The $2 White Board
I know that lots of other teachers use white boards regularly. Over break I went to Lowe's and got two 4'x8' sheets of wall board cut down into six boards each (free cutting when you tell them you're a teacher!). I'm going to cut up some fleece to be erasers, and I've got the $2 white boards! I bought 4 boards from Amazon several weeks ago (for $17 each!), and they have revolutionized my calculus class, so I'm looking forward to introducing these to Math 9. In class, students get up to get boards on their own, and love to figure things out on them.
Freedom to Explore
Students feel more free to try things out and to make/correct errors when they are using whiteboards. And, who doesn’t love a bright purple marker? The only issues: comparing work later and having records to use for future problem solving. Enter the smartphone camera!
Almost all of my students have fancy phones, so I’ve started asking them to take photos of their work before they erase, and to title it in their phone memory. Now students have been zooming in on their photos on phone cameras to remember what they did and to compare their work. They can e-mail photos to me or to each other.
One student got a classroom sized whiteboard for her birthday from her retired-math-professor grandmother. She regularly works on assignments at home on her board, takes photos of them, and then sends them to me, both for advice to get unstuck and to turn in her work.