Whiteboards on a Zero Budget

By Lee Shiney, Teachnet.com Staff

We recently explored whiteboards…how to make them and keep them clean (see the August 23 article). But buying whiteboard material may be out-of-budget for some classrooms. Here are a couple of cheap (or free) alternatives.

Roll Your Own
Most schools have laminating machines with plenty of laminating material to go around. Find some heavy poster board or cardboard, run it through the laminator, cut it up and – presto! – instant whiteboards.

Your Local Politician Wants to Help
The stuff many political yard signs are made of is polycoated cardboard.If you can get it, the back should do nicely for making whiteboards. Try to find someone who will donate old ones to your classroom. However, in some cities, any yard signs placed on city curbside right-of-way are in violation of city ordinance and may be picked up by anyone. But, check with your city sign inspector.

Other Options

* Use the plastic page protectors for three ring notebooks. Just slide in some heavy paper.
* Check with a sign company to see if they can give you scraps of polyboard left over from screen printing jobs.

Teachnet Reader Contribution:
You can easily make a whiteboard for your classroom by purchasing smooth white shower board sheets from your local hardware or building supply store. They come in 4 x 8 foot sheets for about $15. They can be glued or screwed over an existing chalkboard. Erase with Windex & an old sock. A friend who tried this suggests that orange, red, & green? markers should NOT be used as they stain. -Ms. Lee Sheffield, Chatom Elementary School Chatom, Alabama

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