Stability and Flexibility in the Classroom with Wipebook Flipcharts
Frank Severino, The Holy Trinity Catholic School, Toronto, Canada.
My name is Frank Severino, and I have been teaching in Toronto, Canada for the last 7 years. I have always been interested in incorporating technology and new products in my classes, especially if they would be able to help with student success and engagement. Back in May 2015 I discovered Wipebook through their Kickstarter campaign for the Wipebook 3. After supporting the “Early Bird” deal, I received my Wipebook 3 with some markers and have been using it to sketch out and plan almost every lesson and project since! Five years later, I was looking for something to help bring back some semblance of normalcy to my classroom and students. We missed group work, but couldn’t be too close to each other. I tested chart paper on the walls and floors but I wasn’t able to write on them, transport them and share them without the sheets getting wrinkled and damaged. I remembered that Wipebook came out with the Flipchart (which I somehow missed on Kickstarter) and reached out to see if they could help me out. They did, and we love it!
Within hours of receiving our Flipchart we were able to spread out in the gym and use the charts to work on some math questions. We had been working on writing questions for our friends to solve, but were unable to use our class space to get into groups. The Flipchart allowed us to write on a much stronger surface while not having to worry too much about ripping or bending our papers. More importantly, the ability to move the sheets from workspace to workspace (or any open space) allowed us to finally get back to one of the greatest parts of face to face learning. Our students loved the group work!
One of the other things I have always been looking for is a way for students to share their work without being afraid of making a mistake. I’ve always thought, and taught, that learning from your mistakes is a great way to grow as a learner. Within the first five minutes we had some simple mistakes that would have resulted in torn up papers and starting over from scratch, but not with the Wipebook Flipchart!
Before the period was done we had students sharing their solutions, without worrying about ‘being wrong’ because their classmates could easily help them get to the right answer with some discussion and adjustments. Students grew confident in their abilities because they weren’t scared to try out different ideas and methods to solve problems.
We learn through practice, and it always helps to make that practice fun and engaging, instead of long and tedious. Sometimes, we get things wrong and need another chance. With Wipebook Flipchart that isn’t a problem! Some teachers may be worried about the smudges on the charts because they look messy, but I know those smudges mean that the students revised their work and helped each other successfully reach their goals. Our Wipebook Flipchart is a physical representation that ‘learning is messy’ and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Unfortunately, we got our Flipchart just as the weather started to get colder, and now there is snow on the ground. I can’t wait to take our Flipcharts outside and test them in the various locations that we have used to learn outside of the classroom on our breathtaking campus!One of the academic areas I am really excited to use the Flipcharts for is coding! This year, Ontario had our math curriculum updated to include financial literacy and coding. I was already excited for this, as it is something that I have done with my classes since day one. The flexibility to write, and re-write, on the Flipchart will be something that is invaluable to our students when they are learning the basics of coding! Trial and error, or finding more efficient solutions, will be so much easier if the students are willing to write their ideas knowing that they can change them when needed.
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