"Seeing the joy of using the Flipcharts has created for the students and their eagerness to want to use it has shown me that sometimes it is the simplest tool that engages the students."
Math. The dreaded word spoken only by teachers…. feared by kids. This subject is split down the middle - half “like it” (aka understand it) and well the other half… despise it. Those are the kids that walk through my tutoring centre door hating math before even giving it a second chance. However, there has been a change in their attitude once the reusable and eco-friendly Wipebook Flipcharts came into the centre. This new VNPS math tool, provided students a way to practice their math skills without the fear of putting permanent marks on paper and getting it wrong. Wipebook Flipcharts provided that space for opportunities to make mistakes but easily erase and try again.
Collab at the Centre
Collaborating is not a word usually used to describe math. Math was typically done independently at their desks, by themselves with paper and pencil. But now, math has become a whole group activity, allowing students to share their ideas, and their various strategies and learn from others. This is also true in Top Dog Learners Tutoring Institute. I put a math problem on the Wipebook Flipchart for the students to solve. They gather around the easel and they talk math. They talk about strategies, ideas, what might work, and finding out what doesn’t work. Students beg to use the Flipchart every time they come. They enjoy working together on problems.
The portable Wipebook Flipcharts is a non-permanent math tool that allows students to work both at the easel, and then transport their chart paper to their space to continue working.
Just Erase and Try Again
Having the opportunity to try and fail and then to try again with no “proof” of their mistakes makes a big difference to students. Some students don’t know how or plain just don’t like to make mistakes or fail, Small whiteboards are great for sharing answers but Wipebook Flipcharts allow students tons of space to work through the math problem. It also allows me to see their thought process as they work through the steps on the large space. It is also a space they can showcase (or brag about) their work to their peers. The enjoyment students are getting out of Flipcharts is amazing. Something so simple as changing from chart paper to erasable paper allows students to “Just erase and try again” but at the same time, saving paper and being a bit greener.
Not Just Math
While it's mostly used for solving math problems, students have discovered the ease of creating simple drawings using both the plain side of the page and the grid lines on the other side. This creative drive has expanded into drawings of science diagrams and maps for geography. The ease of drawing various diagrams allows students to feel successful in more subjects than just math. Seeing how easily they can change and manipulate their drawing.
Although math can be scary, having tools like Wipebook Flipcharts allows students to make mistakes, and seeing these mistakes being erased, learning to move on and continue learning. The Flipcharts has been a game-changer at the Centre, allowing for more collaboration and more communication between students. Seeing the joy of using the Flipcharts has created for the students and their eagerness to want to use it has shown me that sometimes it is the simplest tool that engages the students.
Elizabeth Harrison, Private Tutor, Top Dog Learners Tutoring Institute
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