Teacher Tech blog with Alice Keeler

Paperless Is Not a Pedagogy

Alice Keeler

Using a Promethean Board

Using a Promethean Board

I know some educators are not fans of the IWB. It is a tool, it is not a magic weapon, but here are my reasons why I like my Promethean board.

  • Cheap graph paper.  Those chart paper sheets are expensive… how do I hang them up? With my promethean board I have graph paper with a single click… and as much of it as I want.
  • Duplicate the page: After each step I will duplicate the page which gives me several advantages. If I press the arrows to go backwards I can show what I did step by step by step. This is awesome for when you inevitably get the question from a student “I don’t understand what you did.” Well I can back up and walk through it very carefully again.
  • Duplicate annotation: As I am writing I want the students to see the progression of the math problem. Especially when I do substitution,  I want to show the parenthesis and THEN fill them in. I write the expression with parenthesis, lasso, duplicate and then fill it in. I love not having to copy what I just wrote.
  • Black Curtain: Frequently I want to focus on one half of the equation or part of the problem. Being able to black out the screen and pull it from left, right, top or bottom to reveal only the part of the problem I want to focus on is a huge help. I pass out post it notes to the students so they can duplicate the effect on their paper. With reducing monomials being able to look at the coefficients separately from the variables and exponents really helps students to compare and contrast.
  • Spotlight tool: When a student is not understanding a concept being able to block out all the “noise” on the board and just look at one part of the problem brings a lot of clarity. My favorite example is 10 – 3 and trying to get the students to get that the 3 is negative really comes home when I turn on the spot light and the 10 is not visible.  Then I toggle it off and on.  Subtract 3, negative 3, subtract 3, negative 3.  This makes it a lot easier for students throughout the year to attach the negative to the number to the right of it.
  • Create a blank page: Rarely do I pre make a flipchart. I’m busy and my promethean board is a tool, it shouldn’t suck up all my outside of classtime. But when I have something pre prepared I can insert a blank page to do another example when the students need additional practice beyond what I pre prepared.  Allows me to let data control my lesson (when I use my Expressions). If the students did not do well on a question, we keep doing questions until they are getting it.
  • Highlighter: Frequently I like to highlight.
  • Export: At the end of my lesson I can export to a PDF and post to my website or I can print out what I taught. This is great when you get a 504 plan that requests to give a copy of the notes to the student. Even students who are not absent appreciate being able to get the notes off of the website.


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