Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My Favorite School Supply

I discovered the greatest tip this week from the kinder teacher across the hall! Our district still has half-day K (hopefully not for long!) and I know that an annoyance for half-day K teachers is managing all of the name tags needed for the AM session, then PM session. I walked into Mrs. F's room one day and saw that she had used SHARPIE markers to write the names directly on the tables! It looked really neat (blue names for AM kids, pink names for PM kids) on the dark laminate tables; it reminded me of the black dry-erase boards cafes use with brightly-colored markers. (Sorry I didn't take a picture, but I would have felt strange snapping pictures in her room!)

Anyways, after getting over my shock at *gasp* marker on the tables, Mrs. F explained that they were called Sharpie oil-based paint pens and that the ink comes off easily with rubbing alcohol. Not to mention they come in a ton of cool colors and the ink is water-proof, fade-proof, and basically small-child proof.
In my class, I give each student a number (1-6 at each table), which is useful for a variety of things ("number sixes, get the colored pencils for your table! Number threes, get books for your team!"). I think this is originally a GLAD thing.  Anyways, I had stuck those garage-sale dots with their numbers on their name tags. 
As you can imagine, those dots didn't last long. The kids kept pick, pick, picking at them. Or spilled their water on them. Or somehow made them magically disappear. I was tired of replacing them, then having to change them when I moved kiddos to new seats. Suddenly, a light bulb went off in my head and I ran to Mrs. F's room to borrow one of her paint pens. Voila, problem solved! And the kids were excited to find these numbers the next day. 
Now I'm hooked on my new favorite school supply. :)


  1. I have been writing my students' names and numbers on their desks with black Sharpie, not the COOL oil-based you just described!! The regular Sharpie does come off easily with an eraser or scrub it with a cleaner like 409! I got so tired of the tape coming off the name tags. About once a year I go over the names that have worn off! Thanks for sharing!
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

    1. Oh and I forgot to add that we tested the durability the very next day! We played with shaving cream on the tables, then I cleaned up with paper towels and Clorox wipes. No fade!!

  2. Thanks for sharing this great tip! We love all Sharpies! They have so many uses in the classroom!

    :) Tamra and Sarah

    1. I remember a teacher I knew who had what she called Sharpie Heaven: a giant carousel organizer with every color and tip ever made! It was glorious. Lol

  3. I saw something similar on Pinterest and I LOVE the idea. Name tags never seem to last long enough when they're just taped down, so I think this could be a better solution, thanks for sharing!

    Love to Learn

  4. Not sure if you can see the gunk around the name tags; it came from those adhesive name tag protectors. Never using those again! They're SO hard to remove and leave all that gunk behind.


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