Monday, July 23, 2012

DIY Whiteboards

I've seen this all over all the cool math kids' sites and I wanted to get in on it!


At my last school I had a set of small dry erase boards and I used them all the time.  I saw the shower board dry erase board ideas all over the place so I decided to check it out.  $15 for that much whiteboard seems too good to be true.

I ended up getting the board from Lowe's and found two different options.  They have a smaller more expensive one called Mark-r-board and bigger one that's 4' x 8' called tile board.  After comparing the two side by side for like 10 minutes I couldn't find any difference and bought the larger one.

They even cut the board for free which is awesome.  I tried to talk the guy into cutting it all down into the little sizes I needed and although he was super nice he laughed and said the machine was just too big.  What we decided on instead was the following cuts (in blue):
He first did the middle cut, then he cut each half into 1 foot strips.  It made it much more manageable and I could even carry all the boards no problem.

I came home with 8 of these:

At home I used a saw to cut each of the long strips at 9" increments (dotted lines).

It got me five 9" x 12" boards and a little leftover from each strip.  In hindsight, I probably should have done 9.6" and had none left over but oh well.  

The left side has no dotted lines because I actually din't cut those yet.  I'm going to wait and see how many kids I have and then cut more if necessary.  I definitely won't need 40 though so I'm looking forward to figuring out what to use the rest for.

Once they were all cut the edges weren't very nice looking so I just took sandpaper and sanded them down which was easy and made them all look nice and finished.

Finished product!

Update (7/14/14): I wanted to add a short update on these here after having them around for over a year now. Unfortunately I don't love them. So many people have said they work great but regardless of what type of marker I use they just don't erase that well. I even went back and bought the smaller slightly more expensive one that's actually called "Mark-r-board" thinking it would erase better but nope. I had that one cut into large sheets for group work and used them maybe twice before it just wasn't worth it.

11 comments:

  1. This is so great! I actually have the giant boards sitting in my garage waiting to be cut! I still can't decide if I want to do individual boards like you or 24'x32' for big boards that would be awesome for group work.

    I probably could do both since it isn't too expensive!!!

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  2. Great!!! My math dept. head recommended this the other day. Also, I'm thinking about buying big ones to cover my chalkboards. Apparently, a lot of teachers do that using magnet strips to stick them to the chalkboards...perhaps a future #made4math post...

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    1. My new classroom has chalkboards that I'm looking to cover, but I've been struggling to think of a non-permanent way to do so. Heavy duty magnets sounds like the perfect way...thanks!!

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    2. You're welcome...we'll have to post the process!!!

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  3. I was looking at the two options at Lowes this weekend, too. Good to know that the cheaper one worked fine for you! My classroom currently has no whiteboards or chalkboards. So, I'm planning on covering up one of my bulletin boards with the shower board to make a dry erase board where I can posts objectives, announcements, etc.

    I do have a set of the dry erase pockets that you can slip any worksheet in, but I may just have to make me a set of individual dry erase boards, too. Decisions, decisions... :)

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    1. I actually have those too! I love the communicators for so many things since you can slide in a piece of paper and turn it into whatever you want them to be. Every so often though I just found myself using the slates (that's what we called the dry erase boards) since they were most sturdy so I made these just so I would have both! :)

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  4. I want to do the larger whiteboards for group work too - just have to figure out the storage for them :( I've also heard that covering the edges with duct tape works well, so that might be something to try.

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    1. I also saw the duct tape idea and tried it out on a few. My only thought is that inevitably kids will draw on it and pick at it and I'd have to re-do it which I wasn't crazy about. I figured if I just sanded them all down I'd only have to do it once. If you have good kids though I think that would be a great option!

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  5. I opted for the smaller, more expensive route, because I was afraid it wouldn't erase well. Please let us know how they hold up, as I have only done the larger group project ones, but not the individual ones. I have a class set of purchased individual ones, but they are really cheap and many have scratches that hold onto the ink.

    I covered my big ones with tape. http://bit.ly/Ouj1qi

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    1. I bought larger boards for group proof writing. I am sad to report that they don't erase well. Debbie

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  6. You can buy decorative duct tap to do the edges if they aren't perfect...and to add some fun color.

    Kovescence of the Mind

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