My students are 11th and 12th graders in Algebra 2 and Precalculus classes. My students live in Boston and come from a wide range of backgrounds. Many are immigrants from countries such as Cape Verde, while others were born right down the street.
In my math class, we stand and work in small groups on whiteboards, which keeps students thinking and collaborating.
Whiteboards free students to take risks and make mistakes, which is when learning happens. My classroom has several whiteboards, but we need some more and lots of markers to create a creative, thinking classroom.
These supplies will allow us to stand and work in small groups on whiteboards for the majority of the class. When students are collaborating and standing, they are energized and engaged in what they are doing, and together, they can tackle more complicated problems.
With whiteboards and dry erase markers, students are willing to write right away and risk making mistakes.
And those risks and mistakes are where the real learning happens.
There have been several research studies that show working on vertical non-permanent surfaces - such as whiteboards - activates student thinking. Working on whiteboards makes student work easily visible, which is great when groups want to learn from each other and when I want to give feedback and ask follow up questions.
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