Sez Nalsok, Grade 4 Educator. Florence Meares Public School, Halton District School Board, Burlington, ON.
My name is Sez Nalsok and I teach at Florence Meares Public School. I have been teaching for 15 years (since 2005) teaching various grades from grade 2-8, as a special education resource teacher and most recently as a grade 4 classroom teacher. I first learned about Wipebook Flipcharts at a Math Workshop offered to Junior Math Leads through the Halton District School Board (HDSB). During our adult learning session Flipcharts were used throughout our learning space and while we participated in collaborative activities. I knew right then and there that I had to have these flipcharts for my own classroom. There are many reasons why I use Wipebook Flipcharts, but the 3 main reasons I’d like to share in this blog are:
Risk Free Thinking and Sharing Through VNPS
The FIRST reason I use the Wipebook Flipcharts for my students and in the classroom is because having a non-permanent surface allows for more risk taking. Knowing that you can change or improve your work on an erasable surface allows students to start sharing their thinking risk free but also improve their thinking as they work. Using dry erase markers and erasers to share their work and improve it, allows for their BEST representation of their learning across all subjects.
When I think of education when I was growing up, learning was very independent, desks were in rows and there was little collaboration through our day. Today, the jobs we are preparing our students for are very collaborative, therefore their classrooms should provide opportunities to grow this life skill.
Collaborating and thinking together in the classroom #thinkingclassroom
Which brings me to my SECOND reason for using the Wipebook Flipcharts: having a large surface, like the Flipcharts, allows for a large collaborative space for students to work together collaboratively to share their thinking. One of the strategies I often use in my math class is a concept called Math Congress. Congress is a mathematics instructional strategy that allows for a whole-class discussion on two or three, strategically selected, student solutions in order to develop every student's mathematical learning. Seen below are images of student work and of students sharing their learning during a math congress.
Similarly, I use my Wipebook Flipcharts in my language program to support collaborative writing. The images I’ve shared below was a recount on a newspaper article we read together, and collaboratively students took turns to recount the important details of the article.
Both math congress and the collaborative writing piece are only a few of the ways I use Wipebook Flipcharts as examples of formative assessment and assessment for learning. Having both sides of the flipchart allows for a blank surface as well as graph paper to provide for endless opportunities for their use in class.
Making the move to a waste free classroom
The THIRD reason I’d like to share and probably the most important reason I use Wipebook Flipcharts as an educator is it is a paper free way to learn, share and reduce the amount of waste and therefore reduce our carbon footprint everyday. I always felt so guilty with the amount of paper we used in class. Students would make mistakes and ask for more flipchart paper, and it always made me feel like there had to be other options and resources for collaborative work to be displayed and shared without all the paper waste.
It wasn’t until I came across Wipebook Flipcharts that I finally had a resource for students to share their thinking risk free, large enough to share the thinking of multiple students, all the while knowing that there was ZERO waste. After student have shared their thinking, I take an image of their work with the Wipebook app, save it in their Google Keep into students individual Digital Portfolio, that way I always have a record of the work completed, and my classroom is tidy (minimal visual clutter) all the while having a clear conscience that we are all doing our part to minimize the amount of materials we waste. A perfect tool for all classrooms.
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