Individual Whiteboards


Whiteboards are a way of getting immediate feedback about student understanding, with an effective sequence always starting with a well-designed task or question.

Do most students get it or not? Where are the great examples that can be used as models? Where are the examples of common errors that students can learn from? Which students are making the same errors?

Depending in what our checking tells us, there are many options:

  • Stop the task and reteach something immediately.
  • Give a simple piece of corrective advice to address a common problem e.g. ‘remember to mention the writer’.
  • Choose a range of responses (usually three) for students to compare.
  • Pick one example that is ‘nearly there’ and ask the class to improve it.
  • Sequence the responses shared so that they become increasingly more sophisticated.
  • Find answers with a common thread and ask students to connect them (really useful for language analysis).
  • Find three errors and ask students to connect them.
  • Teach the students who don’t understand in a small group. See in-class interventions.

Individual whiteboards are an example of a non-verbal opportunity to respond.  Alternatively, you can use response cards, clickers, or hand signals as other forms of non-verbal OTR.

Note: Did you know that we have a class set of A3 White boards? They’re available in the library. They come with whiteboard markers.

If you use white boards or response cards, careful planning, organisation and teaching for their use is essential.

Prepare Prepare questions to carefully match your response option (if students are writing on white boards, minimal writing is best).

Communicate expectations of how to store and use the materials

“Use the baggies provided to hold your boards, markers, and cloths.”

Teach Teach the expected behaviours, provide clear instructions for use of cards or

white board including:

  • when to select their card or write their response
  • when to share
  • when to clean boards or reposition cards for next question.

“Write your answer now.”

“Look and select your answer.”

“Show your answer now.”

“Cards down, eyes up here, ready for the next question.”

Assess Assess student responses and provide clear, specific feedback.

“That’s right! The answer is 86!”

Explain/re-present Provide the correct answer and a brief explanation if a significant number of students did not respond accurately, then re-present the question.

“Not quite. The answer is 86 which I reach by subtracting 20 from 106. Let’s try another one. Write down the number. If I subtract 25 from 150, what number do I have?”


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