DIY Tri-fold Dry Erase Board–my #1 “must have” for CC Tutors

28 Jul


I could NOT, NOT, NOT have made it through my first year as a Classical Conversations tutor last year without my Tri-fold Dry Erase Board. What is a Tri-fold Dry Erase Board? It’s a Science Project Board made out of dry erase board material. It is truly amazing; I love this board. I love it so much I just had to share him with you. 🙂

As a tutor for Classical Conversations, they provide us with 3 days of training (which I’m SO THANKFUL FOR!) Last year during our tutor training, we were encouraged to use a board in class to display each week’s New Grammar. Several of the tutors in my training mentioned that they wrote the New Grammar on their boards the morning of their CC day after arriving on campus. Now, in a perfect world, that sounded dreamy–walking into my classroom, writing all of the new grammar on my board, and peacefully beginning our CC day. However, since I don’t live in a perfect world and would have 3 boys running around my classroom on the morning of our CC day, I decided that writing out the New Grammar right then and there would be…disastrous. 🙂 I had to figure out another option.

My next brainstorm was to bring my dry erase board back and forth each week to CC. I would write the New Grammar on my dry erase board before leaving my house (did I mention that my dry erase board was mounted on my school room wall?), drive to our CC campus and have my CC board all set and ready to go. That sounded doable, right??!!? Well, the more I thought about that option the more I realized it wouldn’t work. I had visions of my board bee-bopping around in the back of my van en route to my CC Campus, and huge chunks of the New Grammar being erased off in transit.

Drum roll, please (and cue the “Hallelujah Chorus”). Well, this is where my Tri-fold Dry Erase board enters my life. One of the other tutors in our community shared this link with us. It contained instructions for creating your own Tri-fold Dry Erase Board. After reading over the blog post, it sounded like the Tri-fold Dry Erase Board was the answer to all of my problems! First, all of the supplies could be purchased inexpensively at Lowe’s. There would be some sawing required because Lowe’s can do that for you for FREE! Second, the only “construction” required was done with duct tape. (Don’t you love that!?!?) Finally, the board’s design allows the two sides to fold inward leaving the writing on the board completely covered. Wahoo! Problem solved–I could now write the New Grammar on my board before leaving my house (no dry erase board removal from wall required. Whew!), have no worries that the words would be erased en route to our CC campus, and no last minute writing on the board in my CC Classroom as my 3 silly monkeys  sons run like wild men sit calmly waiting for our CC day to begin.


(Just a side note, I bought and used Marker Board, which is 3 feet x 4 feet, at Lowe’s rather than the Shower Board mentioned in the instructions. The Marker Board substituted with no problems. This is the SKU tag that is still on the back of my board to give you an idea of which board I bought.)  

If you’re a CC tutor, CC parent, homeschooling family or dry erase board enthusiast, I highly recommend making this Tri-fold Dry Erase Board. It does not disappoint. Stop by tomorrow as I highlight some of the other creative ways I use this in my CC classroom and at home.


26 Responses to “DIY Tri-fold Dry Erase Board–my #1 “must have” for CC Tutors”

  1. literatelibran July 29, 2013 at 6:52 am #

    The idea of doing the board as dry erase is BRILLIANT.
    Can’t believe I haven’t thought of/seen that before!

    • Suzanne Shares July 29, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

      I KNOW!!!! it IS brilliant! i love, love, love, love this board!!! hope you’ll get to make one! it truly is magical! 🙂 🙂

  2. ltenhaken July 29, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    This is a great resource…Thanks for sharing…I do have a few questions.
    Can you tell me how well this has held up for you? Does the dry-erase come off easily?

    • Suzanne Shares July 29, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

      I used it our entire homeschool year last year, and it survived so well that I can use it again this year!!! 🙂 I’ve not had trouble getting the dry erase marker off if I’ve erased it within a day or so of writing. We used it at church this summer as a GIGANTIC calendar for our summer kids’ activities. The calendar and writing had been on there for two months straight, so that writing was a little more “stubborn” in getting off. I used some “dry erase board cleaner,” and it came off fine. 🙂 My friend told me that hand sanitizer works well to clean dry erase boards. Hope that helps! 🙂

  3. Tricia Fulton July 30, 2013 at 8:58 am #

    Hi Suzanne! You look familiar…did I see you at the Hendersonville practicum last week? You offered to help me bring my enormous batch of stuff into the building. I shared this with my tutors thinking it might solve many of our morning troubles! Thank you for blogging; I have thoroughly enjoyed your posts for quite some time.

