Saturday, July 20, 2013

Organizing My Thoughts and Supplies

I've been working at school getting my new classroom organized.  It's been a slow process, but it's coming along.  I have quite a stack of empty boxes outside my room now, so I'm seeing some progress.  (In fact, one of our staff members happens to be moving soon, so she carried a bunch of the empty boxes home with her on Friday.  I look at it as the ultimate in recycling!  I reused the boxes and now Mrs. Cheeseburger can use them.)

I thought of my friend, Mrs. Bluebird from Bluebird's Classroom, as I was unpacking and consolidating school supplies.  (She blogged recently about poor quality pencils.)  As Mrs. Pokey and I are the Queens of Scavenging in our school, other teacher give us extra or left over school supplies throughout the year.  We usually get a big bonanza each June when classroom teachers are packing up their rooms for the summer.

As I sorted extra pencils, crayons, markers, highlighters, glue sticks and dry erase markers, I had an inspired thought.  Why not let my English Language Learners make their own school supply kits to take home? Many of them are on free and reduced lunch and they are given beginning of the year backpacks with school supplies for school, but frequently don't have school supplies at home.  I'm going to give each student a gallon freezer bag and have them make their own homework kits.  We'll count out three pencils, one glue stick, one highlighter and a snack baggie of crayons. Then I'll have them make their own pack of markers.  I have a box of gently used individual markers, so it will be good experience for my students to listen and follow directions as we create our own marker packs.  For example:  "Everyone make sure you have a black marker.  Now find a brown marker and a red marker, etc."  I can assess their listening skills and make sure they know their English color words at the same time.  Bonus!  Plus, I will emphasize that there is no excuse now for the the claim of "I didn't do my homework because I don't have a pencil or markers or glue, etc."

Heh, heh, heh!  I love a good plan.

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