Trying to find math inside everything else

Whiteboard Desks

After TMC14, I heard a lot of talk about Vertical Non-Permanent Surfaces (though I didn’t go to that session myself). After reading Alex Overwijk’s post about it, I wanted to use the idea in my classroom, but getting vertical boards up seemed challenging considering how long everything takes in school. The researched showed the horizontal non-permanent surfaces were the second best thing, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I went to the hardware store, bought some whiteboard paint, and got to work.

I put the paper down to prevent drips but, of course, dripped anyway.

Overall the desks have been amazing. The students love getting the markers and working with them, especially because they hate committing things to paper when they might be wrong. (Yes, kids do doodle/play tic tac toe/etc on the desks, too, but I think that’s no different that what they’d do on paper.) Another benefit is how easy it is for me to interact with the students when I go around. Instead of having to write something on the student’s paper or notebook, which always felt intrusive, I can jot something quickly down on the table itself, leaving it to the student to work it into their own thinking. It’s worked great for tutoring (so I don’t have to get up and go to the board). The paint might not last as long as it could when the room is used by other classes who don’t know what’s up (our night school in particular, I’d say), but it’ll last the year, at least, and I’m more than happy to repaint them before next year.

The only picture of student work on desks I had that wasn’t blurry as hell. I need to work on my photography.


Comments on: "Whiteboard Desks" (4)

  1. Many desks have surfaces that work well with whiteboard markers already — ours do! Students write on our whiteboard walls, our desk and class windows (and are well trained to make sure things are cleaned off before they leave). A spray bottle and old towels from home are a convenient way of keeping things clean.

  2. awesome idea. Are you going to repaint them again this year? Also, any advice on brand of paint and number of coats? About how much did this coat you?

    • Yeah, I’m definitely going to repaint them. I only tried the one brand (whose name I can’t remember), so no advice there, but I definitely did a base coat first, then two coats of the whiteboard paint. I remember buying everything I did, including brushes, etc, cost me $140. But I only used half of it, so I won’t have to buy it again next year.

  3. bhuwansharma007 said:

    nice educational website

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