Saturday, 20 September 2014

Reusing Marker Lids

Today, I want to share with you, a simple classroom idea. If you follow my blog, you know that I am mildly obsessed with educational games. This 'bright idea' will help you collect resources for your 'game collection'. 

I like to have a few packed shelves in my teaching cupboard, of ready-to-go items that make setting up game and small group rotations, easy. I like to call it my 'game collection' cause when things have a name, they are easier to organise. And put in a box. 

I also like a good variety of 'game collection thingamajigs, to make learning fun. Some of my special little friends need to play the same style of game over and over... and over. And maybe a little bit more. They need lots of practice and repetition, so 'mixing it up' with a variety of resources, makes a huge difference to motivating your students. Think seasonal counters, themed-dice, funny hats to wear when you are playing... 

I also have a small confession to make today. I almost cried when 'the men' came to take my classroom blackboard away. And I have never really recovered. I know I am in the minority here. I am not sure what it is. I accept that I am a traditionalist. I don't shy away from technology at all though, so I remain a little confused about why I feel so connected to the blackboard. 

It is what it is I suppose. My name is Mel and I think teaching is better with a blackboard. 

I don't understand the problem with the dust. Damp cloth, 10 second wipe at the end of the day. How is that so hard? I never had dust. People cry 'oh the dust'... whatever. 

Whiteboards just irritate me. They never look neat. I'm always looking for a pen that works. The 'dusters' never clean properly. My writing looks messy. Arghhhh. 

Each time I find a pen that does not work, I think about how this empty unwanted plastic cylinder is now going to landfill. And the millions of other pens that have finished their life today - they are going to clog up our environment somewhere too. 

And don't get me started on computers and Smartboards. 

I have this recurring dream, it is set 100 years from now. Some little kid, in a classroom somewhere,  is tired of waiting for the classroom computers to warm up. She finds a piece of paper and a pencil, or a stick of chalk and makes a mark on page. She realises the brilliance of something instant. "It is INSTANT" she exclaims - thinking its the greatest invention ever - and the world is never the same again. 

Anyhow, I know I think too much about weird things. Although, perhaps I would not need to, if I could just have a blackboard again, and get on with the important stuff. 

So, after the 100th marker I threw away this year, I got to thinking. How can I reuse these?

I am still working on the pen section, but the lid... the lid, I can work with. 

Just grab some craft foam shapes. 

And stick those little cuties on top. 

Voila! Instant game counters! These add an element of fun  to your classroom games, but also make it much easier to count spaces and see where each student is, on the game board. 

Start collecting my friends, I am telling you - 


Call me 'the ideas girl'. Or not. Whatever you are comfortable with. 
Thanks for stopping by friends!


Jennifer K. said...

I love this idea Mel! I always keep a couple of lids on hand for when we suddenly can't find one (even though we were sitting in one place and never got up, somehow someone's lid always disappears...) Now I'll be saving them for this reason too!

Jennifer @ Herding Kats in Kindergarten

Growing Firsties said...

Love!!!!! And you crack me right up.

Kelly said...

That is brilliant. I love it!!! :)

First Grade Fairytales

Natalie said...

Great idea! I am so using this in my classroom. I feel the same way about my blackboard. Luckily, "the men" didn't steal my blackboard when they put up my Mimio Board. They just plopped it right on top if it, but I still have a little bit of my precious board off to the sides. I do love my whiteboard too, but it does get so dirty! People were writing all over their Mimio boards when we first got them and thought I was nuts because I wouldn't...I didn't want it all dirty!

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Mrs Poultney said...

Love it! You are the go to person for Bright Ideas!

Mrs Poultney's Ponderings

Kinderkay said...

Mel, I feel the same way when I write on a whiteboard. I just do not like my writing. It was SO pretty on a blackboard! Oh well......... I love the ideas of reusing marker lids! Thanks, my friend!!


Jennifer @ Simply Kinder said...

Oh my goodness.. I want to make a whole bucket of them so kids can just pick the ones they love to use! What a great idea!!!

Jennifer with Simply Kinder