Clipboards are one of my all time favorite classroom resources. They’re cheap and versatile: what more could you ask for? Today, I’m going to share some of my favorite clipboard hacks along with some helpful ways to use them in the classroom with your students!
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Clipboard Hacks for the Classroom
Let’s start with some of my favorite hacks to make your clipboards more functional for your students!
Duct Tape for Your Clipboards
First, I like to add duct tape to my clipboards. This identifies them as mine, so they don’t walk out of my classroom. Also, if you do a few different colors/patterns, it can be a great, random way to group students when they’re doing group work!
Number Your Clipboards
I also like to add numbers to the corner using sharpies. This also helps to keep track of clipboards. I always number my students, so it works well if I assign each student a clipboard to leave in their desks as well.
Attach Pencil or Markers
Another hack is to add a pencil or marker to my clipboards. This makes it easier for students to keep track of their writing utensil, and keeps my floor clear of lost pencils. Just make sure to leave the string long enough so students can write along the bottom of the paper. If your clipboards aren’t the kind where you can clip the pencil on the top, you can add a piece of velcro to the board and the pencil to hold it in place.
Add a Pocket
You can also easily add a pocket to the back of your clipboard using a large envelope. Simply cut the envelope in half, seal the open side, and tape the bottom and top onto the back.
This is handy for small pieces for interactive notebooks, recording sheets, and reference sheets such as this visual writing rubric (which you can read more about and grab for free here.)
How Can My Students Use Clipboards?
Before flexible seating was “in”, I always loved using clipboards to provide my students space to work away from their desks. As flexible seating is proving to be more and more popular (for good reason), clipboards make more and more sense!
On the Carpet
I wrote about using clipboards during read alouds a few years ago, and I still think it’s a fantastic option. As I read the story, I can ensure that all of my students are engaged by giving them clipboards, a graphic organizer, and a task to complete. Students can record the plot or other story elements. They could also make inferences and record them, listen for and notate key vocabulary, or listen for the main idea and details. The possibilities are endless.
I have found this to be a fantastic way to keep every student engaged in the story. It also is a great, quick way for me to assess who’s “getting it” and who needs help during small groups.
Another option is to use clipboards to have students complete an independent task after a mini lesson or while students are working on their writing pieces. Allowing students to simply use clipboards then and there means there’s less transition time which can be helpful for students who are easily distracted. It also means that We can come back together to share ideas quickly as well.
I love to provide fun and engaging activities for my early finishers, but sometimes that can be distracting for students who are still working. This problem is easily solved by allowing my early finishers to grab a clipboard and get to work on one of their many, fun choices.
Write the Room Activities
Just in a practical sense, clipboards are incredibly helpful for write the room activities. Students don’t have to try to write again the wall or find another surface to write on.
I am a huge fan of having students work in partners or small groups. Clipboards make this so much easier. Students can spread out and work anywhere. It also gives each student their own work space as well.
I like to give each student a clipboard to keep in their desks, but I also like to store extra clipboards in my crate seats. I love this storage idea because they’re out of the way and easily accessible for every student.
How do you use clipboards in your classroom? Comment below and let me know!
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