Probably, almost anything you put on the board will be clear to you; the test that you must pass is to make your chalkboard presentation clear to a student seeing it for the first time. The guiding principle should be: Look at your writing as though you were a student in your own class.
Keep these three points in mind while planning your board presentation:
1. Let your students see and read what you have written. Illegible or obscured work is valueless.
2. Give students time to copy what you have written. Most students don't think analytically while they are writing.
3. Organize your board work. It will help students interpret their notes and an organized board models good notetaking.
These points are taken up one at a time in the following discussion.
Even in an average sized room, students in the back rows may have trouble reading words in a small handwriting, Unless the floor of the classroom is sloped, students of average height sitting behind the first two rows will not be able to see the bottom of the board. To find the effective bottom of the board, sit in the last row while your class is occupied with some task and note the line below which a student of average height would find it difficult to copy notes. You might want to mark this line with a piece of chalk. If there is a desk at the front of the class, keep it clear of objects (e.g., lectern or briefcase) that might obstruct vision.
Try to keep your work visible for as long as possible. If you are right-handed, fill the right-hand panel first, then move to the panel on the left and continue your writing. This way you won't block students' view. If you're using a sliding, three-layered chalkboard, fill the middle board first, then push it up and pull the front board down. When the front board is full, push it up and use the back board. And remember, students may not be able to read even very large words if they are scrawled or written too lightly.
If you ask them to...