Since starting to use whiteboards in my class room many colleagues in the VSB have tried to find the 4′ x 8′ sheets of shower board with no luck (neither Rona nor Home Depot seem to stock them any longer). The boards used to be made by a company called Barker-Lite but they no longer make the plain white board that I used.
The best material I have found is AluPanel.
Associated Plastics (1104 Franklin Street, Vancouver, BC) sells 4’x8′ sheets of AluPanel for $55. I ordered two sheets (white and standard thickness). For an additional $42 I had them cut into twelve 24″x32″ pieces and had the corners and edges rounded off (this is important to do!!) They get regular calls from teachers for this very thing. I had mine cut large because I use them for group activities but you can have them cut any size you wish (may affect the cutting cost). My total cost was $170.25 for 12 large durable student white boards. Double the cost of the hard board below but much more durable (and lighter too).
I did some research and found that the Windsor Plywood store in Burnaby does stock a similar product called Thrifty White hardboard. When I called last weekend they had 38 sheets in stock which they were selling for $40 a sheet. They also stock an identical product called Barkerboard which they sell for $75 a sheet. Note: I contacted the Windsor Plywood in Vancouver and they have ordered in stock of both these products — their prices are slightly higher).
Buy two sheets of hardboard and ask the staff to cut into pieces that are 32″ x 24″. This gives you six whiteboards per sheet and a total of twelve whiteboards. Ask your school woodshop to round the corners & add to 1″ holes at the top.
- Buy twelve SETS of whiteboard markers and a dozen erasers. Emphasis on SETS of markers (so everyone can contribute). I suggest that you avoid odourless markers — they are harder to clean off the board.
- Splash out on a bottle of whiteboard cleaner.
If you buy your markers & erasers through your school account your total cost should be under $200.
Here are some links on using whiteboards that I copied from Frank Noschese’s fantastic blog:
- Modeling Instruction – My page of introductory links about modeling in science class. Includes information about teacher workshops happening nationwide!
- Resources for the modeling classroom (scroll down to “Discourse in the Modeling Classroom”)- Arizona State University
- Whiteboarding in the classroom – Buffalo State
- Whiteboarding – Whiteboards USA
- Socratic Dialogues in the Science Classroom – Whiteboards USA