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Simple Little Tricks

Colored markers, each with a rubber band wrapped around it.Sometimes it’s the simplest little tricks that can make a big difference in our work. Back in February, for example, I wrote about using carabiners on my backpack to help me keep track of my keys. Recently, I stumbled across an unexpected use for rubber bands.

Brian and many others may love teaching with chalk, but it’s no big secret to anyone who pays attention to my online activities that I am a huge fan of using colored markers and whiteboards in the classroom. There are two problems that I encounter with markers, however: first, they have a tendency to roll off the desk at the front of the classroom, and second, when it’s time to leave I never know which markers are mine and which belong to the classroom. (Very minor problems, I know.) I don’t remember when I first did this, but I’ve started to wrap a rubber band around each of the markers. Now, the marker can’t roll at all, and mine are the only ones in the classroom with a rubber band around each one, making it easy for me to grab those that belong to me when it’s time to leave.

The point here is less, “Hey, use rubber bands with your colored markers!” and more “Sometimes easy solutions to irritating–albeit minor–challenges are found in unexpected places.”

What are some of your “simple little tricks”? Let’s hear from you in the comments!

[Creative Commons-licensed flickr photo by ghwpix]

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