So, call me a luddite for celebrating blackboards… I do, sometimes wish that I had those back instead of streaky, cloudy whiteboards. Nevertheless, I added a new whiteboard to my classroom as part of this semester’s personal goal to revisit the driving questions that frame our projects. At Lowe’s, I picked up a 4′ by 8′ sheet of “shower board” for $12 to hang above my students’ heads. In order of importance, my students should now enter the room only to see a driving question (which is always floating around above their heads, physically and meta-cognitively now) as well as our word wall.
Second, and more exciting for the technophiles, is the Promethean Board addition. We ran some “norming” exercises today in class. I set up a direct relationship between students who completed their grammar homework and who actually got to play with the Promethean today. I’ll keep a checklist now on a clipboard that I will reference any time someone volunteers to interact with the board. Surprisingly, students recognized the new (expensive) piece of equipment and figured out for themselves what some of our staff’s reasonable expectations are before really starting to integrate it into teaching. For now at least, students know not to go writing on it with other implements; throwing their hands up with the bracket above; and, the best yet, putting their faces on it to give it a welcome hug (skin oils are not good for any surface!).
I’m excited to see where our new tool leads us, especially with regards to writing/grammar improvement. I’m just a little wary about using a (now smaller) display on just one “side” of our room that has a classroom capacity of 50+. This may take some creative agenda multi-tasking.