    • Suzanne Shares July 30, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

      Hello, Tricia! Yes, that was me last week @ the Hendersonville Practicum. 🙂 I thoroughly enjoyed it! Thanks for the wisdom and encouragement that you shared! I was especially thankful for your devotions each morning and how you re-centered us on Christ each morning. Praying today for your son’s continued healing. Much love!

  4. Brandy July 30, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    So glad you shared this! Are you okay with me bringing up your latest posts in the CC Blog Carnival? 🙂

    It was so cool to have you in class, by the way. Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful ideas there… AND here!

    With blessings!

    • Suzanne Shares July 30, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

      It was so great to meet you in person and to sit under you in Tutor Training last week! You were EXCELLENT! I appreciated the practical wisdom and encouragement that you offered us–particularly the reminder to keep it simple! This is my mantra for this year! Thank you for your diligence in explaining copyright and its ramifications. That was something that I tried to be proactive and mindful of last year when I started the blog. After the training, I came back and looked at my old posts only to realize some slip ups I had made. Thank you for helping us understand that in greater detail.

      I also appreciated hearing how CC has impacted your life and your sons (my experience as well with CC. I’m so thankful for that!). You are such a gift to the CC Community at large! Thank you for your help in navigating CC, particularly for beginners. Your blog was invaluable to me when we started last year. Thank you for all that you SHARE, but most of all, thank you for your faithfulness to drive us back to Christ in all things–CC, home, family. It’s beautiful!

      OF COURSE you can share this on your blog carnival! I’m all about SHARING. ha! 🙂 If anything that I do can be helpful to someone else, I always want it to be used for that reason. 🙂 Blessings to you! Praying for a wonderful school year for you, particularly an uneventful one after last year. 🙂 Much love!

  5. ltenhaken July 31, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    Sorry…another question for you Suzanne that I just thought of. How well does the board do with transporting to cc days and not smudging?
    Thanks again.

    • Suzanne Shares August 1, 2013 at 10:26 am #

      I had NO trouble with it rubbing off because the two side flaps fold inward and cover the main board. Nothing on the interior is, therefore, exposed. Someone else told me that she put velcro buttons on the top and bottom of the flaps to secure them to the center during transport. I thought that was a great idea, too. However, I never had any trouble with the flaps coming open so not sure if I will get around to doing that. 🙂 hope that helps!

  6. ltenhaken August 5, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    Hi Suzanne,
    One more question regarding hanging your Timeline cards. Did you use tape, glue dots or something else to hold the page protectors to the board?

  7. Alison August 17, 2013 at 12:22 am #

    What are your dimensions for your trifold board? I am hoping to use this as a Abecedarian Tutor. Thanks!

    • Suzanne Shares August 17, 2013 at 7:31 am #

      The 2 flaps on the side are about 12 inches, and the middle section is about 24 inches. I am an Abecedarians tutor, and it has worked perfectly for me! I pray that you have a great year!!!

  8. Lindsey Swinborne July 2, 2014 at 9:11 am #

    Thanks for sharing your tips. I was the mom who either lugged a HUGE white board complete with heavy wooden frame into class each week or went to the church the night before to write out my board, when it was dark and creepy, or went in early and had 4 kids running around like crazy while trying to concentrate on my board! I will DEFINITELY be making a tri-fold this summer!

    • Suzanne Shares August 4, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

      Oh, Lindsey!!! I realized that I never responded to this!!! I was in the throes of our Practicum when I got your comment. I was the tutor trainer for our practicum and consequently brain dead! I am so excited that you are going to make this for your CC class this year. I can’t believe all of those things that you did…wow…and you’re committed to tutor again! Seriously, you are my hero! I am so so so so so excited for you to make this. You will love it; I promise!!! I can’t imagine tutoring without it. #lifesaver

  9. Jessica August 4, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    have you came up with a way to transport it easily, like a carrying case or a carrying bag?

    • Suzanne Shares August 4, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

      I have had several options shared with me after posting this. One mom made a huge “pillow case” out of fabric to use to carry it. I’m assuming she made some kind of strap to carry it the pillow case??? Another lady made carrying straps out of duct tape. I simply carry it from my van to my room (which isn’t that far of a hike). Another mom told me that she used velcro circles in the corners of the “flaps” so that it stayed secure in transit.

  10. Jerie August 11, 2014 at 11:22 am #

    I am so lost. I need to make these but my measurements aren’t coming out without a large leftover piece. Do you by any chance have a sketch of where to cut the board?

    • Suzanne Shares August 11, 2014 at 11:01 pm #

      eek!!!!!! so sorry! did you get it figured out?!?!? i didn’t have a leftover piece. there were a few women in our community made them and had enough leftover to make a second one out of the piece. maybe that’s it???


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