Monday, July 28, 2014

DIY Learning Whiteboards
Have you ever had something lying around that you know you’re definitely going to use, but you’re not sure how yet? Well, I have a lot of these things! I did finally figure out how I was going to use one of them, two different ways! That’s what I’m going to share with you today.

I’ve been working in my classroom getting things organized.  This is still a work in progress that I will share with you one of these days, but I came across a sheet of dry erase sticker paper. I remember buying it (my guess… 8 years ago) from the CLEARANCE aisle in an office supply store. In my classroom, I used it in various ways . For several years, I stuck a section of it to the wall. At the beginning of the year,  my kindergarten students were to write their name each morning on it as they entered. Later in the year, I wrote a question on it that they had to answer. One question was, “Do you have a pet dog?” 

 We also used it in some learning craft activities. For example, I had the students create a clock with moveable hands. At the bottom, they stuck a rectangle section of the white board sticker where they could write and erase various times they showed on the clock. 

Over the years, my dry erase sticker paper has whittled away. Well worth the 50 cents I spent on it. (Did I mention, I LOVE the CLEARANCE section?) Anyway, this week, I was left with less than a 3 foot square.  I already have a dry erase board and 30 small individual sized ones, so I wasn’t sure how to use it. I could just store it, but I really wanted to use it with an effective purpose. As I looked around my classroom, I spied a Melissa and Doug tray that got left outside and became discolored. I was going to paint it, but I thought how cool it would be as a whiteboard, especially in the car. I won’t have to worry about markers rolling and falling on the floor. Everything is self-contained.  Here’s how I made it…

D.I.Y. Learning Whiteboard Tray

1. Measure the dry erase sticker and cut it to size. Remember... Measure twice, cut once, and measure again before sticking it down!

2.  Pull the backing about 3 inches away from the dry erase paper from one side all the way across to the other. Fit the paper in the tray and rub the pulled back section down until it has a good stick. 

3. Continue pulling the backing a few inches and then pressing down to make sure you don't get any bubbles and you get a good connection to the tray.

 Then, you're new Whiteboard Tray is ready to use! 

That said, below are a couple of tips you might find helpful. 

 1. I didn't want to paint my tray (I wanted to keep it the same as the others), but if you do want to paint your tray, the best time would be prior to sticking the dry erase paper down so you don't have to worry about getting paint on the dry erase paper. I would do this a day prior to sticking the dry erase paper down to give it plenty of time to dry.

2. My dry erase paper has traveled around with me for many years, so some of the stickiness around the edges began to curl up slightly the next day. A little bit of Rubber Cement  and you have nothing more to worry about! As a second choice, I also thought about purchasing some decorative duct tape to go around the edges. That would probably work as well and add a fancy design!


My second craft was inspired by a dirty clipboard. There's no way to clean it, so why not cover it up with something useful. For one, I don't have to grab paper to jot down a few notes... it's already a hard, flat surface. Caleb can draw and erase as frequently as he wants to and the clip can keep his marker in place. Also, I thought it would be useful to use as scratch paper under their work as they get older. I'm sure I'll figure out many more benefits of creating a Whiteboard Clipboard as the years go on...
D.I.Y. Learning Whiteboard Clipboard

1. Measure the dry erase sticker and cut it to size. Remember... Measure twice, cut once, and measure again before sticking it down!

First, stick the dry erase paper under the clip and use a pen to mark how wide the clip is and trace the bottom of the clip. 

2. Cut that section and slide it back under the clip.

Then, flip the clipboard over and trace around the outside of the board onto the back of the whiteboard paper. I used my other hand to hold the paper close to the board since it doesn't lay down flat. Then, cut on the inside of the line that you drew as it will be bigger than what you need.

3. This step would be easier if you have an extra hand, but I didn't so you can do it on your own if you need to. Pull the backing away from the dry erase paper far enough that the sticky part showing goes down beyond the clip. If you have an extra hand, have one person hold the clip up while you press down the dry erase paper from the top of the clipboard to below the clip. If you are working alone, like me, I sat on the floor and pressed the clip open with my foot and then rubbed down the dry erase paper with my hands. Once you get everything stuck below the clip, you can let the clip down and continue pulling the backing a few inches and then pressing down to make sure you don't get any bubbles and you get a good connection to the board.

 *** If you have any dry erase paper hanging over when you are finished, you can flip the clipboard over once again, press a thick notebook against the front of it, and use an X-acto knife to trim the edges. 

Then, you're new Whiteboard Clipboard is ready to use! 

 I hope you enjoy these learning crafts with your family or students. I know they are going to come in handy in our household! I wish I had more whiteboard sticker paper so I could do multiple trays and clipboards. I'm sure there are other objects that would turn into useful teaching and learning tools with this simple addition. If you think of any, please share them in the comments. I may just have to pay full price for this crafting material next time!

Have a blessed learning journey ~


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...