SMORE! It is just as fun as it sounds. This tool was introduced to me during my student teaching and I haven’t stopped using it since. The ideas are endless through Smore and it is a way for me to plan in an organized, creative way.
What is Smore? Smore is a way of communication where you can create interactive newsletters to send to students, parents, etc.
Personally, I use Smore for EVERYTHING. I just recently got my mom, also a fourth grade teacher, into using Smore and it is a game changer for us to share lessons together!
If your school district is anything like mine, you have to have a Canvas page for students, especially during the pandemic! I am in a fourth grade classroom and have to post all lessons, worksheets, videos, or anything else into Canvas. At first, this was extremely time consuming and was taking forever to add modules, pages, links, etc.
Then, I remembered Smore.
I began to create daily lessons into a Smore page where I could embed videos, add images of assignments, link assignments, and more. It saved me SO MUCH TIME! I then found I could pull my Smore page up in my classroom to teach from!
Once I had a Smore page formed, all I had to do was get the Smore page link and add this direct link to my Canvas page for students to find everything they needed.
2. Lesson Planning
At my school, we don’t have to submit lesson plans, but we need to have them made and visible whether it be on your desk or not.
If you are a teacher, then you know, lesson plans change DAILY. I was getting so irritated that I would spend so much time on a paper lesson planning and of the marks I would have to make on my page because of the changes.
With Smore, I was able to plan weeks in advance because if anything changed, all I needed to do was go into Smore and switch whatever I needed around or change the date on something.
I also was able to add links, videos, images, or anything I needed straight into my lesson plans. This was a GAME CHANGER. The day I get to school early to get all my materials together, video pulled up, or anything else is over because I can simply pull up my Smore and access anything I need on that page.
3. Self-Paced Lessons
As you know, every student works at their own pace. The first few weeks of school, it was a challenge to make sure all of my students knew what they needed to do next because they were all working at such different paces.
With Smore, students know what is coming next and can get started. I create Smore pages with explicit directions for my early finishers to be able to read directions and begin before I even have to say it. TIP: At the end of every lesson, go ahead and add into your Smore page an ‘early finisher’ activity whether it is a video, writing activity, or anything, it will help you assist other students while those students extend on the activity.
It has changed my classroom management, too. I am not being said, “I’m done, what do I do next?” or “I didn’t hear you when you gave directions.” Students know, if they were in the bathroom, not listening, or anything to that nature that they can read the directions on their Chromebook if I am busy helping a student.
Not only is this awesome for my students in class, it is also amazing for my online students. These students see explicit, written-out directions rather than a link to an assignment they are expected to complete at home, without me.
4. Weekly Newsletters
Say goodbye to the hours spent writing out emails to parents or printed out newsletters that you are fully aware everything on that newsletter could change.
With Smore, the link you send to parents or students, changes when you change it!
I have come across many situations when I needed to change a date on a test or when something was due. All I had to do was change this date in my Smore and then students saw the new date on their weekly newsletter.
I embed the Smore into Canvas and all students and guardians can see it whenever they need to! This saves me all of the time and paper!
Things that can be added to a Smore:
- Google Forms
- Embedded Links that can be turned into Buttons
- Event Information
This is not an ad, but Smore is a paid membership! It goes as low as $19/month to $99/month. Personally, I have the cheapest option and I think I paid $75 for the entire year!