October 26


So we all have Interactive White Boards now (IWBs) but at my school we are all using PWBs – Personal White Boards that is. Small whiteboards are part of many sessions, especially English and Mathematics. You can buy them in bulk from educational suppliers, or cheaply at dollar shops and department stores like Kmart.

My students, even though they are 11-12 year olds love using them, they are more keen to write on these than in their books (a pro and a con!). A quick glance around the room at what is on the whiteboards is a great assessment tool, and errors can be fixed easily without wrecking a page or paragraph in a book.

The cons are the constant buying of whiteboard pens, and of course training the students not to draw on them at the wrong time.

May 25

Building Confidence versus Saving Trees…

A lot of older students can become harsh critics of themselves when it comes to visual arts. I used to be a ‘one piece of paper only’ teacher, believing that if you let one start again, they all will start again, and that ends up wasting paper. Expensive art paper no doubt. But as a part time artist, how ridiculous! I can recall artworks where I have wasted at least 10 bits of paper before I’m happy with my drawings, sketches, paintings.

I have had several students over the years become so upset at themselves, not being able to produce outstanding, perfect artworks. So I’ve relinquished the position of ‘paper police’, and I let students start again if they want.

So what to do with all those off sheets? Mistake attempts?  If it’s only lead pencil, save them up for balloon painting or sponge painting for book covers. Cut them up and use the reverse for bingo sheets or scrap paper. At least put them in the recycle bin. Then I don’t feel so bad about the wastage. I found a great solution – let students practice the sketch on a small personal whiteboard (PWB) before drawing on the art paper. Art paper saved!