Whiteboards can be powerful teaching tools, especially if “best practices” are followed when installing and using them in the classroom. At EVERWhite, we’ve been manufacturing and selling whiteboards for use in classrooms for 20 years. In our discussions with educators, administrators, facility managers and architects, we’ve seen a consistent appreciation of the value of our non-staining surfaces. There is a teaching benefit to having a board that stays white and bright. You can make the most out of that asset through the following whiteboard best practices.
Whiteboards should be mounted to a wall at a height that considers the student age or grade. For younger students, the bottom of the board should be 2 feet 4 inches from the floor. For high schools and colleges, the bottom of the board should be 3 feet from the floor. Read our Best Mounting Heights article for more on installation heights. These recommendations apply to common 4-foot-tall whiteboards as well as for 5-foot-tall whiteboards, such as EVERWhite’s ULTímatte projection whiteboards. EVERWhite boards, with a rigid honeycomb backing, are easy to mount onto walls. Installation hardware is included with each board. Watch our whiteboard installation videos to learn how easy mounting can be.
Many teachers suggest dividing up the area of a whiteboard for specific uses, and then consistently follow that set-up. Students will quickly learn where to focus for certain types of information, such as daily plans and expectations, assignments, and the lesson at hand. In some schools, classrooms have a board at the front of the room for current lessons, and another whiteboard in the side for announcements, schedules and other such information. When two whiteboards are present, one could be magnetic and the other non-magnetic. Keep lettering simple so it’s easy to read – especially by students in the back of the room; cursive writing should be avoided. Black ink is the easiest to read, but writing or drawing in green, red and blue ink can help emphasis a point. Write big enough so students in the back row can easily read the words. At the start of the semester or school year, write different sizes and ask students in the back what they can read. Don’t erase what’s on the board until you’re sure everyone grasps the lesson.
It’s best to regularly wipe off dry erase marker ink. But non-porous boards like those made by EVERWhite won’t stain even if the ink is left on the board for multiple days. We recommend use of a microfiber cloth. Use simple glass cleaning products such as Windex® to clear off marker ink that has been on the board for more than several hours. It’s also a good idea to clean a marker board surface with warm, plain water occasionally. The non-porous surface gives EVERWhite the best erasability among marker boards. If, for some reason you or someone else uses permanent markers on a whiteboard, just draw over the permanent ink with a dry erase marker, then wipe it all away. If you want to get a little extra ink out of your dry erase markers, securely tape a piece of string on the end of the marker (not the writing end), and whirl it around a few times. It’s probably best to do this when students are not present! Get more advice and details about whiteboards on our FAQ page.
Whiteboards with a matte surface, such as EVERWhite’s ULTímatte, are designed for use as projection surfaces. The matte surface reduces glare. An additional benefit of the ULTímatte boards is the extra space provided by their 5 foot height. See our Dry Erase Board Surface Comparison chart to learn about options for your needs. Read more about classroom whiteboards from EVERWhite. See our Education Resources links to organizations that support teaching and offer more advice on teaching best practices.
Jim Muth is general manager of EVERWhite, a US manufacturer and seller of whiteboards and tack boards used for teaching, coaching, planning, collaboration and tracking. Along with his expertise in the use of whiteboards, Jim excels in leadership, new product development, business operations, lean manufacturing, continuous improvement and product marketing. He holds a bachelor of science degree in Industrial Technology, with a focus on Product Development and Design, from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.