Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Chalkface - not my job!

One of my favourite things in my new, rather large classroom is the blackboard (actually, it's green!)

It was intrusively ugly as the room was originally configured - hanging in front of the south-side windows killing any warmth in the room & obviously belonging to 'the teacher'.

Now this board is no puppy - it's a good four metres wide, and over a metre tall. Quite an asset, in the right place...and with 'fat' chalk it is quickly becoming a useful non-table focus point, shifting heads away from textbooks. It is set on the floor, and accessible to all - great for races or team work; a whole new & fun working interface which the students own.

Today, it had the unexpected bonus of taking me out of the 'teaching' role. One of my lads still has problems making his letters (because he's a southpaw?) and what should be quick writing tasks end up waiting for him to finish (tons of rubbing out doesn't help). His study buddy today could see what he was doing (we were taking turns to write new vocabulary on the board & dictating spelling if we couldn't remember). He took it upon himself to help edit his mate's writing, being a lot more critical than I could be but as a peer (and in Japanese) it went in better! He drew horizontal guide lines (as I like good homework books at their level to have) & insisted they were kept to - tough teacher!

So, I like my knew technology! Big time bonus is that it's also magnetic. A plethora of new board/card games in the offing!