Personal Whiteboards



Personal whiteboards allow students to take temporary notes or work out problems in an non-threatening way.  Students can adjust answers accordingly. This can also serve as a quick method for checking student understanding on the fly.

Personal white boards are an inexpensive and portable tool for students in the classroom.


  • Personal whiteboards
  • Dry erase markers
  • Erasers or clothes for boards


No advance preparation required. 


  • Give students a whiteboard, dry erase marker(s) and eraser and instruct them to answer a question or work out the solution to a problem.


Personal whiteboards can be used for:

  • quizzes
  • math equations
  • problem solving
  • story boarding
  • practice spelling words
  • making notes to self
  • brainstorming
  • group work


  • To check understanding, you can have students hold up their boards to show their solution.


  • Hardware stores sell “marker board’ in large sheets. The store will cut the board down to a personal size of your choosing.
  • Dry erase markers may dry out on students so having extras is a good idea.
  • Using erasers or a soft cloth on the surface of the whiteboard is preferable and helps to preserve the coating of the whiteboard. (e.g. socks work well)
  • Whiteboards allow students to take risks with their learning. They are more likely to put  their thoughts down on the board as their thoughts happen and as their thinking evolves through the lesson, they can make changes because the markings can be erased and modified to reflect their new thinking.


Whiteboarding in the Classroom – by Dr. Dan MacIsaac at Suny Buffalo College – Website that discusses the merits of using personal whiteboards in the classroom to promote student collaboration, presentation skills, and active learning.

Whiteboarding and Socratic Dialogues – Questions and Answers – by Carl J. Wenning – Article published in the Journal of Physics Teacher detailing the pedagogical practice of using whiteboards in the classroom.

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