Whiteboard Experiments: Practice & Reflect
I tried something new in class this week that I think solves a few random problems:
- Sometimes, when working on whiteboards, one student hogs the marker and does a lot of the work (and thus the learning)
- With whiteboard work, students don’t have anything in their notebooks to study later
- When we practice things like derivatives in our notebooks, I feel like their notes become almost useless because it is a mess of 15-20 examples.
Practice and Reflect
I put the whiteboards out on the desk and left them there the whole period. We were learning the derivatives of exponential and logarithmic functions of bases other than e so I wanted to go back and forth between the whiteboards and their notebooks a few times.
After teaching them a derivative rule as a whole class, I gave them a sheet of 15-20 problems that definitely got more difficult as they went along. I gave them 12 minutes to practice (I put a timer on), and they worked on the problems with partners on the whiteboards, which gave them a chance to discuss, erase mistakes and see problems in large format with different colors.
Then, I asked them to put the markers away and open up their notebooks and gave them 3 minutes to reflect. I told them they could do whatever they want with this – copy down a few problems that were tricky, write down some things that they want to remember, write down steps for the problem. With this, I feel like their notes were a bit more focused and useful. I also felt like the whole routine was efficient, in that it kept a vast, vast majority of the students moving and engaged. I’ll definitely try this again.