My most recent “new favorite thing” is magnetic paper! Maybe you already know about this, but I just found it yesterday, and I’m so happy I did!
One of the stations I use in my language arts class is a Magnetic Poetry station. A few students at a time can use a variety of words that I have collected over the years and arrange them on a magnetic white board to create poems, story ideas, or just spend time working with words. (Since the students use a white board, they can also use a dry erase marker to fill in words, symbols and other ideas that they do not find in the magnets.) The students then record whatever they came up with at the station in their Writers’ Notebook and then can continue to work on it later if they choose. (For homework the students are required to reflect on what they did during the station even if they choose not to continue writing the piece.)
The students really enjoy this station and are sometime surprised with the what they can write! Since the available words are not always part of their existing vocabulary, they come up with some pretty new stuff and really get a kick out of it.
As a long term homework assignment, we have a spooky story contest due at the end of this month and I wanted to find a way to provide some class time for the students to continue thinking about and working on their story without devoting instruction time to the project since it is an “at home” project. I have Halloween and spooky pictures ready to go for the picture prompt station, but I also wished that I could find a set of magnetic poetry words for Halloween to use at that station.
And that’s when I had my bright idea to try to make my own. I checked the craft store to see if they had some kind of magnetic paper, and sure enough they did. I typed up and printed out a page full of spooky, scary, Halloween words and will bring them in for the students to use in the station tomorrow.
I was so pleased with how well they came out, I got a little carried away and made another sheet of personalized magnetic words including my students’ names, my own and other teachers’ names, and a variety of other words that are relevant to what they are studying and interested in. I am going to add those words to the supply in class as well. I think it will make the station that much more interesting for them.
I think it could be a fun birthday or holiday gift to give someone a set of customized magnetic words. It might also make a good gift for someone with a new job (and office with a magnetic filing cabinet), getting their first apartment (and own refrigerator), going away to college, or for a newlywed couple. This paper is also great for printing your own magnetic frames or other lightweight magnets.
The paper I bought is from a company called Royal Brights and cost about $15 for a package of 5 sheets. I bought it on sale at Michael’s for $12 yesterday. (If you are making magnetic poetry words, that works out to about 1/5 the cost of buying them already made!)