Hi Sherryl! I have been using VNPS for about a year now, and there is no way I would go back to NOT using them! I ordered Wipebooks and put them around my classroom using blue painter’s tape and Command hooks. I have used open-ended problems (like from openmiddle.com or “Good Questions for Math Teaching”) as well as questions with only one answer. I have also “presented” this topic at a conference and ended up using some of the windows in the room! Don’t worry – expo markers come off easily from windows! I also invested in Mr. Clean Magic Erasers and cut them in half. They erase so much better than a traditional eraser. Hope this information helps!
Hi Laura, thank you for the tip on Mr. Clean erasers in using Wipebooks. I use the VNPS regularly in the same manner you do so this will help speed up the process. I love the versatiity in these surfaces because I can post some in the classroom and some outside in the courtyard. Gets the kids up and moving. I also use the resources found on Illustrative Mathematics site for possible discussion problems.
As a rule, anything you might have the kids work on sitting at a desk, have them do while standing at whiteboards instead and you’ll get better results. I did my student teacher program at a school that all they did was install whiteboards around the room and have the students do the work they would normally do at their desks at the whiteboard instead. Across the board test scores rose by about 10%, with bigger gains seen by lower learners. The only thing that changed was instead of doing their in class practice work at their desks, they were doing it on whiteboards, while students were doing their work on the whiteboards, the teacher was in the middle of the room giving them real time feedback on the correctness of their answers. The pedagogy here was just a modified form of “I do, you do, we do” but the VNPS did so much.
Peter Liljedal (sp?) has a lot of research on this, but suffice it to say that the more they are on whiteboards, the better.
The advantages of whiteboards are as follows: Easy for others to see the work that is being done, students standing and burning more energy instead of being forced to contain the energy, students are quicker to get to work than on paper, students cannot hide as easily when on VNPS than at desks. Any type of learning activity that uses these properties is great.
I have my kids do their work and presentations for 3-act tasks on their whiteboards. There’s the simple practice worksheet, that when done in this context becomes much richer as students can peek at other students work, the teacher is able to see who is struggling, can assign early finishers to help stragglers, can tell stragglers to go check out work from another learner. Students can easily work in pairs or teams without rearranging desks.
Those wipeboards look cool, you basically need to find any excuse you can to get your students working at them. With practice, you’ll get better at creating activites. Have fun!