Friday, July 5, 2013

No More Nameplates: A Pinteresting Review

Several months ago (yes, this is another belated post) I found this AMAZING pin on Pinterest. 

The teacher explains that she uses Sharpie paint pens to write directly on her students' desks and get rid of the picked-at mess that are namecards.  It will simply come off by coloring on top of the Sharpie Paint Pen with an Expo marker.  Amazing, right?

I'm a big believer that kids will get along better when they aren't sick of each other.  Afterall, they say, "absence makes the heart grow fonder." So, once a month I change all of their spots, which any teacher knows gets to be a majorly time-consuming job.  I had been using these name card sleeves which cut my spot-switching time about in half, but some of the kids (you know who I'm talking about!) picked and poked some of them to shreds and they looked nasty.  By the time Christmas break rolled around I needed to to replace all of them, which was not exactly cheap.

Anyway, long, rambling, story-short, I was really excited to try this Sharpie paint pen idea!  And one month in, I loved it!  My room looked so neat and clean with no disgusting, pealed-and-taped namecards.  It was also a cinch to wipe my tables down everyday.  I was all-in when it was time to switch those spots.  But then, I had to clean them off.


I don't know what I missed, but mine did not come off the way hers did.  I tried Expo.  I tried Expo Remover.  I tried fingernail polish remover.  I tried Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.  2 1/2 hours of scrubbing later, they were finally all off and I was faced with the dilemma of trying the paint pens one more time or pulling those sticky namecards back out.

I really did like how clean my classroom tables looked all month long, and since I'm a girl of second chances, I decided to give it one more go.

By the time I needed another seat switch-a-roo, I had hatched another idea of how to get those names off the tables.  This one worked, so I wanted to pass it along.

Angie was right, dry erase marker will take it off.  BUT, you need to let it sit.  I found that about an hour will save you a lot of heartache and elbow grease.  Start by scribbling a whole lot of dry erase marker on those names.  The less you can see the name when you're done scribbling, the better.

Note:  if you are teacher of the year like I am, you can save yourself some time by letting your kiddos help you out. ;)  However, take this with a grain of salt:  I had a fabulous group this year.  Two years ago, I probably wouldn't have even considered letting my students help.

Next, use a wet Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and scrub, scrub, scrub.

Use a wet sponge with some abrasion to it to finish wiping any remaining bits of paint.  
If you still have some paint left after a little bit of scrubbing, wipe the spot dry and spot-color the paint with the dry erase marker again.  Let it sit while you finish the rest of the tables, then repeat your process.

Finally, write a new name!

It still sounds time-consuming, and it probably takes a little longer than using the namecard sleeves, but it looks so much nicer and my Kindergarteners really thought they were cool.  I also could personalize ABC lines, number lines, and mini word walls for my babies who needed them on their spot with again, no nasty, picked at tape.

A few other random things I found:
Finepoint paint marker rubs off throughout the month.

The names of kids with fine motor struggles were harder to scrub off...meaning, how hard you push when you scrub the dry erase marker must matter.

The brand of the dry erase marker didn't seem to make a difference.

I didn't have any renegade scribblers, however, I was very clear and thorough about the expectations of my helpers.  I also repeated those expectations every time.

If your paint puddles at all when you are writing a new name, immediately wipe that sucker clean and start again!  The less time the paint is on the table, the easier it is to take off.

What are your favorite Pinterest finds?
Happy Summer,

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