Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Focus on Formative Assessment: Student White Boards

Individual student white (dry erase) boards  are an outstanding means to regularly check for understanding. White boards are inexpensive, easy to use and easy to store. They have the advantage over paper of not being ‘permanent’, so students are often more willing to take risks than if they were working on paper. White boards are excellent tools for younger students as well as for high schoolers. 

White boards enable the teacher to do a quick, full-class check for understanding. Misunderstanding or imperfect recall is easily seen, so the teacher will know if review is necessary for the class or for groups of individuals.

Here are some of the things I’ve used white boards for in my Humane Letters class:
  • Quick review of key dates (sometimes the date, sometimes the event)
  • Identification/recognition of ideas (e.g students write 'M' if the quotation I read is from Montesquieu, or 'R' if they think it's from Rousseau)
  • Summary statements; write, revise
  • Lists of causes, or effects
  • Writing and revising thesis statements
  • Graphic organizers as review activity, individually or in pairs

For more information on using white boards, check out the following site: