Tips & Tricks Vol. 1

Beg, borrow, or steal is a phrase that accurately represents the camaraderie between teachers. We are all looking for new ideas, tips & tricks to make our job easier. The goal of today’s blog post is to offer a few new tips and tricks for you to take back to your own classroom.

We have a great tip & trick for anyone who has ever worked with young children. They all know how much kids  love to use glue. The mere sight of a glue bottle is all it takes to ignite excitement into a child. However, it is also a known fact that young children + glue = a big, sticky mess. Angie found a good tip from The Mailbox magazine to alleviate the mess made by glue while still allowing the children to be independent in their work. All you need is a shallow Tupperware-type container with lid, a sponge, and glue. Place the sponge inside the container (you may need to cut it to fit) and pour the glue onto the sponge. Once the sponge is covered in glue place the lid on top of the container to ensure the glue is able to soak into the sponge and not dry out. The glue will keep in the container as long as it remains sealed when not in use. When you are ready to use glue you can set the container with the sponge out for the children to use. All the students need to do is gently press whatever they need to glue onto the sponge for a few seconds and voila! The paper will have plenty of glue on it to hold and your classroom will remain clean. This is a very simple method that allows students to work independently.

Here are a few pictures of how we used this in our classroom:


Another tip from our classroom offers teachers a way to preserve the sweet valentine cards your students choose for you. We all get a myriad of teacher valentines each year chosen specifically for us by our students. Often these valentines end up being thrown away or placed in a drawer somewhere never to be seen again. A few years ago I attended a workshop by Vanessa Levin from and she spoke about using the cards to create a class book. After the class valentine party I will collect all the cards my students have given me and turn them into a class book. I simply take the cards and glue each one on a piece of paper and write a simple sentence underneath telling who gave me the card. The papers all get laminated, hole punched, and placed into a folder with brads. The finished product is a fun collection of cards with simple, predictive text. I like to keep this book in the library center for students to read all year long. They love to look through and see not only the valentine they gave to me, but also the different cards their friends brought.

class book valentine tips %tricks

Valentine Class Book


We hope you found some new ideas today use in your classroom! Please feel free to leave us any comments or questions about these ideas or any you have.

Heather & Angie

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