Orient

Note: If you would like to increase the number of orientation points, you can change it in Orientation Settings. I recommend using the 20 point orientation if younger children will use the board. The tinier the fingers, the more accurate the board needs to be.

customize your toolbar

You can customize your toolbar any time by clicking on the gear all the way to the left in SMART Notebook. Simply click and drag items to and from the toolbar. It'll even save your preferences for the next time you open the program.

The SMART Exchange

Visit the SMART Exchange to download free templates. You'll need to create an account first (and be sure you can access the email address you use to register--you'll need to follow a link in a confirmation email).


Most of the activities you can download on the SMART Exchange are simply conditional functions. For example, you could create an activity where dragging the rain cloud to the sun makes a rainbow.

Additionally, other activities simply are made by creating links to different pages, like in this Jeopardy game.

Additional Resources

This teacher uses her SMART Board to keep her students organized during her Daily 5 Activities.

Like refrigerator magnets? This teacher uses her SMART Board to teach her students how to have fun with parts of speech.

Train 'em well! Teachers that seem to have it all together rely heavily on classroom routines. I love how this teacher uses transition music to signal a different activity so she doesn't have to make the same announcements every day.

One of the most difficult things about the SMART Exchange is knowing the details of a particular lesson without having to download it. This teacher has provided links to some popular SMART Board tools and interactive websites so you have all the details on 100 Math lessons without having to "buy" before you try.

Brain Break! This hypnotizing website is awesome for taking it down a notch or eight.

This activity for popcorn sight words is a free download! You'll need to create a Teachers Pay Teachers account, though.

Stop the Clock! This website is awesome for teaching students to tell time in a fun way.


SMART Lesson Design

know what you're up against.

Read "The Case Against SMART Boards" with an open mind and think about this as you're analyzing your lesson plan and creating a plan for moving it up the SAMR ladder.

SAMR and Bloom's

Image above from Dr. Puentedura's presentation on TPCK which can be found here.

Bloom's Taxonomy at a glance

Where are you?


thinking of the end: a SMART place to begin