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03 February 2005: Rocks and Chalkboards (6 of 6)

Returning to the chalkboard metaphor, I think itís important to recognize that many teachers are returning to their roots. Individual-sized chalkboards and whiteboards are widely available in teacher stores these days. Iíve got a personal collection of 35, and I find them incredibly useful, especially in math, as they engage the students and allow for differentiation. So, although there are several large ones on the wall, weíre returning to a teaching strategy that was rejected in favor of technology over 150 years ago.

To be clear, Iím not suggesting that you throw your classroom computers out the window. Like chalkboards, the value of the thing is not in the thing itself, but in how it is used. What Iím advocating, in Michael Appleís footsteps, is a critical approach. Iím telling you to ask questions that may otherwise go unasked.

teaching quote of the day

Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.

- Chinese proverb

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