Emily Liscom, teacher and author of Education to the Core, wanted to come up with a solution for disengaged students. This is a common issue with teachers. About every classroom has students that find just about everything interesting but what you are teaching. Emily came up with five strategies for these kind of students. One strategy I found particularly interesting was the use of personal white boards for each student.
Emily said that giving her students personal white boards with markers is like “flipping a light switch.” All of a sudden, her students care about what she is teaching. White boards are good to use for student participation during a lecture. You can ask a question and have the students write the answer on the board. That way, you can both assess who is paying attention and who understands the material.
Emily does emphasize that it is important to set rules for the students when using the white boards. She makes sure the students know that the white boards aren’t for doodling. She also tells her students that they have to leave the cap on the marker while she is talking. If anyone disobeys these rules, they lose their white board privileges. However, she says that that is rarely an issue because her students are so engaged!
Link to Emily’s site: