Thursday, May 29, 2014

Creative Clipboards!

Happy almost Friday everyone!!  Is it just me, or do the days seem longer the closer we get to summer break??

Today I wanted to talk about clipboards.  I use them A LOT in my room.  We use them when we're on the rug, but we also use them when we are working on our Daily 5 language arts rotations and our Daily 3 math rotations, as well as taking them outside to do work in nice weather.  I use them so much that I have a class set (which I will have to add to next year, since we are getting the overflow from a neighboring school that is going through remodeling).  For me, it is cost effective to get the wooden clipboards that are only 97¢ at Wal-Mart.  However, versatile they may be, they are not the most attractive tools we use.  So, I went scrolling along in Pinterest and I came across a VERY Pinteresting idea.  Cover them with Duck Tape!!

I don't know if you've noticed, but Duck Tape has come A LONG way from the early days of the thick, silver tape they were famous for.  Nowadays, there are so very many different colors and designs it can be a bit overwhelming!!  I went shopping around at various stores, and found different designs of Duck Tape in every store from Wal-Mart to $5 & Below, and the prices stayed pretty much the same. I wanted to find patterns and designs that would appeal to boys and girls, so I ended up buying quite a few different rolls. I did find a few different types, and decided to try them all out.  Here are three different types that I tried (I'm sure there are other types out there, I just haven't found them yet!).

The sparkly silver roll, pictured on the far left, is kind of like one giant sticker with a backing that needs to be pulled off before it's used.  This was helpful because I could put the tape right up against the clipboard to measure it out, without having to fight the sticky side.  Of the three kinds I used, this one was the thickest.  That made it a bit hard to work with around the edges and corners of the clipboard, but it still turned out very nicely!  However, I was only able to cover one clipboard before I ran out (I covered the front, back, and sides).

Next I tried the 'traditional' roll, which is the roll pictured in the middle.  The tape on these rolls is thick enough that it can, at times, be tricky to cut.  I spent a lot of time juggling the roll and the scissors while I cut the pieces, so it would probably be helpful to have someone hold the tape while you cut it.  I was able to cover two clipboards with this type of roll.

Finally, I tried the roll pictured on the far right.  This type of Duck tape comes with it's own 'slicer' so you don't have to mess with scissors.  It also has little tabs that hold the edge of the roll, so that it doesn't fold over and get stuck together.  Also, the tape on these types of rolls in considerably thinner than the other two.  I would compare it to the clear packing tape used to tape up shipping boxes.  This roll was super-easy to use, and I was able to cover four clipboards before I needed a new roll.  I think, of the three, this is the one I liked the best.

I think it helps to start out with different types, until you find the one you like the best and are most comfortable with.  I did not try any generic or store-name brand tape, so I cannot give an opinion on those.  Growing up, my mom always said there were some things you just had to pay a little extra money on.  I feel that Duck Tape is one of those things, especially since I want these boards to last as long as possible before I need new ones.  So far, I have gotten two years' worth out of the first batch I made, and I plan on using them again next year!!  I just keep adding new patterns and designs, and I have created a class set of unique, kid-friendly clipboards that they all enjoy using.

I would love to hear about how you use clipboards in your classroom!!  :-)


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