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Steve Haberlin's picture
Steve Haberlin is an assistant professor of education at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, and author of Meditation in the College Classroom: A Pedagogical Tool to Help Students De-Stress, Focus,...
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Writing on the Desks!

You have to try this idea!

Let your students write on their desks using dry erase markers. Yes~ that's right. Ditch the pencil and paper and let them write~ draw and create on their desks or tables. Don't worry it comes off.

I tried this a year ago and was amazed at how much more engaged my students became when I let them work math problems on their desks. I was tired of wasting time getting paper out and sharpening pencils so I said "just write on your tables using markers."

The kids were like "really?" I played it up and said "just don't tell the principal."

So we began working out problems~ writing short responses during reading~ drawing science concepts--all on the tables. Something happens when you let the students do that. It just makes the work more fun~ I guess. I had a fourth-grade teacher try the idea and tell me the kids no longer groaned when it was time to do math.

At the end of the day~ I have the students whose job is to work as the classroom custodians~ go around and wipe down the tables so I don't create work for our custodial staff. It also teaches the kids to clean up after themselves.

So what are you waiting for? Start drawing on the desks!