Community crayons/pencils

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by mudpie1598, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. mudpie1598

    mudpie1598 Companion

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    Jul 12, 2008

    Do you use the "community" crayons/pencils or do you purchase each child their own pencil boxes where you fill them up with crayons, pencils, glue and scissors?

    What are the cons or pros of using either one?

    In the past and recently I've used the community crayons/pencils where I had one large caddy in the center of the table and all of the students have to be polite and ask "can I please have the crayons or pencils?" etc... What do you all think? I've been thinking about switching to individual pencil boxes just because some children break crayons while others take care of their stuff.
     
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  3. liz2034

    liz2034 Rookie

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    Jul 12, 2008

    This year I went to pair baskets. I have a tables where 2 kids sit at each table and I had a caddy for them to share. They did very well with it. I had crayons, pencils and glue in them. I did not put scissors out until we used them. My first year I used individual boxes and the problem was since they did not have desks, their boxes were stored on a bookshelf when we werent using them and we had a lot of accidents where boxes would be dropped and it would take longer because they had to pick everything up. I also had the issue of "THis is my pencil" "They took ____ out of my box."
    I found it much easier for 2 kids to share a caddy. Hope this helps!
     
  4. shasha379

    shasha379 Devotee

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    I do community crayons and other art supplies. I purchase class sets all supplies and store them in those .97 cents Sterilite shoe boxes and label them. I don't like to take them out of their original boxes because they get too messy. I explain supply closet procedures to them on the first day. They do have a group/table basket, but it only contains dry erase markers, sponge erasers, grading pens, and highlighters. These are the things we use on a daily basis.
     
  5. jlj

    jlj Devotee

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    I specify the size pencil box I want on my class supply list so parents send them in. I have seat sacks on each chair for each child where they store their pencil box. I don't like the community use because as you said some are not as careful with the crayons, some break them, tear the paper off, etc.. That's not fair to those that do take care of things. There's also the issue of germs. As you know there are those that put crayons, pencils, etc in their mouth, or are not too sanitary in other ways (yucky!). I use a sharpie to write their name on their pencil & they keep those in their box as well.
     
  6. MissMaurie

    MissMaurie Companion

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    Jul 12, 2008

    Each of my students has a pencil box with their own set of crayons, pencil, eraser, etc. They are responsible for what is in that box. If they lose or break a crayon, they can get one from the community box (these are ugly broken crayons that noone likes). We start out with large crayons and then they get a new set of standard crayons after the Christmas break.

    I started out using a box per table with all the supplies in it, but that caused more trouble in my room. They weren't as particular about the shared crayons as they are their own.
     
  7. fun2tchk

    fun2tchk Rookie

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    I have used the community bins the past couple of years and I am planning on switching to the pencil boxes this year. I liked the idea of fostering the sharring and the manners, but I too found the issues of some destroying the crayons and pencils. Closing up the glue was my big issue this past year. I always have a few kids with the pencil grips too, so they need their own pencils. I also think having individual pencil boxes will help promote responsibility. I'll still do community markers and colored pencils. I figured I'll try it this year and see what happens.
     
  8. BASAM

    BASAM Comrade

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    The students bring in thier own crayons, markers, and colored pencils and they get to keep them in their pencil box. I collect glue and scissors (glue is to much of a temptation for some and scissors I have had a student cut her hair, one cut her tongue, one boy cut his eyebrows because he thought they were too hairy--3rd graders) and pass them out as needed. Each group does get a caddy that has pens, highliters, erasers, post its, etc (stuff that I have purchased so they don;t argue about ownership.) We do state on the supply list though that community bins are created so parents know that their child may not end up with the stuff they bring in.
     
  9. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I use individual boxes with pencils, crayons, and scissors. Glue is on a shelf that they get as needed because too many end up with glue in their box and a big mess! Markers are in community buckets because we don't use them very often and I hate answering "can we use markers" 500 times a day! I don't think it is fair to the kids who take care of their crayons to share with someone who breaks them/peels the paper off. For the first week to 2 weeks I have baskets of crayons out on each table. When they get their boxes I put all the crayons in a basket and they can use them to replace lost/broken crayons. I add a new box to the extra crayons about once a month or so. The kids get a new box of crayons every 9 weeks.
     
  10. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Jul 12, 2008

    Community supplies here. And I love it. One pencil and one crayon basket in the middle of each table (two on my long, rectangular tables to students can reach them more easily). I have a big basket for glue bottles, glue sticks, and scissors on a shelf. When students need those they get them before they go sit at their table.

