Raise student engagement with the use of slates.

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Raise student engagement with the use of slates.

EngagementThis isn’t the 1900’s­- I get that, but using the term slate is much easier to say than, “write-on wipe-off board.” So for today’s teaching tip, let’s understand what I’m talking about here is the personal write–on wipe-off board.

Back in the day… when these things were made of chalk boards and we wrote with chalk, they were called slates.

Think about it, those little handy tools have not gone out of style. You may be a high tech classroom with iPads or tablets or Lord knows what else for your students, but today we talk about using the good old slate.

I recommend you have slates within your students’ reach at all times. They provide a great way to check in with all of your students and raise student engagement quick as a wink and with little prep.

Quick uses for slates in the classroom:

During morning meeting: While waiting for the calendar helper or temperature helper or whatever helper you have to do his/her job engage all the seated children by asking them to write their temperature prediction on their slates. Or ask them to spell the name of the day on their board. … Anything goes. Be creative.

Transition times: While students are moving around the room have them use slates when they arrive at the noted location. Then they will write answers to questions you are posing. It could be anything from summary questions about a unit you are closing or a thought they have about a unit you are opening. Perhaps at this time you’d even like to pose a basic fact speed drill. (We never get enough of those!)

Early finishers: Students use their slates to summarize what they just completed.

Children love writing on their slates; especially children with learning difficulties. The smooth glide of the marker on the board has shown in tons of classrooms to remove a stumbling block from children with learning difficulties. Here’s a great way to get those children engaged more often with writing.

Now we want to hear from you. In the comments below share your tips for using slates.


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| student engagement, students, success, teaching, wisdom | September 07, 2014

About the author

Wynn Godbold is a certified John Maxwell Team Leadership trainer, speaker, and coach.

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