What Works for me Wednesday


I've been wanting to do some type of weekly post, something fun but also useful. 

Midweek seemed right for this, and since I love seeing what works for others in their classrooms,  I thought I'd share a few things that work for me.  Seriously, seeing other classrooms never gets old to me!



Since this is my first "What Works for Me" post, I'm going SIMPLE! 
We really don't need a drum roll.

1) The Take Turns Bucket
I'm sure many of you use this or something like it, 
but in case you don't, let me share. 


Students' names are written on clothespins and placed in a container. 
I use a little pail. 

When we do ANY activity that requires taking turns, the bucket comes out! 
The rest I think you can figure out. 

The first time I tried something like this, I used popsicle sticks. The problem with those was there was nowhere to put the sticks once they came out of the pail. Clothespins easily clip onto the pail. 

My Tip for you: (What I learned the hard way!)
*I paint my clothespins first so the ink from the Sharpie won't bleed. Actually, this year some other teachers' children painted them for me. They loved it!

Side note: One of my sweet girls should NEVER buy a lottery ticket but should ALWAYS enter a draw-down because her clip is consistently pulled last. She's a really good sport, though!

If you don't use something like this, I encourage you to try it! 
Makes my life much easier!

2) Mini Brooms and Dustpans
The next things that work for me, and I truly could not live without, 
are my mini brooms and dustpans! 

That may sound nuts to you, but they are an enormous help in this classroom. 
My kids LOVE using the little brooms and can share the workload with a friend. 

I promise, they all use them without being asked! 

I hang my brooms on 3M hooks behind my classroom door. 
You can tell there isn't much room back there.


My Tips for you: (Things I learned the hard way!)
*Make sure the plastic is thick enough to withstand little hands that aren't always gentle. 
*I also suggest angled brooms. They're easier for the little ones to handle. My current brooms are straight and not as easy to use.
*Make sure you hang the brooms where all kiddos can reach.

Well, that was fun! I hope to keep this midweek post going. That's all for now! 
I'm going to try to remember to snap a pic of our Gumball Math Facts board WITH gumballs! That seems to be working, too! Much fun!

Have you seen these giveaways??
Lisa at First Grade Bloomabilities is having a chapter book giveaway- six whole books that she wrote!  She's giving away set 2 of her Katherine the Great series.  She wrote set 1 a couple of years ago! They look great! I'm super impressed!

Miss S at Just Teaching Kindergarten is having a giveaway with some blogger friends. You could win a gift card, clip art, or some awesome units! Go check it out!
  

Happy Midweek!!!

28 comments

  1. Sounds like a great weekly posting idea. :)
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

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    1. Thanks, Tammy! I hope it will be fun!

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  2. Your bucket reminds me of the beach. Love that! I use playing cards in our classroom for student grouping and turn-taking. I got the idea from Rick Morris/New Management. As a bonus I do a few card tricks for attention too. We also play a clean up game where I look at a "secret" item on the floor and reward the student who picks it up at the end of the game after our whole room is clean. Anything it takes, right? :)

    Looking forward to your next one!
    Christi
    Ms. Fultz's Corner

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    1. Love the card game idea! Will definitely try! We use the secret item game, too! You are right! Whatever it takes!

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  3. I'm lovin' the take turns bucket! And I have mini dust pans in my classroom, too! The kids LOVE when it's their turn to be street sweeper or desk sweeper :)
    ❤Teri

    A Cupcake for the Teacher

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    1. Thanks, Teri! Love the name "Street Sweeper!" Wish I could get them to come clean my house!

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  4. I LOVE the bucket!! I use popsicle sticks now and I am ALWAYS dropping them and losing some! haha I am on my way to the store to find a bucket! lol and more clips!!
    :)
    Thanks so much for the amazing idea!!
    ❤ Sandra
    Sweet Times in First
    sweettimesinfirst@gmail.com

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    1. Oh, I lost so many sticks! Let me know if how the bucket works for you!

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    2. Ok, I'm gonna be honest... I didn't try it!
      but I just blogged about your idea! :)
      I definitely plan to use it this school year from day 1... it's such a great idea!!
      Here's the post: http://sweettimesinfirst.blogspot.com/2012/06/target-finds-pinterest-ideas.html
      ❤ Sandra
      Sweet Times in First
      sweettimesinfirst@gmail.com

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  5. Great tips! I'm so glad I found your blog. I need tips like this. :)
    Sarah
    Sarah's First Grade Snippets

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    1. Thanks, Sara! I'm glad you found it, too! I'm off to find yours now!

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  6. I like the idea of the broom and dust pan. Kids can take ownership of the room and help out. :)
    Lori
    Conversations in Literacy

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    1. Thanks, Lori! We seem to clean ALL the time, but I truly never sweep!

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  7. I love this post! I'll be graduating in December, and am always on the lookout for new ideas!

    Allyson
    http://cupcakescandycanes.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks, Allyson! I'm sure you're finding a ton of ideas in blogland! I love reading others' ideas!

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  8. I just found your blog and I gotta say that I am loving it! I am your newest follower! I have the dust pans to and my kiddos love them. I like your idea of hanging them up and I would be definitely using it


    I can't wait to see your other teacher tips

    I would love for you to come visit my blog and follow me too

    Ms. patterson
    Pocket Full of Kinders

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    1. I'm so glad you stopped by! Thank you! I'm on my way to your blog now!

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  10. I am SO getting a few little mini brooms! Love that idea!

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    1. Your kids will love them, Kacey! Now, if only I could get them to come sweep my house!

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  12. I have a take turns bucket, too, but I wrote their individual numbers on those glass gems. Same idea though and it works really well :))
    Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to next Wednesday.

    ❀Barbara❀
    Grade ONEderful

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    1. Ooh those gems make me want a pirate theme! So cute! Thanks for the support!

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  13. Love the bucket idea! When my students finish their work, they can go on to what I call "choices." With only two student computers, I use the popsicle sticks that I have attached magnets to on my white board. Students move their sticks under their computer choice - EDM Games Online or CONNECTED - and wait their turn.

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    1. Such a great idea! Thanks for sharing! Never thought of putting magnets on the popsicle sticks! I also have two computers-I truly understand what an issue that is!! Have a great week!

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  14. I love all your Wednesday posts (I've just been reading through the all)! I want to join too! I need to post more often. Maybe you should make them a linky party each week! Love your blog Laura=)
    F is For First Grade

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  15. Thank you, Melissa! That's a great idea! I've never hosted a linky...scary!! I may have to, though!! It sure sounds like fun! Thank you for following!! I'm a big fan of yours, too!

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  16. I just found your blog via the forums at TPT. (I swear I have stopped by before, but I apparently never followed.) I love this idea of using the clothespins on a tin. I use the Popsicle sticks which the students get to decorate, but I like this soooo much better. Thanks for sharing. (I teach first too and am glad I found you..or stopped back :) )

    Heidi
    My (Not So) Elementary Life

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