Still have that big, old slate surface at your back? Repurpose a chalkboard and improve your classroom, increase storage, and boost engagement!
Lots of classrooms still have blackboards, greenboards, or chalkboards of some type stretching across the front wall. But they are rarely used anymore as technology provides a much more professional and less messy means of communication. Maybe some of the following ideas for ways to repurpose a chalkboard will spiff up your classroom and enhance learning.
1. Build a Bookshelf
This ingenious idea begins with gutters — yes, gutters — the kind that you buy at a home improvement store. Measure the length of your chalkboard and ask the store clerk to cut the gutters to that length. Secure the gutters to the wooden frame of the chalkboard with screws and then push on the caps to cover the rough edges of the gutter. This repurposed chalkboard becomes the perfect shelf for not only books, but instructive displays and artwork. This wonderful idea comes from Global Educator Network.
2. Put a Cork on It
This great idea for a way to repurpose a chalkboard has you purchase either cork squares or long, thin rolls of cork board which can be applied to the board with an adhesive spray. Just make sure the adhesive can support the weight of the cork (and be sure to think about ventilation while you’re using it). You can actually see how to do it on www.younghouselove.com. If you get tired of the cork, you can cover it with fabric by simply stapling the material to the wooden frame of the board. Decorate it with pretty borders of ribbon or felt. Now you can display anything by attaching it with push pins.
3. Remember the Date
Repurpose a chalkboard by making it into a calendar. An idea on Pinterest suggested putting a chalkboard behind a window to create a calendar, but how about simply creating a calendar over your chalkboard by nailing strips of wood to the chalkboard frame to create 25 squares, five across and five down, for each of your school days. You will have plenty of room to write assignments, reminders, or messages to your students.
4. Art Gallery
A simple way to repurpose a chalkboard that becomes a colorful gallery for displaying your students’ art comes from We Are Teachers. The board should first be sprayed with adhesive and covered with butcher paper. The next step is to place card stock squares in a pattern on the butcher paper – rows, diamonds, squares, whatever you like. At the top of each square of card stock attach a clothespin with hot glue. Now you are ready to hang artwork and projects in a way that is worthy of them.
5. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
If you are a drama teacher or speech instructor, having a wall of mirrors might be just the thing for your classroom. Your chalkboard can be repurposed by placing self-stick mirror tiles over the board. Students can instantly see themselves and learn by watching. An added bonus is that your room will be brighter as the light is reflected in the mirrors, according to the Global Educator Institute. Just be aware that the mirrors can be a distraction in some classrooms, especially if they’re located at the front of the room. Consider changing seating arrangements so that the mirrors are only a focal point when you want them to be.
These innovative ways to repurpose a chalkboard may just be the beginning for tapping your own creativity and transforming your classroom. Share your own ideas in the comments!