chalkboard/VAP is essential when you are teaching mental skills involving computations and
When you plan to use the chalkboard or VAP, you need to take several steps before your
presentation. Gather all materials required (chalk or markers, eraser, pointer, straight edges,
etc.) for the chalkboard/VAP portion of the lesson and place them in the classroom. Be sure
to clean the chalkboard/VAP before using it. Determine what parts of the lesson are important
enough to emphasize with board work and will help students meet the objectives. Information
should clearly relate to the objectives of the lesson.
Also determine the amount of time the
board work will take and how it will look when finished. Practice to ensure the information will
fit in smoothly with the lesson. That will help you build confidence in using the board and
reduce the amount of time you spend erasing and rewriting or redrawing information.
Develop chalkboard/VAP work logically. Sequence the work so the relationship of each new
item to the previous is readily apparent.
Develop concepts, procedures, diagrams and other
information step-by-step and in the most logical sequence.
Use the chalkboard/VAP
information to develop one point at a time and progress from the simple to the complex. For
example, a drawing to illustrate the operation of a basic steam cycle would consist of a boiler,
turbine, condenser, pumps, and necessary steam lines.
Introducing the students to one
component at a time and gradually leading them to the completed cycle supports the law of
primacy. It also develops better understanding of the relationships of the components. Write
in straight lines. Avoid the natural tendency to write in either an uphill or downhill line. Use
color with restraint and only to emphasize key information.
Besides using neat and legible penmanship, make sure you use correct spelling and grammar.
Incorrect spelling and poor grammar are not only detrimental to the students, but may discredit
you. Check for correct spelling and grammar during practice. To ensure proper spelling and
grammar, use lesson plan notes or 3 x 5 cards that correspond with what you plan to write on
Keep all writing or drawings during the lesson brief and to the point. Prolonged writing or
drawing disrupts the flow of the lesson and may cause the students to become distracted or
bored. Write a comment or draw a portion of a diagram on the board. Then turn to the class
to solicit input and generate discussion about the information. This technique promotes good
eye contact and encourages class participation.
When preparing a chalkboard/VAP drawing, use some type of drawing aid to keep the
drawing as neat as possible. You might use compasses for drawing circles and rulers or T-
squares for drawing straight lines. Use templates (shapes cut from poster board) that you can
trace onto the chalkboard/VAP if you plan to use the drawing often.
If using a pointer to draw attention to a point or drawing, keep your arm straight while
pointing. Consider the pointer as an extension of your arm. Use the hand nearest the object
you point out instead of allowing your arm to cross your body. Stand to one side to prevent
obstructing the students view, and avoid talking to the chalkboard/VAP. When you talk to the
board, students have difficulty understanding your words, and you lose eye contact. Pause
frequently to maintain student attention.
Explain what you are doing and check for student
reaction. Additionally check the drawing or writing from the students viewpoint.