First and foremost, a whiteboard is a space where you can display essential classroom information. Rather than wall-mounted pinboards, which tend to reflect information with more longevity such as fire evacuation plans or safety information, whiteboards can be a great place to display information for a shorter period, such as a school day, or even a lesson. You can use the magnetic whiteboards to attach papers and notices, or create a sidebar panel where you can leave notes or messages for teachers or pupils throughout the day, or use them to draw out a seating chart for the classroom for that day.
Ensuring both pupils and staff know what’s going on is essential for a school environment. White boards or dry wipe boards can be an excellent organisational tool. You can use them to note the day’s timetable, track student grades or achievements, tally absences or track student responsibilities. Turning a whiteboard into a calendar, for example, can help children to visualise their timetabling more accurately. You can use this as a countdown function, for example, towards an exam or the end of term, or use different colours to mark different lessons.
Getting students engaged in lessons can be one of the hardest tasks as a teacher! Encouraging participation through interactive classes is one way to help keep pupils entertained and motivated. Whiteboards are a great way to do this. Challenging students to take over the role of the teacher by using the whiteboard to take notes themselves helps to give them confidence. Whether it’s asking pupils to finish a maths problem on the board, to participate in a spelling contest, to create their own presentations or practice another language; dry wipe boards offer a thousand ways to engage students.
Encouraging creativity is very important in a learning environment. Giving students the chance to express themselves helps them to work on their relationships with themselves and their peers; to understand their world in new ways; allows teachers insight into their pupils; offers a creative outlet from the stress of school work - and above all, gives students a new way to learn.
Why not use your whiteboard to ask students one at a time to each write a new line of a poem or story? Or to contribute to the next stage in a piece of collaborative artwork? These tasks not only encourage students to express their creativity, but also to work together towards a common goal.
You can also offer up whiteboards as ‘free art zones’ where students can sketch and graffiti each day - giving them a creative outlet while (hopefully) protecting walls and other surfaces from misplaced doodling.
White boards can be used to create classroom displays in a variety of different ways. They can be an essential tool for student presentations or teacher lessons. As display boards, you can showcase student artwork or bring together educational displays for a particular lesson. Why not have a weekly student artist whose responsibility it is to create artwork using the whiteboard? Or display a daily inspirational quote?
But how best to fix your display materials to your whiteboard? The construction of most traditional whiteboards means that they have magnetic surfaces - this is also the case for some glass whiteboards. A magnetic surface means you can use magnets to display artwork or educational materials in classrooms quickly and easily. As an alternative to magnets, the smooth surface of a whiteboard or glass wipe board means it’s also suitable for use with blu-tak or white-tak for fixing papers or displays.
You can also use a whiteboard as a projection surface through which to display important information for lessons. You can use a projector to display images or video on the whiteboard surface, making it an excellent backdrop in place of a large-screen television. Alternatively, you can use this set-up for educational purposes by projecting large-scale letters, or mathematical sums, and asking students to trace the letters or write the answers on the whiteboard.
However you use them, whiteboards are an essential tool for schools and colleges - every classroom should have one.
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