Friday, March 17, 2017

Five Ways to Use Mini White Boards in the Classroom

 Sometimes the littlest things turn out to be amazingly useful for many reasons.  Post-it notes for example continue to be one of my most useful resources in the classroom. Click here to read a short post I wrote about how I use them for behavior monitoring.

  Another great invention I find myself using more and more in the classroom are mini white boards. It seems every week I find another use for them. The kids love using them also.

Here is my list of ways I use them as a resource and am sure my list will grow.

1. Guided Reading: While meeting with my reading groups, the children and I use the boards to draw graphic organizers to fill in as we read to aide with comprehension. No matter the skill I'm targeting, there is some way to use the boards to demonstrate comprehension.

2. Assessment: For a quick assessment, I often use them to ask a closing question for a lesson. The children write their answer and turn the board face down until I tell them to "reveal their answers".

3. Cursive Writing: I know. I know. The long lost art of cursive writing we hear so much about. I admit that I don't have time to spend teaching cursive everyday, but I try to make sure the kids know how to write their names in cursive. I'll introduce a couple of letters during morning work time once a week and let the kids practice on their wipe off boards once all their work is done.

4. Word Work: I use the boards to reinforce lessons on word patterns, sounds, prefixes, suffixes, etc. .If we're working on a certain suffix or prefix, we'll take our white boards with us to hunt for those words in the hallways. I tell the children to write the word and circle the suffix or prefix and underline the base word. I do the same thing with digraphs, blends, nouns, verbs, etc.  After the hunt we share what we found and make a class chart of the words to display.

5. Writing: I have used the boards for mini word banks for any type of writing we are working on. A way to differentiate is to give students that need it, their own word bank by jotting down words to help them with their writing. I might write a sentence stem on one and give it to a student struggling to get started. It's also helpful for all the kids to apply the spelling strategy "which looks right". They write the word they're not sure how to spell a couple of different ways and pick which one looks right.

I'm sure they're many more ideas for using mini white boards that I haven't mentioned. Please share some of your ideas in the comment section. 😊


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