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Mark-making Area/zone


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Hi everyone,

 

After some inspiration and hopefully a brain wave................................or 2!!!!!!

 

I am in a pack away setting and probably like some of you, using these school hols to plan and implement new ideas. One of the areas I would like to improve is mark- making,

 

I would like to provide the children with more mark-making resources and materials that are easily accessible and easy to store, set-up and pack away.

 

It has always been done using a white vegetable trolley-rack thingy on wheels (It's hideous!!!, but I like the wheels???) that basically contains 2 pots of felt-tips, scissors broken crayons and some pencils and a grey storage 3 drawer chest with the paper. As you can imagine it isn't the most well used area and I feel it should be, so I need to make it more appealing and child friendly. Obviously new resources will be in place in September.

 

It would be lovely to find ways of making the area more appealing. I have thought that maybe I could just buy some lovely pen and pencil holders and nice small baskets and lay it all out myself and then store these all in a lidded box, however that takes away childrens choice and also gives them less room on their table.

 

I have begun work on some writing baskets, that include items within a box that the children can then take indoors and outdoors with them, however I would still like to have a mark-making "Zone"

 

However due to us being a committee run, pack away into a "small shed setting" the furniture needs to be light, moveable and most importantly appealing. I don't expect too much at ll do I???

 

Any ideas would be greatly received

 

Many thanks

 

Zo :o

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Hi,

 

We have a table (which we also have to use for snack/lunch time) next to a trolley with paper, books, files, pads, etc. but on the table we have some of these

 

http://www.tts-group.co.uk/Product.aspx?cref=TTSPR1591543

 

Which we then pick up and move when we need the table!

 

There are great and the children love them, they just stand on the table but they can be wall mounted - could you hang then o a wall wherever you have to pack away to? The bins don't close when the longer pens and pencils are in them but with different sizes this could work.

 

We use them for little bits of paper, crayons, paper clips, post its, pens, rubbers, pencils, staple-less staplers, stampers, sellotape. This has to be one of my best 'creations'!

 

I love it too!

 

The little book of writing and little book of mark making has some good ideas in them for setting up an area, can have a look in September as I left them in school :o

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Hi,

We have a table (which we also have to use for snack/lunch time) next to a trolley with paper, books, files, pads, etc. but on the table we have some of these

http://www.tts-group.co.uk/Product.aspx?cref=TTSPR1591543

Which we then pick up and move when we need the table!

There are great and the children love them, they just stand on the table but they can be wall mounted - could you hang then o a wall wherever you have to pack away to? The bins don't close when the longer pens and pencils are in them but with different sizes this could work.

We use them for little bits of paper, crayons, paper clips, post its, pens, rubbers, pencils, staple-less staplers, stampers, sellotape. This has to be one of my best 'creations'!

I love it too!

The little book of writing and little book of mark making has some good ideas in them for setting up an area, can have a look in September as I left them in school :o

 

I'm loving that mpso9 just worried it could topple over - is it stable enough not to be mounted onto a wall?

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We created a writing booth. My husband made a fold down booth from MDF to go on rectangle table. The 2 shorter sides are on hinges so folds flat for storage.(It is just high enough so the children can't see over the top when sitting down) We painted it & stuck on magnetic boards for magnet letters & some photos of children in the setting markmaking. We then put out a selection of different items each day. It's next to a storage trolley with couple of drawers of different resources to choose from & there is a mobile markmaking basket plus items in roleplay etc. We vary pvc tablecloths on it aswell & they love sitting in the booth. Interest in it immediately went up & has stayed that way!

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Could I just say that the most used resources both in our markmaking areas and all around our setting are whiteboards and pens ( the boys especially love these) and clipboards ( good for indoors and outside, and very portable again a fave withe boys) , so wherever your markmaking things are stored make room for these items as well, I know it must be hard when space is limited we keep ours in a plastic lidded box and the box can be easliy stored and transported. . :o

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We are just in the process of revamping our area too. We have got one of those stands that have baskets in. Anyway we have created shoeboxes with themes in that will fit on the stand. We have a creative one with a selection of collage materials, glue and scissors. We found that are large creative trolley just got trashed with a mess EVERYWHERE! Aso we have made shoeboxes, wrapped in themed paper. So in a peppa pig box we a have peppa pig pencils, rubbers, sharpener and we have cut paper and put a peppa sticker at the top of each piece of paper.

Also got a box with whole punches etc and a I want to create a 'fasteners' box, ie tings to join paper together - bits of ribbon, bag ties, string, paperclips, split pins etc.

We also just have shallow baskets for coloured pencils and crayons.

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OOO, wow thank you for these tips so far - really appreciate them!!! I like your idea Mollypiper, Laura & mps09, I hope you wouldn't mind if I used your methods as inspiration to improve our mark-making.

 

Are the storage trays easy to store mps09? do they seperate or is it one whole unit?

 

 

Thanks ever so much peeps!

