Saturday, May 11, 2013

Spark Student Motivation: Write on the Desks!

Happy Saturday! Let's get each other MOTIVATED today!
My idea to get students excited is pretty simple, but there's a lot of people who don't know about this trick, so I wanted to share!
Using dry erase markers on the desks! They love it! I own a set of dry erase boards, but something about graffiting a desk makes learning exciting! I always give them 1-2 minutes of doodle time, so they're not tempted to draw while I'm teaching or should be working out a problem.
*If they doodle after doodle time, they lose their privilege of using dry erase markers for that day.
**You will only need to make an example of one student and no one will doodle again!

Of course the students below gets extra credit during doodle time!! :O) 

We use them for math everyday-they love working out their problems on their desks! It's way more fun to do multiplication and division on a desk than lined paper!

As a management tool, it's very quick for me to walk around the room to assess their learning. My students work with shoulder partners and coach each other through their thinking to solve problems too. It's much easier for them to see each other's work on their neighbor's desk.
   We use it for multiplication facts, vocabulary review, spelling, writing, timelines, life cycles, reminders in the corner of our desks, ANY way we can find a way to write on our desks!
They use old socks as erasers. They keep their dry erase markers, socks, and other supplies in their tubs at the center of their groups.
Link up any idea that motivates you or your students-if it motivates you, it motivates them! No idea is too small or too big! :O) (Incentives, units of study, a lesson, a book, ANYTHING).
** Don't forget to grab my linky button and this post when you link up.
While we're here, let's share some blog love and "motivate" each other by following/commenting at least one person's post! :O) I can't wait to read everyone's ideas!
Thanks for linking up! I hope to see you again next week! 



  1. Thanks for hosting! I had to be ready this morning because I am heading out for the day! :) I love that your student wrote that you rock high heels! :) Too funny! Happy Saturday! :)
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  2. I love letting my kiddos use dry erase markers on their desk! Did you see the pinterest idea of gluing a pom-pom on the end of the marker as the eraser?? :)
    ideas by jivey

  3. I've never done this, but I bet my students would love it!!

  4. Students love to write on tables! I have the same rule- losing the privilege of using the marker if doodling when they are to be working. Rarely have to do that!
    Conversations in Literacy

  5. I always forget about this! So simple, but they love it!!! Off to buy more dry erase markers!!!

    A trick I use for erasers is old socks! They snub their noses at first, but love using them anyway!

    Hodges Herald

  6. I have heard about this but haven't let my students do it yet. Now might be the time! What do you use for erasers? I also use socks like the above poster. I bought toddler ones at the dollar store or something and my kids keep the markers inside them. But, for whatever reason my students could not keep track of the socks or markers this year, even though I've had them for two years so I haven't been using the dry erase as much because I don't want to buy new ones. Thanks for sharing!

    Literacy Spark

  7. I love this idea, unfortunately my tables are textured so we wouldn't be able to write on them with markers. I know whey would love it thought!

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  8. I absolutely *love* this! I think even my MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS would love doing it!
    When I taught first grade, I always had the extra "doodle time" that you talked about, especially when we used manipulatives. When I broke out new manipulatives, we'd always have some time for "exploring" which was my fancy way of saying FREE PLAY! They could earn extra exploring time by being on task during the learning activity, and it always worked wonders.
    Thanks for this great activity! :)
    Im Lovin Lit

  9. My class loves writing their desks too. I have never given them doodle time though - that is a great idea. I wrote on one of my big group tables - and it won't come off - oops! Thanks for hosting this great linky - I'm needing extra help at this time of year!

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  10. Oh my word. I love it! I've never tried it - never even thought of it before. Where have I been? Can't wait to give it a try.

  11. Joanne
    Thanks for posting this. I love using dry erase.
    Because iof your post I went back and updated on of mine to link up with you.
    It is the same idea, but using whiteboard paint on tables.

    Thanks so much for sharing
    Digital: Divide & Conquer

  12. What a great idea! I'm not sure that the surface of my desks will work for this, but I'm sure going to test it out on Monday morning! :)

    Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep!

  13. I really need to give this a try! I know the students would love it!! I hope it works on our desks. I have dark blue and dark green tops. Thanks for another great motivation strategy:)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  14. This is a fabulous ideas! Unfortunately, for us, we have done this for so many years that our desks do not erase well anymore--not nice sheen left like yours. :0( After that, I went to using cheap plastic plates that work well, too.

    Have a wonderful week,
    Sarah @ Hoots N Hollers

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