If you'd like to participate, save the Simple Stuff image to your desktop. Then, write your post and include the Simple Stuff image along with a link back to my blog. Then, return here and click the "Add Your Link" button at the bottom of this post to include your blog's entry.
A big thanks to The 3am Teacher, A Little Peace of Africa, Oh So Random, and Miss Galvin Learns for the awesome graphics!
To start this party, I'm including the very first entry I posted on the Simple Stuff theme. It's been several months (and a career change) since I wrote this, but it's still one of my top picks. Enjoy!
I don't know about you, but I've struggled for years with plastic ziplock bags. Well, not me so much as my students. Plastic bags are great for holding manipulatives, but by the end of the day, my students have destroyed the zipper on half of them and unknowingly mixed the contents with their neighbors' beside them. Regretfully, I could never think of a better solution, at least not one that I could easily afford.
This year I finally found something cheap, fairly sturdy, and perfect for holding manipulatives and other materials my students need for class.
Behold, the traditional solo cup.
|CREDIT: REUTERS/SOLO CUP COMPANY/HANDOUT|
Every year I have one grade level, or more, use crayons to compose music for Boomwhackers. We use a pentatonic scale to start, so they only need the colors red, orange, yellow, green, and purple. Instead of having students share out of a common basket, I put one crayon of each color in the cups. The process of getting crayons, putting them away, and assuring everyone has the right colors is a breeze. The best part is no fumbling with plastic bags. Students just toss the crayons back in the cup and go.
I use manipulatives a lot in my room, especially rhythm cards. Like these...
Plastic bags, as I've said before, were always a struggle when students attempted to put manipulatives away. Thankfully, the rhythm cards are small enough to slip into the cup. Initially I thought that they might easily be tipped over and scatter on the floor, but I've been amazed to find that it happens very rarely. Students (including kindergarteners) keep a good grip on the cups and are careful to put them back without tipping them over.
This is nothing new, but these cups can also be used as percussion instruments. While I typically use traditional classroom instruments, I have to plan on several minutes of getting them out and putting them away again due to the setup of my room. This has come in handy for me when I'm running late and don't have time to get out and put away the classroom instruments.
I hope one (or all) of these tips prove useful for your own classroom. I'm looking forward to visiting all of the links that will be posted here!
Thanks for reading!