Old chalkboard.VH Hammer (image modified). Creative Commons.
Learning Environment

7 Ways to Rehab Your Classroom Blackboard

Turn your chalkboard into a dynamic focal point of your classroom with these simple tips.

Blackboards are definitely old school, the realm of chalk, occasional ear-popping screeches and repetition. With the advent of dry erase boards, smart boards, and alternative classroom layouts, large and unmovable chalkboards often stand unused. Here’s how to turn your board into a usable and attractive asset in your classroom.

  1. Create a cork bulletin board. Peel-n-stick cork tiles tightly aligned on the board will provide you a space to display student art and other classroom work.
  2. Make a large memory board. Glue on cotton batting and fabric, then crisscross the board diagonally with thin ribbon. Photos or student art can be easily inserted and held in place by the ribbons.
  3. Turn the chalkboard into a white board. Rolls of white board covering are available at teacher supply stores and online suppliers like Amazon. With a helper, measure, cut, and place the covering on your board to give it a new life.
  4. Magnetize your board. Paint the board with magnetic paint, available at home improvement stores or online. You may need to paint several coats to achieve the level of magnetism you need.
  5. Build a bookshelf with window gutters. Purchase gutters at a home improvement store, have them cut to fit the length of the board and secure the gutters with screws at the edges of the board. Be sure to add end caps to seal the rough edges. You can display books or student artwork.
  6. Fashion a traditional bulletin board. Mount sheets of foam core board (available at office supply stores) and cover with colorful bulletin board paper and borders. The paper and borders can be changed seasonally.
  7. Make a giant mirror. Self-stick mirror tiles placed on the board can reflect light and make a dark room seem brighter and bigger.

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