Velcro (sorry, ‘Hook & Loop’) dots and strips are hugely versatile items in any classroom.
- My students’ names are attached to desks, step charts, monitor charts with Velcro.
- Displays are mounted onto pinup boards with Velcro.
- Games are constructed with Velcro pieces.
- Tray labels are attached with Velro.
Storage can be a bit of an issue though, with Velcro quickly sticking to its opposite number. My solution?
- I keep the boxes the ‘Hook & Loop’ variety comes in (Cheap As Chips, $2.50 a box).
- I open the boxes carefully and fold the lids down into the box. This strengtehns the edge.
- I then staple the boxes together into a 4 x 2 grid.
Each box contains one, and just one sort of fastener: hook dots, hook strips, loop dots, loop strips. If you buy both black and white you can also sort by colour. Result: easy to find, easy to store. The picture above shows the boxes in a just-the-right-size plastic tub. Note the cable loops at the top right. Very handy in the classroom. Here are the boxes prior to stapling:
Cheap As Chips have a great (in range, design and price) line of sticker books.
There’s a wide range of designs, including sets personalised with children’s names.
They’re designed in Australia by KEA, a novelty gift wholesaler. Unfortunately they don’t appear to be available online, so you’ll have to find them in-store.
At $2 each, the 180-sticker booklets are perfect for the classroom and considerably cheaper than more traditional educational sellers.
I particularly like the rather creative ‘Build Your Own’ series. These are booklets of 450 mini-stickers which can be assembled to construct pictures such as a house. Children can combine several sheets to make larger houses or combine them with other themes such as ‘Spooky House’. Other useful sets include ‘Aussie Alphabet’, ‘Computer Keyboard’ and ‘Calendar’.
The stickers can also be used for decorating worksheets prior to photocopying. This can prove a lot quicker than downloading and inserting clipart.
As my collection of sticker booklets grew, I clearly needed a better organisational system. My solution was a CD album. The booklets slide easily in and out and will retain single pages too. Not shabby for a $2.50 investment!