The Rolling Whiteboard

I am so glad that, in addition to my white board space, I have a rolling white board with two sides of writing space. The artist stands at the side of the board and disappears behind it whenever some new detail is added to the CI. 
That artist, by the way, must observe the same rule #7 ( rules) that the actors must observe – she must synchronize what she draws with my words, adding nothing else. She uses colored markers.
Another benefit of the rolling board is that we can audition people for jobs behind it, and we can also move it so that there is much less distance between me and the kids during the CI. I have always thought that white boards attached to the walls are too far away from the class.



3 thoughts on “The Rolling Whiteboard”

  1. I love this idea, but don’t have the rolling whiteboard. Ok, think think think, how would this work? I could have a student draw a picture on a piece of paper and then scan it and put it up on the LCD projector. This is less “immediate” (as it would need a 1-2 minute break to scan as opposed to just flipping around the whiteboard), but if I get a good little chant going, that could fill that time and build anticipation. Might work.
    One of the things I love about the moving whiteboard is the entire aura of mystery you create with the creation. The students know something is happening back there. You would feel like you are in Paris sitting for a street artist or grand master trying to match your efforts to be worthy of their contribution. I love the feel of suspense and reciprocity that this creates. Maybe I give my artist a clipboard and stick him up on a stool at the front of the class. Not the same, but I want that feeling.
    Extending that thought, though, then I might create a “recycling day” like was talked about on the blog late last school year where I could pull out the images and make the daily lesson a recap of past drawings. Perhaps put a couple of those images together and see what happens. Ben, do you take pictures of these creations at the end of the period or just let it swirl into the sands of time? You’ve got a great thing going there with your pictures and it might be nice to use them to generate future resources.

  2. Nathan if you have any whiteboard space behind the class you can have the kid back there drawing. Susie told me an idea once about that but I forgot it. Maybe someone has an idea on this.
    I am a sands of time guy, to answer that question. I can barely get to the readings and all that other stuff we get to choose from anyway. So when it’s over it’s over. But that’s just me.
    Today, when the board was flipped around in one of my classes, there was a nice and genuine round of applause for the artist. They all want to be the artist now, but it is an assigned job that is earned and from which one can be fired. Just like all the other jobs.
    One thing just to add here that is a neat thing to do is hand the laser pointer to any kid who wants to do a retell. Then they have something to look at for that, instead of that weird feeling of having to remember the entire story. It really helps and it seems that their French is always crisper and faster when they do it that way. A kid named Louie rocked the house on that today.
    I also leave the image in front of them during the quiz.

  3. Sounds like a great setup. One of the things about high school students is that they don’t know how to work with each other unless you define roles for them; they can live up to a role’s expectation because it’s clear and defined.
    So how does one earn the status of designated artist? I have an all-world artist in one German I class who absolutely brings it every day. If I don’t assign him a role to draw, he will often bring me one the next day anyway; it’s how he processes the world and who he is. He also has almost everybody else in that class intimidated to dare put pen to paper because nobody is in his league. Seriously; the doodles I get to support our daily ramblings are of way higher quality than I’ve seen in any published language text. So, as a result, I’m trying to define the role of artist as an “earnable” rather than “you got it your you don’t” that is currently in their mind.
    I love the laser pointer retell idea. That’s got legs on so many levels: it bestows a privelege to accompany a duty; it tangibly helps them process the task using multiple senses; it helps the listeners follow along with the retell themselves. Thanks for the tip.

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