Friday, December 13, 2013

Smart PAL Giveaway...Teach Smarter with this Cool Tool!

A couple years ago I discovered Smart PAL, a tool that helps me teach "smarter." A SmartPAL is a transparent sleeve into which you can easily insert your own materials. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to review it, as it's something that I use on a routine basis. How?
  1. Document camera or overhead projector - At first, I only owned one SmartPAL. I would slip a piece of blank paper into it and have students build models with manipulatives (like tile or base ten pieces) on top of the plastic sleeve, thereby allowing me to record notations about their work around the model without wasting paper. I could also insert any worksheet or gameboard (whether a paper copy on the doc camera or a transparent copy on the overhead) into the sleeve and have multiple students write and then erase, all using just one piece of paper.
  2. Math Stations - After I received a few more SmartPALs, I changed the way paper was copied for Math Stations. Rather than copying games and activities for the entire class, I only copied the number needed for use at any one time. So, for example, if a station needed a math game board, I made just 4 copies for 4 student pairs to use in that Math Station. Since many game boards are written on--one per student--this has saved a ton of copying!
  3. Scratch Paper - With an entire class set of SmartPALS, I now ask students to use them to show their work during times that I might have otherwise used scratch paper. Yesterday, I asked each student to write down one fraction addition problem and solve it using a clock, money, or number line model. Each student then followed along with me--recording their own work--as we also used a ratio table. Every student was accountable for the work, with zero use of paper. I could quickly walk around the room, peering over shoulders for a quick assessment, then have them erase and try another problem.
Using as scratch paper...with the manila Math Station folder in place.
The Jr. version does not have the nameplate.
Additional Tips:

Math Stations
I put a manila folder inside each SmartPAL and put the current game on top of the folder. Although the SmartPAL is fairly stiff, this gives it additional stability. Then, I place game rules inside the folder. When students pick up a SmartPAL in a Math Station, they are set to go with the game, the rules, and a wipe-off playing surface.

Save Worksheets Year to Year
I save worksheets when we're finished using them on the doc camera or in a Math Station. They go into folders, by unit and module, where I can reuse them in the future.

Bottom Line?
This product regularly saves me scads of paper. It's invaluable for student sharing. And it's a helpful tool during Math Stations. My classroom would be a lot more inefficient without them.


EAI Education has graciously offered one set of SmartPAL Jr. Sleeves for a giveaway. Note that the winning mailing address must be in the contiguous 48 states. 

Giveaway has ended. Congratulations to the winner, Hillary M! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here is a video telling more about SmartPALs:

Disclosure: I was provided a set of SmartPAL Jr. Sleeves in exchange for an unbiased review. I've actually thought about featuring SmartPALs for a long time, because they are one of my favorite classroom products.


  1. I know a lot of teachers use these and would love to try them out!

  2. Never thought of them for use in centers. Would be a great thing to practice spelling words!

  3. I would love to gift this to Mrs. Tepfer :)

  4. i would use this for independent practice time, my son would love it!

  5. I use one with a class list to check off which stations they choose, then I can erase when they have been to all of the stations and start again.

  6. I'm subscribed to your blog via e-mail.
    Tanya Rubezhov

  7. I would use them with my daughter for different printouts and thin workbooks, so we can reuse them over and over.
    Thank you so much for a great giveaway.
    Tanya Rubezhov

  8. These would be so helpful in reading centers and cut down a lot on paper usage. Crossing my fingers.;)

  9. These look so much nicer than the page protectors I use. :)

  10. I have never seen these before, so am just thinking about how I might use these. Not sure yet, but I'm sure thinking about it! Just have one homeschooled student, so different use than in a classroom situation. . .

  11. I think they would be great for dot to dots and finding hidden pictures type puzzles.

  12. I follow your blog. Thanks for the giveaway.

  13. These would be great for me to use during my small group math time..

  14. I would definitely use these during small groups.


Thank you for leaving me a message. I love comments almost as much as I love chocolate! And I do LOVE chocolate. :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Blogging tips