Using Sound in SMART Notebook Lesson Pages

Post in News by TerryVannoy on 30th March 2017
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Music class isn’t the only place where you should explore sound with your students. Learn how to add sound to your SMART Notebook files in just a few easy steps.

Looking for an easy way to add some excitement to your lessons? Try adding sound files to your SMART Notebook lessons. Frequently used by elementary teachers to help students learn new words and vocabulary, this easy-to-use feature can also benefit older students, as well.  

Helping Auditory Learners

Consider this— we encourage our students to interact with our SMART Boards so they can physically touch the items on the screen, move objects around, simulate physical manipulatives, and incorporate visual models in their learning. This common classroom action helps your kinesthetic learners process information, but what about the auditory learners?  

Adding sound to the objects within your SMART Notebook file will support those with audio learning styles. More and more students are being tested on how they think about their thinking and how they verbalize the problem-solving process and use proper vocabulary. Embedding sound can help in that process.

How to Add Sound to Your Notebook File

Adding sound to your Notebook files is easy to do! Here is the general process for how you can add sound to a picture, block of text, or an ink object (handwritten words with the pen). 

  1. Tap on the object and select the drop-down menu found in the silver arrow at the top right.

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    Select the silver arrow at the top of the image to access the dropdown menu.
  2. Tap on the Sound tool to pop open the Insert Sound window.
  3. If you have already downloaded a sound, Browse for it. Note that your sound file has to be in .mp3 format only. Sound effect files can be found at and longer news broadcasts and speeches can be downloaded at

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    Select the Browse button to access sounds you already have downloaded on your computer.
  4. If you want to record a few seconds of your own voice (or a student’s), choose the Start Recording button in the middle right part of the window.  You have a limit of one minute.

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    Record your own voice and add it into your SMART Notebook file.
  5. After choosing either #3 or #4 above, decide whether to show a small speaker icon near your object or make your object itself the link to your sound.
  6. Tap Attach Sound to finish.  Your object can be moved around your lesson page and resized, as usual.
  7. When set up this way, the teacher or students can tap on the speaker icon or the object itself to play the sound/recording.  Tap again and the sound will be paused.

Apply Sound to Your Curriculum and Lessons

Now that you know how to attach sounds, here are some curriculum and lesson ideas that you can try.

Vocabulary/Language Study

Set up a page of vocabulary words in your Notebook file. Attach sound clips to several of the words with recordings of the word pronunciation, the definition, and the word being used in a sentence. Have students record the remaining vocabulary words as a review or a required assessment.  For dual language classes, you can record the proper pronunciation and translation when the word is tapped.


Reading Fluency Assessment

Type or copy a paragraph from an article or story at the students’ current reading level. During class time, instruct students to sign their name at the end of a reading line. Now attach a recording of the student reading the line/passage aloud to their signature.

Math Problem Solving

On a page of math problems, have students work out the problems using the ink pen. When finished, students will sign their work and attach a recording of themselves explaining (with proper vocabulary) how they thought through the problem. Great for an assessment and to show parents during a conference.

Q and A Oral Feedback Page

Set up a lesson page containing a question and four answers, one of which is correct.  Tap on each word and record something that indicates if the answer is right or wrong: clapping and cheering if it is correct, or a comment like “Oh, too bad!  Try again!” if it is wrong. Students can record these expressions for you!

To Learn More

If you want to learn about other types of instructional technology for your classroom, try signing up for a trial of Online Professional Development at

I hope you try this and let us know your ideas for using sound files and recordings in your lessons.  Do you have any that you like to use in your teaching?  Email us your classroom success stories and ideas at

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