Sunday, June 12, 2011

Keeping It Straight

If you are a teacher, you probably have multiple sets of Bananagrams and Scrabble...or other games with tiles.   Here's how you can keep your sets separate.   You will need zippered mesh pencil bags, spray paint, newspaper/ cardboard and a dry day...the less wind, the better.

First, determine how many colors of spray paint you will need.   It doesn't take much paint, so whatever leftovers you have from other projects will be more than enough.   Of course, you can keep one set of tiles "nekkid."   If you have gathered your Scrabble games from second hand scores, the game board will indicate how many of each letter you should have.   (Usually a student in your classroom will be happy to sort these for you if you plan ahead.)

Place the tiles face down on cardboard, shirt boxes, newspaper...whatever's handy.   Spray the tiles in a sweeping motion.   Let them dry.   Spray a second coat if you are a perfectionist.   This is totally optional.

Once the tiles are dry, return the Bananagram pieces to their zippered fruit cases.   Put the Scrabble bits in the zippered pencil cases.

When you have massive Scrabble tournaments and tiles start hitting the floor, it's easy for students to match them up to the right set.   Also, you and your conscientious custodian will continue to find hidden tiles days later, so using see-through mesh bags will make it simple for you to find their places as well.

Another use of the paint is for identifying class sets of pens/markers that you expect to be returned to you.   A little bit of paint will make it obvious to the borrower that the office supplies belong to the teacher's class set.

Thanks to my former public school classmates Susan Traner, Amanda Upson and Stacy Hunt for providing my students with new Scrabble and Bananagrams games.   Eastern Virginia Writing Project's faculty member Susan Pongratz also chipped in with Bananagrams!

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