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Teaching Tips & Tricks, Sponsors & Supporters   |   Jul 27, 2017

12 back-to-school hacks with EXPO markers

By Angela Watson

Founder and Writer

12 back-to-school hacks with EXPO markers

By Angela Watson

Dry erase markers are a back-to-school staple for teachers. Here are some creative ways to get the most out of your markers as the new school year begins:

1. Use the new EXPO markers that have see-through ink barrels

These are my FAVORITE markers because you don’t have to wonder when they’re going to run out of ink: there are lines to indicate Full, 1/2, and Empty. Click here to learn more, including where you can buy them. You should be able to find these in your local Walmart, Target, Staples, and Office Depot–if you don’t see them, ask for the Expo markers with the ink indicator (a clear ink barrel.) You can also skip the trip to the store and get them now on Amazon.

2. Teach a responsible student volunteer how to revive dried-out markers.

When markers run out of ink, have students place them in a special container, and have your student volunteer revive the markers on a weekly basis (perhaps at dismissal time.) Click here for instructions.


3. Use labels to help students keep track of and care for their own markers

Make your markers last longer by assigning one to each student. A simple label will help students take ownership of and responsibility for not losing the marker and ensuring the cap’s on tightly.

Ms. 5th – TeacherPayTeachers

4. Get cheap erasers in the form of micro-fiber facial pads

I’ve always used felt squares, but this is so much better since it’s thicker and meant to be absorbent.

Daughters and Kindergarten

5. Glue a pom-pom to the end of students’ markers to create an built-in eraser

I love the idea of having an erase right on the end–no more losing erasers!

Everyday with the Jays

6. A piece of foam curler will do the trick, too

So clever!

Pinterest (Original Source Unknown)

7. Make the EXPO markers available to students as a check-in for how they’re feeling when they first arrive at school

Students can take turns responding during morning work, and you can discuss together during a morning meeting.


8. Have students summarize what they learned on the first day

This is a great way to check for understanding about procedures and routines, and gauge what ideas really stuck with students.


9. Draw attention to a special handout you want students to take

If you find yourself repeating to students “get the handout from the front of the room,” a big display like this will make it easier for kids to figure out what they need to do.

Mr. L’s Classroom

10. Write class rules on a chart and laminate it, then have students suggest hashtags that go with your rules and add them with dry erase markers

This is a great approach when you have a general idea of what you want class rules to be, but still want students to give some input.

We Teach High School

11. Have a Google board for questions no one in the class can answer

When students are stumped and you don’t want to derail your lesson, have them add their question to the board. Encourage students to show curiosity and take initiative in finding out the answers!

FRK Linn

12. Display birthdays in a way that’s easy to update when students transfer in or out

If you want to remember when each student’s special day is, but find that your roster is constantly changing, using an EXPO marker on the glass overlay of a picture frame can be the perfect solution.

Fabulous in First

Do you have an EXPO dry erase marker hack to share? How are you using them to welcome your students back to school? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments.

Disclosure: EXPO sent me a sample of their dry erase ink indicator markers to try out, and they’ve compensated me via Syndicate Ads for helping to spread the word. I only recommend products on my blog that I truly believe in and would use myself in the classroom. 

Angela Watson

Founder and Writer

Angela is a National Board Certified educator with 11 years of teaching experience and more than a decade of experience as an instructional coach. She started this website in 2003, and now serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Truth for Teachers...
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    1. I was confused by this too until I realized the name under the picture actually links to the directions.

  1. My hack is not so much with the markers, but my choice of eraser. I use a bright, white, brand new t-shirt to erase my board at the start of the year. It not only is the absolute best eraser around, it cleans the board! I haven’t cleaned my board officially in years, and people have commented how new it looks.

    In addition to that benefit, my 8th graders get the biggest kick out of seeing it get dirty. They ask me to hold it up to show them. We use different marker colors to give it a tie-dye effect. They know the more work we do, the better it will look!

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