SMARTBoard and iPads: Collaborative Learning in Elementary Music Class

Combining an interactive SMARTBoard activity with 1:1 iPads provided the perfect opportunity for collaborative learning in my elementary music class this week.

Interactive SMARTBoard Activity

The  4/4 Rhythm Shuffle SMARTBoard activity combines music and math. Briefly, here’s how to use the SMARTBoard activity: I divide my class into two teams. Each child takes a turn “flinging” the game piece across the SMARTBoard. Thanks to the updated Notebook software, anytime an object is tossed across the screen, it bounces off the walls of the SMARTBoard screen. It’s so wicked cool! When the game piece comes to rest, the note values within the boxes the game piece touched are added together to make a score for that move.

SMARTBoards and iPads

I had the children open EduCreations on their iPads. Their assignment was to work together as a team to tally the points scored on each turn. They had to agree on how many boxes the game piece touched and they had to agree on the number of points each note value received. This was a learning experience because not all of my second graders take piano and know the value of notes. Having each child keep a running tally was great practice for math skills AND kept the team working together. Working on the iPads made it extra cool and they were easily able to compare scores.

Wrong score – no points!!

If the children didn’t work as a team to agree on the correct score, they were not given any points. They had to be sure of the score before saying it. The teams had to keep a running tally and report their agreed upon score several times during the class. … more math practice.


Watch the following video highlighting several moments during this SMARTBoard Rhythm Shuffle activity. Notice the way the kids are working together (and sometimes independently). I like how they check each other and self-correct without my prompting. They are teaching each other how to keep tally marks, how many points each note value receives, the difference between a half-rest and whole rest, etc.


Download the SMARTBoard 4/4 Rhythm Shuffle Game here.

Although I’ve written about this Notebook file before, it’s the first time I’ve actually used it in my classroom with 2nd graders and their iPads. I have a floor version, but this SMARTBoard version was a delightful change.  I hope you can use this game and have many similar experiences!

If you do, I’d love to hear about them!

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Cherie Herring

I teach elementary music, am passionate about integrating technology into my teaching, am obsessed with my SMARTBoard and iPad, and enjoy creating lessons and sharing ideas. I love technology almost as much as I love cheesecake, and with more energy and ideas than I know what to do with, I can't wait for the sun to come up each morning! I'm wife to Prince Charming and mom to three incredible girls who keep me balanced. . . sort of!

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Katie February 23, 2013, 4:50 PM

    Hi Cherie – love this game! I’ll be sharing this post during my music tech PD sessions. I just showed your 18 Musical Activities Smartboard file and recommended your blog to an online course group last week. Thanks again!

    • Cherie Herring February 23, 2013, 4:54 PM

      Thank you, Katie! I’m your biggest fan, you know!!

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