Sunday, February 10, 2013

Made for Math- New Tubs

This year has been an organizational catastrophe for me.  I'm on my fifth curriculum in as many years (two new ones this year alone), so my filing cabinets are not anywhere near as helpful as I'd like them to be.  No one should be allowed to even look at my desk right now.  I started off the year with my desks in rows and each kid had a handy pencil bag with supplies to use.  They worked great until I switched my classroom setup to groups in December following some Kagan coursework and there wasn't a place for each kid to have his own bag.  For the past two months, the communal supplies have annoyed me.  I bought some rectangular bins that worked OK but kids didn't have a specific enough home for each item, so they became a mess in just a few weeks.  I may be a mess, but I like my kids to know where things are and be able to keep at least that little aspect of the classroom organized for me! 

Yesterday, I scored at Walmart with an awesome deal.  In the clearance aisle, I found six blue shower caddies for just $1 each.  As luck would have it, there are six tables in my room!  They're about $6 each online so I saved a bunch but they're probably worth $5-6 because they're super sturdy.  They're larger than other shower caddies I've seen, so they can hold all of the supplies I like for my kids to have on hand: scissors, glue sticks, red pens, highlighters, dry erase markers, cloths to erase the markers, protractors, and compasses.  I'm going to try having a stapler on each table too, though I worry that it could be too tempting as a potential toy/weapon.  Today, I printed out labels for each of the supplies so kids see where to place them in the bins.  A layer of packing tape over the labels will seal them in and thwart graffiti.  Aren't they great?  I sort of loathe this color blue, but I'm not one of the teachers who has a perfectly matched color scheme (or even a poorly matched one for that matter), so blue will be just fine.  

As you can see in the last picture, I put 3 9oz disposable cups in one side to help separate the pens, highlighters and markers. Total project cost: $7- $6 for bins and less than $1 for cups and labels!  Yay! 

I can't wait to fill these up tomorrow and have them on the tables for my kids to use. 

I'm posting this to Made for Math Monday.  Check them out for great ideas.

Update (6/29/2013): These tubs made it through the end of the year just fine.  The kids mostly did a good job getting the materials back into the right place.  For the fall, I'm going label each item as to which tub it belongs to.  As an open container on the table, there was much more temptation for students to play with the materials than when we had the individual bags on the desks.  The staplers never caused a problem like I thought they might.  If you're interested in using these, I just found them at Walmart for $2.88 each, now in a frosted clear color instead of blue.  Check the back to school area because they also have pink and teal there for college kids. 

Mathematically yours,
Miss B

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