Dry Erase Ideas for the Classroom

Dry erase ideas for the classroom
There are very few school supplies we use from the first day to the last day like dry erase markers. It seems we can never keep our stash stocked. One day we've got dozens and suddenly they're all dried up! So, when EXPO Markers asked if we wanted to try out their new dry erase ink indicator markers, we were thrilled for many reasons. 

You can learn more about the EXPO Ink Indicator Markers here and see our initial review here

*Please Note: This post was written in exchange for free product and/or compensation, but all opinions, ideas, and beliefs expressed in this post are my own.

From storage to daily organization and activities for using dry erase markers in the classroom, we've learned a few tips and tricks over the years for managing our markers.Dry erase storage ideas for the classroom
EXPO ink indicator dry erase markers
Keeping a cupboard stash of dry erase markers keeps us going for months into the school year. We are able to ask families for donations at the beginning of the school year and throughout the year to keep our stash stocked. This year, we are asking for the dry erase ink indicator markers because we are constantly asking students to prove their ink levels to us before they switch for a new pen. No more! We want to teach them to be more responsible and we think the visual ink indicator will help them be more aware of their use. #EXPOteacherwin
Whether they have their own desk or a class collection area, socks work great for storage and double duty as erasers. Just stick it in a sock! Our homes are overflowing with very gently used soccer, softball, and dad work socks, but any type of sock works great. We usually ask for donations of clean, very gently used socks if our supply is running low. 
Dry erase organization ideas for the classroom
We run a pretty tight teacher ship when it comes to using dry erase markers in the primary classroom. Number one rule...NO PAPER. We don't yell it at them ever, but we mean it. Can you tell? And yes, a few of them try and quickly learn no paper, please. :)
Whether they keep their EXPO dry erase markers in their table caddy, a desk, a school supply box or in a sock, we allow each student to always keep two markers at all times for their personal use. Why two? Well for starters, kids love choices! Second, kids will try and trick teachers into getting a new pen, new color, new style any which way they can sometimes...So, they have two choices. It works! 
Dry erase organization ideas for the classroom
Our students are learning how to be responsible and we help them out by labeling their materials. Writing their name, class number or initials (because it's never too early to learn your own initials), we keep their dry erase markers out of the lost and found by using a permanent marker to label the caps. 
Dry erase organization ideas for the classroom
We use dry erase markers all the time in small groups and centers, but we don't want our students rifling through their desks each time they need a marker. We also don't want them using our stash with sticky fingers and our pens disappearing! So, we find taping the caps of the ink indicator dry erase markers to distinguish them as the class stash works great! It gives our students a visual that these pens belong where they found them and they are to leave them when they are done. We find duct tape sticks best and washi tape is the cutest. Take your pick!
Staying on top of teacher life and keeping our homes organized is a life mission. We are not even joking. Keeping lists seems to work best for us, but having piles of papers or sticky notes everywhere stresses us out. We needed something that kept us organized, was in our face, in one space and we could erase because there is nothing more satisfying than finishing a to do task. Am I right?! 
We love the idea of using picture frames as dry erase boards both at home and in the classroom. Just print, cut down to size, frame and write! We keep a basket of dry erase markers close by to keep our never ending tasks on track.
There is always something to do and being able to stay organized and save paper with our dry erase solution works great for us! 

You can grab these Dry Erase To Do Lists here. Just print, cut, and frame (not included).
DIY Dry Erase To Do Lists for Teachers
Dry Erase Activities for the Classroom
White board responses are like our classroom bread and butter. We are always responding on our white boards. In our classroom, "Hold it at your chest." is a random common phrase. We ask our students to record answers on their white boards in their laps with their dry erase markers and then wait until the teacher says, "Show." At that time, they can turn their dry erase board around and hold it at their chest, which prevents them from holding it over their face, as high as the clouds, in their neighbor's face...You get the idea. It's a classroom procedure that works great for us year after year. 
Four Corners is a fun way to play a dry erase marker game during language arts in the classroom. We use it to practice our high frequency words. It's easy...
1. Show the class a word or word card.
2. Students write the word in the middle of their dry erase board.
3. Students cover the word in the middle with their eraser.
4. Students practice writing the word from memory in all four corners of their board, spelling it aloud as they go - "t-h-e...the".

Other variations of this game are Beat the Clock and Class vs. Teacher. Same rules except for Beat the Clock we set a timer, and for Class vs. Teacher the teacher plays along and the students try to write it in their four corners faster than the teacher. 

To avoid the shout outs of "I'm done!" at the end, we teach our students to tap their dry erase marker ONE time on their board when they are finished. That's the silent signal for "I'm done!"

We keep a point tally up on the class dry erase board and award the class points as they beat the clock or teacher. We earn teacher points as we beat them or they shout out instead of tapping their pens on the board. We keep playing as time allows or one team, Teacher or Class, earns a certain number of points.
Bingo is always easy to play and set up with dry erase markers in the classroom. We use it to practice vocabulary, spelling words or math equations too. Just have students divide their white boards into however many sections they can handle playing with - Nine squares work well for our class. Fill the squares with answers randomly and mark the squares as they are called throughout the game. 
On the Cliff is a game we play that is basically just rote memory writing disguised as a game. Ha! We use it to practice spelling words or math equations. Just write the sum in the center and draw a cloud around it...of course! Write equations "on the cliff" (around the outside perimeter of the whiteboard) until you fill up the space. It's okay to repeat if you still have space and have used all the answers. For spelling, they just write the word over and over again around the edge. Easy! 
Guess What? is our own dry erase marker version of class charades. We use our unit vocabulary to write on our board, then hold it over a student's head who doesn't know what it says. Other students give clues to describe the word. They can give 3 clues and then the student makes a guess. If the student can't guess, it's all good! We give the answer and discuss some better clues that may have helped. 
If you're like every single other teacher in the universe who uses dry erase markers in the classroom, you probably get asked a lot if your students can doodle. And we are here to tell you, that if a student brings a doodle to you that they weren't supposed to be doodling, but it expresses their love for you...It is hard to be mad. :) 

Of course, it's easy to let them draw in their downtime and we do sometimes, but "Free Doodle Time" has actually become a part of our dry erase marker management system. 

Our students love using their dry erase boards and markers, and it's hard to have self control when pens are in hand and teacher is talking for so long....So we make them a deal! When we are teaching and they are learning, no doodling. As we teach, we keep a tally on the board for when we catch everyone being responsible (AKA not doodling) during the lesson. We reward the class with a tally mark which equals 1 minute of free doodle time at the end of the lesson. We add and subtract tallies as the lesson goes and whatever is left at the end, we allow them to free doodle with their dry erase markers. It works like a charm because they love to free doodle! 
Dry erase marker gift tags for back to school

With Back to School season around the corner, we're excited to share EXPO ink indicator markers with our teacher friends this year too. You can find this back to school gift tag hereYou can learn more about the EXPO Ink Indicator Markers here.
Fluttering Through First Grade

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