Spring is right around the corner, and with it we leave behind the winter blahs as blue skies are ahead. As an educator, it’s easy to get into a rut this time of year with everything that is going on—spring activities kicking into full gear, local and state assessments, curriculum changes for next year, and so on.
Just as nature around us begins to show renewed growth, we too feel the new energy that we can carry into our classrooms. Although it may be easy to pull out lessons from previous years to use, it can be exciting to try out new ways of teaching lessons or exploring new ideas to motivate our students. Designing new lessons can take some time to ensure it meets your needs, but the end result is well worth the investment. Here is our collection of themed content to get you ready with new lessons for March:
March Calendar and Morning Meeting: Top o' the mornin' to ya! Featuring a fun St. Pat’s theme, students can practice skills all month long using the calendars, morning meeting activities, attendance chart, graphing and math activities, and more.
Spring Gallery Pack: Even if it may not feel like it where you live, spring officially arrives this month! This gallery pack is filled with images, templates, and lessons/activities to get you started and bring some spring fun to your classroom.
Lesson Renovation | Read Across America With The Lorax: In celebration of Dr. Seuss's birthday, this follow-up reading comprehension lesson covers The Lorax. Be sure to read the book to your students before using the lesson!
Fantastic Fractions Lesson Series: Are you teaching fractions in the middle elementary grades? These three fraction lessons will help you introduce fractions in a fun, interactive setting!
"Get More" With Non-Standard Measure: Part of our "Get More" series, this lesson helps students learn measuring with non-standard units. Using your MimioStudio™ classroom software, this math concept becomes interactive!
Making the Most of MimioStudio Tools
Creating your own lessons using MimioStudio—or adding your own spin to lessons that have already been created—can be simplified when using the right tools. Just like any home improvement project, the right tool makes all the difference in how you accomplish a task. While there are many great tools available to use in MimioStudio, some are definitely utilized more as you craft your next classroom masterpiece.
Connect Lesson Elements With Ease
This handy tool allows you to select multiple items in a lesson in order to “connect” them together. You can group just about anything you would have in a lesson, from graphic objects and text to multimedia and animations. By grouping objects, you can make things much easier as you move design elements on a lesson page or create great interactive elements for students to manipulate.
To group objects once you have chosen multiple items, select Format from the top menu in MimioStudio > Grouping > Group. You can also right-click once the items are selected and choose Grouping > Group. If you find you need to split items apart in a lesson that may be already grouped, you can ungroup them in the same fashion by selecting Format > Grouping > Ungroup (or right-click and choose Grouping > Ungroup).
Add Layers to Your Lessons
As items are added to a lesson page in MimioStudio, they are layered one on top of the other. There are many cases when you want an object to go behind another object—you can use this little design trick to hide objects that students can uncover. Another neat tip is to create objects that students can manipulate. If what they choose is correct, it might remain on top of another object. If incorrect, it would go behind another object when they move it.
Using object ordering is a great way to plan a lesson with interactivity and feedback built in. To use the Object Ordering tool, select an object that you want to change the relative layering of on a page, such as a box you want to go behind some existing text:
- Select the box and then choose Format > Order from the top menu in MimioStudio. You will see options for Front, Back, Forward, and Backward.
- Choosing Front will bring the selected object all the way to the front, making it the top layer.
- Choosing Back will move the selected object to the bottom layer.
- If you choose Forward or Backward, it will move the object one layer at a time to where you want it to be. Depending on the number of objects on a page, it might take a few steps to get an object to the correct layer using the Forward or Backward options.
To move existing text in front of a box, select the text and choose Format > Order > Front. You can then move the text over the box and group them together as one item (if that was the intent of a lesson element). You also have the ability to use the right-click method once an object is selected, then choose Order, and then your choice. The Object Ordering tool is a powerful feature allowing you to create some dynamic elements in a lesson as well just using it for basic lesson design.
Keep Lesson Elements in Place
One critical component to creating or modifying a lesson is to make sure it achieves your learning objectives while you or your students are using it. One of the biggest failures seen in some lesson design is when objects on the page move out of place while being manipulated—especially when they aren’t supposed to move. Object Locking is a critical step to consider before deploying an interactive lesson for students to use.
While there are times you have manipulative elements built into a lesson that are intended to be moved, there are often other supporting elements on a lesson page that shouldn’t be moved. To fix items on a lesson page so they can’t be moved—which could derail even the best lesson—get in the practice of locking them on the page.
- Select the objects that you want to lock on the page. You can select multiple objects at a time by dragging your cursor around each to select them, or by holding down the Control key on your keyboard as you use your mouse to select multiple objects.
- Once selected, choose Format > Locking > Lock from the top menu or use the right-click method and then Locking > Lock. If you try to select the objects on the page now, you’ll find you won’t be able to do so.
- If you need to make adjustments on a page and you can’t select them, you’ll need to unlock them first. From the top menu, choose Format > Locking > Unlock All (right-click Locking > Unlock All). All items on the page will now be unlocked and free to move, delete, or change in any way.
This is just the beginning of the incredible set of tools available in your lesson creation and instruction arsenal. You can learn more in our upcoming MimioStudio Quick Learn sessions this month: