Spending the first week of school teaching classroom expectations and procedures is essential for a successful year. Glue is a tricky school supply for many little learners and there definitely needs to be instruction dedicated to teaching learners how to use this tool.
When learners are not taught how to use their glue correctly things can get MESSY! Glue sticks and glue sponges are many teachers’ favorite way to get things to “stick” in the classroom. However, the good ole’ glue bottle is what we prefer in the classroom.
Sure glue bottles can get messy, the top may fill up with dry glue or you might find a pool of glue on the desk. Then again, if you teach your learners how to use glue bottles right from the start these mishaps won’t happen as much as you would think!
Glue in the Classroom
After my students have been taught how to use crayons, we meet together the first week to discuss how we use our glue bottles. I begin by modeling a non-example by completing a craft project with WAY TOO MUCH glue. We look at the project and discuss. It is way too messy, the glue is dripping onto the parts I still wanted to color, the glue is wasted which is not respecting our materials, etc.
Then we discuss the RIGHT way to use glue in our classroom by establishing 3 basic rules…
1. We will use just one dot of glue.
2. We will close our glue bottles tightly.
3. We will store our glue bottle standing up when we are done.
Practice, Practice, Practice
After we discuss the rules of our glue bottles, the students get to practice opening and closing their glue bottles. I focus on this skill because most teachers know that open glue bottles get air inside which later make students ask, “Mrs. Jones, why isn’t my glue coming out?”. Teach it the first week to prevent these problems in the future and for older learners…make a science experiment of it!
We then learn the song “I Can Glue” from my Back to School for Little Learners pack. The students get to practice using their glue bottles with a worksheet thats sole purpose is to practice gluing.
This is a great way to send a visual to your learners of what an appropriate dot is rather than simply saying to use a dot. Children need to have a visual representation to know how big or small the dot should be.