## Monday, July 23, 2012

### Whiteboards for groups & student roles - Made 4 Math Monday #2

Recently, @fnoschese linked to a blog post he wrote just about two years ago, called "The $2 Interactive Whiteboard," where he described the advantages of a large dry-erase board that students can use to work collaboratively and then easily share their findings with the class. You can buy these large whiteboards from various places on the interwebs, but I thought I would try the cheaper option explained in the blog and went to Lowe's, where a 48" by 96" piece of white tile board cost me$11.50.

They cut it for me into 6 pieces that are 24" by 32" each (for free!!), which are just about perfect for two or three students to use for a partner or group activity. The edges weren't sharp, but I put duct tape around them so that the cardboard backing wouldn't get fuzzy and disintegrate.

I'm thinking that students can just stand them up on the marker tray at the blackboard at the front of the room, but if that doesn't work, I can get all fancy and attach two metal hoops to the back of each whiteboard so that it can hang on the hooks at the top of my blackboard.

There are more whiteboarding resources at Whiteboards USA and Whiteboarding in the Classroom, as well as at Frank Noschese's blog, linked above.

The second thing that I worked on today was cleaning up classroom roles and expectations. I've had an assigned class leader for the past few years, who rotates every week, and it's been helpful both in making the class run more smoothly and in fostering students' independence (it's really nice to leave sub directions like, "1. Take attendance 2. Give all handouts to class leader and let her direct class for the rest of the period."). I've gradually moved away from group roles, which has made the class roles more meaningful as well. This year, I've decided to split up some of the jobs into two roles: a Class Leader, who sort of runs many of the starting and ending class routines, and a Materials Manager, who takes care of supplies and handouts/class organization.