5 Ways to Save Your Sharpies
Middle school students LOVE Sharpie markers. They like to use them on art projects, their binders, their clothes and even on their bodies. The brighter color of Sharpie, the better. Last week I looked down the hall and saw a girl use a Sharpie marker to write on the back of another girl’s t-shirt. On Monday another student walked into my classroom with her arm covered in Sharpie. (Apparently she fell asleep at a slumber party.) Almost every day I witness my students getting creative with Sharpies. (By the way, isn’t it ironic how some items are referred to by their brand name instead of the item name? Even if my permanent markers aren’t Sharpie brand, I still refer to them as Sharpies.)
Unfortunately Sharpie markers seem to disappear, walk away or get kidnapped from The Art Studio. We hope that our students aren’t stealing or unintentionally taking art supplies from our classroom, but in all reality, it does happen. I found myself asking my students, “Is that my Sharpie marker?” I really had no way to tell if it really was my marker or not. Until now…
Here are some strategies I use to keep my Sharpies from disappearing, walking away or getting kidnapped:
- Keep your Sharpies in a container on your desk (or another convenient location close to you) I keep mine on my desk because I go to my desk at the beginning and end of each class to take attendance and get my whiteboard ready for the next class. I use an empty frosting container to hold my Sharpies. If you aren’t a frosting eater, ask your coworkers for donations.
- Label the ends of the Sharpie markers using duct tape. Yes, duct tape. It’s one of the stickiest tapes available. Also, when you pull it off, it leaves a residue. Therefore, if my students ever try to pull off the duct tape, the marker will be sticky and I will know it WAS my marker! One negative part of putting the tape on the bottom of the Sharpie is that the cap won’t fit on the marker anymore. I put all Sharpies cap down in the container so the tape shows. This allows me to identify the color of markers. Also, the ink stays at the tip of the marker so they last longer.
- Label the container with the kind of marker and the quantity. I have multiple containers of sharpies. I keep them straight with the color of duct tape at the end and also with the label on the container.
- Write the total number of markers on the container so you know how many you need at the end of the class period. I know that there are 16 fine point sharpies in my container at the end of each class. If a marker dries up when a student is using it, then they bring to me and I will give them a fresh marker and throw away the old one. Before you throw away the marker, take the caps off and save in case students loose the caps to other markers.
- Let students know how important the art materials are to art projects (Why they need to stay in the art studio.) I tell my students what my budget is and how much supplies cost. They appreciate the supplies more if they know that they’re important, a necessity and limited quantity.
Do you use Sharpies in your classroom? Do you have a problem with Sharpies disappearing? How do you keep track of your Sharpie markers?