Here’s a few more little Pinterest gems I use that make our classroom routines a little smoother.
Job Flip Chart
Now this one didn’t exactly come from Pinterest, but it’s how I do things. For the week, I choose a girl and a boy helper. They do all of the classroom “jobs” that we need (line leader, hand sanitizer, bathroom monitor, etc). This is how I keep up with it. It’s just index cards that are hole-punched with a big ring. Done!
Lunch Choice Magnets
I found these little gems last year at The Dollar Tree and used them for Daily Data. This year I bought another set, spray painted them to match (they come in a set of blue, pink, grey, and black), and labeled a Dollar Tree cookie sheet to keep track of our lunch choices. This is also a super easy way to notice who is absent first thing in the morning.
Last year I used a pocket chart for this. Students inserted a blue card if they were at the restroom, red if they were out. I liked how I could look at the board and easily know how was out. Students could also see if another student was already in the restroom (we go as needed when I’m not giving instruction). However, it didn’t take long for the little pockets to get torn up, no matter how many times I laminated them. So enter this Pinterest idea.
Now this hasn’t been perfect. I’m having issues with students taking a LONG time to write their names (and add stars… or hearts… or squiggles… or… whatever!), so I’ve had to spend some time explaining it’s purpose (and not it’s purpose) and being a “mean teacher” by enforcing what I’ve said. “If you have time to draw, you don’t really need to go. Sit down.”
I saw this all over Pinterest and thought there is no way that is going to last. However, after watching my floor quickly turn to a dull shade of grey yet again, I decided to give it a try. I bought colored felt from Hobby Lobby (to match each table color). I recruited my brother to cut them into fourths. Then as a class, we put them on our chairs. The idea was that if the students put them on the chairs themselves, they would be more likely to keep up with them.
So here’s how it’s going. First of all, the “buying in” really worked. The students spent their own time putting them on and they genuinely keep an eye out for them; making sure they are still on, putting them back on if necessary. Score! And even better, they are actually keeping the floor clean. I’ve already had several compliments from the custodians that my floor is looking pretty good. Of course, if a pencil lead or crayon tip gets caught under a foot, it’s still nice and scratched across the floor, but what cha gonna do?
Despite the general success, I have learned a few things about them that I hope to pass on to you! First, having the students put them on was great for buy-in, but they did not get them on as tightly as needed. They were popping off that day. So I did have to go back and redo those myself. Second, if you keep the rubber band too close to the foot, you create a large flap that can be stepped on. My solution was to put the rubber band on more like this:
Make sure the flaps are tucked in. Now this fixed the problem for most of my students, but my more active ones still step all over theirs. The other solution would be to cut them smaller.
Feeling inspired? Try one and let me know how it works for you!