I've been using mini-whiteboards daily in my numeracy classes all year. Students use them most of the time, except when I have a worksheet for them to do (and even then, they tend to use them for scratch work).
- I can see, from anywhere in the room, what students are doing, and if they are on task.
- Students enjoy writing on their whiteboards more than on paper.
- Students don't have to waste paper for scratch work (this is especially helpful for those students who have still not mastered the art of bringing school supplies to class).
- And I don't have to make worksheets for every single task either.
- It makes collaboration easier during pair/group work tasks.
- It's great for quick checks of understanding - put a problem up, students do it on their boards, and then immediately lift them up for inspection.
- We burn through markers like nobody's business, and the ones that are low-odor cost about a buck a piece. I've tried the cheaper ones, but they run out really fast, or have fumes that cause much complaining of headaches.
- Tables and hands tend to get really messy (for some students more than others...) Our beautiful white laptops are getting covered in whiteboard marker smudges.
- "Mr. Greene, can I please go wash my hands???"
- Some students not able to respect materials, destroying markers by pounding in their tips, or writing with them on paper till they run out.
- Some students unable to stop drawing beautiful works of art when I am presenting material. Or maybe this is a positive because I can see that they are off-task, whereas if they were doing plain old paper-and-pencil doodling, I might not notice?
I was wondering if anyone had any ideas to help with the logistical issues of mess and expense? Remember the Magna Doodle?