Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mr. Freeman's Class Teaches Me a Thing or Two

Just spent some time getting schooled by the grade six class at Jamieson. Mr. Freeman pulled me in to watch them use their white boards during a math lesson. He had them all engaged, writing down numbers and working on place value, addition, and utilizing correct math terminology. I received a lesson in the proper way to articulate a number. I incorrectly stated a number as, "one thousand, four hundred AND seventy-two." The class (after only ONE day with Mr. Freeman--and of course, prior years at Jamieson school) corrected me: "You said TWO numbers!!! When you say 'and' it means you are saying a second number. The proper way to say it is 'one thousand, four hundred, seventy-two'." You learn something new everyday. It's just like how we were taught to 'borrow' from the tens column, but nowadays we actually 'regroup' because we never give it back. (There's a history lesson in there somewhere, but I won't get into politics).

Mr. Freeman's use of whiteboards has several practical advantages. The students are all involved on a motor skill level, using the hands-on activity. As well, Mr. Freeman is able to quickly see every student's understanding when they hold up their whiteboards, without having to circulate the room and glance down at notebooks. He commented that the use of the boards is really effective when the class is sitting in a circle. Plus, on another sensory level, I could SMELL the learning going on in that classroom. Look into using white boards with your students!!


  1. Thanks for stopping by Mr RG. Stop in any time.
    The great thing about using dry erase boards many: a) students can see other's work, make adjustments and compare their work thus giving opportunity to gain in confidence in an unthreatening way; b) all students get an opportunity to participate not just those that are confident that they have an accurate answer; c) a volume of material can be covered very quickly, leaving time for review and new examples and challenges; d) immediate feedback for students and a great general look at class competence on a concept; e) all students want to actively participate; f) it is easy to identify students that are disengaged, providing an opportunity for refocussing and encouragement; g)easy to identify areas requiring review; and many other things too numerous to outline here.
    The kids take to dry erase boards quickly, and use them with ease.
    Hope it works for you.

  2. Thanks for elaborating on this, Mr. Freeman! i knew there was so much more but i didn't want to try and cram it all in at the expense of people actually reading it. You know how some people step away from anything longer than a few paragraphs. i'm trying to stick to a motto...

    Short and sweet.