Mind Mapping

4 Easy Ways to Get Students to Interact with your Interactive White Board

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4 Easy Ways to Get Students to Interact with your Interactive Whiteboard

When given the chance, students love getting involved in the classroom and voicing their opinions.  We know that students who are actively engaged learn and retain more.  Here are 4 fast and easy ways to get your students involved and engaged with your classic or interactive whiteboard (IWB).

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Sticky Note Spectrum

Write two extremes on either side of the whiteboard. For my economics class I might write “Interdependence” on one side and “Specialization” on the other. Give students a sticky note and have them write down which extreme (or combination) is best and why. When all students are ready, have them come up and post their sticky note where they think it belongs on the spectrum. Use this visual spectrum to stimulate discussion and encourage students to explain their positions.

NOTE: If you have a touch IWB, make sure you freeze your screen with your board’s remote to prevent jumping around on your computer.

Class Concept Web

This is a great way to introduce students to concept mapping. In the center of your board, write the topic to be discussed. Give each student 3 or 4 sticky notes (no sticky notes? try scratch paper and tape!). Have students write down one or two word phrases that are related to the topic on each sticky note. Call on Sofia to share what is on one of her sticky notes. Tell students with identical notes to hold up their sticky note. Have Sofia collect them and put them all on the board in one spot, drawing a circle around the bunch. Have Sofia draw a line connecting the topic with the bunch of notes and ask students to identify the relationship between the two. Call on another student and repeat the process. As the class moves on, they may need to erase or move connecting lines.

NOTE: Collecting identical notes lets the students see what ideas are common/unique and lets you judge when you are coming to the close of the activity. To keep older students even more engaged, have them copy the concept web in their notes as it develops.

Vocabulary Matching

Place vocab words on one side of the board and definitions on the other. Make sure they are mixed up! When a student thinks they have a match, have them come up and draw a line to match the word to its definition. If you have an IWB and know how to make words and definitions separate objects, have students actually move them to make a match.

NOTE: To get as many students involved as possible, make the rule of only one definition per student per time.

Umm . . . IDK

Nothing demonstrates a lifelong commitment to learning quite like admitting you don’t know everything. Create an IDK (I don’t know) page that is devoted to questions you don’t know. When a student asks a good question that you can’t answer off the top of your head (and is related to the content, of course!), have that student write the question on the IDK page.

NOTE: You’ll want to decide ahead of time if you’re going to look up the answers or offer students extra credit for finding these things out. And make sure to celebrate discoveries together!