Time Saving Tips
Making Learning Ladders can be time-consuming if you want to add pictures or like things to be uniform. Our Learning Ladder Time Saving Tip is to use Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides.
But what happens if you have students at multiple levels and one Learning Ladder doesn’t work? Put up multiple Learning Ladders! This allows you to check multiple levels without changing the Learning Ladder for every child.
At Prairie Ridge Early Learning Center, One S.M.A.R.T. Teacher, Katie Rhoten found a different use for her Balance Beam yardstick. Katie adheres it to a cupboard or bookshelf and uses the Velcro side to attach a Learning Ladder!
Are you struggling to find the right space for your Tactile Trackers or Wagon Wheels? Or are you having difficulty finding a place to put them so you can adjust the height to fit the heights of your students? We recommend using the lockers in the hallway, like Katy from Janesville!
Because Tactile Trackers and Wagon Wheels are teacher-directed activities, many S.M.A.R.T. teachers hang them near the bathroom and use them while students are lining up. This clever tip helps teachers monitor the activity, keeps groups small, and engages students during an otherwise boring wait time.
Why are Tactile Trackers and Wagon Wheels so important? These fundamental eye movement activities help increase the stamina of students who avoid visual tasks, have a shortened attention span, or get tired easily when doing visual activities by encouraging the eyes to follow along as the student smoothly traces the line. Keep in mind your students will be at varying stages of development which transcribe into varying levels of abilities. Check out the different stages of development in the S.M.A.R.T. Pre-K CORE Guide.
Ever wonder what you can do at home to help support your child’s reading ability? We think you’ll be aMAZEd at this simple, fun, and developmentally appropriate idea! Grab the Legos and make a maze with your child! Then grab a small ball and see if your child can move the ball through the maze.
The eye movements your child uses to follow the ball through the maze are the same eye movements they need when reading or doing a worksheet. Check out Eye Can Learn (https://eyecanlearn.com/tracking/) to see why tracking is so important to school success.
One S.M.A.R.T. Teacher, Alisha, makes Tactile Trackers that coincide with the units she’s working on with her students! Check out the fabulous Tactile Tracker she made to support her unit on plants; you’ll notice that it also has the parts of the plant labeled to introduce vocabulary.
One S.M.A.R.T. Teacher - Oct. '22
One S.M.A.R.T. Teacher at Discovery Elementary in Waite Park, Matthew, lays out his S.M.A.R.T. Course in a serpentine fashion to maximize the space AND stimulation his students get by doing the activities. You will notice that each activity leads directly to the next to keep the students moving on the course. In the places where there is wall space, Matthew has placed Learning Ladders at varied levels to address the different heights of children and various content to address the diverse needs of all his students.
This S.M.A.R.T. Teacher’s advice is: “Slow and steady will win the race. Stay true to what we have learned, and hold the expectations of each movement to the highest standard. Also have fun!! If you are excited the kids will be excited!”
Matthew is also a S.M.A.R.T. Teacher because he attended a S.M.A.R.T. Workshop 2 years in a row and gave us several laughs! We get excited when we recognize the names of educators in our registration as repeat participants. Educators who come back for additional workshops tell us they learn even more the second time and gain a much deeper understanding of the program.
Is there a S.M.A.R.T. Teacher at your school who deserves to be recognized? Send their name, email address, and a brief description of what they are doing to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can feature them in this section.
If you use an assigned S.M.A.R.T. spot for movement breaks, check out the variety of Velcro shapes on Amazon to space students.