Classroom Projects · Goals · Whiteboard Paint

A Simple Innovation – Whiteboard Desk

In my original post about Big Ideas my second goal was to have whiteboard paint everywhere.  I can proudly say that we have made great strides in turning my room in one giant writeable space!  This post is a bit delayed, but over Spring Break I was able to paint all of my desk with IdeaPaint.  I was fortunate to have IdeaPaint provide my class with a free sample of their product as well as the primer to coat the desks.

I love the white board desks it helps us learn so much better. I’m not sure if it’s just because it’s more interesting, but it really helps us learn – Anonymous Student

The Process

Painting the desk was a very simple task.  It was as easy as painting anything.  I first applied two coats of primer to the desktops.  I then waited 24 hours and came back into the school to apply the paint. Again this was vey simple.  The paint came in two separate cans that you mix together.  After I mixed the paint together I had 1 hour to apply the paint to all of the desks.  I quickly and easily painted all of the desk.  Then all I had to do next was wait 7 days (spring break) for the paint to dry and be ready for use.  ** The paint is dry in 24 hours, but does not have the whiteboard properties until 7 days.

Go Time

My students were very excited to come back from spring break with their new whiteboard desks. They were filled with anticipation to use their desks.  I am very thankful that my good friend Heather Rollings (@HRollings4) was there on the first day to capture my student’s reactions to the paint.

With the new desks my students were excited to work.  Not only were the desks painted, but I had placed the desks into groups so that my student would have a large writeable surface.  On the first day back after a long break I asked my students to graph a quadratic equation (this was very challenging).  It was so inspiring to see my students work together to complete this task.  I had one student write a large question mark on her desk.  (Normally students would stop and wait for me to go over the problem).  The new desks allowed my student to easily share their thoughts with one another.  Another student in the group wrote down what they remembered (how to find the axis of symmetry).  This work helped jog the memory of my “question mark” student.  After a few minutes of working together the group was able to correctly graph their quadratic equation!

I like the whiteboards because everyone can share their work – Anonymous Student

Not only do the whiteboard desks allow for my students to easily collaborate with one another, but they thoroughly enjoy whiteboards.  Many students will use the desk to practice problems and then write organized notes.  Many of my seniors use the desks to record all notes and then take pictures of their desks as notes.  I know that students taking pictures as notes may freak some people out, but for my students it works! Many of my student would come in for extra help and pull up on their phones the notes that I had uploaded to the website.  Now they are pulling up pictures of their own work, writing, and organization.

Reasons Why I Love My Desks

  1. Students can easily collaborate with one another
  2. I can quickly see student work as I walk around (they write bigger with markers)
  3. Students can organize thoughts before recording in notebooks
  4. Students are engaged & motivated to work (they love when I take pictures of their work)
  5. I can provide help and notes on the desk with out interfering with the student’s process

Click here to read about how we fundraised for markers

6 thoughts on “A Simple Innovation – Whiteboard Desk

    1. So far the desks are holding up great! My students love them! I have recently added a huge whiteboard to the back of my classroom using IdeaPaint. This time we ordered the clear paint so I painted my teacher’s desk, door, and a cabinet. All of this do not look any different, but we can write on them now!


    1. Brians, I’m glad this post was helpful and I am super excited to hear that you will be painting your tables this summer. It is very simple! I was able to do all of my desks and a few tables by myself. What company are you using? They should have a list of tips to make sure the paint is applied correctly. I plan to paint my walls next!


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