Wipebook Workbooks transforming the classroom during COVID-19




Colette Tobias, Grade 6, Caradoc Public School,Ontario, Canada.



I first fell in love with the original Wipebooks two years ago during a PD session for Math teachers. We used the Wipebooks for vertical writing surfaces and I was hooked. I brought them back to class the next day and my students loved them. 






Things this year are different, due to COVID restrictions, so vertical writing isn’t used as much as years past so I ordered the personal Wipebooks for every student in my class. My students fell in love with how easy they were to write on and erase. They love to be able to fold them all the way out to show all of their thinking. The quality of their number talks has increased as they feel more comfortable displaying one or two strategies.






After completing a diagnostic on where the students were at in math, it was clear that we had some work to do with multiplication. Our number talks have focused on using a variety of strategies to solve multi digit multiplication questions. I believe that students need the practise daily,  so that they become more confident with number flexibility, which is a skill many of them didn’t have yet.  Questions posed were 6 x 12 x 3, and students were unsure where to even begin but now they have the confidence to move numbers around to make it easier. Students now have the ability to put 6 x 3 together and then break down 12 to be 10 and 2 which are much friendlier numbers. We have been working on using area models as well as repeated addition, decomposition and beginning to use number lines. Often students went right to the standard algorithm not really ending up with the right answer or really understanding what they were doing. The area mode (open array) has really helped with understanding place value and improved number flexibility through decomposition. 






The Wipebooks have given students the confidence to make mistakes and try new strategies because they are easy to use and easy to erase and it’s something other than pencil and paper. Every morning, we begin our math lesson with a number talk, where students take out their Wipebooks and answer the question on the Smartboard. When I first introduced the Wipebooks to the students, they attempted one strategy to show their work, now I’m seeing many more strategies as I remind them to make their thinking visible. Students enjoy that there are many ways to use the Wipebooks and like the option of the grid paper on the inside.



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