I love glue sticks, don't get me wrong. The convince they offer is a delight. You will find them in my desk and in my classroom. However, you won't find them often in the hands of my kindergartners.
I know your eyebrows must be raised. After all, aren't they perfect for little hands just figuring out how to make their ideas come to fruition with a pair of scissors and some glue?
Let me tell you why I vote for the old fashioned glue bottle.
Learning to use a glue bottle is just that - learning. And isn't that what school is supposed to be about? It takes a lot of coordination to get those small muscles in tiny hands to get drops of glue exactly where they should be. The child uses the hand-eye team to be precise. The nervous system is in high alert building levels of accuracy and control.
The mind is also working: Just enough - not too much. We all know how disastrous it is to have wet pages sticking together because there was too much glue. But a kindergartner has to experience it. Let's not give easy tools so that he won't encounter those mistakes. Let's teach him how to use complex tools diligently.
Don't forget about the heart when it comes to those bottles, either. The heart of integrity and virtue carefully closes the lid for the next time. The diligent heart doesn't skip that step, or she will find that when she tries to open it for the next masterpiece, the price will be great frustration. What a good lesson in self-discipline to prevent heart-ache in the future.
So, glue bottles it is*.
*Under no circumstances will these glue bottles interact with glitter. I don't care how many fine motor skills are developed. That is, unless you are willing to come clean my classroom, car, bedroom, bathroom, laundry room, washing-machine, and dryer - and send me to the spa for a weekend to recover.
For more thoughts about classroom stuff, look here...