We were very pleased to award John Warner School an Effective Learning Minor Award to fund 6 class-sets of mini whiteboards.
We are always impressed when schools find practical and efficacious methods of putting learning theory into everyday classroom practice. In John Warner’s case, Rosenshine’s principles were being focussed upon, in particular his suggestions for guided practice. As Simon Robinson, Head of Mathematics wrote:
“The basis of the teachers’ whole class input is about breaking steps down into manageable chunks and assessment. We want teachers to explain a process in its entirety, follow this up with an example using pupil input which would be done via the mini whiteboards for the whole class and then an individual pupil’s whole class example on one of the larger whiteboards in the class.”
We are also keen to promote staff becoming specialists and then passing down their skills to other members of the school. John Warner have a member of staff who OFSTED have praised for her use of mini whiteboards and so they are planning for her to deliver CPD to the whole maths faculty once they have the equipment in place.
I’ll give the last word to Simon on the benefits of mini whiteboards:
“The mini whiteboards would allow for all pupils to engage with a given question. This would allow for consolidation of a skill or as a quick assessment of the understanding gained during a lesson. Generally we try to differentiate a task to the needs of the pupils. Mini-whiteboards allow for a teacher to get a much clearer picture of the needs of the class in front of them. We can then give direction to the pupils where to start to seek a suitable level of challenge.”