Markers and other such personal art supplies

Discussion in 'Second Grade' started by Backroads, May 12, 2016.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    May 12, 2016

    Next school year, I'm considering banning kids bringing markers. Yes, I want to be that teacher. At the beginning of the year, and even last year, I didn't have a problem with it. Crayons and colored pencils are fairly standard at the school, but this year markers in the classroom have caused such drama. Kids obsess over their markers to the point I don't think they're at the point of maturity of being able to calmly keep personal markers from home in their possession.

    Do you allow students to bring little extras like that?
     
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  3. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    May 12, 2016

    I teach high school and we ban kids from having sharpies for not so different reasons. I think it's your room and you have the right to decide what kids bring in, within reason!
     
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  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Next year I have not included markers in the school supply list. I also find them to be more of a problem that a help.
     
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  5. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    May 12, 2016

    Markers are only a special treat in my class (I teach Kinder). They are never on my supply list.
     
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  6. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    May 12, 2016

    I get where you're coming from for sure. If you want to ban them, I say go for it. Personally, I don't mind them having them when they actually need them. But they can certainly create a distraction... a few of my kids will use multicolored highlighters to create beautifully highlighted pages while still having no idea what the text actually says. They haven't had any drama-type issues with them though.

    Some of my students have really nice metallic markers or gel pen sets. I also find they can be unlikely aids in community building. Friendships have been forged over shared markers, sometimes between kids who wouldn't otherwise talk much.

    My kids are older, though... I can see how this would be more of an issue with 2nd graders.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
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  7. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    I've never banned markers, but I've always wondered if waxed crayons are the more educational choice for elementary school. With markers, one swipe and it's colored, but to use a crayon, the student must use a continuous back and forth movement, which to me would seem extra beneficial to brain development when coloring a page that includes the outcomes of the lesson.

    I have another thought about kids' fads. I wonder if they are always generated by the kids themselves, or if often they are generated by their parents or grandparents--not that this is a bad thing; fads can be a fun, normal part of childhood. What got me thinking about this was the origin of the Ninja Turtles. When the cartoon first came on TV, I taught a small multi-grade class; they thought the Ninja Turtles were the worst cartoon characters in the history of cartoonism! The next year, after all the Turtle hoopla hit the stores, all one ever heard about were Ninja Turtles. It made me wonder if the buying of the Ninja Turtle stuff for the kids, and perhaps some parents watching the show with their kids (some of the humor was geared more toward adults, such as the turtles' names) influenced the fad among the kids.
     
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  8. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    This is an interesting theory. I think that they would be less of a distraction also.
     
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  9. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    May 13, 2016

    I want to say I've heard others speak of this. I have heard many encourage writing/printing in early grades rather than going straight to computer typing because it does help the brain more. I would daresay crayons might have a similar effect.
     
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  10. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    No markers in my classroom. They dry out, limited colors, and kids color too quickly. I do have them as a fun reward kind of day. A friend's school banned them because a child swallowed and choked on the cover. Kids always use their mouths to open them,
     
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  11. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I don't see any problem with eliminating markers and their associated problems. Why waste the little time students have on arguing over markers? There are far more important things to do. And I am all for creative ways to explore learning in the classroom, but I'm sure everyone can be creative without markers.
     
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  12. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Jul 2, 2016

    AGREED! You'd be surprised how many parents don't get it though.
     
  13. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    What grade again?

    I don't think it is a bad idea to eliminate markers, but depending on how your school addresses school supplies, it may prove to be difficult.

    Our school has included markers in first grade and up on the supply list. It is almost an expected item. If a teacher were to ban it (all kids get the same grade level list), it would be frowned upon because they had to purchase the supplies before they were told they weren't allowed.

    I also agree that using crayons and pencils is a benefit to students. It also develops the motor skills that are severely lacking in many kids. It is harder to push a pencil or a crayon.
     
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  14. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I'd prefer to teach students the benefits of each, and have them learn to be responsible decision makers, instead of simply banning those things which might not be used completely right. A key part to lifelong learning is to have these learning opportunities, even if it might cause a slight bit more distractions - sort of like how failure is an important step along the way to learning!
     
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  15. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Does that mean pointy scissors for Kindergartners and Sharpies for all?

    I understand your sentiment, but I do think that sometimes the amount of distraction and problems does require limits when you see a pattern emerge that the students aren't ready to handle the decisions. My feeling is, if using markers has become that big of a problem, they probably have plenty of other opportunities to make other poor decisions without having an environment that ends up being very disruptive and hinders learning for all.
     
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  16. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I suppose I over-generalized, you're right - sorry about that! :) My feelings still hold, but I would agree that there are some circumstances where it's better just to hold it off, for a variety of reasons that may/may not include that distraction element (i.e. I don't have calculators in the fourth grade classroom for a similar reason, but also because it'd require buying a whole bunch when they'd rarely ever get used).
     
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  17. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    I've been thinking about this and similar situations lately. Kids today seem different than when I was growing up in the 60's. Modern kids seem less cognizant of some safety concerns. (Not that we had pointed scissors in the earliest grades, but when necessary, kids knew what to do and what not to do--their parents had taught them). Kids weren't perfect--my mother tells me I once tried to parachute off a ledge with an umbrella--but overall, most kids knew right procedures from wrong procedures.
     
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  18. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    The ramifications of childhood injuries has grown which means many families no longer allow activities or use of things they used to. The other reason is many families have either two working parents or a single-parent who works limiting the time the parents have with their kids to teach them. Life has become faster and expectations (real or self-imposed) have grown. All of this impacts raising a child.

    I will say growing up that in the early grades we didn't have supplies we controlled. They were monitored, handed out, and collected when needed. This was the time the teacher talked about taking care of the tool you had to use and how to use it properly. It was built into the classroom routine. Teachers taught kids how to use scissors. They talked every time about safety. Sure many kids knew about what to do and not do, but there were those who didn't for a variety of reasons.
     
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  19. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Jul 10, 2016

    This is 2nd grade. Fortunately, we don't have markers on the supply list. In fact, when I first took over the classroom, the markers were kept in the teacher closet for special occassions.
     
  20. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    My three-year-old has blunt scissors. She cut her own hair this morning.

    I've done the potty-training bit where I give her an Expo to draw with. Once she found a Sharpie to do this with.
     
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  21. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Oh, no!
    Markers had to be under lock and key otherwise they would become tools for wall and body art.

    Also, at one point they were used in a study to determine why when you pressed to hard they would disappear inside the tube. It took a lot of markers before that was figured out or given up on. Then the what happens when you press in one spot for a long time? How big can the circle get? Some care about those things. It may look as destructive, but sometimes it is just being inquisitive and not knowing how to ask about it.
     
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  22. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Jul 11, 2016

    The two situations do not correlate. Pointy scissors for kindergarteners and Sharpies are a hazard to personal safety and property, respectively. Markers are a distraction. That is the difference.
     
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