Sunday, June 21, 2015

Teacher Tips: Glue Sponges

Each year, I make little adjustments to help my classroom a bit smoother.  Sometimes all the ideas on Pinterest can be overwhelming, but over the next few weeks I hope to share a few things that made my life easier this past school year.

Glue sticks are my nemesis.  As soon as the school supplies are out, I make myself buy $5 worth of glue sticks every time I visit Target or Wal-Mart.  I figured $5 here or there in the summer would help my pocket later on in the school year.

Um, Target let's talk.  School has been out for exactly a month and you are already putting out school supplies!  I don't start school until August 13th!

On this trip to Target, I successfully avoided buying glue sticks because I have finally tried the best solution....Glue Sponges!!!

Now, we always find these new ideas over the summer, right?  Then we try it with our new students while trying to teach routines and expectations.  Some of our new ideas fail.  BUT I think this is because are students are still trying to figure out our classroom.

I decided to try out glue sponges the last month of school.  I had a class that loved glue sticks as much as I did.  They named their glue sticks and carried home the empty glue sticks for the memories.  #truestory.

Here's what I found using glue sponges:

  1. Students don't have to get out of their seat to get a new glue stick, throw away a glue stick, or look for a glue stick lid.
  2. Cost effective - I bought containers and sponges at the Dollar Store.
  3. Lasts longer than glue sticks
  4. No chunks of glue on papers
  5. Perfect for interactive notebooks!  Glue was one of my biggest hesitations in using interactive notebooks.
  1. Students have to share glue containers. Luckily I had a very easy going class last year that could work through sharing.  I know I'm not going to be lucky every year.
  2. Students have to bend/move craft pieces around a little bit to get glue on all parts.  That takes some getting used to!
  3. You need to make sure that students close the containers all of the way so the sponges don't dry out.
I was really afraid to use glue sponges, but I'm so glad I did!  I know the learning curve at the beginning of the year will be a little higher for my new firsties, but it will be worth it.  I'll be able to keep more money in my pocket and students won't be moving around so much.

Here are the steps to making glue sponges.

1. Gather sponges, containers and glue.  

Yes, that's my dog sleeping in the background. :)

I used large containers so I could fit two sponges.  Think about the crafts that you do and how students will need to glue long pieces sometimes.  I also didn't want any container that was too deep.

2.  Put the sponges at the bottom of the container.  

Pour about 2 glue bottles on top of the sponges.  At school, we have the big bottle of Elmer's glue and I just poured until the sponges were throughly covered.

3. Let sit overnight so the glue can absorb into the sponge.  It will be the perfect stickiness in the morning.

4.  You want to prevent the glue sponges from drying out, so once a week use a spray bottle to give them a light mist.

Looking for more tips for the upcoming school year?  Check out The Primary Peach's latest blog post!

1 comment:

  1. Liz I love this idea! A few weeks before school was out, I read another blog post about glue sponges and knew I wanted to give them a try but was a little hesitant! You post gave me that push I needed to feel confident in using them! Thanks for listing the pros and cons! I think that will help in the explanation process to my sweet seconds! I'll know what I need to say :)

    Theresa @ True Life I’m a Teacher