Imagine if you could maximize student engagement in just about any lesson in your classroom with only one trick in your teacher toolbox. But it’s not really a trick – it’s a whiteboard.
And we aren’t talking about the giant whiteboards at the front of your classroom, or those crazy expensive interactive whiteboards. Today we’re talking all about using the smaller, individual student whiteboards.
Before we get started, here are some great options for individual student whiteboards:
- Pack of whiteboards with markers and erasers
- Whiteboards with lines
- Double sided whiteboards
- Whiteboards with Handle
10 Ways to Use Whiteboards in the Classroom
- Practice penmanship – practice writing and drawing
- Solving math problems – this might look like: have students write out math problems, draw to explain how they got an answer, do quick timed assessments on math facts
- Visual schedules – have an unscheduled schedule change or does a student need a quick accommodation of a visual schedule? You (or the student) can write or draw the schedule on the whiteboard. Learn more about visual schedules here.
- First, Then boards – a quick way that doesn’t involve printing and laminating (But if you want a printed First, Then board, here you go!)
- Spelling practice – Practice one word at a time, multiple words, or have students take a spelling test using the whiteboards. So many options! For more spelling activities, start here.
- During reading – write down unknown words while reading
- Answering questions and writing prompts – For writing prompts done for you, check out the illustrated monthly writing prompts here.
- Fine Motor Skills – tracing lines, drawing shapes, letter formation, erasing. For more fine motor practice ideas, start here.
- As a graphic organizer – for writing paragraphs and organizing thoughts about a topic, brainstorming, hypothesizing during a science experiment, comparing and contrasting text, making graphs and lists,
- Quick assessment of a skill – One idea for lessons requiring multiple questions: have the student write, hides their board, waits for the signal, and then holds up answer all at the same time. For print and digital assessments, go here.
The great thing about using whiteboards in the classroom is that it can be done in small group or whole group, and can really be used and adapted for use in any lesson or activity.
Benefits of Using Whiteboards in the Classroom
- Increased and maximized engagement
- Doesn’t require copies or technology
- Data collection when used for quick assessments
- Allows everyone to participate in their own way
- Gets everyone involved in the lesson or activity
- Flexible seating
Just like anything, it is important that you teach your students when and how to use the whiteboards. What happens when a marker dries out or stops working in the middle of a lesson? Establishing a routine for when and how to use whiteboards is important to your classroom management and engagement.
How do you use whiteboards in your classroom? Share with us in the comments below!