Encouraging Communication

In a previous post Risk It All, I described one of my favourite games to use with mini whiteboards. But there are lots of other great activities I like to use with mini whiteboards that involve my pupils working together to solve a problem.

Here are a few that encourage the pupils to focus on how they communicate their answers:

(1) Relay Race

For this game, I arrange the pupils into groups of 5 or 6 and they stand one behind each other in a column. The person at the back has a mini whiteboard and attempts the question I set on the board. Once they have completed it or done as much as they can, they pass the board forward to the next pupil. They then read the working and can add or amend it if necessary. The board continues to be passed forward until at the front when it is passed to me to be checked. The person at the front then takes the board to the back of the column and starts off the next problem.

I really like this activity as each pupil has to read over each others working. This makes the pupils think carefully about layout and communication and learn how to check others work for errors.

(2) All in it together

Pupils are put into groups of 3 or 4 and each group has one mini whiteboard and pen. I pose a question and person 1 writes the first line of working then passes the board to person 2. They check the first line of working then add the next line of working then passes the board to person 3 and so on. This continues until a complete solution has be written. The whole group then check over their solution then stand up to indicate they have finished.

This only works for problems with multiple lines of working but really makes the pupils think about the problem and how to check for errors. Pupils contribute to each problem and have to be able to justify their thinking.

(3) Only One

Each pupil has to solve a problem on their own. Once they have all completed the problem they show each other their solutions. The group then chooses which answer is most clearly communicated and accurate. This answer is then selected to share with the rest of the class. I choose a group to write their chosen answer on the board and the rest of the class comment on the answer.

This allows all pupils time to answer a problem individually then share their thoughts with their group. It also promotes discussion about which solution is written in the clearest way.

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