Monday, August 6, 2012

Marker Management

Today I have a quick management tip to share. I have my students use whiteboards and dry erase markers very frequently in math. I try to be very strict about keeping the boards in their lap, no doodling, following along, etc. But I still have kids who are drawing and rolling their markers on the board or throwing it around in their hands. I was starting to get frustrated last week when I realized that I needed a good motivator to reinforce whiteboard and marker procedures.

My solution is something super simple but effective!

I had some very kind parents donate colored dry erase markers - I'm talking neon, primary and more. All sorts of colors.

 My kiddos each have a black dry erase marker in their pencil boxes. I told them at the beginning of a whiteboard math time that I would be looking to see who was using their board and marker correctly. At the end of math I would pick the one person who I thought did the best job of participating while showing the correct procedures. That person would get to pick a colored marker to use for the next whiteboard math time. They would get to use it for that entire time and at the end they would return it and I would pick someone else to choose a color.

 You would have thought I was giving away a trip to an amusement park - they were so excited!

It's the small things folks! :)

Also be sure to check out my guest post over at Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher. Amber is a dear bloggy friend of mine and she has so many great ideas! I posted about how I'm using "math bins" in my classroom.

And for all of you who are gearing up for a new year - I feel for you! I have been back for 4 weeks already. I love meeting my new kiddos but I even more love getting into a routine. :)


  1. Wow 4 weeks already!
    I've nominated you for an award stop over at my blog and pick it up.
    Dawn @ Time for 4th Grade @

  2. So simple but so effective! I'm going to have to try that this year! Thanks for the tip! : )

    Tales of An Elementary Teacher

  3. I use dry erase boards all the time for math, too!! My simple solution to misuse of these boards/markers is to have them use pencil and paper. Works every time!

    2nd Grade Teacher
    The Sweetest Thing