Write on the white

12th October 2007 at 01:00
Individual whiteboards have many different uses in science so they should always be out in lessons they are invaluable as a teaching and learning tool.

Ensure that science talk partners are used so children can discuss their ideas, learning from each other and drafting and redrafting what they will write on the whiteboard. Children who find writing difficult can be paired with a pupil who can write or a teaching assistant.

Discussion is central to science and children prefer lessons where they can learn from each other and support one another.

Responses to problems or questions can be placed on the whiteboard. A quick scan of the boards provides an immediate assessment of the whole class, the variety of ideas and if there are any issues such as misconceptions or lack of understanding of the data.

Whiteboards can be used to develop children's ability to write predictions or conclusions: talk partners discuss their ideas, drafting and redrafting, then hold up the finished sentence for the teacher to see.

Try using whiteboards to find out if children can predict the next set of numbers in a data set, or if they can sketch a line graph from a set of data.

Rosemary Feasey is a primary science consultant.

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