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7 Top Tips for Writing on the Board

7 Top Tips for Writing on the Board | ITTT | TEFL Blog

One of the major ideas when writing on the board is that we need to be aware of is that whenever we're using the board to write down information, we should not be talking. Also whenever we are talking we should not be writing on the board. When writing on the board we want our students to concentrate fully on what we are writing down. Speaking at the same time, especially when they can’t see your mouth (as you will write with your back to them) causes unnecessary interference of the message.

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This will inevitably lead to what's known as ‘dead time’ when nothing is being said. As we are putting information on the board this dead time is not a problem. We can also minimize it by using a number of techniques as indicated below.

1) We could use pre-prepared material so we put information onto large pieces of paper and then instead of writing on the board we actually stick those materials onto the board as we go through the class 2) The next suggestion idea is to actually ask students to write on the board for you. This can be very useful when you are eliciting language. You can face the class and direct your questions to individual students or the class as a whole. As the answers are given, the student can write them on the board. This eliminates any dead time. 3) We could actually put work up onto the board before the class starts and then to cover that work with pieces of paper, which we can then take off as and when we get to it in the lesson. 4) Another very useful technique is during an activity particularly study activities, once the activity has got going and we've monitored to check that the students are all working correctly use that study time to actually put material up onto the board5) Use a board plan. This will help you and your students organize the different sections of the lesson content and make it easier for them to pick pout ideas later.6) Use colour. In the same way as the previous point, use colour to highlight different ideas and to help organize notes.7) Avoid using cursive writing. It is very important when we're writing on the board that we print our letters out and not join them up. Joined up (cursive) writing can lead to spelling errors and confusion.

Using a combination of these techniques means we can reduce board ‘dead time’ to almost zero. Using pre-prepared material, use of colour and space and maintaining a face forward posture as much as possible, should minimize potential confusion of your written work.

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