Teaching Tip #15 – On The Board

What should be on your board?

Visible Information On The Board


A white board, screen, smartboard, even a chalk board and projector – these are the places where some of the most important information in the classroom is located. Bellringers, expectations, and other information often cover these surfaces for students to read. What do you put on your boards? What should you put on your boards?

There are two important pieces of information that should be visible to students in every class. The first, and perhaps most important, is the learning outcome. The second, is the task the students are asked to do.

For any lesson, the learning outcome needs to be clearly stated. Students need to know why they are doing an activity, and what they are supposed to get out of it. Learning outcomes should be stated in the form of student learning. Examples of a learning outcome might be “Using the CRAP test, students will understand if an online source is reliable.” – or – “Through the use of primary research, you will understand how the civil war impacted daily life of Americans.”

Additionally, students need to be aware of what task they should be working on. Writing the task clearly on a board allow students to stay focused, and to know what to expect for the day. One way to share this information with students is in the form of “Need – Do – When Done”. This displays 3 pieces of information, all important to the student. An example is shown below.

Need: Computer Login Information, Daily Planner

Do: Begin online research practice using CRAP test to check for reliability.

When Done: Turn in research practice, and begin working on the Community Project.

Including the Learning Outcome and Student Task on a board in the room is very important for students. Being able to not only state this information out loud, but also post it, allows students the ability to view it throughout class, and can even be used as a teaching tool to answer questions. Challenge yourself to use these two strategies daily, so that your students know what to expect, and are prepared to learn for the day.

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