Last year, towards the end of the year, I was getting my budget ready (you can see my process of handling that mess here) and I had my Pinterest up…who doesn’t love Pinterest? I was pinning lesson ideas, materials, etc and compiling my list.
One gem I included in my budget this year was “Mr. Sketch Unscented Classpack” of markers. I usually stick with Crayola – I am a big fan – almost always their product is great and lasts a long while. Unfortunately, my marker class set from the previous year was a “fail”.
Not only was the packaging awful…I mean, a black casing for different colors? If getting the right lid on wasn’t hard enough for kids sometimes…but it seemed after one use, a marker was spent. I try very hard to remind my students to give the marker “time to breath” so ink can refill, so to speak but it didn’t matter how slow we went, it wasn’t going to help – this class pack wasn’t cutting it.
Thankfully, Crayola has never failed me before so it wasn’t a complete turn off. I continue to order other materials from them. I did, however, have to begin seeking out a replacement pack and it would be a while before I went that route again. Their markers, while good, seem to always run out faster than you’d like.
When re-organizing the supply closet, I found a set of Mr. Sketch, nearly 10 years old which brought back fond memories from years past. I loved the scented markers and I can recall the color being fantastic! On a whim, I figured I’d see what I could salvage of markers that were most likely dried out.
I was in shock – not only did the markers still have ink, but they were bright and ready to be used. In fact, a year later, I’m still using them. So, of course, I started thinking about purchasing Mr. Sketch for my classroom – a set, ready to use. But oh boy, those scents.
While fun in minimal amounts, we couldn’t have every flavor going. Thankfully, Mr. Sketch makes “unscented” class packs for just that reason. And they prove true to their promise – long lasting, scent-free and good quality. My students have been using them for various projects this year and not a single marker is running thin. Compared to my experience with Crayola, this is fantastic news. I already anticipate stocking up knowing this. And the kids love using them.
Now, I’m still not a huge fan of the all white base to the marker – kids love messing with the lid colors but because I’ve had some simple talks about respecting material so that I can continue to get better quality things, I haven’t had any problems. It’s more expensive, I know – and we’re all on a budget. But I can project this set lasting me 2-3 years opposed to Crayola’s 1. So…really, what’s the difference…if anything, you save money over time.