When you create a “Thick” SMARTNotebook lesson, take advantage of all that can be linked on each page or in each file.

Package your SMARTNotebook lessons to teach like a DIVA!

How many times have you been teaching at the SMARTBoard, feeling very proud of how well your newly created SMARTNotebook lesson is going, only to have the students begin asking questions beyond what you had planned to cover?  Have you ever had those moments when you could only verbally answer their questions; you had nothing to show, nothing prepared to go in a new direction or go deeper? We’ve all been there!

Package Your SMARTNotebook lessons to engage

Take it as a compliment when you run out of information to share! Your student’s imagination is sparked and they want to know more. I think it is terrific compliment and natural result of interactive teaching. When the SMARTBoard is used the way it is designed to be used, students are engaged, touching, actively listening, and forming questions. However, great lessons don’t just happen. My goal when building a SMARTNotebook lesson, is to include not just facts, but tangents that set my students up to ask “Thick” questions, not “Thin” questions. When I design a lesson, I try to include the [click to continue…]


As you will see from this AppSmashing Debussy Project, iPads Have Transformed My Music Classroom

Going to 1:1 iPads  in my school, completely transformed learning in my classroom and me as a teacher. Here is just one example of the quantity and quality of work Apple technology promotes with my third grade elementary music students. Take a look at this AppSmashing Debussy Project:

During this past 9-week term, the Frenchman, Claude Debussy, was the focus of our composer study. Third grade students were able to use their iPads to elevate and extend analog learning in the following ways: [click to continue…]


If you are a music teacher with a SMARTBoard, the Magic Pen tool and Fading Ink properties can turn an ordinary lesson into an engaging learning experience for your students. As a Certified SMARTNotebook trainer who is also a musician, I’ve found ways to make the SMARTNotebook features work optimally in a musical setting. Here are my discoveries: the Magic Pen and Fading Ink for Music Teachers.

Magic PenAdd the Magic Pen

There are two ways to customize and add the Magic Pen tool to the tool bar in SMARTNotebook:

  1. Right click on the toolbar and the Customize Toolbar will pop up
  2. Go to VIEW > Toolbar Options > customize

Magic Pen Fading Ink toolbar

While the Customize Toolbar window is open, drag and add the Magic Pen to the desired place on the toolbar.  “Done” closes the window.

Adjust the Magic Pen

Once the Magic Pen is on your toolbar, there are several ways to adjust the settings for your use: [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

TMEA Resource Links 2015

TMEA header

Here are my TMEA resource links.

flippin the Music classI’m having a great time presenting at the Texas Music Teachers  conference in San Antonia, TX this week.  Here are quick links to my shared resources:

“Flipping the Elementary Music Class”

“Not Your Momma’s Music Class”

Apps We are Discussing:








SMARTBoard Koosh Ball Challenge

Download the free Koosh Ball Challenge template below.

Watch this video for directions and a brief walk-through on HOW to link pages to objects.

Koosh Ball Challenge Instructions

Koosh Ball Challenge Features

The Challenge is to adapt and create your own interactive lesson using this template.  Experiment with these features:

  • Insert objects
  • Attach sounds
  • Animate objects
  • Change the color of the Home page balls or lines around the balls
  • Change the width of the lines on the return button on each page
  • Link a video example to a page
  • Link to an outside source like an interactive web page
  • Can you create a theme for each page?
  • Be consistent in the use of fonts. Are they readable, kid-friendly, 24pt+
  • Use  your iPad to record new sound samples for your activity
  • Create at least one surprise page: “Brain Break” moment

Koosh Ball Challenge Rule

Only one rule: The students must come to the SMARTBoard to interact with the activity – maybe not on every page, but on most of the pages.

Thoughts to ponder: [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

Capture the attention of your students this December with 3 IWB Musical Activities for Elf-ry one in your classroom.

These three engaging activities can be uses as a whole group activity , three stand-alone activities, or for centers.

3 SMARTBoard musical activities for Elf-ry one3 IWB Musical Activities for Elf-ry One:

Magic Stem Race

Use the Magic Stem Race to review and / or reinforce correct stem placement on notes on the staff. Utilizing the fading ink features of the Magic Pen, this activity quickly becomes a race to see who can complete the stems correctly before the ink fades. I speak from experience; Elf-ry one will be engaged and want to try it!

The next two activities are designed to review and/ or reinforce the Kodaly hand signs and solfege syllables.

Solfa Gifts

In this activity, students will match the solfa hand sign (tag) to the matching syllable (gift box.) Utilizing the SMARTBoard Activity builder add-on interactive feature, the tags are designed to spin if correctly matched.

Snowflake Solfa

There are two groups of Snowflake solfa pages. The first group uses only So – mi, and the second group uses so-mi-la. Spinning snowflakes make this interactive activity especially fun for the children. Use this activity to have students sing or echo sofa patterns. This activity is one of my students’ favorites!

3 IWB Musical Activities for Elf-ry One Navigation Options

These SMARTBoard Musical Activities are  designed for two options:
1. Use each activity in a stand-alone 10-15 minute activity. The “Next” buttons will take you through each page sequentially.
2. Use the “Bell” navigation buttons on each page to go through the entire file in random order. Use this option for a longer class time and for a variety of activities.


3 IWB Musical Activities for Elf-ry One is available on my TpT site. Here is the link.

Santa Solfege is another interactive lesson for more advanced students.

I hope these activities will be fun and helpful for your students and that you will feel more confident and comfortable using the SMARTBoard to create an engaging, interactive music class.


I want this on my tombstone: Don’t be afraid to let them touch the SMARTBoard!


Page 1 of 3512345Next ›Last »