Whiteboards are one of the things we use every day in my classroom! I love how interactive they can be and how I can instantly see which child does or doesn’t understand what we’re working on. We use them for math problems, for science and social studies reviews, for grammar, and for writing. Whiteboards are one of my favorite classroom tools!
In this post, I want to share some of my favorite whiteboards and eraser tips with you, to give you a few options!
First, let me start off by saying you could definitely purchase a class set of whiteboards and erasers from Amazon or your local teacher store. While this is an option, you’re bound to spend quite a bit more doing this.
Since I’m always trying to stretch my teacher budget, here’s what I do:
I head to either Home Depot or Lowe’s and look in their lumber section for shower-board. You’ll find a huge sheet of it with white on the front (this will become the whiteboard) and brown on the back. I find one of the workers there and explain that I’m a teacher wanting to make a class set of whiteboards for my students. I ask if the person will cut the board into 12 x 12 inch pieces for me and I’ve never been charged or turned down! For about $15.00, I have a set of 32 or so whiteboards!
Once I take the whiteboards home, they’ll need to be dusted off a bit before I cart them to school. I place a whiteboard inside each student’s desk, ready for the first day of school. The first time we use them, I go over expectations, so kids know exactly how and how they shouldn’t be used.
You’ll need to decide if you want to try to make the whiteboards last for several years or if you’ll send them home with kids during the last week of school. I usually send them home with students and get a new set each year. The reason for this is that some of them do get a little scratched, some are written on the back (even though I ask them not to) and at $15.00, it’s one of the cheaper things I purchase for the classroom. Up to you though, of course!
Whiteboard Eraser Options
As I mentioned, traditional erasers or magnetic erasers are easy to purchase online but are pricier than some of the other options. Here are a few different possibilities, each with its own sets of pros and cons.
1. Carpet Erasers
I won’t lie, these are my very favorite! One thing I love, besides the way they erase, is that I get them for absolutely free. When I moved into my fixer-upper house, I had to re-carpet the whole house (at least any place there wasn’t tile or wood flooring) and so I saved all of the remnants, and quite a few years later, I still have plenty to cut a new batch each year.
You can make these erasers any size. I usually do about 4 x 5 inches and make sure to cut them all the same size. Warning…these are tough to cut, even with a cardboard cutter. Maybe do a few at a time, so your hand doesn’t hurt!
If you don’t have carpet remnants, there are a couple of things you can do. If you go to a carpet store, sometimes they give away old samples that you can cut and use. If you explain to the store owner what you’re doing, they might even be nice enough to let you have some remnants from a job they’ve just done. It’s worth a try, anyway!
2. Felt Squares
Felt squares make surprisingly good erasers! When you think about traditional black erasers, they were also made out of felt, so it makes sense.
When you buy the felt, I would be sure to get darker colors, so the ink doesn’t look so obvious (my thing, if it’s not yours, just ignore, lol), and to steer clear of cheap felt which is very thin, from the Dollar Store. It’s worth spending a few more cents to get the felt from Walmart, Michael’s, or any fabric store. Once you buy the felt, just cut it to the size you want!
3. Scrubber Sponges
You can get these at the Dollar Store, two for a dollar. They last a long time and do a fairly good job of erasing expo marks. They’re not my favorite thing to use though, as they’re kind of pricey for a class set, and I think some of the other erasers do a more thorough job of removing all traces of expo marker marks!
4. Car Wash Mittens
Oh, how I love these car wash mittens! They work beautifully as erasers! Their only drawback is their price. Even at the Dollar Store at a dollar apiece, it would cost quite a bit to purchase a class set. One great thing about these though is that they can be washed. If you even did it once at midyear, that would really help keep them clean! Another advantage of car wash mittens is that expo markers can be stored inside for safekeeping.
5. Facial Cleaning Pads
These little beauties are nice and cheap (three for a dollar at the Dollar Store) and they erase very well. Another thing I like about them is that they are also able to be washed if you’re so inclined. The downside to these erasers is their size. They are very, very, very easy to lose (think typical messy desk) which can slow things down. If you can solve that problem though, I do like these as erasers!
Okay, so there are so many benefits to using socks. First, they’re basically free, if you ask each child to bring in one. If you do this, I would ask them to bring in dark socks if they can, so they don’t show as much ink and dirt.
Second, the socks make a great storage unit for the expo marker itself. If the expo goes in the sock and then the sock is folded and put away, kids might have an easier time keeping track of their expos. Now to just get them to put the lid on tightly, that would be AMAZING!
Third, like a few of the other options, socks are definitely washable if you want to wash them.
Finally, I do have some really fun print and digital reading games that are great to play with whiteboards! Even though they come with their own game board, it’s fun to have students draw a Tic-Tac-Toe game on a whiteboard to play!
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Thanks so much for stopping by!