Isn't it crazy how everyone's lives changed in the blink of an eye?
It has taken me some time to get adjusted to this new normal, but I have to be honest—It wasn't easy. After the initial concern about my family, my friends, and of course my students and their families, a more overwhelming issue came to mind. How in the world am I going to bring my work office to my home office?
I'm an itinerant teacher (i.e. I travel from school to school), so I knew how to pack materials and set up a learning space in some of the most cramped and dimly lit spaces. But now I needed to bring as much as I could from my school office and set it up at home. That's when my brain started to spazz out. I don't have colorful posters, pretty borders, or rolls of paper to bring home. No grand arsenal of manipulatives (when you move from school to school, you learn that less is more), trendy organizational system, and of course I can't bring the Promethean board home with me (I did look up prices to potentially buy an older/smaller one. I don't think there will ever be a pandemic that will make me shell out that type of cash, lol!).
After I gave myself a moment (read: 2 months) to work through my fears, I went into fight mode. While this isn't my comfort zone and I definitely didn't want to make a large investment in buying items for my home office/class, I knew there was something I could do.
I started looking at large dry erase boards on Amazon, Ebay, and Walmart. The prices were reasonable, but I just couldn't justify spending $200 on a single item right now. I needed something large enough so my students could see it during Zoom sessions, light and sleek enough that I could move it to any room in my house, and cheap enough to where I could stay under budget. That's when it hit me. Use a picture frame!
Picture frames have essentially the same basic components of a dry erase board. They have an erase-able surface, wide dimensions, weigh almost nothing, are less than an inch thick, and have the ability to be hung on the wall or placed on a stand based on where I wanted it. They have virtually no set up and are much easier to transport than standard dry erase boards.
So, I went to Michael's (yay, teacher discount!) and bought the largest and lightest picture frame I could find. The measurements were 27"x40" and it was regular price at $32.99. There were some slightly smaller frames but I intended to hang my frame horizontally so I decided to go bigger.
The surface is plastic, not glass, which I loved. The border is thin and black, very similar to the sliding bar on clear report covers. Once I removed the four borders, I simply flipped the paper insert over to the blank white side and slid the borders back on. Voila! I now have a dry erase board!
I'll jazz it up with some Washi tape or mini lights later on to give it a more fun look.
What DIY home-classroom projects are you all working on?