Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Favorite Classroom Tips

I get tips from all of your blogs all the time. Two such tips have completely transformed my classroom environment. I wish I could remember which blogs I got them from, if it was you, please let me know so I can send some linky love your way.


1. Use wipes to clean the tables. I'm sure landfills everywhere disagree, but using wipes is amazing! It easily cleans off even dried paint, and the kids are so excited to use them. I tell them I will pass out a wipe or two to each table after all the stuff on the table is put away. They rush to get it all put away so they can come up and get a wipe. No more lakes on my tables! As an added bonus, the whole room smells fresh and clean after 20+ kids use a baby or Chlorox wipe on their table spot.


2. Use a magazine as a pallet. SERIOUSLY?! Brilliant! Simply rip off the top page and toss when the kids are done painting with it. Viola. Done and done. I hate cleaning pallets so much, I almost shouted out loud when I read that idea! And to think, all the new supply catalogs are coming out right now. A perfect way to recycle outdated or multiple catalogs!

8 comments:

Phyl said...

Wish I could take credit, but I can't. But I've also tried the wipes (wonderful for getting off oil pastels!!!) and love how they keep kids from crowding the sink, BUT... here's the big BUT: I could go broke buying the wipes, so I rarely use them. Even if I get them at the dollar store, I could go through a whole pack in one day. Do you have a place where you get them in bulk inexpensively?

Pat said...

I agree with Phyl. They work great for cleaning but I need to save my $ for retirement (soon!). I have the custodian keep a spray bottle of one of his cleansers in my artroom and what kind of paint do you use on a magazine pallette? I have ugly visions of tempera paint running off the pages and onto the tables..

Jodi Youngman said...

Our K and first grade teachers have 3 packages of wipes on their supply list~as well as gallon ziplock bags. When I run out all I need to do is shoot out an email and I get a bunch. As for the magazines, I use liquid tempera paint. So far I've used no more than four colors for the projects we used magazines as pallets. I think the post I read the idea on used portion cups for the paint and magazines for mixing colors.

Jodi Youngman said...

Oh! And another, less consumable priceless cleaning tool is a Magic Eraser. They get off oil pastel and even Sharpie!

Miss said...

I second using magazine pages for palettes- I use the junk mail flyers that accumulate in my apartment bulding. I put them in a big box labelled 'paper palettes'. This has worked so well for me because I only have one sink.
I still clean the tables with spary bottles and cloths. I usually have 2 responsible students who like to clean wipe the tables the end of each class.

Christie said...

I also have wipes for the kids to use. Our classroom teachers have supply lists that go out to parents at the beginning of the year and because they have wipes on the list they get LOTS of packages. Someone usually can give me packages from their stash. Last year a Kindergarten teacher told me about Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. WOW!! Do I ever LOVE these for hard to clean stuff. I haven't found anything they don't work on!!

I used to use magazines for palettes for acrylic paint. Haven't used them lately -- guess I forgot about them!! Didn't find that they worked well for my runny tempera.

Ashley said...

I just tried the magazine sheets as pallets and they worked great! They last just long enough for a 45 minute block. After that they start to get overworked holes in them.

Also, I've been making my own baby wipes. One roll of paper towels gives me two containers full of wipes. Now I haven't done the math but I've been pretty happy with how much longevity I've been getting out of them for the amount of time put into making them.

Christine said...

I use sponges to wipe tables- tons cheaper! However, I am the "boss" of the sponges. Only I can put water on the sponges. Kids can come and get a sponge after everything else is cleaned up and then wipe their own spot. This way they don't have to wait while other kids are finishing up. Then, they have a clean spot where they can free draw if they have extra time. Sponges live in a dish rack near the sinks.

Paint palettes: I cut up newspaper on my paper cutter. If they fill-up a palette, they can throw theirs away and get a new one. Magazines sound great, too, but I use the magazines too much for art. I use Styrofoam trays for water-color palettes. They wipe them with a sponge when they're done. I never clean a palette!