Sunday, July 29, 2012

Teacher Tips - Page Protectors & Toolbox

I learned this last week in staff development, and it seems like it would be a useful way to keep organized.

I'm going to put all of my student information sheets into individual page protectors. When I get all of the other "stuff" (debris) that accumulates over the course of a term with students, I can put it into the page protector "pocket" rather quickly.

Late notes, health information, office referrals, detention forms, partner requests, rules quizzes, parent notes... All of it will go into the pockets. At the end of the term, I should be easily able to empty the pockets into the recycling bin. During the term, all of those oddly sized and shaped papers will be neatly corralled.

With this in mind, I bought four 25-packs of standard-weight page protectors last night. Hopefully, that will be enough for this one task.

That will be 33 kids per class, which is an ineffective overload that has, let's face it, happened in almost every class, every term. "Just help us out on this" means somebody doesn't want to figure out better scheduling and they are shortchanging the kids by crowding them into classes without enough seats.

I've noticed that I usually stash the information forms away in an unsorted stack that I have to sort through when I need information. My filing cabinet is just too inaccessible for the way my unusual class has to be structured. At least I don't have to make many complaint calls home to parents.

I saw something on Pinterest last night I may have to put in my classroom. At times, I have kids who are so preoccupied with chatting to the kids on the other side of the bookshelf separating them that they disrupt everything in their part of the room. Daily. Someone made screens with PVC pipe. :). I could do that, and put them on top of bookshelves to curb distractions. Hey, if they need help concentrating..... All it would take is PVC pipe, connectors, rings, and fabric.

Actually, I could use such a setup in a taller form to create photography backdrops for the kids to use on photoshop assignments, or even to use for green screens in Photo Booth.

I bought a couple of toolboxes at Lowes last night, with the intent of prettying them up to store things in my classroom. Instead of purchased paper, however, I'm going to make my own again. I'll either create my own in Photoshop or snap a pic of the curtain fabric I used to make matching headers for the drawers. (I can still add a cabinet front to the paper organizer I built and paper over it for prettiness.)

Note: It was not my choice to go with aqua as a classroom color, but I seem to be heading in that direction anyway. The selection of fabric at the local Wal-Mart, now that they finally put it back in, has turned out to be random and unexciting. They don't even sell lightweight knits. Bastards.

I may use one of those toolboxes at home for craft and household supplies and tools, though. I need to compact my storage because it seems to be taking up too much room even though it is effective. If I ever had a house with a garage (where all of those items *should* go, I could be the organized person I'm meant to be.

When I went out last night to buy the toolbox shown on Pinterest, there were none on that shelf. Obviously, several local teachers saw that post too! But I saw three 20 feet in the air and the male staff were oddly eager to pull stairs around for me and get then down.

I think it had something to do with the tight black running shorts I was wearing. And here I was thinking they were too indecent to wear in public. (Though I did wear them to a guy's house. Oh, I can't help it. I really like him. Maybe I should have worn a tight shirt too. ). Still, I got the help I needed for the FIRST time ever in that store. Which leaves me wondering about the woman who was eager to help me first...

Note to self: Dress kinda slutty when you're going to need help at Lowes. Legs get attention.

I may put Velcro dots on some page protectors and match them to dots on the station dividers in my room, too. This way I can put information sheets and posters up without all the hassle of stapling to the wood. I saw that as a tip for quick-change posters. The teacher puts the dots in exactly the same place on every poster and then puts the matches on the wall do the posters can be changed out easily. I wonder if the Velcro adhesive would stick to cinderblock walls?

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