Promethian Boards

I’m soooooo excited!  I just found out that all the classrooms in my building will be getting Promethian Boards next school year!  So my question is…for those of you who have them, what are your favorite things to use them for?  I know about the Promethian Planet site, but where else do you look for lessons?  I’m familiar with the functions of a Promethian Board and have played around with one the past, but I want to know a few things…

1) Did you cry when you lost some wall space?

2) What things do you do on your Promethian Board that you used to use wall space for?

3) Is it everything you hoped it would be?

4) Do you use your visual presenter/ELMO with the PB?


I would love some ideas! 🙂  And I promise…when I get a good handle on how to create my own lessons, I’ll share them! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

About Kristen Poindexter

I am the 2014 National Shell Science Teacher, 2014 PAEMST Awardee for Science, and a Kindergarten teacher who blogs about my adventures in teaching!

Posted on May 16, 2012, in Promethian Board. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Aileen Massey

    I have a Promethean board and I am getting more brave each day trying new things. I do use it with my ELMO. I hope whoever installs it asks YOU where you would like it to be. It does take up a lot of space, but I enjoy using it. The only thing that is bad is every once in awhile you will have a whole lesson planned around using it, and it won’t work for one reason or another. Also, the installers should take into account the height of the children if they are going to be using it. Mine is too high and they can only utilize (reach) the bottom two feet of it. One teacher I know had her dad build her stairs and a little “stage” for them to stand on.


    • Kristen Poindexter

      I was concerned about where it was going to be placed too! 🙂 Thankfully, we got some say in where we wanted it, not much! 🙂 Thankfully, my dry erase board (which it will be mounted over) is only about 1 1/2 feet off the ground and most of my kiddos can reach 3/4 of the way up. I was just thinking about that when I typed this post…what if they can’t reach, it wouldn’t do any good! 🙂
      Thanks! 🙂
      Kristen 🙂


  2. Hollie Fumero

    I actually have a mimio which is similar. I use it for many things. I have my students sign in with attendance everyday. I also get lessons from mimio connect and smartboard exchange. I also use unitedstreaming to show educational videos. I incorporate it during center as a center with whatever we are working on in class during literacy centers there is usually a specific game they play to reinforce the skill that was taught and the same for math centers. I use it for vocabulary development because I teach in a 89 percent ELL population. I have more ideas if you are interested as well. Good luck with the board


    • Kristen Poindexter

      Thanks for reminding me I needed to include it in my Literacy and Math Work Station rotations…I think the kiddos will have so much fun doing that and I can keep a watch on what they are completing! 🙂 I can’t wait to try it out with my ELL kids too–I think it will be such a great tool for them!
      Kristen 🙂


  3. Hi there!
    I’m so happy for you. I have a Promethean board in my room right now and I use it all day. We do our morning message on it, literacy lessons, math lessons, etc. I use it to type up the lyrics to the songs we are learning so I don’t have to write them on chart paper. We also have access to Tumblebooks which is a site with story books online that are animated, and sometimes read by the author. Using ActivInspire (which is our program that we use to make flip charts) I can turn any story into an interactive language lesson. I just made a Froggy Math flipchart, as well as the intro to frog and butterfly lifecycles. We do KWL charts to start each unit. Enjoy!


  4. Height is definitely a concern! I have had to alter several lessons I have found online because my kiddos simply could not reach to manipulate the images!

    I have a smartboard; I’m assuming they’re similar. Here are my tips for you –
    You have to teach how to touch it – just like anything else we have to teach our kinder kids! You can use a tennis ball instead of your finger to touch the board with – sometimes kids struggle with putting too much/too little pressure when they use their fingers, but the tennis ball really helps!
    Some teachers put their entire calendar routine onto program to help with the wall space issue… But, personally, I think you still need a calendar that kids see you use daily.
    YouTube has some great songs – if you don’t already know about them, check out HarryKindergarten and HaveFunTeaching on YouTube. They’re great!
    You can embed music into the smartnotebook program (not sure what you’ll be using). This is great for books on CD, etc – you can have everything set up in a file, and just click to start – no more fumbling with changing out CDs!
    Remember – technology is just a tool, a resource! Start slow! Kids get enough technology at home – don’t let it replace the good teaching that you already do!
    Attend as much district-level PD on your new technology as you can this summer so that you aren’t learning right alongside your kids next year!
    The possibilities are seemingly endless! And the nice thing is that you can save all your files to use again next year!

    ENJOY! 🙂


  5. I love my Promethean Board!!!! At first I did worry about the wall space, but now I wonder how I ever taught without it! It brings learning to life and if has re-inspired me to teach in a different way after so many years of teaching. I love using it with the Elmo, United Streaming, and book sites like Reading a-z, Tumblebooks, and Our Language Arts and Math adoptions have materials available onlilne so I can easily teach from the board and allow students to come up and interact with the lesson. There are some fun accessories you can get to go with the boards (activwands, activotes, and activslates.) The wands allow younger children to reach higher parts of the board and they used to be about $50.00. The more you use it, the more you will love it. Enjoy!!!!