 

 

 

xxxx :o

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Hi we are a packaway setting to and one of the most used items for storing mark making has to be our small what i can only describe as cleaning tidies with a handle, we put crayons, felt tips,pencils, and then in the larger section paper, pads and envelopes. These are all around our setting not just on our mark-making table and we also take them outside. Also clipboards, chalkboards again great for indoor/outdoor experiences. We also have a large trolley which is brought in each day with scissors, clips, sellotape, string, pritt sticks, masking tape, post its, different types of paper/card. We bought this from A to Z i know it wasn't cheap but it is very sturdy and built to last. We also have a art trolley which i have to say is quite heavy that we fill with trays with lids that the children can freely access that has all sorts of materials suitable for collage and creative activities.

Good luck making this area more inspiring. xD:o

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[quote name='zoe31' date='Aug 7 2010, 19:09' post='263638'

Are the storage trays easy to store mps09? do they seperate or is it one whole unit?

 

EAch size comes on its own and stacks on top of each other - we have got two different sizes and they do sit on a table backed by a cupboard - so I guess they might topple if they were just sat on their own.

 

Do you have any area where they could sit against the wall? they slot over a screw to wall mount them and then they can just be hooked off - perhaps this is an option for you? even in a packaway?

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I also bought some explorer bags from sainsburys - they are a green net bag and have a notebook and pencil, magnifying glass, collection tin and tweezers - thought they'd be great outdoors as can be hung up. Have also got an outside mark making box, and a box with other bits like chalks, large paintbrushes and pots for painting, small spray bottles.

 

Also have been trying to get writing in all areas but with 2 year olds found it hard to keep track of pencils etc and we were also worried about them carrying them around, falling on them etc so we have got chunky pencils and taped them to string, threaded through a holepunched hole in made up notebooks, really hope they work. Have got all different sized notebooks.

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Does anyone remember the toolbelt type things someone highlighted on here a while ago?

I really liked the idea of children having something with them almost wherever they are rather than/in addition to a designated area. The clipboards, with a pencil or pen attached, are a huge hit and when we were pack away, we had a 12 box 3 tier unit, very lightweight, and would change the contents according to season, interests, topics etc.

Sam

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Hi all,

 

For our inside areas, we have a wheeled trolley with baskets including various pens, crayons, pencils, gel-pens , chalk etc, white boards, scrap paper, note books, clipboards, sellotape, hole puncher, rubbers, paper clips, postcards, envelopes and stickers (for chn to make their own postage stamps with a picture of the queen!) and a mini post box (about 2 foot high) to post letters. This is in a writing area which displays graphemes. We also go on a visit to the real post box during the year to post 'real' letters. We also have a pin board to display replies from people and other letters/postcards from Barnaby Bear etc.

As the basics are set up, the children can pick and choose the equipment they want to use and we can easily add bits and bobs for focussed activites - e.g. What can you feel in the feely bag? Making a shopping list. Letter to Santa. Letter to the Zoo etc.

For the outside area, we have just invested in some camouflage bum-bags including pens, chalks notepads, mini-clipboards, magnifying glass etc. (copying the idea of the writing belts) - much cheaper option! This will hopefully encourage more boys writing/mark-making. As adults, we model mark-making all the time using chalk on the ground for various reasons.

 

Hope this helps a bit.

 

Fluffy Lamb

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Does anyone know where you can get toddler friendly clipboards from? Ours are old with scary metal trap your finger catches. Thank you. Loving the ideas on this page. Ofsted suggested keeping square/graph paper in our construction box so the children could record or use it to aid their designs.

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WOW!!!

 

I love this forum!!! Thank you for all your great ideas and tips - I should have asked you all ages ago!

 

 

xx :o

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I used to work in a pack away, and we had one of those IKEA storage drawer units with pictures of contents on each drawer.

I my setting I have an IKEA letter rack with paper, pens, pencils crayons etc, those magnetic drawing boads thingies..

We also have a couple of markmaking ... what i can only describe as 'tack boxes' (can't think of their proper name but basically a plastic unlidded box with a couple of compartments and a carry handle). They are great and can be carried by the children to any area, indoors or out.

We recently put some of those fluorescent star shaped price blanks in the boxes and found we had lots of things for sale!

Great for mark making quantity/price/numerals!

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Post it notes are good too- the children use them to label and make pricetags , they also have been known to draw pictures and narrate story sequences, and make 'good work' badges for each other, as well as 'pretending' to wite notes on each other as we do when observing them ! :o

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What about one of thoses shoe holders. They are made of material with plastic pockets on the front. They could go on the wall with your writing resources in. Not sure where you get them from though.

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You can buy clipboards without the metal - literally an A4 piece of hard acrylic. Just use 2 elastic bands to go around the paper at the top and bottom. These keep the paper still and no nasty metal to trap fingers!

 

Fluffy Lamb

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I think some children like using clip boards because they see staff using them, maybe not having ones with 'clips' will not prove so popular. I'm sure some 'pound shops' will have cheap hard plastic ones with 'weaker clips' so fingers don't get snapped off - but I feel that learning to be careful with the clip is part of the learning/risk taking/fun, the bit that is role modelling adults, as well as modelling the 'writing'/drawing part.

Edited by Guest
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You could try those clipboards where it's more like a butterfly clip (is that the right name?) on the top, so you have to squeeze together to get it to open, rather than jam your fingers under a piece of metal and lift it up. To be honest, I don't like using those myself when they are old and very strong, I fear for my own fingers!

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