    As far as handling a situation for students who damage the supplies, if it is an ongoing problem, then they have their own little set. I had to do that once this year with a student who bit the erasers off of every pencil she used. I put her name on one pencil and then put new pencils out for the rest of the class. She bit her eraser off right away, but left the other pencils alone.
     
  11. mudpie1598

    mudpie1598 Companion

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    Jul 12, 2008

    I also use a large basket for scissors and another one for glue. I have students do things in steps. #1 write your name #2 Color #3 cut (if needed) #4 glue (if needed) I wrote the steps on the board and always refer to them as I model the completion of a worksheet. To prevent over-glue usage I say, "When we use glue we don't want our papers swimming in it we need to place a couple of dots only." Then I say, "Dot, dot, dot, but not a lot!" (I place 3 dots on the page area then wave my index finger back and forth as if saying "no.")
     
  12. love2teachk

    love2teachk Companion

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    Crayons are not community property in my room (although glue sticks, markers, scissors, are). On each table there are two baskets with a cup in the middle. I buy the fat pencils and write each child's name on theirs and they are expected to keep up with it. The scissors and glue stick go in the cup too. Their crayons are in the basket outside of their cup in a plastic sandwich bag with their name on it. I ask them to bring 4 boxes in at the beginning of the year so we can swap out as needed (and with crayons .25/ea at Walmart at this time of the year, most parents can do at least that).
     
  13. Sheila

    Sheila Comrade

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    Each child has their own supply box with a pair of scissors, crayons, markers, 2 pencils and a glue stick. They store them in their cubbies and there is enough room on the table to leave them their during the day. They do get new supplies when needed.
     
  14. SueHue

    SueHue Comrade

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    Jul 12, 2008

    I also have community supplies, similarily to Sevenplus. For the crayons, I purchased clear tackle boxes at walmart. I used the dividers to create sections. Each color has it's own space, and they are in rainbow order. I have one box per table. When the students are working at the tables, I usually pop off the lids. Otherwise, the open container takes up too much space on the table. I like how it teaches them to sort the crayons.
     
  15. mudpie1598

    mudpie1598 Companion

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    I went to walmart after reading this post and found a box of 24 crayons for 17-cents. I bought glue sticks for 22-cents. I plan on making a take-home baggie with crayons, scissors, and glue so children can complete their homework.
     
  16. SueHue

    SueHue Comrade

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    Jul 13, 2008

    Thanks for the heads up!

    Make sure you look at the Staple's ads. They have 1 penny sales. I have a Staple's Teacher's Card. You get the emails for their new ads in advance. Last summer, between Staples and Walmart, I was able to make pencil boxes for each student, costing me less than 50 cents per box!

    When Staples has their one penny sales, ask at the door what the maximum is if you are a teacher. It may say "limit 2" in their ads, but they usually let teachers have more. Last summer it was a max of 15, but they just had pencils on sale last weekend, and they said the max was 25. Last week, I bought pencils, 200 for 26 cents!Also, their big Teacher Appreciation sale will be coming up pretty soon. So keep an eye out!
     
  17. mudpie1598

    mudpie1598 Companion

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    Thanks SueHue... I'll be looking out for the penny sales.
     
  18. Jazzy*Jai

    Jazzy*Jai Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2008

    I used community pencils/crayons last year and it was a mess. I had 6 kids at a table and when it was time to do work I had them all pulling at the bucket for crayons. I had the ones who had claimed a certain pencil and if somebody else was using it then they had a melt down, I had broken crayons, etc.
    So I thought I would give them all their individual box of crayons, it cut down on the fighting over the bucket, but then they started losing their crayons out of the box, so this year I want to get them individual cups or boxes.
    Does anyone know where I can get them or have any ideas it?
     
  19. teacherSMK

    teacherSMK Habitué

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    Each of my students will have their own plastic shoe box, labeled with their names, and stored in their cubbies. All of their writing and artistic supplies will be stored in the box. Then, when we are doing, say, a coloring activity, I will instruct them on which items they will need from the boxes, and they will bring those items only to the table. When we color with crayons, each child has a dixie cup (the really big red ones) that they put their crayons in, for easier access, then, when we have completed the task, they return their crayons to the shoe box...
    :2cents: Sarah
     
  20. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I think having community supplies encourages kids to share and not be so....so....what's the word? Possessive. (you know what it's like, hearing, "that's MINE! He took my ________." 800 times a day!) I think it fosters a sense of community and teamwork in the classroom, and helps kids work together to solve the issues that pop up when it comes to the supplies, such as the crayon breaker. What a perfect opportunity to have a class meeting and discuss appropriate consequences! I also think it involves a lot less record-keeping on the part of the teacher. If I had each of my 40 kids bring in 4 boxes of crayons...and one kid lost their black one, I'd have to root through the 120 extra boxes to find the box that belongs to THAT kid and replace it. I don't have time like that when I'm teaching!