  6. Lisa Walthall

    I too love my Promethean board! We use it all the time. I have purchased Interactive Whiteboard software, and love the Lakeshore Calendar one, though I do misse my wall calendar, as well as the wall space to hang it. I have built flip charts for every letter, and the kids love to come up and use the “magic wand” to uncover the pictures. I have also discovered the joys of YouTube and Kindergarten. I had no idea that so much was available. Now when we sing our favorite letter songs, or counting songs, we have the visuals to match (my favorites are Jack Hartman’s Letter Sounds and Harry Kindergarten’s Count to 100, 3D shapes, Match my Clock, and one called Big Numbers. And oh, so many more). I had no idea that a Promethean Board would change my teaching so much! I am not sure what an ELMO is, but we have document cameras hooked up and I use that all the time.

    You will love it!

    And thanks for sharing your classroom with the world.


  7. Becky Wollam

    I love my ActiveBoard so dearly and can not imagine life without it! You will never be able to go back to teaching without it! We went one day without it when the projector bulb went bad, and the class hated it! 🙂 Like someone else said, try to get it installed as low as possible. It it is too high, you can get a “wand”, which helps the kids reach the higher parts. My kids just use a small, sturdy step stool and move it around as needed. That has worked well for us. The ELMO is an integral part of or class as well. Make sure you learn how to project documents on to the ActivBoard AND write over them from the board…you don’t have to do your writing at the ELMO….this is a mistake I’ve seen lots of teachers make. We had a a really cool caterpillar this year. We placed him and his dill plant under the ELMO, zoomed in, and the class got to watch him on the big screen, in detail. We were also able to capture video of him with the ELMO and snap digital pics. It enabled the whole class to get “up close and personal” with the caterpillar at the same time. Enjoy your new technology!


  8. Hi Kristen!
    I have had a Promethean board for almost 7 years now. I was the first in my very large district to get it and used it that day! Strangely, when the installers came to put it in, they actually put it right over my word wall which had words on it! Luckily, I had to make an emergency return to my room to get crayons or those words, etc. would still be there! (Crazy!) I love making containers with various pictures, and now words, which the kids can pull out and place in the correct place. I use it every single day from check-in to their ticket out! You will love it. The biggest drawback I have noticed in all these years is the more I use the board, the less charts there are up in the room. (My wall space is very limited anyway since I’m in a very small room.)
    The fact that it is placed in such a prominent place gives a great message – Use it! And I certainly DO! My kids have become very proficient at it. The only issues with the students using it is the ability to put adequate pressure on the pen and the ability to reach things up high. I wish I had one of those elongated pens but the cost is prohibitive. I have managed to put a table under the board for the kids to stand on, which was excellent but, the principal didn’t like it. Now I have a bench but, that’s not the best solution since it is too narrow a space for them as young as they are. Still, we adapt!
    To address your questions:
    1. Initially, I was shocked that it was placed there and took up so much space. Now years later, I understand the reason it was placed there so I have no issues with it now.
    2. I use it for everything! I have learned that things they need to see all the time – reading and math strategies, rhyming houses, what to do when I write, helpers,etc. those charts need to be up. The rest – calendar, check in, and all else go on flip charts.
    3. I had no idea what it was or the fact that it was coming when I got it. I just tried it out, the kids used it on the very first day! As it turned out, when we finally got staff development on it three weeks later (??) I knew more than the presenter, because I used it every day.
    4. I don’t have an ELMO or any other visual presentation technology.
    My advise: have fun with it and let the kids use it and learn from them!


  9. Kristin, I have had a Promethean ActivBoard for about five years, and I use it in my kindergarten class every single day. I use mine in many of the same ways that other teachers have already mentioned.

    1. Someone already mentioned getting a wand for your board. This is a must. This eliminates the problem of students not being able to reach things at the top of the board. They cost around $80 now. Here is a link for more info–
    2. Do make sure you include videos from YouTube. I use alphabet letter/sound songs, nursery rhymes, and all kinds of videos to supplement lessons. My user name is sroweabc. You can find my channel to see some of the videos I use.
    3. I make flipcharts all the time. I do check out what is available at Promethean Planet, but I always have to modify the flipcharts that I download. I love making flipcharts! The Promethean site has forums, tutorials, and some free PD courses. Check these out. They were very informative, but as I am sure you know, you really learn things best when you just dive in and do it.
    4. You can embed links into your flipcharts like YouTube, Brainpop Jr, Discovery School, Starfall–whatever internet sites that will enhance wha it is that you are teaching with a flipchart.
    4. Using scanned images, I turn all of my shared reading books into interactive books. It’s a great way to teach decoding strategies, sight words, reading the pictures, etc. I make them as interactive as possible by including containers and my own reward sounds, particularly clips from pop and country music that I know the kids like.
    5. I use it to teach math when I want to introduce a work station to the whole class. Virtual manipulatives are great.

    I know you will soon love your board, too. After using it for a few months, you’ll wonder how you ever taught without it! I did lament the loss of the wall space at first. The spot where they put my board was the exact same location as my word wall. That ended up being okay, because I turned one of my dry erase boards into my magnetic word wall. I found that I didn’t need my white board as much because I used the ActivBoard so much.


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