Tidy, Cost-Effective Glue Usage
I find that first-graders and glue don’t always mix well. This idea has reduced the amount of glue that’s wasted; saved money on expenses, because we buy glue in bulk quantities; prevented over-application of glue; and given students some responsibility for their own supplies.
I refill three large school glue bottles periodically. From these, students fill plastic lids from milk containers. I usually provide one for every two students at a table. To prevent mess, students put the lids on recyclable, used paper. To apply glue, children use little plastic sticks from those cheese and cracker packs. They love to save the sticks from their recess snacks and lunches; my students have even enlisted students in other classes to save theirs. I have had students collect these sticks and lids for several years, so I have enough to use for a week without washing them.
When the gluing is finished, one child from the table usually puts the lids and sticks into a plastic gallon container filled with water. This container has a large hole cut out on the side but the handle remains on it, and students can carry it to the sink to wash it out. Students are responsible for washing the lids periodically and refilling the container with water. They relish taking care of these supplies. It gives that active child a job to do away from the work table, and also can provide a job for a student who is finished with other work! Everyone wins!