My students love using individual mini-whiteboards. If you don’t have a class set: get one now! There are several budget-easy options. The first one, is to go to a hardware store such as Menards, Home Depot, etc. Look for a big white shower board (perhaps 8’x10′), should be about $10. Then take it and have it cut in 12″x12″ pieces. Some people have claimed getting free cutting if they mention you are a teacher.
The next one is to take page protectors and stick a piece of paper, preferably cardstock, inside.
Of course, many teaching catalogs offer cheap alternatives nowadays. You can always buy it as a department or share a class set with other teachers. Need erasers? I have seen teachers use things such as old socks, old t-shirts, or any other used fabric.
In terms of using the boards, they are several ways that allow you to quickly assess students. Besides posing a question to the class and having students write their answers, or having them translate something, here a few unique game ideas:
- Give the students a vocabulary list. Have them write a Spanish word on their board. The teacher then calls out one word in English. Whoever has that word on their board should stand up. If more than one person has it, the person who stood up first earns a point.
- Put students in groups of three. Give commands, such as “Escribe una verdura verde” or “Algo que comes para El Día de Acción de Gracias” or something that has multiple answers. The three students in the group are competing against each other. You can decide to award points for having a unique answer (no one else had their answer) or for matching a answer with their group (two of the three match=5 points, all three match=10 points). You can play for a specific time (probably 10 minutes) or until a group reaches a certain point level.
- Building listening: Describe a scene to your students. Or have your students describe something to each other. Have partners seated across from each other and the other person must draw what is being described. Can be used for many thematic units (House, Body, Around town, School)
Spanish Body Parts Drawing for Listening
- Review for quizzes and tests. The following products are good lessons that can be used with whiteboards:
-Subject Pronouns Practice
-Direct Object Pronoun Practice
–Commands and Direct Object Pronoun Practice
Oh, and don’t forget to have students bring in their own Expo dry-erase markers. If they borrow mine, I tell them they are not allowed to draw or write unnecessarily with my marker and waste the ink. If they do, I take the marker away and make them write on paper.