Launching the school year with interactive activities can help your students settle back into the school routine while enjoying the movement and socialization they grow accustom to during the summer months. This back to school season, pick up a set of EXPO Dry Erase Ink Indicator Markers, and give these three activities a try.
Thank you to EXPO for sponsoring this post. All opinions stated are my own.
Activity 1: The EXPO Ink Indicator Challenge
Routines and procedures are a major focal point during the first weeks back to school, and proper classroom supply use is top priority. The Dry Erase Marker Challenge is a wonderful way to reinforce the expectations associated with responsible dry erase marker use in your classroom.
Provide each of your students with one EXPO Dry Erase Ink Indicator Marker. These dry erase markers allow students and teachers to keep an eye on their ink supply through the clear marker barrel. This handy indicator window makes it easy to know if your dry erase marker is ready to go. Introduce your expectations for respectful dry erase marker use. These may include:
- Use your marker as a learning tool, not a distraction.
- Place your cap on the end of your marker while you write.
- Only use your marker on dry erase surfaces.
- Write gently with your marker so the tip remains strong.
- When you are done writing, close the cap until you hear a click.
- Keep your maker in a safe place when it’s not being used.
Present your students with the challenge: “Use your ink indicator marker respectfully and responsibly. This is a fancy learning tool that you have the privilege of enjoying. The student whose marker lasts the longest will enjoy a marker party”.
What is a marker party? A special day when the winner of the challenge gets to use an entire set of dry erase markers for their projects and activities that day. You can also accompany this fun reward with other V.I.P. items that fit your classroom culture or theme.
In younger grades, you may want to set a deadline for the challenge. For example, “The student who has the most ink remaining in their marker after 10 days will enjoy a marker party”.
Students will love the fact that they can see how much ink remains in their Expo Dry Erase Ink Indicator Marker while they build the habit of meeting the expectations for respectful dry erase marker use.
Activity 2: Back To School Compliment Expo
Another focal point during the first weeks of school is community building with a new group of students. Building the habit of sharing compliments and appreciation openly in the classroom is a wonderful way to foster a positive classroom community. Hosting a Back To School Classmate Compliment Expo is an interactive way to do so.
This activity can be done in one day, over the span of a week, or over several weeks depending on the personality/patience/maturity of your class.
Begin by setting up a chair in front of a large whiteboard. Print these student “mannequins” on 11”x17” paper and hang on the whiteboard behind the chair. Then, hang a poster (or write a note) the reads “We admire (student name) because…” above the chair and draw an outline to designate a writing space.
Take time to have a conversation about admiring physical (concrete) traits and non-physical (abstract) characteristics, and emphasize the deeper meaning associated with admiring abstract characteristics.
After all the compliments have been written on the whiteboard, remove the “mannequin” poster, and have the student sit in the chair in front of their compliments. Take a photo of the student surrounded by their compliments, and hang it on the wall as a display for back to school night. This is also a wonderful memory to add to your student portfolios.
Activity 3: Back To School Data Desk
Yet another way to build a close-knit classroom community is by sharing personal anecdotes during the first weeks of school. Get your students’ conversations started by having them survey their classmates about summer memories during this Back To School Data Desk Activity.
Begin by having each student think of one survey question related to the summer months. For example, “What did you do outdoors this summer?” Then, give your students time to mingle with their classmates as they collect their survey data. This is a wonderful time to introduce expectations for having a conversation with a partner, which may include:
- Stand facing your partner.
- Make appropriate eye contact.
- Use a brave, yet kind voice.
- Introduce yourself and your purpose.
- Focus your conversation on the goal without getting distracted.
- Say thank you before moving on to the next conversation.
After students complete their data collection, introduce the type of graph you would like them to use to display their data visually. Make this activity even more memorable by having students create their graph directly on their desk using dry erase markers. Once again, EXPO Dry Erase Ink Indicator Markers are a perfect tool for this activity because you can use the lines on the indicator window as an example of a scale and as a model for how to evenly space the points on the scale of a graph. These markers also come in six bold colors perfect for creating easy-to-read graphs. Have students use the entire surface area of their desk (or mark off workspaces on tables using painters tape) to create an oversized graph to display their survey data.
When all graphs are complete, host a gallery walk that allows students to learn more about what their classmates did over the summer.
Ready To Give These Activities A Try In Your Classroom?
If you are ready to implement these activities in your classroom this back to school season? Simply follow the steps above, or save yourself some time by purchasing my the resources linked below in my Teachers Pay Teachers store, stock up on EXPO Dry Erase Ink Indicator Markers, and get ready for some interactive back to school fun. Have any other fun ways you plan to use these markers? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.