Throwback Thursday-Way Back!

So friends, this is my last Thursday before I return to school.
Summer FLIES, oh my goodness!!
As I prepare my classroom,
I always wonder what other teachers use to make their classrooms work.
Well, maybe today's Throwback Thursday will help you in some way.
We're going back to one of my first posts in January, 2012.

What Works for Me Wednesday!

I love seeing what works for others in their classrooms, 
so 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. 
Update: My Take Turns Bucket is much cuter now!! Ha!

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!

 If you've read all of this, go link up with Cara!
Then...hop on over to my facebook page for a fans only freebie!

Happy Thursday!


  1. Hi Laura - Have a great first week back! The mini broom idea is awesome, I am going to go shop for that for my room. I am always complaining about the mess in my class, I know my kids will LOVE this!!

  2. I really like the mini broom idea. I am always running over to the custodian's closet to get a broom. Why didn't I think of this?
    Connie Anderson:)
    Welcome To First Grade Room 5