Friday, March 1, 2013

Using my @IdeaPaint on the desks #EdChat #EngChat

I'm excited to share this lesson with all of you that had my students drawing on their desks!

At the start of the second semester, I painted my desktops with IdeaPaint so my students could have an extra paperless space to take notes, draw diagrams and doodle. All of their drawings and notes can then be saved directly into Evernote and become a searchable part of their notes system.

We are wrapping up our unit on Gothic Literature and I wanted to give my students a chance to be creative. Each student was given one dry erase marker and given 20 minutes to draw. The students were not told what to draw and they had no idea how the drawings were going to be used. They just needed to draw. It could be just shapes, trees, sunshine, or anything they want. After the 20 minutes, I had every student stand at the front of the room and I randomly selected students to find another seat at a different table. Once there, I told the students there assignment is to write a gothic story based on the image on their desk. They need to include at least four of the six Gothic Elements discussed in class and use imagery to describe the image in front of them.

There were some groans, but once students started to settle in to the idea, there were some happy faces. I changed it up the next hour and had students switch desks twice and added their own art to the desk and then told them to write a Gothic story based on that picture. I can keep changing it up for each class to keep it fresh. When it comes to creative writing, there are no limitations.

For those of you who do not have IdeaPaint covered desks, this works great with pieces of construction paper, computer paper or lined paper. Give the students one marker or crayon and tell them to get to work. The picture they have to write about can become the cover of their story.


  1. I never heard of Idea Paint. Very cool lesson too. Thanks for sharing.

  2. How did you then upload it into Evernote? Did you take a picture?

  3. I asked for and received a grant for IdeaPaint this year! I need to wait until summer, however, before I paint, but I like this simple idea. I'll put it in the bucket of ideas for our "new" tables for students! Thanks for writing about their writing.

  4. This is a great idea! I was actually playing around with the thought of getting dry-erase board panels for an entire classroom wall setup, however I am now looking at the possibility of using the Idea Paint. I just have to see if the walls are smooth or not. What has been your experience with the Idea Paint? Does it leave ghost images easily or does it clean fairly well?
    Thanks for your ideas!

  5. John,

    I use the thin tipped Expo markers on my desk and avoid using red on the desk because I've read that color leaves a ghost. Otherwise, I have not had any problems using markers on the desk. My kids love using it for note taking and doodling. It has been great and I love having it as part of the class.

    1. Thank you Nicholas. Appreciate the quick response. Have a great day!

  6. Nice Post I like nice furniture
    It looks better than even when it was new.


Please post your thoughts here. Thanks!