    And, besides, in my district, the schools provide the crayons, markers, glue, pencils, scissors and glue sticks for PreK and K kids. We have the kids bring in folders, comp. notebooks, ziplock bags and hand sanitizer, only.
    Kim
     
  21. mudpie1598

    mudpie1598 Companion

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    This has been my thinking as well. Children learned how to share. I loved it.
     
  22. zoerba

    zoerba Comrade

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    I'll be doing community supplies for the first time next year and am good with everything except the pencil issue. If I make sure each table (4 students) has 4 pencils each morning...what about if one of the student loses his/her pencil for the day but doesn't admit it and takes someone elses. Or, what about when a student says a certain pencil is theirs?

    Should pencils have names on them? What are your thoughts?
     
  23. teacherSMK

    teacherSMK Habitué

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    :confused:My experience has been there are a ton of things to share in the classroom...When they are supposed to be quietly writing/drawing/etc. Isn't better in that situation if they have their own stuff? ...I also keep a separate box of replacers for the lost/broken crayons, etc.
     
  24. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Jul 15, 2008

    I don't know if it's "better" that they each have their own stuff. You may be able to convince me, though, if you can explain WHY it's better! :) I think each teacher has their own structure, and how to manage supplies is part of it. And what works for one class may not work for another, as well.

    I teach PreK, but we have three K classes at my school. Two of them did community supplies, and one did individual supplies (she took all of the stuff the district provides and made a school box for each kid). I can tell you, the two that did community supplies rarely had complaints with how their kids managed the supplies, but the one with individual supplies was constantly griping about how they interupted her while she was working in a small group to ask for an extra pencil or whatever, how they'd lose their supplies (sometimes the whole box!), and how the individual boxes took up more room. Who knows, maybe she was just a complainer!!! She chose to use individual supplies because she wanted to teach the kids responsibility, but I'm not sure she went about it the right way. It may have worked better for her if she had done more modeling.

    Each group in my room has a caddy. Within that caddy are 4 pencil boxes. One is labeled (with pics and words) "crayons," one is "glue sticks" one is "pencils" and one is "scissors." Glue bottles are just sitting in the caddy. The crayons are not in boxes, just loose in the pencil box. The pencils do not have names. I always have 10 pencils in each box, even though each group has only 8 kids. The kids get out what they need, and put it away when done. The caddy lives on the table. They do not talk excessively while they are supposed to be working quietly (if they did, I'd think that the work wasn't engaging/challenging enough, and I'd have to do some close look at my own planning!). They do ask each other for help reaching supplies, or "can I use that when you are done?"

    Kim
     
  25. teacherSMK

    teacherSMK Habitué

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    I guess I was just thinking if Johnny had his own cup of crayoins, he wouldn't complain if suzie wanted the color he was using, because she would have her own, and they could continue to work quietly...but I see the flip side of wanting them to share.
    I guess another factor for me is the way kids put everything in their mouths...I do not want johnny chewing on a pencil that katie was chewing on yesterday...etc.
    Do you guys sanitiize the writing stuff? I really am new to this age level and am used to older kids who keep their stuff to themselves with very little community type sharing. :help:
     
  26. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Both

    At our school each student has a supply list that they are to buy to use themselves. Teachers always buy colors, lots of extra glue bottles and sticks, extra pencils and they are in baskets on the shelf and students who don't have supplies or loose theirs borrow from the basket.
     
  27. mudpie1598

    mudpie1598 Companion

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    I don't think that in Kindergarten there should really be a his/her issue concerning pencils. Get the primary pencils that all look the same and teach your kids not to put pencils in their mouths or noses (I saw one of my kids do this...*gross*) Talk to them about germs and washing their hands after coughing. (After-school I spray Lysol on everything because I've had 2 really bad cases of pneumonia. So, I don't want to keep getting sick.) Our school noticed a widespread epidemic of germs so they bought us this gallon-sized sanitizer and every time the kids cough I either tell them to wash their hands or I say put some of that sanitizer on your hands.

