Sunday, April 19, 2009

Observers Comment on This

Not that I get observed frequently. But at least two people have commented on my trick of writing on the desks. When I'm walking around the room helping students, I carry a marker and an eraser. If students want to use them to do the work,  I have extras. I'm not sure how I started doing this, but it's one of my favorite teacher tricks.


montgorp said...


Cool idea, I like it.

I had my kids drawing on the carpet with chalk.

See my flickr stream

Head cleaner raged against me but the kids loved it. Fortunately head cleaner could not get support from the school admin. They could see the value of it for the kids.

But the desks. I can see how that would come off easily and could be done all the time.



Sarah Cannon said...


I like the carpet idea. The moral to get support from custodial or admin first is a good one.

I know some classrooms use individual whiteboards (make your own from showerboard). My students love drawing on the desks because it's one time they can do it without being fussed at for vandalism.


Jackie Ballarini said...

I tried this today.

Apparently your desks have a different finish than the ones I have. It didn't erase as much as ... smear.

Sarah Cannon said...

Uh-oh! Sorry Jackie.

Our desks are some sort of plastic made to look like wood. Warning to future browsers. Test on small corner of a desk first.

Jackie Ballarini said...

No apologies necessary. I'm glad I tried it.

Jessica said...

I'm way late to the kids write on desks all the time. Blue pens are off-limits, though! The dye stains the finish for some reason. Yay for appropriate and productive vandalism! :-)

Sarah Cannon said...

Jessica! Welcome to the party! (I knew there was a reason to keep comments somewhat open, despite the amount of spam anymore.) Cheers to productive, temporary vandalism!

Added note that's missing from the post. I loved the dry erase trick for helping students because it allowed us to write out the problem, but still mean they had to write it down for themselves. (After a year of handing them my notes, I wasn't happy with writing on paper.)

Danielle Tucker said...

I also use the whiteboard marker trick on my classroom windows. The kids love writing on the windows for student/group presentations. (The kids came up with this one!)

You have to be careful that you do a test for visibility to others in the room, though.

Sarah Cannon said...

Thanks for the window idea Danielle. I learned that I had to avoid writing on windows because students would tag them too often. (But I also didn't encourage writing on windows, so don't know how sanctioning it would have impacted that behavior.)