Fall-Discount
Mar 25, 2011

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Make Your Own Mini Whiteboards!

One of the most common questions I get from readers involves the class whiteboard sets I featured during my Wayne Thiebaud lesson.  People are interested in where I got them, how much they cost, what I use them for, and if I like them.  I thought it was time to share with you all not only info about my white boards, but how you can make your own on the cheap!

If you want something more heavy duty, You can purchase class sets of whiteboards from catalogs like Dick Blick or Sax.  They come in sets of 12, and run around 20 dollars for a set, I believe. I could not find them online, however, I know they are in the large catalogs.  Not too bad of a deal for something you can use over and over, year to year and can get many uses out of them. For example….

Art Room Mini Whiteboard Ideas:

  • Drawing Shapes and Lines
  • Vocab Word Review
  • Quick Assessment Drawing
  • Practice Drawing (see above)
  • “Sketching” out ideas before you start a project
  • Make a list of project steps
  • “Free Art Cupboard”
  • Webs and Mind Maps
  • Games like pictionary at your seat
  • Holding up True/False or Warm/Cool for art review games

Maybe you aren’t into spending money for whiteboards or you are out of budget money for the year. (I know I am!) So here is a quick and easy Do It Yourself version to get yourself a class set of whiteboards in a jiffy. It’s so simple, you’ll laugh at my directions.

Make Your Own Mini Whiteboards

  1. Get white paper or card stock cut to the size you want
  2. Send them off to be laminated (I have found stores like Staples or local professional print shops have a thicker lamination then what is offered at my school. It might be wise to look into that for a thicker more quality product.
  3. Cut and trim to your desiring
  4. Bam! You have your own set of whiteboards for a fraction of the cost.

I told you it was easy!  Why wait?

If you made even smaller white boards or cut larger ones down, students could use them to make their own flashcards or memory game.  What a fun way to review concepts in the art room. Next, you just get yourself a set of whiteboard markers or whiteboard crayons.

To Erase- I have students use a Kleenex (high tech). One of my colleagues also brought in mismatched socks and uses them as “sock erasers”.. and it’s free, people, all free! You could cut up soft rags, too. It’s endless.

How else could you see yourself using a class set of dry erase boards with your students? Do share!

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  • carlisleartclass@gmail.com

    Another cheap alternative is going to the local lumber yard and purchasing a 4′x8′ sheet of laminated masonite (like they use in bathrooms)and have them cut. Mine are cut into 12″ squares and I use them for everything from drawing to transporting drying clay.

    • http://theartofeducation.wordpress.com Jessica Balsley

      Great Suggestion! Thanks for sharing your tips

    • http://mastwayartprogram.shutterfly.com/ Deb Hastings

      On a similar note, I found a cheaper version of masonite board at Lowe’s and had that cut up to support student artwork on the drying rack. I find that if we are doing smaller projects they sometime fall through the wire racks. Really wet projects sometimes dry with a funny contour to the surface. When they are on boards it goes smoother, even when the kids are putting their work on the rack it is easier. The board (called MDS board) is also 4×8 feet, and you can get 20 out of one sheet.

  • http://deesplaceonline.blogspot.com/ Dee

    I am a music teacher and I printed out a staff on white paper and put this, along with a small dry-erase marker and tissue, into page protectors! Voila! Students need to actively write music, too. And now they can without spending a fortune!

  • http://okeefesbackyard.wordpress.com MadisonArtTeacher

    Love this. I’m going to have to do this tomorrow!

  • Sarah

    I also use this laminating technique to create clipable Challenge/Objectives for each grade level. I teach m ultiple grade levels each day, with each grade participating in a different lesson. I am required to post my lesson objective in writing for each class- I laminated 18×24 white drawing paper and I use an expo dry erase marker to write the challenge for each grade level for the week- I clip them on my board and when the next class arrives I just pull down the last class- revealing the next classes challenge. I only have to write the challenge once a week and it saves me tons of time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1086063934 Ruth Kaldor

    Does anyone have a source for white boards? I have enough money to buy some. Do you think laminating white tag board is just as good? I was thinking maybe the feeling of a board might help them feel a little more anchored to the task.

    • http://theartofeducation.wordpress.com Jessica Balsley

      I think I ordered mine from one of the bigger catalogs. Sax or Dick block. They came in packs of 12 and were high quality and pretty heavy. I also would check with your school secretary for an office supply place they may get a discount through. Good Luck!

  • lisa

    Hi Everyone,

    I went to observe a teacher using these a few weeks ago and she played a really fun game with a group of roughly 16 students. First, she got half of the students to move their chairs to the board with their backs facing the board. Each of these students sitting down would then be given a whiteboard, along with a marker.

    Then, the other half of the students had to stand in front of one of their peers who was sitting down (creating partners). These students were given instructions to dictate to their peers a given sentence that the teacher would write on the board.

    Finally, the pair would work together to change any errors which were in the sentence and then hold up their whiteboards when it was done

    The students were so motivated and engaged throughout the lesson, i hope this helps you in your lessons!

  • Megan George

    I just made a class set of whiteboards by using a clear plastic sleeve and layering a piece of white computer paper, thin piece of cardboard, another white piece of paper and then I used duct tape to seal the top shut. The clear sleeves I bought in bulk for $4.00…I raided the copy room for white paper, I collect cardboard all year long and the duct tape I always have on hand. So a class set of 30 cost me $4.00. They work great and they’re double-sided so the kids can draw more before having to erase. I told the kids my secret to making a cheap whiteboard and they were so excited to go home and make their own. 

    • http://www.theartofed.com/ Jessica Balsley

      Love the fact that they are double sided. Thank you for sharing!

  • MB Aldous

    I use white plastic plates form the party store – dry erase markers and pompoms as erasers. Works great and the kids think it is so cool – and that I am cleaver – of course!

  • Jackie

    I’ve seen the technique of hot gluing pom poms to the end of the dry erase markers so the kids have erasers on hand. Less to pass out and put away!

  • Mrs. T

    Go to the lumber store and buy shower board and have them cut them the size you want. Much sturdier than laminated paper.

  • Jeff Mesina

    Glad I found you Jessica! I love using mini-whiteboards in class and was just looking for a lightweight alternative for when I’m moving about. Thanks :)