One of my goals for next year is building my individual Smart Notebook files into complete units, providing some flow, cohesiveness, and I will have all of my resources in one place, easily accessible.  Over the summer I hope to get my units done and ready to go for neat year.  I’m starting with science, grade 5, electricity and magnetism.

Here is the process I am going through to build a Smart Notebook based unit – as I try to maximize the use of my Smart Board and engage students to deepen their understanding of the concepts being taught.

1) Theme, background, and visuals – I always start with a background colour, a title, and a few visuals to create consistency.  After the title page I create a theme from the first page so that it is easy to have the same colour and title on each page following.
2) Outcomes for the unit – I build the outcomes of the unit into simple, “I Can” statements for students and link lessons to those outcomes.  I reference the actual outcomes at the end of the unit – to keep them in an easy to refer to location.
unit - I can
3) What do I already have – I dig through my old files to see what I already have made, and what I can incorporate and reuse.  What I don’t use I delete, I’m never one to keep old files – they just collect and I never use them, so I clean them out as I go.
unit - already have
4) Linking – The key to developing a unit – linking smart notebook files, pdf files, student handouts on word, assessments, and helpful external websites.
unit - linking
5) Visuals, Media, Videos, Flash – I love using the Smart Board for Flash activities we can do together and discuss.  I think the hands on nature of them is great reinforcement of concepts for students.  Visuals are key for visual learners, and short video clips to introduce or reinforce concepts are very engaging for students.  For a complete list of the flash activities in the Lesson Activity Toolkit 2.0, with examples – Click Here
unit - Flash
6) Bringing it all together – pull together individual lesson elements, attach files and stand alone Smart Notebook lessons. Using the attachment tab you can bring in pdf, smart files, word documents, and collect all unit documents in one place. This collection makes all of your files easy to access, and easy to link so all of your lesson and unit materials are in one place.
unit - together