I had been meaning to “up my game” when it came to students using whiteboards… For the longest time I have been using these mini whiteboards from Spectrum, but students often each had their own and it wasn’t as collaborative as I would have liked. (They had to squeeze their work into a much smaller and less visible space).
I really love using whiteboards with students – it allows for a kind of risk taking that just isn’t always happening with paper and pencil. Fred Harwood had showed off his awesome set of whiteboards at last year’s BCAMT conference in 2014, and it had been on my to-do list ever since!
I decided to make mine with some particle board as the backing, and a piece of laminated poster board as the whiteboard surface. Home Depot was awesome about cutting the board down to size for me… and when they heard what it was for, they didn’t even charge me for the cuts! For the poster board, I put a grid on one side so that students can use it for both graphing and problem solving. Here’s a link to the grid paper… it’s meant to be printed on an 11×17 sheet of paper. The great thing about just using laminated poster board is that when it starts to get all scuffed up, I can easily (and cheaply) replace them.
The students loved it and had fun working together to graph various functions… I’m going to start using them all the time though… the uses are endless!
The one thing I noticed is that most students preferred writing on them on top of their desks and not as a vertical surface… but that might be because I don’t have a great way to prop them up yet… Suggestions are welcome!
How do YOU use whiteboards in your classroom? I would love to hear about it! (Feel free to comment below or to send me an email!) 🙂