Bright Ideas!

I'm joining up with the Bright Ideas Blog Hop again today! I have two ideas to share with you today!

First up - getting the paper off of crayons! If your class is anything like mine, at this time of year the crayons are looking pretty sad - teeth marks, broken shafts and missing tips are par for the course...particularly at some tables. Not that I'm pointing fingers (blue table!)

There are all kinds of things you can do with those broken crayons. Like those lovely melted crayons projects. I'd show you one, but mine turned out to be more along the lines of Pinterest Fail than a piece of art. But, if you feel that melted crayons are in your future for whatever reason, you're going to have to nakify the crayons first.

Heck, even if you're out of new crayons and your students are going to have to make do with what they have until the last bit of scribble is choked out of each crayon nub, you're probably going to want to nakify your crayons anyways, just to cut down on the annoying scraps of paper that will litter your room as the children painstakingly peel each miniscule crumb of crayon. Sure you could probably get away with having your students tear the paper off all of the crayons as a "fine motor skill activity" but just in case you want a faster, neater way of doing it, here goes:

Yes, I sacrificed nice crayons for this. Yes, it hurt my teacher heart, but I actually ditched all of my yucky crayons before Christmas Break (although you really can't tell by looking in blue table's caddy).

Put your crayons in some type of watertight container. This gives you the added benefit of being able to clean out whatever container usually holds your crayons so you can find those odd manipulatives or game pieces that have been missing for weeks, not to mention the odd tissue or bandaid that didn't find it's way to the trash. Pour in enough water to cover the crayons completely and let them soak.
Soak for a while - the water has to have a chance to get through all of the layers of paper. I actually let mine sit for a while so that I could try to slide the paper sleeves right off the crayons:

Yes, they did multiply...what did you expect when you left naked crayons in a container by themselves?!



I'm planning to reuse them as "invisible" crayons on April 1st...

Now I just have a few random tidbits:

"I'm your teacher, not a dj." This is my mantra. At first I have to explain the concept of a dj, and how you can call in to request a song on the radio, and I have to repeat the mantra over and over in the beginning. But, eventually they learn that the best way to get me to NOT play their favorite Brain Break is by yelling it out at carpet. Quiet hands get their choice of song...unless I just feel like doing Pop See Ko again and exercise my prerogative as the Keeper of the Keyboard.

Vaseline & Q-tips - Do your kiddos have clown lips? You know, that ring of chapped skin around their mouths that is reminiscent of PennyWise from Steven King's "It". Or those tiny cracks in their hands from frequent flu-season hand washing? Banish the tubes of chapstick that they either a) eat or b) fiddle with constantly or c) lose every 5 minutes, causing them to panic. Get a tub of Vaseline (generic works as well) and some q-tips! If a child has chapped lips, dip a q-tip in the Vaseline and when they're done with it they dispose of it, keeping the Vaseline germ-free. A smidgeon of Vaseline on their little hands soothes dry skin without the sting of fragranced lotions. Also, the Vaseline doesn't taste good so they generally don't ask for it unless they really need it, unlike flavored lip balms which sometimes exacerbate the problem because they lick the taste off their lips so much! I keep mine in a basket along with some extra gloves for recess time.

Those are my tips for January! If you enjoyed this Bright Idea, please consider joining me on Facebook or TPT for more great ideas. For more Bright Ideas from a variety of other bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you! 

2 Rustle Up A Response!:

Sally said... Reply to comment

I know those chapped hands far too well this year! Thanks for the tips!

Sally from Elementary Matters

Michelle Spencer said... Reply to comment

Oh my gosh! I truly laughed loudly after reading: "Yes, they did multiply...what did you expect when you left naked crayons in a container by themselves?!"

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