Small Group Ideas with Whiteboards

In small classroom spaces, maximizing the resources you already have is essential to stay prepared and organized for each group.  Click here to read my past post about flashcard games for small groups. Today I'm sharing a few of my favorite ways to use a classroom staple: whiteboards and markers.  They feature prominently right behind my small group table, and I keep a basket of them near my easel and reading rug, as well.  I have blank boards, lined boards, and graph style boards, and we use them every period of every day.  Here are just a few of the ways I use whiteboards and markers with my small groups:


1. Warm up games:

My students learn to speak and write in 10 Finger Sentences, and we often use picture prompts to do so.  Rather than use paper, they use the whiteboards to easily write and edit their sentences.


2. Pre-writing:

I've found that when using whiteboards, student writing errors produce less stress, since erasing is just a swipe, rather than the constant push of a rubber eraser.  Therefore, my students often complete their outlines and pre-writes on their whiteboards, then copy them over to paper. 


 3. Sorts:

Whether you're sorting word endings, math facts, or classification of animals, whiteboards offer a blank canvas that allows students to practice organizing their ideas while producing the content expected of them.



4. Tactile/kinesthetic learning:

Some students need to touch, feel, and experience content before they absorb it, and whiteboards and markers offer that chance.  Using colors and text enhancements like underlining, circling, and numbering, students can utilize strategies that help organize their thinking.


What other ways do you use whiteboards in your classes?





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