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33 Teacher Ideas for Using Student Whiteboards

January 12, 2022 by Suzanne Kelley




Do you all have a set of student whiteboards for all of your kids in your class? I have tons of student whiteboards, but in all honesty, they don’t get nearly the use that they should each day.

Does this sound familiar to any other teachers out there? I have store purchased ones, handmade ones, and even tables that you can write directly on.

But, I am lacking ideas of how to get more use out of my student whiteboards. So per usual, I went to the experts in our Fearless First Grade Teachers Facebook group and asked the question. These teachers never disappoint, as I now have 33 uses for student whiteboards to share with all of you!

Benefits of Student Whiteboards

1 – Engagement–students use their hands, eyes, and ears while using a whiteboard, engaging more of their senses!

2 – Easy to fix mistakes–I hate the black smudges and torn paper from some erasers! On a student whiteboard, kids can erase it anytime!

3 – Quick activities–Perfect for a quick math problem or a guessing game!

4 – Time fillers–The students can play many games such as scattegories and tic-tac-toe!

5 – Early finishers–Students can do the whiteboards quietly in their place when they finish their work. Well, hopefully, quiet 😉.

6 – Use in place of scratch paper!

7 – Saves paper! 🌳🌳🌳

8 – Teachers have zero items to grade if students work on their whiteboards! Record as you go or snap a photo!

Using Whiteboards for Assessment

9 – CORE Binder is:

  • Comprehensive: A wide variety of math, ELA, social-emotional tools (fillable content work mats and skill practice), and resources (reference tools).
  • Math Mats: Time, Count by, Number Words, Equivalent Number Models, Numbers Before & After, One More/Less & Ten More/Less, Part-Part-Whole, Place Value, Domino Addition & Subtraction, Patterns, Bead Rack, Symmetry Pattern Blocks
  • ELA Mats: Alphabet, Beginning Sounds, Retelling Fiction & Non-Fiction, How-To Writing Templates.

CORE Binder

10 – Quick–Teachers scan the room and make notes on correct answers and errors.

11 – Easy!

12 – See areas that may need reteaching–if someone is consistently unable to make a word or a letter, or come up with the correct answer, or if several kids have problems, a teacher can quickly decide who needs additional teaching on any subject!

13 – Kindergarten Data Tracking Printables

We have included a cookie theme data tracker to grab a baseline for your incoming kindergarten students and progress monitor throughout the year.
 
Each student will have their databook, which can be modified throughout the year to show progress.

14 – Everyone reveals at once, teacher scans

Math Activities for Student Whiteboards

15 – Activities to show work. “Instead of having them raise hands to share, I walk around and look. They cover answers so neighbors can’t see. It gives everyone a chance to answer.”–M. Johnson

Grab our Math Printables Pack and pair it with any whiteboard activity!

16 – Whole group starter activity

17 – Math Warm-Ups  Try these Math Warm-Ups! This resource includes 200+ colorful slides designed for daily review to reinforce skills throughout the year.

Grab Math Warm-Ups for the YEAR!

  • Would you like something for students to warm up with as you transition to math block?
  • Are you looking for more ways to use “turn and talk” in your classroom?
  • Do you need a quick way to check for understanding of previously learned math skills?
  • How about saving paper and time in the copy room?

I put the slide on my smartboard before we break into small groups, and the students use their whiteboards to work the problems and record their answers!

Grab Math Warm-Ups for the YEAR!

ELA/Writing/Handwriting Activities

18 – Jot down vocabulary that they need to check–if a student hears a word or sees a word, they jot it down and check it out for understanding.

19 – Write down any questions they may have

20 – Beat the Teacher: “We race to spell words in our phonics patterns. I use the wall whiteboard, and the students use their own. If they beat me (spell it faster), they get a point. If I am faster, I get a point.” “They think it’s hilarious when I lose. We keep a tally chart (class vs. teacher) on our boards. You can play it with any subject, especially math facts and spelling words.”–E. Morales

21 – Word mapping

22 – Spelling practice

Grab our Editable Spelling Packet with 70+ Activities!

Other Uses for Student Whiteboards

23 – STEM design–Students can predesign their STEM challenge on a whiteboard!

Grab our 25 STEM Challenge Stories

Need some STEM resources? Join our Premium Membership for complete access!

24 – Preplan of art drawing–Not sure what you want your final picture to look like when you have included all of your thoughts? Draw it on a whiteboard first!

25 – Directed drawing–Art hub!!! If you are not already a subscriber to Art for Kids Hub on YouTube, kids love it!

Try Directed Drawing: Volume 1 

Try Directed Drawing: Volume 2

Pointers, Tips, and Tricks for Student Whiteboards

26 – Sheet protectors:  Amazon Basics Sheet Protector – Non-Glare, 100-Pack: I set up binders for ELA centers, Math centers, and small group work. Students can write with expo markers, and that means fewer copies! I also use these for my No Prep Math Centers (Volume 2) & Fluency Binders

27 – Laminated sheets of paper make great student whiteboards–I laminate white cardstock because it is a little sturdier when I want to put additional whiteboards in my centers.

28 – Dry Erase Pockets 30 Pack:  Slide any paper copy worksheet into these pockets, and you’ve created a reusable work task! These pockets make anything, including a blank piece of paper, into student whiteboards.

Try our No Prep Centers 

29 – “I buy a 12 pack of men’s black socks at Walmart. I give each of my students a sock and a marker. The kids store the marker in the sock, and the sock makes a great eraser. I have them keep them in their desks.”–J. Membrey

Storage Ideas: Click the link for a blog on storage!

30 – “We have tables, so I use these carts. We use them for our morning review, phonics, and handwriting.”–T. Poor

31 – “Each table has a basket with 6 marker boards, markers, and erasers. We use them for phonics, math, and handwriting every day.”–S. Bright-Moore

Try our 180 Journal Prompts for the YEAR!

32 – “My students all have numbered crates with their own supplies.”–S. Miller Keith

33 – “I use a regular plastic bin the size for papers. We store all the whiteboards next to the markers and erasers. When it’s time for the lesson, we make a line (and) everybody grabs a board and marker. I always had the first problem or some activity for them to do as soon as they grab it, so we don’t waste time.”–B. Burr Ingle

I am stoked–I cannot wait for my whiteboards to have more use! And, I am super hoping that my students will be more engaged in some lessons! We will, at least, be saving some paper! Hopefully, we were able to inspire you to try your whiteboards for a few more things! If you have some great ideas that teachers haven’t shared yet, please comment below!

WRITTEN BY – SUZANNE KELLEY

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