DIY "Show Me" Board

In less than 15 minutes you can create a fast and easy way for students to show you exactly what they know! "Show Me" Boards are popular with students, and work great for formative assessment.

Items to Gather:

  • white cardstock
  • dry erase markers with built in eraser (approximately 3 per student to last you the year; I bought mine at the dollar store for 3/$1.00)
  • small plastic baggies


1.  Gather approximately ten pieces of white card stock paper.

2.  Cut each piece of paper into four equal pieces and laminate.

3.  Inside each bag, place a piece of laminated card stock along with a dry erase marker. Each student will be responsible for keeping one bag in his/her desk.

4.  When you have five minutes left in class, or need to do a quick assessment to see if everyone is on the right track, have students bring out their "Show Me" boards. You might say, "Show me the sum of 30 and 10," or "Show me how you could represent the number 25," or "Show me two equations that equal 15." Students will write their answers on their boards, and hold them up for you to see. You will get a quick idea of which students are on track, and which students may need some more help or a mini-lesson. Once you have seen students' work, they simply use the eraser to clear their boards and they are ready for another question!

Other Tips/Suggestions:

  • Be sure to set some ground rules before students use the "Show Me" boards in class. For example, "Your marker can only be used for showing the answer, not for coloring," "Write the answers only as big as you need to" (don't waste ink), or "Only bring out the 'Show Me' board when the teacher asks."
  • Stock up on markers when you see them on sale or at a dollar store. Each one should last for quite awhile if it is used properly, but you will want to have extras on hand. 
  • Use the "Show Me" boards as a form of alternative assessment. For example, if you teach a mini-lesson and need to find out if everyone understands the concept, a five-minute session with the "Show Me" boards can be very useful!

Hope you enjoy!

Teaching in the Early Years
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