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Monday, February 18, 2013

Classroom Upcycling-DVD Dry Erase Offices

Wow! What a week it has been here in North Georgia...All I can say is that I'm super excited about having the next week off of work. It will give me time to get housework done, schoolwork done, and spend some quality time with my little one. I just love lazy days at home. Before I left on Friday, I managed to snap a couple of quick shots of a handy little tool that I use in my classroom. I thought I would share!

Back at the beginning of the school year, as I was passing out my seven year old (showerboard) dry erase marker boards, I noticed they were uber crusty. The edges were chipping where my not so perfect sawing attempts were made, they were stained and dark, and some of them wouldn't erase anymore. I was getting ready to head back to the old Depot to buy more showerboard. Lo and behold, as I grab my keys I notice my husband taking our DVD movies out of there cases for storage in a binder. And it hit me like a TON of bricks..THOSE THINGS ARE DRY ERASE!! The cases I mean...you know, the plastic kind with the cover insert on them. I grabbed those babies away from him as fast as I could and went to work. 

To get started, I removed all of the movie title inserts. I thought I would have to cut new paper to fit them but... What! They are white on the backside! I flipped them all around and I was set!

Once I had all twenty five of them swapped out to their pretty white covers, I had to decide what to put in them. Standard dry erase markers wouldn't fit, but the thinner ones did so I chose to purchase those with my back to school supply money. And then I had to find erasers...socks were too bulky, paper towels just shredded, tissues...forget about it. But guess what I found...DRYER SHEETS! They erase cleanly every time, don't leave a residue, and freshen the inside of a student desk like nobody's business.
Once the dryer sheet epiphany had passed, I decided to put other things in the mini-offices that my students would use regularly. I use a lot of quick response questions to check understanding on a whim during my lessons, so I chose to put in a set of my quick response cards. 
And about a half stack of mini sticky notes...for ticket out the door activities, etc. I would've liked to have had room in there for one of those small legal pads but they were a bit too big. The thing I like is that the clips hold the response cards and dryer sheet eraser in place. The sticky notes are well...sticky so they stayed in place. Then I stuck a tiny piece of velcro to the pen and the inside of the case so that the marker wouldn't pop out every time it was opened. 

Once I had completed all 25 of them, I vowed to never again touch another piece of velcro or dryer sheet. They weren't too difficult to make..and my kids were extremely excited to get their mini-dry-erase offices. They keep them in their desks and we use them just about every day for one thing or another. They have held up nicely and I've only had one get broken this year..when one of my Messy Marvins stepped on his.
Overall, they have been awesome to have this year. It has kept me sane by helping my students keep up with their materials. Most of them are ready to go within five seconds of being told to get out their dry erase kits. If you've got a pile of empty DVD cases, all you've got to do is grab em up and run with it.

Hope everyone has a great week!


  1. Now this is an awesome idea!!! You were so creative and resourceful! Love it. I have pinned this to my "Teaching Ideas" Pinterest board. It has quite a few followers. Here is my Pinterest link Susan's Pinterest Boards
    Keep sharing those ideas!

    3rd Grade Grapevine

  2. Great idea! May have to swing by my local Goodwill and see if I can find some old DVD's to begin working on my classroom set of Mini-Offices!!
    Thanks for the idea!


    Hands-On Happiness