Education Coffee Break
New Findings – Items for the Classroom
How many of you are living at your classroom, trying to find ways to create a new and inviting space for your new students arriving in a few days? This year I found some new items for the classroom that I had to share. I am so excited to begin using these in my classroom this upcoming school year.
Items for the Classroom
I found these small chalkboard signs at AC Moore for a dollar. I wanted to use these to label each of my literacy centers. I allow my students free choice centers. They choose which center to attend each day as long as by the end of the week they have attended each center at least once (for students who finish centers early they are rewarded). To manage my centers, I only allow 4 students in each center at a time. I have tried many different ideas to help students show they are in the center. I have use the library card pockets and had students put popsicle sticks in with their names to mark the 4 students in the center. I have tried using clips and having them clip to a card describing the center. This year I will be having my students clip to this sturdier chalkboard. I will be able to clearly see who is in each group and that only 4 students are there at a time. Also, the chalkboard allows me to quickly change a center for the following week.
Really Good Stuff Bins
When our budget was due last year, I thought about what items for the classroom I truly needed for my classroom. We use guided math centers in our district and I wanted a way to better organize my math centers and provide multiple activities and differentiated activities in each center. I found these chapter book and picture book bins from Really Good Stuff. They have two dividers that separate the bins into 3 compartments. This will be perfect for my math centers. There will be three different activities students can complete and I can also differentiate during the different compartments or colors.
As I previously wrote, I had a project funded on Donor’s Choose for flexible seating last year. This summer I found these great stools at HomeGoods. I am in the process of spray painting them to match my room. This will provide almost every child with a flexible seating choice in our classroom. With a growing class, I am hoping to find a few more ideas for seating before the school year starts so that everyone can have their own seating. The flexible seating last year was amazing. My students were able to concentrate longer and produce more quality work. They loved the choice of working in centers with different flexible seating and using one of the seating for the rest of the day.
Dry Erase Dots
One of my biggest problems is having students work with whiteboards. We have whiteboards for math but they are huge. Having 5-6 kids in a small guided math group, the boards cannot fit at our table with us. Also, the time it takes to get the boards, make sure the markers work, and make space for everyone would also take away so much time from my actual lesson. This year I purchased Dry Erase dots from Amazon. I am so excited to use these items for the classroom this year. The dots adhere to the table so there is no set up each day. It also helps mark off each child’s space at our small group table. Students will be able to use their dry erase dot to solve math problems or write sight words. Even if we are not using the markers, they dots will help show students where their personal space is when sitting at our table.