What's your favorite tool for direct instruction?

TeAch-nology.com's Teacher Poll of the Week
What's your favorite tool for direct instruction?
Chalk Boards
White Boards (Dry Erase)
Overhead Projectors
Smart Boards

View Results

There are a number of tools available to teachers to aid in instruction. The favourite one reported in this poll is a white board which received over one third of the votes. Overhead projectors were a fairly close second with a quarter of the votes. Old fashioned chalk boards came farther down the list with approximately 10%.

It is interesting to note that there is not much difference between white boards and chalk boards. The way they are used is very similar, as is the way students see the information. Chalk boards have been a staple in classrooms for generations. Who doesn't remember cleaning the chalk erasers by banging them together back in elementary school? You know why so many students spent time cleaning those erasers? Because they were horribly dusty and no teacher would want to do the job if they could help it!

White boards are just an updated version of the traditional chalk board. They are about the same size and shape, and are simple to use and re-use. Other tools such as Smart boards or computers could be more valuable tools for instruction if they were not so cost prohibitive. Overhead projectors are less expensive but are bulky to store and require a projection screen. In contrast white boards and dry erase markers are available everywhere, are relatively inexpensive, and once installed are easy to use and take up little space.

The one advancement that white boards have over the old chalk boards is the ability to use color. Colored chalk was available in more recent year but it wasn't used often. Dry erase markers are available in a rainbow of vibrant colors which makes it easy for teachers to emphasize important information or draw illustrations in several colours.

There is one thing that chalk boards could provide that white boards are lacking: irritation factor. Anytime the teacher left the room, some clown would always run up to the board and scrape their fingernails down it in an ear piercing, shudder inducing shriek. It makes you clench your teeth just thinking about it. Let's see the class clown try to get the same reaction from a white board.