Three Interactive Back to School Activities With EXPO Dry Erase Ink Indicator Markers

Launching the school year with interactive activities can help your students settle back into the school routine while enjoying the movement and socialization they grow accustom to during the summer months. This back to school season, pick up a set of EXPO Dry Erase Ink Indicator Markers, and give these three activities a try.
Thank you to EXPO for sponsoring this post. All opinions stated are my own.

Activity 1: The EXPO Ink Indicator Challenge

Routines and procedures are a major focal point during the first weeks back to school, and proper classroom supply use is top priority. The Dry Erase Marker Challenge is a wonderful way to reinforce the expectations associated with responsible dry erase marker use in your classroom.
Expo ink Indicator markers are perfect for teaching students about responsible marker use. This checklist can help emphasize responsible marker use expectations.
Provide each of your students with one EXPO Dry Erase Ink Indicator Marker. These dry erase markers allow students and teachers to keep an eye on their ink supply through the clear marker barrel. This handy indicator window makes it easy to know if your dry erase marker is ready to go. Introduce your expectations for respectful dry erase marker use. These may include:

  • Use your marker as a learning tool, not a distraction.
  • Place your cap on the end of your marker while you write.
  • Only use your marker on dry erase surfaces.
  • Write gently with your marker so the tip remains strong.
  • When you are done writing, close the cap until you hear a click.
  • Keep your maker in a safe place when it’s not being used.

Present your students with the challenge: “Use your ink indicator marker respectfully and responsibly. This is a fancy learning tool that you have the privilege of enjoying. The student whose marker lasts the longest will enjoy a marker party”.
Host a dry erase or whiteboard marker challenge in your classroom this year to emphasize the importance of responsible marker use. This poster can help you set up your challenge.
What is a marker party? A special day when the winner of the challenge gets to use an entire set of dry erase markers for their projects and activities that day. You can also accompany this fun reward with other V.I.P. items that fit your classroom culture or theme.This adorable label can help you celebrate the dry erase challenge champ.
In younger grades, you may want to set a deadline for the challenge. For example, “The student who has the most ink remaining in their marker after 10 days will enjoy a marker party”.
Students will love the fact that they can see how much ink remains in their Expo Dry Erase Ink Indicator Marker while they build the habit of meeting the expectations for respectful dry erase marker use.Expo Ink Indicator markers make the dry erase / whiteboard marker challenge easy because students can see exactly how much ink remains in their marker.

Activity 2: Back To School Compliment Expo

Another focal point during the first weeks of school is community building with a new group of students. Building the habit of sharing compliments and appreciation openly in the classroom is a wonderful way to foster a positive classroom community. Hosting a Back To School Classmate Compliment Expo is an interactive way to do so.
hosting a back to school compliment expo is a wonderful way to build class community and boost student confidence at the beginning of the school year.
This activity can be done in one day, over the span of a week, or over several weeks depending on the personality/patience/maturity of your class.
Begin by setting up a chair in front of a large whiteboard. Print these student “mannequins” on 11”x17” paper and hang on the whiteboard behind the chair. Then, hang a poster (or write a note) the reads “We admire (student name) because…” above the chair and draw an outline to designate a writing space.
To set up your back to school compliment expo, find an open space on your whiteboard and grab a variety of whiteboard markers - Expo Ink Indicator Markers are one of our class favorites.
Take time to have a conversation about admiring physical (concrete) traits and non-physical (abstract) characteristics, and emphasize the deeper meaning associated with admiring abstract characteristics.During the back to school compliment expo, you can host a conversation about physical vs non-physical characteristics to help students write more meaningful compliments.
Have your students use the beautiful variety of bold EXPO Dry Erase Ink Indicator Markers to write reasons why they admire each classmate.Using Expo Ink Indicator Markers for your back to school compliment expo will add color to your activity.
After all the compliments have been written on the whiteboard, remove the “mannequin” poster, and have the student sit in the chair in front of their compliments. Take a photo of the student surrounded by their compliments, and hang it on the wall as a display for back to school night. This is also a wonderful memory to add to your student portfolios.

Activity 3: Back To School Data Desk

Yet another way to build a close-knit classroom community is by sharing personal anecdotes during the first weeks of school. Get your students’ conversations started by having them survey their classmates about summer memories during this Back To School Data Desk Activity.
During the back to school data desk activity, students will collect data about a summer-related question on a frequency table.
Begin by having each student think of one survey question related to the summer months. For example, “What did you do outdoors this summer?” Then, give your students time to mingle with their classmates as they collect their survey data. This is a wonderful time to introduce expectations for having a conversation with a partner, which may include:

  • Stand facing your partner.
  • Make appropriate eye contact.
  • Use a brave, yet kind voice.
  • Introduce yourself and your purpose.
  • Focus your conversation on the goal without getting distracted.
  • Say thank you before moving on to the next conversation.

This conversation tips printable will help students develop respectful conversation skills as they collect their data during this interactive back to school activity.
After students complete their data collection, introduce the type of graph you would like them to use to display their data visually. Make this activity even more memorable by having students create their graph directly on their desk using dry erase markers. Once again, EXPO Dry Erase Ink Indicator Markers are a perfect tool for this activity because you can use the lines on the indicator window as an example of a scale and as a model for how to evenly space the points on the scale of a graph. These markers also come in six bold colors perfect for creating easy-to-read graphs. Have students use the entire surface area of their desk (or mark off workspaces on tables using painters tape) to create an oversized graph to display their survey data.
After students collect their data, they can use Expo Ink Indicator Markers to create an oversized bar graph directly on their desk or writing surface.
When all graphs are complete, host a gallery walk that allows students to learn more about what their classmates did over the summer.

Ready To Give These Activities A Try In Your Classroom?

If you are ready to implement these activities in your classroom this back to school season? Simply follow the steps above, or save yourself some time by purchasing my the resources linked below in my Teachers Pay Teachers store, stock up on EXPO Dry Erase Ink Indicator Markers, and get ready for some interactive back to school fun. Have any other fun ways you plan to use these markers? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.
Core Inspiration Classmate Compliment Expo Back To School Activity Resource Cover
Core Inspiration Dry Erase Marker Challenge Activity Resource Cover


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4 Responses

  1. I thought I saw a Getting to Know You Bingo activity on your website recently but now I cannot seem to find it. Am I losing my mind? (It’s ok if you think I am!! lol) If you have one, can you tell me how to find it? Thanks!

  2. I am trying to download the back to school data desk template. I can’t seem to find it. Can you help me please? It is a great idea!

I’m Laura Santos

I’ve been an elementary teacher for ten years, and love sharing tips and resources that make differentiated learning more manageable for you. Thank you for visiting.

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