Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Do your students understand? Using White Boards to find out.

As a kid in school, did you ever want to write on the board? I know that I did, but realistically it was not possible for all kids to go the board and many times only the kids who really knew it or the ones who might get off task would be called to the board.

Why not let them do this at their seats. This is nothing new. Teachers have been using white boards to get the kids engaged and at the same time providing the teacher feedback about their understanding of the subject for many years. Have you tried it? It is amazing how something as simple as a dry erase marker and a mini-white board can make a kid want to work problems, draw a picture, write a sentence using the correct verb usage, complete the chemical equation, oh so many different uses.

What is really great is that you don't have to spend a lot of money. Oh, yes...there are many companies who have white board packages that have a nice price tag, but it is not necessary to go that route. A sheet of tile/shower board can be found in your local home improvement warehouse. These 4' X 8' sheets cost between $11.50 and $14.50. This large of a sheet can be cut into a class set of small white boards. Some of these home improvement stores will actually cut them for you. If not, they are easily cut with a circular saw.

You also don't have to buy the white board cleaner or the sponges for erasing. You can use glass cleaner and parts of an old t-shirt.

Here are a couple of links to some really cool teacher blogs where they give you ideas about using whiteboards. Remember that I post on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/smiletto. Look at my assessment strategies board. This is where I have posted other ideas about using whiteboards for classroom assessment. Have fun!