Distance Learning Background Student Project in 5 Easy Steps!
The distance learning background project engages students in a creative and fun project to help them create a specific place at home to focus on their work and a backdrop to engage in classes from afar. It can be a fun, creative way to start the year and help make virtual learning spaces feel welcoming. Please feel free to join the project and create one of your own.
Step 1: Gather Resources
- Gather necessary supplies – The linked resources are the supplies used for the sample board. You may have the ability to purchase in bulk. Consider creating a DonorsChoose project or add to your Amazon Wishlist to reduce project costs.
- Suggested project materials – Click to see more:
- Tri-Fold Board – I used 36 x 48 inches.
- Chalkboard Paint – Use paint that can be applied to paper
- Paintbrush – A sponge brush will work, but a regular, large paintbrush works better and faster.
- Tape Measure/Measuring Stick – Have students measure out sections. I did not, but it would be helpful for them to plan ahead, save time, and not waste the markers/chalk.
- Chalkboard Markers – These are great for permanent labels. They are bright and stand out. Please Note: While the markers are great, they do not completely wipe off and should be used ONLY for permanent art.
- Drawing Chalk (6 cases) – This type of chalk is excellent and allows for fine detail. Due to scarcity of supplies, I used sidewalk chalk, which still worked.
- Dry Erase Sheet & Expo Markers – These are great to use with Expo markers. This space can also be a way for students to show answers to questions.
- Push Pins – Use pins so students can hang work. Tape can also work if pins unavailable.
Step 2: Board Painting
- Put a drop cloth, paper towels, or another resource to protect the table or floor from paint. Please note: the paint suggested is non-toxic and is easily removable.
- Paint the board with the chalkboard paint.
- Let board dry.
Step 3: Board “Striking”
- This step prevents the chalk becoming permanent upon first use.
- Using the long side of white or yellow-white chalk, rub the chalk into the chalkboard paint.
- Use a paper towel to rub the chalk into the board again.
- Optional: ”Strike” the board again.
Step 4: Board Sketch & Measurement
- Use a measuring stick or tape measure to visualize the board sections. (See diagram in PDF below)
- Sketch a rough draft of your board, incorporating your style and reflecting your personality.
- See board labels section below to see what to include.
- Quote Corner – Have students find a weekly quote to inspire and motivate them and others.
- Zen Zone – Use the space to create art and take a mindful moment.
- Goals – Have students set daily, weekly, and/or monthly goals.
- Proud Pin – Post work they are proud of and want to showcase to others.
- Nametag – Under students’ name, use the space for a daily check-in. Have students use symbols to communicate how they are feeling that day. Students can also use the space below to wear “accessories” – a fun hat, crown, or other appropriate, creative items.
- Optional – Create a board section unique to your classroom context.
Step 5: Board Art Creation
- Use chalk markers (optional) and drawing chalk to create board labels (see above).
- Add additional artwork and flourishes!
- Set the expectation students use the board as a backdrop during distance learning. It can become their special space and a familiar setting for everyone.
If you need a presentation or guide for students, click the image below to download the PDF!
Eager to show off your students’ creations? If you want their work featured in a gallery post, please feel free to send pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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