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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 29th, 2006, 08:20 pm
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Default 101 Ways To Use Your Whiteboard - the challenge

Many of the classrooms I walk into nowadays are pretty high-tech affairs; computer aided learning facilities, DVD players, CD players, computerized projection systems. It’s all a far cry from my early years in teaching when text books were a distant rumour and tape machines the preserve of royalty.

Yet, despite all the technological advances my single favourite item of classroom equipment still has to be the whiteboard – it’s brilliant. Some of them are even on stands and swivel in the middle, giving you two sides to use just like a piece of paper – ingenious!!

Our simple whiteboard can be used for such a great range of purposes – you can write on it (in a multitude of colours!), draw on it, even lean against it if you’re tired! It’s great for presenting new language, setting up controlled speaking practice, setting up freer speaking practice, giving error correction feedback – a whole host of classroom activities at every stage of a lesson.

So, here’s my challenge to you! Can we (the collective eslHQ members) come up with 101 ways of using a whiteboard?

Post your top tips and let’s share some ideas!
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 29th, 2006, 08:28 pm
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Default Re: 101 Ways To Use Your Whiteboard - the challenge

Ok good idea. Here's the first and obvious one

1- We can write on it!
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Unread Aug 29th, 2006, 08:30 pm
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Default Re: 101 Ways To Use Your Whiteboard - the challenge

2 - We can keep important points or vocab in the corner of the board even if we are teaching a few classes in a row, so that students can use it to recap on it from time to time. Also I always like to write down the chapter name, number and the date on top of the board so that the students can know where we start.
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Unread Aug 29th, 2006, 08:43 pm
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Default Re: 101 Ways To Use Your Whiteboard - the challenge

As this is my challenge I suppose I should start it off - here's my activity.

Level - Any
Purpose - discussing personal details

I use this as the opening lesson for a new class of students who don't know me (the teacher) or their other classmates. The purpose is to get them talking (so I can start to access their level and ability) and allow them to start to know a little about each other and therefore jell as a group.

Process -

draw one line straight down the middle and another line across the middle of the board so you have four squares.

In each square draw a picture of something related to your life, e.g. family members / a musical instrument / the beach / tennis. As you build up the picture elicit from the students what they think the picture is.

Students as a class now question you about the items they can see in each square, e.g.

"Do you like playing tennis?" - Yes, I do.
"How often do you play it?" - Once a week on Saturdays
"Are you good at it?" - Not really, but I enjoy it

Repeat this discussion process for all the pictures.

Now handout a piece of blank paper to each student. The students divide the paper into four squares and in each one draw a picture related to their life.

In pairs students question each other about the pictures they have drawn.

Get students to change pairs and repeat the discussion with a new partner.

Final stage - collect all the pieces of paper. Teacher - hold up one of the sets of pictures and ask the class to tell you who's pictures they are and what information they know about that person.

Homework - each student takes a set of pictures of someone they interviewed and writes up their details in a short discription.


And all with just a whiteboard (and a few pieces of paper)!
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Unread Aug 29th, 2006, 09:49 pm
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Default Re: 101 Ways To Use Your Whiteboard - the challenge

Fun! Most of my whiteboard experience is with a free standing board.

I tap (and sometimes bang) on them to get students attention.

Keep track of points during games.

Hide posters on the walls that contain answers to test questions during a test.

My kids used to use the backside of my whiteboard for their own graffiti practice.

Bad students can go in "time-out" behind the whiteboard.

Great place to hide.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 29th, 2006, 11:33 pm
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Default Re: 101 Ways To Use Your Whiteboard - the challenge

11 - a place to keep my magnets

12 - a place to post pictures using my magnets

13 - a 'suction-cup sticky' ball target (Students throw a little suction cup ball at a target for points, or at letter for phonics games.)
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Unread Aug 30th, 2006, 12:04 am
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Default Re: 101 Ways To Use Your Whiteboard - the challenge

14 - A whole class cartoon/sketch.

15 - pictionary

16 - Run and slap the correct writing/phonic values/pictures
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  #8 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 30th, 2006, 10:49 pm
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Default Re: 101 Ways To Use Your Whiteboard - the challenge

17 - It's good for banging your head against when frustrated. It makes a big noise and doesn't hurt so much.

18 - A place for students to write homework answers. Then you can verify the answers are correct and let the students check each others work. Students will then have done all of the work - writing the answers and marking the homework
(In all seriousness, it's good for them to do this not just you the teacher all the time.)

(19 - my hands don't get chalky.)
(20 - my clothes don't get chalky.)

To the next person - the last 2 aren't really uses but votes for a whiteboard, so choose to count them if you wish. You be the judge.
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Unread Aug 31st, 2006, 12:46 pm
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Default Re: 101 Ways To Use Your Whiteboard - the challenge

21 - You can post the daily schedule so the students know what to expect each day when the get to class.

22 - You keep track of students who borrow classroom materials. Have them sign their names, what they borrowed and when it's due back. Then, when they return it, they can erase their name. It's a great reminder to them to return the materials without you having to ask them about it every day!

