A whiteboard is a useful tool that aids student learning in the middle school reading classroom. A modernized version of the chalkboard, the whiteboard provides a clear, clean, allergy-free method of displaying pertinent information related to reading, writing and grammar. You can also use the whiteboard in place of a projection screen. Interactive whiteboards allow for a computer to be connected directly to the board, which promotes technology in the reading classroom.
Middle School Note taking
Note taking is an important skill taught in middle school reading classrooms because it aids in reading comprehension, analysis and review. Adolescents are typically not ready to take notes from a lecturing teacher; however, teachers can use the whiteboard to demonstrate how to organize important information from a text. Concisely writing the main idea of a text, character analyses and setting information on a whiteboard will provide students with the guidance and modeling necessary to learn good note-taking habits.
Grammar and Vocabulary
Middle School students who have a foundation in grammar and vocabulary become stronger readers. Teachers should use the whiteboard daily to define difficult vocabulary words from the class texts. In addition, students should practice using vocabulary words in the context of a sentence on the whiteboard. Also, teachers can use the whiteboard to teach sentence editing. Middle school students struggle with sentence corrections because they often fail to see mistakes in their own writing. Teachers should write sentences with errors on the whiteboard largely and clearly. Students then should be invited to come to the front to correct the mistakes in a separate color.
Whiteboard graphic organizers are a wonderful way to engage visual learners and reinforce reading skills in middle school. During a literary discussion, allow students to visualize time periods, textual relationships and similarities and differences by creating charts and graphs on the class whiteboard. A KWL chart is a three-column chart, which is a helpful reading tool that asks students what they know about a text, what they would like to know and what they have learned. In addition, teachers can create a Venn diagram on the whiteboard to compare and contrast characters in a novel. Other whiteboard graphic organizers include cause and effect charts, timelines and idea webs.
Interactive whiteboards are becoming common in schools today, and they are a positive way to incorporate technology into a reading classroom. By connecting a computer to an interactive whiteboard, the class will have access to a projected Internet. The Internet on an interactive whiteboard can be used to bring in videos, websites and grammar and writing games appropriate for middle school students. In addition, samples of student work can be projected onto an interactive whiteboard. Projecting a piece of student writing onto the whiteboard will allow students to strengthen reading and revision skills. Student projects and presentations are also more accessible with the use of an interactive whiteboard.
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