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Making Math Monsters Using SMART Notebook

The SMART Board is an amazing tool for shared learning activities in Mathematics. Using the touch of a finger, children can sort shapes, move manipulatives, and uncover the solution to problems.

Here, I'm providing step-by-step instructions for you to build your own 'Triangle-Eating Monster'.

Using the activity builder function of SMART notebook, you can make a monster who only likes to eat triangles. This activity targets the grade 1 geometry strand.

I really like this activity for triangles because, unlike square or circles, triangles can look very different. By completing this activity, children can realize that triangles are not only equilateral, but come in many 3 sided shapes & sizes.

Another advantage is that you, as the teacher, will be able to assess your students' knowledge of the geometric shapes, and can extend your assessment by asking for the names and attributes of the other shapes on the SMART board. Eg. Can someone come up and point to a square? How did you know it is a square?

The disadvantage of using the SMART board is that although children are standing up and actively involved, only one child can come up to the board at a time. This activity would make a great math centre so that the maximum number of students can come up to the board and move shapes (because they're dying to come up to the SMART board!). Also, the triangles on the SMART board are only pictorial representations. Make sure you combine this activity with some tactile examples such as foam triangles to facilitate multiple learning styles.

This activity is similar to these two worksheets from K-6, only a lot more interactive and fun!  Sheet 1 Sheet 2


Step 1: Add your monster
  •  In SMART Notebook, click the Gallery Essentials tab
  • Type in the word goblin (*note: typing the word 'monster' reveals no results)
  • Drag & drop the goblin onto the page
  • Be sure to lock your goblin by clicking the button in the top right corner and pressing 'lock in place'

Step 2: Add shapes
  • Click on the shape button on the toolbar (button with an orange square and a blue circle). This will reveal shapes that you can drag & drop onto the SMART notebook page.
  • Press the down arrow to reveal different triangles and a diamond shape
  • You can turn a shape by clicking on a shape, click and hold the green circle at the top of the shape, and using your mouse- rotate the shape. (*note: make sure the black arrow is selected in the toolbar, or you'll keep making whatever shape you selected last).


Step 3: Fill shapes
  • Press the paint bucket picture and select fill colour.
  • To switch colours click the colour button, and a selection of different colours will appear to choose from. Remember, colours do not always appear the same on the SMART board as they do on your monitor, so pick colours with high contrast.
  • *It is important to fill your shapes because it is difficult to move empty shapes on the SMART board.
Step 4: Build your activity!
  • Click on the Activity Builder button on the sidebar, and click the Activity Builder icon.
  • Select the goblin and press the edit button to make the goblin an activity
  • Drag & drop all the triangles into the the box labelled Accept these Objects. These shapes will be 'eaten' by the monster!
  • To save time, under Reject these Objects, click the 'Add All Remaining'. These shapes will go back into their original place if dragged onto the goblin.
  • Click the Done button to make the game active.
  • Once your students have finished dragging shapes over the goblin, you can reset the game by clicking the button 'Reset All' under Activity Builder.  

If you need further instructions, check out this YouTube lesson, which demonstrates how to use the activity builder to create a science lesson.

Here are some links to other ways you can use the SMART activity builder:

Social Studies
Language Arts

Creative Commons Licence
Making Math Monsters Using SMART Notebook by Teala Tyson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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