In digitally-equipped, interactive 21st century classrooms, reinforcement tools are still necessary. Tools like interactive whiteboards create a great, dynamic tool to use during lessons, but cannot reinforce key concepts on a daily basis. Visual reinforcements like anchor charts are necessary to classroom environment in order for students to continue learning once the board is turned off. However, this decision does not need to be an either-or decision. Interactive white boards and tangible posters and manipulatives can complement each other--here's how teachers can incorporate both learning tools into their classroom:
Teachers can use the interactive white board for a lesson, then transfer key points onto the anchor chart. The chart becomes a visual reinforcement that the student can use throughout the lesson/unit. On day two of the lesson, the teacher can use the poster that was created on day one as the review or anticipatory set to begin the new lesson for the day.
Use the interactive whiteboard as a tool for quick notes for the student to reference in addition to the posters that have been made throughout the week. Teacher can put the students into partners/groups and have the students create their own posters with the poster maker to share with the class after. The whiteboard can be used as a reference for directions if needed.
Students can also use the interactive whiteboard to make notes or write information on the posters.
The teacher can also use the interactive whiteboard to teach a lesson with a hands on element. For example, the life cycle of the butterfly could be virtually shown on the whiteboard, then students can put together their own butterfly life cycle using anchor charts as references and cutouts to assemble and personalize. This creates a great visual for the students and a larger display of student work! Click on the image on the right for a downloadable poster.
Why are anchors & other "hard copy" visuals important?
Utilizing anchor charts created during a lesson or unit will eliminate distractions from constantly moving from one screen to another on an interactive whiteboard. Students of all learning abilities will benefit from the decrease in distractions.Tangible visuals are also a fantastic way to showcase student work. Visuals individual students create can be displayed with the class's, and becomes another reinforcement for students to study each day.
Hands-on manipulatives such as geometric shapes in a math lesson engage and motivate students to make connections from the concrete to abstract. For high-risk students, students with disabilities, and language learners, having a visual-kinesthetic method of learning and problem solving can also lead to greater self-confidence. Read more in this article, "Back to Basics: Manipulatives in the Classroom."
How have you seen anchor charts and other tangible visuals used with interactive whiteboards? How do you reinforce concepts in the classroom?