Silliness: The Expo Graveyard

10

September 18, 2012 by ray_emily

This year, we’ve used either large or small whiteboards in my classroom just about every single day. I feel great about this – and I know that the kids love it. Unfortunately, I’m here today to report on a totally irritating whiteboarding-induced problem.

The problem is this: My kids kill Expo markers at a staggeringly fast rate.

No, the markers are not drying out. (I’m sure of it.) Rather, the mushy marker tips are getting squashed by my overzealous, oblivious children.

Enter: The Expo Graveyard! (Click either photo for a closer look at some high-quality sixth grade humor.)


The graveyard is not a solution to my problem – not at all – but it has certainly brought a touch of whimsy to my classroom, and to the front of my ugly grey storage cabinet. (All posters created by students, obviously.) Additionally, my kids and I both react a little bit more appropriately, now, when another Expo bites the dust. Rather than shrugging and pretending they are not to blame, kids take ownership and sometimes put on a bit of a show: “Noooooo! Not another death! It’s tragic!” (Okay, maybe that’s not appropriate behavior…) Rather than lecturing my kids AGAIN about how they really must be more careful (ew, lecturing), I ceremonially tape the marker up with the others and put on a mournful face.

Unexpected bonus: Since the establishing of the Expo Graveyard, two students have surprised me with “gift” packages of brand new Expo markers. I suspect that, with this new awareness of the tragic Expocide taking place almost daily in my classroom, they feel compelled to make amends. Like I said – not a solution, but I’ll take it. (I also won’t feel bad about requiring kids to bring in their own markers, once I’ve run out. And – next year, Expos are definitely going on the school supplies list.)

Lest you write off this post as entirely silly and not math-related: Expo markers are the perfect addition to Andrew Stadel’s list of inefficiently designed products. They are in dire need of a “well-thought out modification/enhancement” (his words), and thus could provide excellent fodder for some creative problem-solving activity. So there.

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10 thoughts on “Silliness: The Expo Graveyard

  1. Expocide! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I totally see a 3 Act lesson here or at least, you could make your classroom super decorative with all the colored caps. Make a mosaic or a tessellation or something… some great potential. I love the post. To my good friend purple… we had some good times. Remember that one time you got smashed? Part 2: turn this into a math lesson. Rate of expocide, how much ink has been used in a month to project that of 10 months, what color bites the dust most, quickest, or what color lives off of social security the longest because it lasts forever. Keep us updated on the obituaries!

    • ray_emily says:

      Oh my goodness, this comment is amazing! So much more substance and humor in here than in my entire post. (Ah, well. I tried. Of course I can’t measure up to author of such brilliant lyrics as “parentheses, start with these…”)

  2. crazedmummy says:

    I use refillable auspens. No more throwing away. I am not associated with them in any way other than that I use them.

    • ray_emily says:

      Whoa! I have never heard of these. They look really nice. My problem, however, is primarily with nibs getting smushed – rather than with markers running dry. Is that still a problem with the auspens? They seem to be a much higher quality product, overall.

      • Meghan says:

        I use them too. They do have new nibs that you can buy. It would probably be cheaper to replace them than the whole marker… again, not exactly a solution.

  3. mrowen says:

    My favorite is “Rest in Peace Magenta”! HA! I said I was going to put markers on my supplies list this year and then changed my mind at the last minute. I already regret it. But my classes haven’t been goin through em as fast as yours it seems.

  4. Amy Zimmer says:

    Thanks for the good cheer and making me laugh today!

  5. Emily Ray or ray_emily, You are the coolest! You make me want to meet you, but then again you also make me want to compete with you! I love, love, love your writing style!!! I am a math teacher of middle school kind and I can sooooooo identify with you. Thanks for your posts! BTW, I also use white boards and encounter the death of markers on a daily basis, thanks for making it fun!! micflynn

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