I just wanted to share my idea for whiteboard erasers. Instead of wasting tissues or spending money on lots of erasers, I buy pom poms from Michaels for 2 or 3 dollars. They are reusable and that way if you are doing a class activity with the boards, you don't waste 20 tissues every time. At the end of the year just throw them out and get a new package (they get gross by the end).
Love the ideas. Glad I read this before throwing away my boys' socks that dont' have pairs. However, what stretchable gloves? Where do you buy them. I'll buy some for me personally, forget the kids.
I have tried fleece. I've cut up an old fleece jacket into squares and used that last year. Fleece cleans the marks on the boards that regular board erasers don't clean.
I bring in used dryer sheets to clean the boards, it works great, they are basically free since many people use the sheets and you can always get family members to save them for you like I do!!! I use the kind like snuggles or downy ones..or store brand ones like those. I put a coffee can on the shelf next to my dryer...everytime I take out my clothes I put it in there. I also have a coffee can at school that I have decorated and I refill it when needed. When they get too dirty you just toss them...
I use good old washclothes from walmart, the cheap white ones in packs of 20. They get dirty, I take them home and wash them. I very seldom use whiteboards, my kids write on their desks. With the washclothes and my 1 dollar squirt bottle with a little alcohol in it to spray the desks and thats it.
I buy the larger sheets of felt from a craft store and cut them up into about 2x3" pieces to give to each student. This has worked for me! (I like the idea about the used dryer sheets, too. Maybe I'll give those a try next school year!)
I use whiteboards with my kids, and like a PP, I also have my kids sometimes write directly on their desks. My problem with that is that I have 4 round tables with a wood-look top. Only one table has a light color finish. It's easier to see on the white boards.
I bought CHEAP washcloths from Wal-Mart--packages of 10 for a couple of bucks. I was lucky enough to get 2 packs in RAINBOW colors--bright red, blue, green, yellow and purple! This worked great for me since I color code my tables. They are washable, and have lasted me several years now.
By the way, an activity that my kids love to do that involves writing on their desks is this multiplication activity (although it is adaptable to many skills): I took a paper plate--the really cheap kind--and cut out the center, leaving just a ring. On the ring I wrote random numbers around-like a clockface, but not in order. I flipped the ring and recorded answers (which I will explain in a sec.) The student places the ring face up and in the center writes the multiplication family for that ring, such as x9. Then the student multiplies that number times all the ones on the ring, writing the answer on the desk outside and around the ring (beside the number). To check their answers, the student flips the ring and compares the answers on the ring to what they wrote.
Now the part about recording the answers to make it self-checking--be sure that you write the answer in the same position the number is on the ring. What I mean is, if you wrote 8 in the 12 o'clock position, you will write 72 in the 12 o'clock position on the back--and in that case, the answer will be right behind the number. However, if you write 4 in the 1 o'clock position on the front and on the back, the answer will actually be behind the front number that is in the 8 o'clock position. Does that make any sense? The first time I tried to make one of these, I wrote the numbers on the front, then looked at the number and wrote the answer right behind it, which results in the answers all being backwards when the child flips the ring.
I tried the socks for a couple of years and I just couldn't deal with the dirty looking socks after awhile.
I finally invested in those tiny little dry erase erasers at Lakeshore, and I must say to their credit, they have held up for at least 4 years! Much to my surprise. I like that they are all uniform in size, I can store them in a pencil box and keep them neat and organized. They are usually on sale right about now, every savings here and there helps.
Lots of great ideas here. I just scored big time at our local surplus store. I got packs of 4 colored Expos with a full sized eraser and a small bottle of whiteboard cleaner for 1.99 a pack. I got enough to supply my expected class size.
I got this idea at a workshop a couple of years ago. The presenter had purchased those little stick-on felt circles you put under furniture feet to keep it from scratching your floor. Does that make sense? Anyway, they come in several sizes. She bought some small ones, and stuck them on the ends of her dry erase markers. The only drawback to the ones she had was that then you couldn't stick the cap into the end of the marker during use. but I guess that would depend on which kind of markers you have and what kind of cap is on it.