For busy teachers who have loads of ambition, but little time, power up with these tested tips to put your whiteboard into action right away. To exercise your skills and engage your students, you'll also find links to some of the best interactive resources on the web.

Make Room for Whiteboards

If you've just added an interactive whiteboard to your classroom, you may want to make some adjustments before getting started:

  • Add lighting to other areas of the classroom if the whiteboard requires you to dim or turn off overhead lights.
  • If you have the whiteboard as a center, be sure other classroom centers are active learning hubs.
  • Let students take the lead at the whiteboard — you’ll be surprised how quickly they will pick up how to work with it.
  • Get ready for lively learning that may involve noise and plenty of activity!

Save Your Whiteboard Lessons

Use your lessons to review concepts with students who need a review, or work through the day’s learning with students who missed class that day.

Print Your Lessons and Send Home to Parents

If your whiteboard is connected to a printer, print the lesson and send it home to parents so that they can share what happened in class that day.

Take Morning Attendance

After choosing a theme, create graphics (fish and fishbowl, scoops of ice cream and an ice cream cone, apples and basket, etc.) for the whiteboard and have the students move their names when they arrive in the morning. With one glance you can take attendance, and students have started their day!

Do a Daily Language Activity

Before students arrive in the morning, post an error-filled sentence (or two) on the whiteboard with the correct version hidden. Have the students work as a group to come up with corrections, and allow one student to act as the Language Leader, making the edits on the board. Finally, reveal the correct version.

Make a Backdrop for Stories

Use the whiteboard as a backdrop for presentations by displaying student artwork on the board. Or have students make videos to project as the background for stories — snowstorms, forests, fields of wheat, the sky, rainstorms, clouds, etc. Simple videos can bring stories and readers theater alive with the whiteboard!

Show Why the IWB Is an Editor’s Best Friend

Teach your students common proofreading marks and have them use their new tools to edit text you have posted on the whiteboard.

Use Technology to Reflect

At the end of the day, have students come to the whiteboard to write down something that they learned during the day. Print out each day’s recordings and keep a journal of classroom daily reflections for students to go through.

Make an Electronic Word Wall

Create a vocabulary word wall and repost it when students are writing.

Set the Time!

If you are preparing for a test, doing a timed assignment, or playing a game, set the online timer on your whiteboard to count down the time and signal when time is up. This is a terrific way to help your students manage their time during class.


Find Inspiration for Author Studies

Generate enthusiasm for author studies with Scholastic Videos by showing a short video of a particular author on the whiteboard. Inspire young writers to enjoy writing and to understand the writing process by introducing them to published authors.

Take a Virtual Field Trip — No Permission Slips Required!

Many museum Web sites offer virtual field trips. Your whiteboard can serve as the passport for the entire class!

Or, with PBS, your students can create their own virtual museum!

Take a Lit Field Trip

When you are presenting a new book to your class, give your students a sense of place by using Google Maps.  And whether it’s the boulevards of Paris or the prairies of Nebraska, establish the setting beforehand with Google Images and Google Videos.

Bring Local Geography Home

Use Google Maps to locate the streets where your students live. Project a map of your town on the whiteboard and have students identify their homes.

Explore Nature

Beautifully photographed and highly informative, these online nature series and Web sites are great for whiteboard video display and present wonderful opportunities to integrate multimedia sources into your science lessons.

Check Out Live Webcams

The National Zoological Park —Eagles sleeping in their nests; fish swimming in the Amazon River; otters frolicking on the Asia Trail; cheetahs, clouded leopards, ferrets, fishing cats, flamingos, lions, and gorillas — catch great live Webcams from the National Zoo!

Have Fun and Find Inspiration to Write Poetry

  • Pull up the Fridge Magnet Poetry Boards on your whiteboard and then invite kids to come up and move words around to make poetry.
  • Use the Poetry Engine Machine to generate cinquains, free verse poems, limericks, and haiku.
  • At Writing With Writers, explores the basics of creating poetry with authors such as Jack Prelutsky, Jean Marzollo, and Karla Kuskin.