Monday, February 15, 2010

smart ideas updates

I've been using smart ideas in two different ways:
1. preparation and division of chapters. Smart ideas is excellent for mapping out a chapter. Recently we learned chapter 12 in the Book of Devarim. I prepared a Smart Ideas presentation dividing the chapter into five topics. Together in class we noted that the chapter could be divided into three larger units- we found the repetitive phrases and noted their similarities and contrasts. It was most effective because the students were able to follow along and see the pesukim as larger units within the chapter. Before I used Smart Ideas I found that I was dividing the chapters for the students and not with them, because they were so busy taking notes or flipping pages of the chumash without being able to draw conclusions on their own

2. A reviewing tool. I find that Smart Ideas is extremely effective as a wrap up and review to the unit. We just finished learning Navi Sheker in Chapter 13 of the Book of Devarim. We learned various commentators and their views concerning the identity of the false prophet. After we learned the texts inside- I used Smart Ideas to map out all the various opinions. I created the template and then called on one or two students to come up and create a map of the opinions we learned. This was an opportunity for the students to not only review but categorize the opinions. They had to figure out if the Abarbanel opinion was more similar to the Rambam's of Rabbi Akiva's. Since I've now had many months to work with this software I find that I'm able to use it effectively in class without wasting lots of time. It's almost easier using smart ideas that drawing my own charts on the board. The students really love that they don't have to copy the charts and maps in their notes since they know that I post it for them as a pdf on their homework pages. I especially love that each class creates their own pages and that each classes' pages are really different from one another.

1 comment:

Eli said...

Can you please post a screen shot?