I’ve used whiteboards more and more this year and it’s been really interesting. The students automatically go for them, and enjoy working collaboratively. One thing we need to improve upon though is our whiteboard meetings or summary sessions. This is when we have completed some type of inquiry activity in small groups and now want to come together as a class to go over what happened. I try to have as many students as possible present their work, but it seems like this leaves a lot of idle time for students while they are not presenting.
One of my goals for this year was to encourage the use of whiteboards in my class, and to get the students move involved with them. As experienced by many teachers, I found whiteboards to be a great way for students to work together on a problem, hash out ideas, and then share what they’ve found. However, lately my classes have been having problems. A possible solution to this is to build whiteboard ePortfolios.
One of the best lessons I’ve done in Physics was an introduction/inquiry into friction. It was one of those classes where the students were doing something meaningful and were part of a process of discovery. Certainly the lesson wasn’t perfect but being able to reflect upon it will give me the chance to not only improve it, but also transfer ideas and methodologies to other lessons and contexts. I should definitely point out that the overall idea of the lesson was lifted from an article written by Campbell and Neilson (2009).
Last week I was teaching in a Grade 8 math class and we experienced an interesting situation of different teaching techniques. I was working as a TOC (teacher-on-call, aka substitute teacher) and the class also happened to have a student teacher. The student teacher was an experienced math teacher from overseas, so I think it is fair to say that we both felt pretty comfortable in front of the class.