    There's a germs mini-lesson where you talk to them about germs and you read a book to them about germs (I can't remember which book I read last year.) I then got some of that gooey glitter glue and sneezed into my hand. I then began to touch everything even them and they started to see the glitter glue spread about. I then asked some of them to hand me the items that I touched or to go touch them and to see what happened to them. They all saw the nasty "germs" spread on to them. I said, "Even though we can't see germs if you don't wash your hands after you sneeze, put your fingers in your mouth, or go to the bathroom if you touch everything you end up spreading germs."
     
  28. teacherSMK

    teacherSMK Habitué

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    mudpie, that sounds like a great lesson, thanks for teh tip. I may use that particular idea within the first few days of school...I really hate being sick! Thanks again :hugs:
     
  29. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    In most of my aide and subbing jobs, I see the community crayon and pencil boxes in the kdg classrooms. Some teachers use coffee cans, others use boxes.

    In general, you have a million reds, so there is no excuse for waiting for the red. The breakers, chewers, and other obnoxious habits will continue whether you have a group box or they have their own. It just cuts down on the wasted time, I think.

    What you will see is the possessiveness goes down. They must learn to get along, and work together. The parents for the most part promote the stingy behavior, IMO. They put their kids' name on every single thing, and I saw first hand how devestated the girls were when my kdg teacher dumped each box, one by one into her community can! Some had Disney/cartoon characters, and the kids had no idea that they would be sharing them!

    The teachers had their own supplies, and replenished them weekly.

    At Christmas time, my teacher had me dump all the pencils and crayons, and fill up the cans with her fresh stock. Even though the kids brought them in, she had plenty in her cabinet. I had not finished school at the time, so I was a little skeptical. I said, "Some of these are still good, in fact these look brand new!" She said, "No, dump them all, too many germs." I was wearing my parent hat that day, and saw my hard earn money being tossed in the garbage. :unsure:

    Maybe you could start off with the community cans, and after Christmas or Spring Break, wean them off and start having them responsible for their own supplies. Send a note home explaining what you are doing and why. Many parents seem to think they can buy school supplies in August and some how that red crayon will last until June! Just explain they are working hard, and need to replace many items.

    a side note: In my pre-k class, my supply list included a box of kleenex, paper towels, wipes, a bottle of liquid soap, and hand sanitizer. And all of those items were community property.

    Yet, I feel the kids with allergies should bring more tissue! :unsure: The kids who play with the tissue get the generic, rough paper towels from the bathroom. That usually stops that behavior.
     
  30. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    I have seen everything from what you said with the caddy to a big drawer near the teachers desk with crayons for the whole class, and glue and all bought with teacher money and kept in the teachers closet till time to use to students having a list and being required to bring there own stuff. In our area we have student lists with material they need , but most teachers have extra stuff : glue, crayons , for those kids who can't afford them or if they run out don't have a color they want or need that kinda thing.
     
  31. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    Thats cool and helpful ,but how do you get students to listen when it comes time for doing the activity? and by this I mean everytime I sub in kindergarten(I love this age don't get me wrong) but they never listen and cut anywhere but where I said and I don't know what to do to help them without doing it for them which I end up going around and doing it for them and then we run out of time for other things the teacher as planned.(This prob. should have been a new thread)
     
  32. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    welcome to the world of cut and paste.

    1. have a zillion extras
    2. make a sample - will come back to this
    3. don't stress perfection, upside pictures don't upset me
    4. scaffold... show them, help them, don't do it
    5. the advanced kids will finish first, send the slower ones to them
    6. repeat this several times. .. "Put your scissors down!
    7. Describe all the pictures before you start. dittos can be a mess
    8. when somebody shreds their pictures just give them an extra set of pictures, not the entire sheet. they will probably shred it again.
    9. the solid line is usally for cutting and the dotted lines are for tracing.
    10. sometimes, solid lines are for folding.
    11. don't laugh... check the teacher's edition, master sheet.
    12. resist the temptation to have one/two kids come up every 5 min.
    13. repeat, "You are doing fine."
    14. if they keep messing it up, tell them you will give them a new one for homework. get a book and read until the rest of class is finished.
    15. don't hand out scissors until you explained it, twice.
    16. try teach-back, "Someone tell me what I am supposed to do."
    17. repeat, "Color, cut, paste."

    otherwise, most will be on a cutting frenzy...and it is next to impossible to color the sticky squares!

    pls note... some kids are born shredders. it is right up there with pencil sharpening... it feels good to cut things into a million pieces. you can sit there with them and soon as you turn your head, it's history. last straw? make them paste their shreded pieces anyway!

    some people frown on samples. they would say, when the teacher does the work and puts it on the board, it gives the kids the answers. I say, the kids still have to cut out their own pictures. Most of them get tired of running back and forth to the board, or sitting on the floor and looking up to make sure it is done right. You have to know your class. Everyone will not go up to see your sample. Some teachers use this as a self-correction step. "Before you turn in your paper, look at mine"

    some will still do it wrong. :unsure:
    pick and choose your battles. otherwise it will be a long day!
     
