Thursday, November 8, 2012

Heheheheheheee wipe oooout!

We have been whiteboarding in my Algebra 1B classroom.

I've been wanting to try whiteboarding for a while, but when I saw the prices of a large whiteboard, I almost passed out.  I would need about 8 boards, and at about $20 a pop, that $160 I didn't have.  My school issues us $115 per year for classroom supplies.  So, I turned to and the students' parents and complete strangers came through for us.

We finished a lesson on graphing lines when given an equation in slope-intercept form.  The next day I put them in groups of 2 or 3 and gave them the following 3 equations and asked them to graph them.

I loved the conversations that I heard throughout the lesson.  "In number 1 after we multiply by one-half, what do we add?"  "What do we pick for x in number 3?" "How do we find y in number 2?"  

They still asked me questions, but I wasn't giving in (showing off).  I assured them that although I wasn't being very helpful at the moment, that I would indeed answer all their questions if they were unable to come to a conclusion.  That seemed to appease them.

I found the one above interesting.  This group believes that the equations x = 3 will produce a point rather than a line.  

The photo above needs to be rotated if you want to see the top graph correctly.

In the group that made the above graphs, one student seemed to really know what he was doing but seemed "too nice" to correct the other students.  Eventually he won, and was able to convince them to graph x=3 correctly!!

Would I do whiteboarding again?  In a heartbeat.  The students loved it, I loved it, the conversations were amazing, and no paper waste.  Win, win, win!!!

Suggestion:  Have different color markers.  One color for each graph, or students, or just to make it more interesting.  I went out and purchased my own, but of course forgot them at home.  *Sigh*


  1. When I did white-boarding years ago, I just went and bought a large piece of the white-board material (for $12 as I recall) from Home Depot, and then had them cut into smaller pieces for me. It works nearly as well as the regular material, and I was able to have holes drilled into it, so then I could hang them on a large hook I installed in my classroom.

    White boards constructed in this way probably need to be replaced more often than the official ones you can buy, but they were so cheap it is worth it.

    I like white-boarding as an activity. I also recommend asking students to share their solutions with each other, using the whiteboards as a visual reference of their solution.

  2. I think Frank has a lot of great resources here, talking about how to drive the cost down (hence the title: "$2 whiteboards")