Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cut Clutter in the Classroom!

Today Feathers & Fingerprints is going back to school!  

Let's think for a minute about all those back to school supplies you just bought for your kids.  Pencils, fat markers, skinny markers, dry erase markers, erasers, crayons, glue bottles, glue sticks, baggies, scissors, folders, notebooks, and tissue. Did I miss anything?

Now imagine you are a teacher.
In a public school classroom with limited space.
And multiply that list times 22.

Are you overwhelmed?  Me too.  That's why my classroom uses "community supplies."  Meaning, all of our supplies are stored together and shared.  A few bottles of glue on the shelf and 15 in the closet.  I've found this cuts back on the clutter around the room.  And there is less waste.  And I ask parents for less supplies.  It is much easier to make sure 5 bottles of glue are closed tight rather than 22!

So how do I get my 6 year olds to share markers?  Easy!  Wood marker holders!  
{I stole this idea from an art teacher!  Its brilliant!} 

Wood Marker Holders

Three years ago I bought a 2x6 and cut it into 8 inch sections.  I used the drill press to drill 10, 1/2" holes in each.  My husband graciously routed the edges and I gave them a good sanding.  Last, I used 5-minute epoxy to glue the marker caps in the holes.

Each table in my classroom has a marker holder.  You can see from the pictures they have been used a lot!  About a week ago I brought them home to pull out the old {worn out and broken} marker caps and decided to add smaller holes for skinny markers.  This time I used a 3/8" bit and drilled 8 holes across.  I also gave them a face-lift by painting the edges different colors.

I'll take my improved marker holders back to school tomorrow to glue the new marker caps.  Trust me, they transport much easier without markers in them!

Reasons why I love these:
*no lost caps
*no markers on the floor
*no fights over "who stole my marker"
*dried up markers can be quickly replaced
*broken caps can be pulled out with pliers

Do you have a genius storage solution for your classroom?  Please share!

1 comment:

  1. I teach middle school (6th,7th, AND 8th) and I WILL be making these ASAP. Markers are always being left uncapped, rolling away under tables, etc. This will stop the same headaches you have with 6 year-olds.