Don’t get me wrong: I love whiteboards and will take one any day over a chalkboard. The first school I taught at only had chalkboards and I remember coming home caked in chalk … although today my hands look like a coal miner’s, so there’s tradeoffs.
At my school we only really have access to four colors – Black, Blue, Green, and Red, so I’ll rank these in order of preference from Best to Worst.
1) Black (4.5 stars/5):
Pros: My mainstay. Everyone can read them, they tend to last a long time, and even when they start to go I can still use them for awhile.
Cons: In math, I definitely need more than one color. I can’t just use black. They also sometimes have a difficult time erasing completely
2) Blue (3.5 stars/5)
Pros: Easy to work with, good contrast, doesn’t have that negative stigma that using red seems to have (I haven’t graded work in a red pen for some time because of this).
Cons: These don’t tend to last very long for me, and once they start going they become very difficult to read.
3) Red: (2.5 stars/5)
Pros: Easy to read.
Cons: Sometimes almost impossible to erase – they stay on that board forever! And, since they’re red, it really makes that board look creepy seeing all those red marks that don’t go away. Lady Macbeth would have a fit!
4) Green (1.5 stars/5)
Pros: They erase well. Okay for small highlights on the board (crossing off factors, underlining important ideas).
Cons: Too light for many students to read. They last like 3 sentences and then they’re done.