Published 22nd March 2019
Most of us have whiteboards in the classroom. They’re usually big and take up the majority of a wall. We use them to write down vocabulary, explain language or even play games. If we’re lucky our whiteboards are interactive and you can use them to show videos, Google images on-the-spot and play interactive games. Whiteboards are usually the centre of a classroom, a teacher’s best friend.
But have you seen mini whiteboards?
Mini whiteboards are tiny versions of what we use in our classrooms. They are usually used as noticeboards in offices or homes, but there’s no reason why we can’t use them in the classroom. One of the biggest attractions of a whiteboard for the students is writing on it. Mini whiteboards allow more students to write on a whiteboard at the same time. They give the students the power and freedom of writing what they want to write, without the pressure of writing on the big whiteboard in front of the whole class.
They can be used for a number of games and activities in the classroom to make our lessons more interactive and engaging.
A few ideas for mini whiteboards in the EFL classroom.
When introducing a topic, the easiest way to find out how much your students already know on the topic and get them interested in it, is to brainstorm. Usually this is done as a verbal open-class activity. With mini whiteboards, you can divide the class into groups and give each one a whiteboard. Instead of shouting out the answers, get your students to write down any language related to the topic on the whiteboard. After a certain time (usually a minute or two) the students can hold up the whiteboards and see what the other students wrote down. To add in an element of competition, you can see who wrote down the most (relevant) words.
Quizzes are always good fun in the classroom. When doing a quiz during your lesson, it can be difficult to keep track of the different answers from each group. In extremely competitive classes students can even be accused of cheating! Mini whiteboards can be used to write down the answers and everyone can show their whiteboards at the same time, in this way eliminating any possibility of cheating accusations and adding in more teamwork to the quiz.
Some students are too shy to speak up in class. Mini whiteboards provide a way for students to do this without having to speak in front of the whole class. Each group of students can be given a whiteboard. Students can use them whenever they see fit to either ask a question, ask for repetition or make a comment. They can write a whole question on the whiteboard or even just a question mark, a question word or an unhappy or confused face to communicate what they want the teacher to know. The teacher can then address the issue without drawing attention to who brought it up.