Making Whiteboarding More Professional
In part of my effort to improve the whiteboarding in my classroom, I am identifying a few areas that need improvement – including helping my students share information with the class in a more professional manner.
(Okay – the photo is a stock photo – not my own.)
I don’t know if this is more a result of school culture, or just my lack of adequate instruction of my expectations, but it is not uncommon early in the year for me to have some students who don’t take whiteboarding very seriously – extra drawings that “enhance” the diagrams, off topic comments, explanations like “Here’s our stuff.” … (as I write this I can see why some teachers want to grade whiteboarding to help eliminate these management problems).
I’m not saying that I expect my students to approach whiteboard sharing as a formal report, but I think we have strayed too far into the informal conversation direction.
As I am on break for Jewish holidays (after having had very few classes – so really it is still very early in our school year), I am thinking about how I want to redirect the class when we return. And of course looking for advice and strategies that have worked for others.
Some helpful things that I have come upon so far:
- Ways to Improve Whiteboarding – I especially like the “Whiteboard on Whiteboarding”, generating list of example questions, Whiteboard of the week, and assigning questioners ideas.
- A TIME for Physics First, Newsletter, Vol.4, No.3, December 2010 – Ideas for creating expectations and various ways to improve whiteboarding.
- Questions to Ask During Whiteboarding – Great example questions that give students ideas of what to ask
- Rules of the Whiteboard Circle (This link takes you to the ASU Modeling page, scroll down to “Discourse in the Modeling Classroom” to find this and other helpful resources) – The circle won’t exactly work since I don’t really have the space for a circle, but maybe a ball or other conversation control would help.
And something that’s kind of exciting. While going through these resources, I realized one of the authors live near me. Maybe I will track him down and see if he’s up for a visitor, in the spirit of John Burk’s recent connection described in Twitter, spontaneous visits and an invitation.