Monday, August 20, 2012

Storage pouches

I find that one of the most frustrating aspects of organizing my classroom is having supplies accessible to students in a way that minimizes the time and movement needed to get the supplies out and put them back. 

I've had plastic shoe boxes with supplies on shelves for my entire career.  The kids understand the organization and do a good job managing the supplies.  I've even made it through 4 years on the same $1 bins, so I think that's definitely a plus, too.  What I dislike is the ordeal of either passing out the supplies, having students pass out the supplies, or managing the parade of students gathering their own supplies. 

Enter what I hope will be a fix for these messy transitions.  Each desk will have its own set of supplies that are meant to stay there until we need them.  I searched high and low for the right container that wouldn't infringe on a students' book storage space.  I got these great mesh zipper pouches at the Dollar Tree.  Because they're mesh all over, the students will be able to see what's inside and not feel the need to dump the contents out to get an item (I hope).  I attached each one to a desk using a single zip tie through the fabric loop on the pouch.   The direction the pouch hangs is nice because the zipper is facing upward so things won't inadvertently fall out when it's opened. 

Inside, I placed our most-used items: protractor (which we also use as a ruler/straightedge), yellow highlighter, red pen, dry erase marker, and eraser cloth.  The expectation will be that the students may only use the items in the pouch when they are instructed to do so.  If I know kids will need other items like scissors or glue, I can add the items to the pouches for a particular day or pass them out in the first class and have the kids store the items in the pouch until the last class. 

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