Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday Made It!

It's another link up with "Monday Made It" over at Fourth Grade Frolics!

This week I landed myself in the storage aisle at a local discount store and my wheels started churning.  I thought I'd share two of the little projects I got completed!  To start, my trip to find a wheeled cart ended up costing me a little bit more . . . 

It was okay though . . . it was a beautiful day so I decided to camp outside and assemble my new cart!  It was GLORIOUS!  So . . . here is the thought process behind "The Cart"--and I will be blogging more about this at it evolves.  In a nutshell, I MUST get better at organizing my I/E time and finding meaningful ways for students to work on "just right" activities and projects while I meet with small groups. I feel I do a really good job differentiating--but I do NOT do a good job keeping track of what I do!

My thinking is this . . . if I create drawers with different purposes,  I can match students up to drawers based on their needs.  I have been brainstorming, and I think I've come to my "first draft" plan.  I am going to have the top 2 drawers be "permanent" drawers housing fact practice.  They will always be fact practice--but the activities will change.  Some students will never need these drawers and other will use them often.

Some of the drawers will be for review activities and practice of previously learned skills.  Some of the drawers will be for CURRENT units, and some will be "challenge" drawers.  I think this might actually work, but I would love your feedback!  So then I started thinking about the obvious question for organizationally challenged humans like me!  Here is what I came up with . . .

I am thinking that I can keep a running list of activities by NUMBER.  If drawers 1 and 2 are always fact practice, when I change the activity, I can note that.  I DO need to figure out a way to keep track of what students are working in WHICH drawers!  It's a start--and I would WELCOME any advice!

The other Monday Made It that I accomplished this week was an update of my "People Picker".  I use popsicle sticks a LOT to pick partners, for selecting my Unique of the Week, to make groups, and so on.  I also have a rule that I cannot pick more than two boys or girls in a row (alternating is too obnoxious) but it does ensure equality.  Usually I have the popsicle sticks in a glass jar, but on my shopping expedition I saw the cutest jars that TOTALLY match my classroom!  I used some extra ribbon . . .

And here it is!  A newly created "People Picker"!  Thanks for stopping by and checking out my new projects!  Feel free to give me suggestions on my new I/E cart--I really could use some of you organized thinkers!


  1. I want one of those carts. I saw that Sam's Club has them on sale for like another week. So I'm tempted.
    Only I am the school teacher librarian. So my classroom is a little different. I love your idea, though. Just trying to think about how I could justify such pretty organizational tools ... ;)
    PS Blue plus jar equals WIN.

    1. HAHA! I think librarians must have MANY things to store in pretty rainbow drawers! :)

  2. You have motivated me to go out and buy organizational goodies for my classroom today... Juggling 4 grade levels of students AND teachers had definitely made me rethink how I keep track of various items :)

    I'll make sure to take pics as I go!
    Thanks so much for kicking me into gear!

    Mathematically yours,
    Jamie aka MissMathDork!

  3. Love the idea for the drawers! I snagged some from a retiring teacher and was wondering what exactly I would do with them - this would be perfect!

    One idea to keep track of who's working out of which drawer - you could keep a cheapy picture frame on top, with a piece of paper in it that has the numbers of your drawers down one side. Then, you could write students' names or numbers beside the drawer number with a dry erase marker and just erase/rewrite as necessary.

    Thanks for sharing the idea!

    Mrs. Whitehead's Thoughts From Third Grade

  4. I have two of those drawers, and love them!!! I use them as homework check-in. I label each drawer w/ a subject. On top of the drawers, I have a clipboard with a check-in sheet. The kids are responsible for checking-in and turning in their homework. I divide the class into two groups so that the entire class is not standing around one set of drawers. I use the other drawers for things I need to get to quickly like my new student bags, etc. I love these drawers!!

  5. I love your idea for using the cart. That is a great way to meet students needs! I am going to have to find a way to use your idea next year.

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