Using Mini Whiteboards in the Classroom

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A few ways to use mini whiteboards and a great way to clean them!!

how to use and clean mini whiteboards

Do you use mini whiteboards in your middle school classrooms? I love them! I’ve never purchased them, but I remember when I had them made, when I was teaching elementary school. Other teachers at my school and I went to the local Home Depot, bought the large white panel boards, and the Home Depot people cut them to size!

It’s been more than 20 years since I had them made, but I believe we were able to get thirty-two 12 x 12-inch whiteboards from one panel, and it cost less than $20.

Then I used blue and green electric tape to tape the edges so students wouldn’t get any kind of scratches from the unfinished surfaces.

​After several years, I retaped them with colorful Duck tape, to make them a little more pretty:-)


Using Mini Whiteboards

students doing math work on mini whiteboards

1) Mini whiteboards are a great way to increase student engagement
When each student has their own marker and whiteboard, they are more likely to participate – they like the color of the markers and the space to do just a couple problems.
Even those students who often hesitate to participate are more likely to engage when they’re using their own whiteboard. 

2) Mini whiteboards are fantastic for fast finisher activities
When students complete a whole-class activity at different times (like Footloose activities), they can grab a whiteboard and do something like practice with Order of Operations flashcards (these are awesome, by the way… they make for great, quick, differentiated practice).
With the whiteboards, markers, and erasers  readily available, the kids are perfectly happy to grab a whiteboard and marker and get practicing:-)


3) Mini whiteboards are great for quick group responses
When we’re doing some practice problems, I’ll list the problems on the board.
Students do their work at their own pace, and then raise their boards for me to take a quick look, give them a thumbs up (or a little head shake ‘no’) and then they can move on or try again.

  • This is much faster than me trying to get around the room to each student as they finish a problem….they don’t have to wait as long for me, so they can move on more quickly.
  • And, if a student is having difficulty, I can go and help that student. while also glancing up and giving other students their feedback so they can continue.

One year I had some VERY small classes due to a different method of math instruction the district was trying, and we used the whiteboards all the time….students were so engaged and involved.

Cleaning the Mini Whiteboards

Mini whiteboard with markers and magic eraser

I tried cleaning the whiteboards in many ways over the years…you know how they can stain!

I tried whiteboard spray, cloths, socks, Windex….there are so many things to try.

But, what I love best are the Magic Erasers! You can see a full size one in my picture, but they can be cut into smaller pieces. They are awesome! They clean all the marker off the whiteboard, even if it’s not done immediately. A few times, I left marker on my home whiteboard for weeks, and the Magic Eraser still removed it. Once in a while I might wet the eraser a little if a marker stain is particularly stubborn, but it’s usually not necessary.

How do you use mini whiteboards in your classroom? What’s your favorite cleaning method?

Ellie

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Welcome to Cognitive Cardio Math! I’m Ellie, a wife, mom, grandma, and dog ‘mom,’ and I’ve spent just about my whole life in school! With nearly 30 years in education, I’ve taught:

  • All subject areas in 4th and 5th grades
  • Math, ELA, and science in 6th grade (middle school)

I’ve been creating resources for teachers since 2012 and have worked in the elearning industry for about five years as well!

If you’re looking for ideas and resources to help you teach math (and a little ELA), I can help you out!

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