23 - You can post daily challenges such as a grammar, vocabulary or critical thinking challenge that students can either answer on paper or the first one to write the correct answer on the board wins... whatever: pride, points, stickers.

24 - You can 'block off' a space for the students to write their own challenges, questions or comments to you -- can they stump you? (You'd probably want to be proactive and set up some ground rules such as no profanity, name-calling, questionable materials, etc.)
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Unread Aug 31st, 2006, 01:27 pm
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Default Re: 101 Ways To Use Your Whiteboard - the challenge

25. You can use it to see which of the 37 marker pens actually works, as you can't throw any of them away 'cos the director doesn't like it.

26. Write up common mistakes from the homework and get the class to do group corrections.
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  #11 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 29th, 2006, 07:53 am
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Default Re: 101 Ways To Use Your Whiteboard - the challenge

I guess we lose ...

can anyone think of any more?
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Unread Nov 29th, 2006, 10:02 am
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Default Re: 101 Ways To Use Your Whiteboard - the challenge

27- It's great for vocabulary, for example you hand a picture (preferably a simple one) to one of your students who has to describe the picture to another student who is drawing it on the whiteboard. It helps with vocabulary and usually is very funny when you show the real picture to the rest of the class.
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Unread Nov 29th, 2006, 10:51 am
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Default Re: 101 Ways To Use Your Whiteboard - the challenge

28 - you can use it to show stress (circles under the stressed syllables) and intonation (arrows over the words) patterns.

29 - you can use it for time-lines to show the concepts behind verb forms

30- if you know you're going to arrive late, you can write a sorry message in advance and something for the students to be getting on with

(It's getting harder ... are we going to make it to 101 ???)
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Unread Nov 29th, 2006, 03:12 pm
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Default Re: 101 Ways To Use Your Whiteboard - the challenge

31. You can use it to hang up students work (mostly with Elementary students).

32. You can use it to play with body parts (using magnets instead of pins, the blindfolded student asks "what is this" and the other direct him/her to where the body part goes)
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Unread Nov 29th, 2006, 03:14 pm
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Default Re: 101 Ways To Use Your Whiteboard - the challenge

32. You can use it to play with body parts (using magnets instead of pins, the blindfolded student asks "what is this" and the other direct him/her to where the body part goes)

Sorry that should have been "pin the tail on the donkey" with body parts...
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Unread Aug 30th, 2007, 09:19 am
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Default Re: 101 Ways To Use Your Whiteboard - the challenge

34) You can use it to really piss off your school by writing on it with permanent marker. Muwahaha
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Unread Sep 2nd, 2007, 10:11 pm
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Default Re: 101 Ways To Use Your Whiteboard - the challenge

white board? WHITE board? What is this thing of which you speak?

*sheepishly wiping chalk on pants*
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Unread Oct 24th, 2009, 05:05 am
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Default Re: 101 Ways To Use Your Whiteboard - the challenge

35) This might only work in East Germany, but I teach the names of the common rooms in an apartment by saying I live in a WBS-70 apartment. (It's the concrete thing that communists put up literally by the millions. All of my students know the floor plan.) Then, I draw the floor plan, and point to the kitchen and say "This is where I cook, it's the kitchen." From there, I only have to point to individual rooms and they know the word.

36) In a related exercise, I make one student turn his back so that he can't see the whiteboard, and give the pen to another student. The student who can't see what's going on has to describe a room in his apartment to the one with the pen, and the class can help clarify what's meant. The student with the pen needs to draw a floorplan of the room (often living room or study) with the furniture. Lots of great 'next to' 'across from' and 'on which side?' practice, as well as the names of furniture.
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Unread Nov 2nd, 2009, 02:14 pm
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Default Re: 101 Ways To Use Your Whiteboard - the challenge

37 - to play hangman

38 - to write anagrams

39 - to play tic tac toe

40 - to write questions for the listening exercises

41 - to write student's names to keep running totals for those who refuse to speak in English and leave their home language alone for 2 minutes much to the distraction of their own learning and the rest of the class

42 - to write rhymes/poems

43 - to play class word associations

44 - to play spot the differences (if you're there prior to the class and have any art skills whatsoever!)

45 - to show skeleton essay structures

46 - to explain tag questions in different colours

47 - to practice numbers and letter pronunciation (eg. 6 six 36 thirty six, 736, 7364,...adding numbers to each side)

48 - to draw a clock - amazing how many high advanced students still struggle to tell the time

49 - to write the date (and ask how to read it in British and American)

MY FAVOURITE - 50 - to write a quote of the day/word of the day/impossible riddle of the day

51 - to write group numbers and information before a test.
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Unread Nov 25th, 2010, 12:07 am
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Default Re: 101 Ways To Use Your Whiteboard - the challenge

52. I write an 'S' in the top left hand corner to use for error correction of one of the commonist mistakes, and then only need to point there and it makes ss think and reduces TTT
53. I also draw a line down the left and right side of the board - on the left I write their lesson plan in point form and on the right I write their homework.
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