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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Teacher Tuesday: an organized clipboard

Welcome back to Teacher Tuesday! Today I want to show you some simple things that I did to make the organizational powerhouse- the clip board- even more powerful (and prettier too). I wrote a post before on the music stand where my clip board lives most of its life.

Click on the picture to read about how I organize the stand as a whole- I really love this system! But let's talk about the clipboard for a second. I use it to hold the seating charts that I keep for each class- so I use it every hour of every day while I'm teaching- but it has been bothering me for a while that it looks so sad and beaten down! I inherited these aged but sturdy clipboards when I started in this position last school year. They have obviously been around for many years: lots of graffiti, cracks, and bent pieces. But they are definitely sturdy! I decided it was time for mine to get a little love.

Believe it or not, this was my first venture into the world of modge podge. Trust me, it will not be the last! I used it to cover the front and back of the board with some pretty scrapbook paper (I used this tutorial to help make sure the paper stayed flat). I feel happier already! Because the clip is so big, I couldn't get all the way to the edges with the paper, so I put some black painter's tape (left over from many other projects) around the edges. I wasn't sure how well it would hold up but so far it has been fine! I figure if it starts to wear down it's an easy fix. Then I decided it was too much black at the top (the part I stare at the most when it's in use), so I added some musical washi tape (you knew there was going to be washi tape, right?!?) across the top. I even added some modge podge on top of that to keep it down, and so far that seems to be working well.

OK, that's fine for it to look pretty, but didn't I promise increased productivity?!? Yes I did. So the first thing I did was something that I may be the last person on the planet to figure out, but it was a revelation for me nonetheless- there is a perfect spot for my mechanical pencil inside the giant clip!

Before I figured this out, I was considering adding a pen loop to the top edge to keep the pencil with the clipboard, so if you don't have this kind will you please try it and let me know how it works? :) But this little spot was just too perfect to replace with any additions.

I made one other change to the clipboard that has had the biggest impact on my day-to-day use: some self-adhesive pockets on the back!

(Can we stop for a second and admire that paper on the back? *sigh* OK thanks.)

One of the main components of my behavior management system is giving "happy notes" to one student who does a great job in class each period, and send home "behavior slips" to students who demonstrate poor choices in class (you can read more about those in this post). I used to keep those in one of the pockets on my music stand (see the picture above). The problem was that I would often walk to the opposite side of the room with the students to line up at the end of class and forget to bring the note with me to fill it out, which meant leaving the students to run back and forth to retrieve the note. I now keep a few spares in that pocket just in case, but I have most of the notes attached to my clipboard! The nice thing is I have gotten in the habit now of carrying my clipboard with me to the line because I mark behavior notes, and their progress on the class behavior board, directly on the seating chart. Now I can just pull a note out of the back pocket and away we go!

Sometimes it's the smallest things that have the biggest impact- my clipboard makes me so happy now! :) What are the little projects you have taken on that have made your home or school life more streamlined (or prettier)? Share your ideas below :)


  1. What size are the pockets you use on the back of your clipboard?

    1. They're about 4x3- these are the ones: