Angela Ianni-Murphy, Grade 8 teacher, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School, Waterloo Catholic District School Board.
Wipebook Flipcharts provoke meaningful conversation #thinkingclassroom
Peter Liljedahll’s “The Thinking Classroom” has taken classroom discussion to a whole new level. I began using Wipebook flipcharts to provoke meaningful conversations around various math problems. The dialogue and ideas that began to flow provided multiple entry points for students of varied academic levels. Not only do the Wipebooks allow the students to feel involved in the conversation, they provide opportunities for instant improvement of one’s work because if students are struggling with what to write, a quick glance at a peer’s work will help them to validate or change their thinking.
The "Creepy Canada" activity
Since the Wipebooks seemed to work so well for provoking math discussion, I decided to try using them during other subjects as well. One of my favourite activities “hooks” my students by allowing them to play the role of a detective by using various inferencing strategies to solve a real Canadian “cold case”. I showed my students an episode of “Creepy Canada”. The episode was about a Canadian couple who had gone missing in 1956. The case remained unsolved for a very long time. I asked my students to get into “triad groups” and fill out a graphic organizer that helped to organize their thoughts and outline the details of their inferences (using clues from the video, their own schema and the connections between the two) about what might have happened. Once they were finished creating their graphic organizers, the students used the VNPS to write their version of what may have happened to the couple.
VNPS providing opportunity for rich discussion
The VNPS helped the students to properly structure their paragraphs and share ideas in a non-threatening manner. One group said “check their board to get inspiration about how to start our paragraph”. Once everyone had written their paragraphs, the groups presented their writing to the class and they were offered instant feedback (both teacher-directed and peer-directed) about how the writing could be improved on a summative task. I love using Wipebooks in my classroom because they not only provide an opportunity for rich discussion amongst the students and myself, they also allow for timely immediate feedback that is both constructive and meaningful.