Thanks to the dollar bin at Target this week and leftover scrapbook paper, I finally made my children “Think Boards” for $3! It’s a project that had been in my mind for months, but buying new frames wasn’t in the budget so I kept putting it off. But for $3, bring it on!
The frames came in black, white, and silver. The plastic cover (NOT non-kid-friendly glass) works as a dry erase board.
Add in paper! I let my kids dig through old scrapbook paper. Two of the pieces fit perfectly and one I did have to trim. Total time to make: 10 minutes. Other options: Embellish with trinkets and a hot glue gun or let the child paint the frame.
Put your Think Boards in a great spot! The kids see this wall constantly on the way to the playroom, but my husband and I can also see it from upstairs, so we don’t forget! My kids are able to unhook and rehook their Think Boards on the nail if they ever want to write with it in their lap, but velcro may be a good idea to make it more mobile for all hands.
Reasons I wanted to incorporate Think Boards into our lives:
1. Kids ask a million questions. Sometimes I can’t keep track of the curiosity of 3 brains, but I want to make sure I don’t miss a teachable moment. Think Boards give the children ownership of their learning or “buy-in” power, and holds us accountable for helping them find the answers. Before trips to the library we’ll check our Think Boards!
2. I love teaching writing through authentic opportunities: grocery lists, notes or emails, etc. My children’s motivation is different than if they have to write sentences with their spelling words for school. Ava’s transitioning from developmental spelling to learning how to spell words correctly in 1st grade, and she gets frustrated easily. As she wrote nail, I said, “if you can spell hail you can spell nail! When she wrote “of” instead of “off”, we talked about sneaky double consonants. No squirming or flopping or falling out of her chair out of frustration. Today she popped up from breakfast and ran down to add something else to her list. “Mom, you should have made our Think Boards bigger!” she said.
3. We want our children to be magnets to learning their entire lives. It shows them we value learning, we think it’s fun, and that questions are an opportunity to learn! After I hung these up, I thought maybe my husband and I should have one too! It sure would save some on my sticky notes consumption.
Happy Thinking, Shelisa