  33. mudpie1598

    mudpie1598 Companion

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    Kindergartners get into a routine of doing things. You need to model, model, model! You get a worksheet and you cut exactly where you want them to cut and you say, "We follow the dashes to cut" or "We cut outside of the blackline." Then, you show them exactly what to do while they sit and watch you at the carpet with nothing in their hands. If you lose their attention ask them questions like, "Where did I say to cut?" they respond "on the dashes" or "outside of the blackline." Then, once you modeled the worksheet you send them off to their tables so that they can complete their own worksheet.
     
  34. mudpie1598

    mudpie1598 Companion

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    Kindergartners get into a routine of doing things. You need to model, model, model! You get a worksheet and you cut exactly where you want them to cut and you say, "We follow the dashes to cut" or "We cut outside of the blackline." Then, you show them exactly what to do while they sit and watch you at the carpet with nothing in their hands. If you lose their attention ask them questions like, "Where did I say to cut?" they respond "on the dashes" or "outside of the blackline." Then, once you modeled the worksheet you send them off to their tables so that they can complete their own worksheet.
     
  35. teacherSMK

    teacherSMK Habitué

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    When do you introduce cutting....like first week, or do you do other things to get them in a routine, then intro it? Are all 3's able to cut? So far, I will have one 2, two 3's, and three - 4's in my class. I will be cutting most of the two year olds stuff I assume? or will she be able to do that eventually. I am leary about my littlest student, but she is a joy. I guess I could post a new thread, but it ties in...how do you handle scissors with so many levels?:help:
     
  36. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    If I have 4 students at a table, I put 5 or 6 pencils at that table. And, if for some reason a student still doesn't have one, there is a basket of pencils on the shelf that any student can get one out of. Pencils don't "disappear" in my classrom. But sometimes they do "migrate" to other tables. I never actually SEE it happening, but it does.

    All of my pencils are identical. Intentionally! Somehow they do manage to place more value on certain ones. I have no idea what the criteria is for a kindergartner! Oh, if only I could get into their brains. :haha: Sometimes it's the shortest one they want. Or the longest one. Or the one with the biggest eraser. Or sharpest point. But we really don't have very many issues at all.

    I've been doing community supplies since I started teaching and I can't imagine doing it any other way.
     
  37. ozteach

    ozteach Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2008

    I have 3rd grade and I think I would love community supplies, but my school insists on individual pencil cases at this age. By the third week of school, 5 or 6 kids have lost all their writing pencils, have no eraser or sharpener. And I dream of a class where all the kids have a red pencil! I now say "get out your marking pencil - red, orange, pink, anything. Yes, Bill, use blue if that's all you have! Green is find Jill. For goodness' sake, just GET A COLOUR OUT!!!!" Please, let me use community supplies, where kids aren't trying to keep track of their stuff.
     
  38. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jul 16, 2008

    scissors and glue ... they need their own thread!!!

    you must start off with your speech...

    "We don't cut hair, clothes or people.... only paper and string
    "We don't need ALOT of glue... just a dot.. (another poster said here)

    glue, like cutting and sharpening has mesmerizing effect. You just can't seem to have enough glue! They will empty the entire bottle. It is fun. :unsure:

    oh, I need to hijack! What do you guys do when somebody borrows your scissors and gets them all gunked up?!! Whenever an aide cuts out things that are laminated, the scissors are sticky! I clean my scissors with a litle soap and water. Is anyone else this anal?? :rolleyes: I hide my 'good' pair.

    Nothing worse than a bad pair of scissors.
     
  39. gpsysngbrd

    gpsysngbrd Companion

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    Jul 16, 2008

    Most of the time we do community supplies in those totes from Lakeshore. This year we are getting pencils bags for the kids with about 4 pencils in it. Why you ask? Because when ever we do an activity or Weekly Reader in group time that requires a pencil the kids spend about 15 minutes picking out a pencil!
     
  40. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Jul 16, 2008

    I'm sure it can depend on the group, but this is really something that can be avoided/lessened by thoroughly teaching procedures and expectations.
     
  41. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    Jul 16, 2008

    I work w/ 3yr olds at church on sunday mornings and anything cutting related we do that part for them. I have found from subbing that Kindergarten is hard enough.
     

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