The humble whiteboard is a great teaching tool. It also doubles up as a magnetic whiteboard and is easier to maintain than the classic chalk and blackboard combo. Here are some whiteboard games and tips to maximize its use.

  1. Directions Game. Assign one student as the driver and the rest of the class as navigators. Draw a route on the whiteboard which the driver should navigate through. Blindfold the driver and have the other students tell the driver how to draw a line following the route using directions like east, west, north, south, etc. You can even divide the class into different groups. The group that finishes the route in less time wins the game.
  2. Word Joining Game. This is similar to the Directions Game but instead of following a route on the white board, the students need to join words or parts of a sentence. The connecting words or phrases are written on each side of the whiteboard. The drawer is blindfolded and the rest of the class gives directions like up, down, right, and left to complete the connection across the magnetic whiteboard.
  3. Cover Up. This is a great game when you want to teach or introduce a long text or complicated picture during a lesson. Draw or write it on the whiteboard before starting the lesson and then cover parts of it using post-its or plain paper by fixing with magnets or transparent tape on the magnetic whiteboard.
  4. Color Coding. Whiteboard markers are available in different colors. Using a particular color for a specific purpose will help the students to remember and understand the lesson. For example, use blue on your magnetic dry erase board to list the different tenses and black for the meaning of each one. You can then use green to give sample sentences. Or you can use red for showing error corrections, black for grammar, and green for vocabulary.
  5. Lesson Agenda. You can make a list of the things you need to cover at the side or top of the white board. Tick each one off as you cover it during the class. This helps you to be more organized and also teaches your students how to study systematically. You can even answer questions faster using this method because you have your notes on your magnetic whiteboard.
  6. Picture Dictation. This is a drawing game wherein the student by the whiteboard tries to draw a picture as the other students describe it. You may provide some clues, if necessary.
  7. Use Magnets. As previously mentioned, most whiteboards are also magnetic boards. This feature of the magnetic whiteboard can be used for leaving a copy of answer keys so your students can check their answers after the class. You can also put A3 printouts of pictures from textbooks so you can discuss the lesson without the students losing eye contact with you. If you have a non-magnetic whiteboard, you can use transparent adhesive tape.
  8. Drawing Race. This game starts with you writing down a sentence describing a picture you want to be drawn on the white board. Divide the students into groups and assign students to draw on the whiteboard. Each student will only draw part of the picture then pass it to the next one. The group that finishes first wins the game.
  9. Whiteboard Plans. You actually do this on your lesson plan instead of on the whiteboard. To keep what you put on the white board more organized and to ensure that you don’t run out of space, draw rectangles on each section of your lesson plan. Each rectangle will represent the magnetic whiteboard at each stage of your lesson.
  10. Stand at the Back. Your students may be having difficulties reading what’s written on the white board because of the reflection of the light coming from the window. Or you may just be standing in the way. To make sure that what you have written on the white board is easy to understand and copy, stand at the back of the classroom and check.
  11. Write Big. This is essential if you want to get the attention of your students and make it easy for them to copy what you have written. Write main topics on your magnetic whiteboard using bigger letters to put more emphasis on them. This way, your students will know which ones to focus on when they study for an exam.
  12. Divide the Whiteboard. A simple division of the whiteboard into different sections using boxes is a great way to organize your lesson. This also helps the students remember better because you can group similar parts of the lessons into one section of the white board. You can use sections on your magnetic whiteboard for error corrections, new vocabulary, homework, and student questions you want to answer later.
  13. Bullet Points. Bullet points are great when you want to organize lists. It helps group lists into different sections, too. This is the reason why lists on web pages and PowerPoint slides use bullet points. It puts more emphasis on the content. Lists also make remembering things easier. You can do the same when writing on the whiteboard. You can use different marker colors when writing down different lists.
  14. Take a Photo. Thanks to smartphone cameras, keeping a copy of the lesson on the whiteboard is now much easier. Taking a photo of what’s written can help you set it up the next time you present the same lesson. You can also send the pictures of the lesson via email to students who were not able to attend the lesson. Students can also take a picture to cross check with their notes.
  15. Reverse White Board Work. Using this technique, you start the lesson by writing the content on the whiteboard and having the students read it before the discussion. You can then erase parts of the lesson once they have been discussed or have been copied by the students. Using this method, you’ll have a full magnetic whiteboard before the class begins and an empty and clean one when it ends.

Hiding the object makes the students more interested. You also get more interaction from them. Just be careful that you don’t smudge the marking on the white board when putting the cover on or taking it off.