In my classroom, we keep a tub with "old markers", "extra lids", and "scrap paper" on top of my art shelf. It is an easy way to get the most out of your classroom supplies and reuse them. By keeping the labeled tubs in the same place, students (and teachers) always know where they are and they can use them independently and quickly. Like any other classroom routine, it takes a few reminders or verbal cues by you the teacher. Once it becomes a routine, the students will be reminding each other and remembering to use them themselves as needed.
EXTRA LIDS - My students are always loosing lids to glue sticks, markers, and EXPO markers. They can spend so much time looking for one little lid. The lids roll under shelves, under the tables, or occasionally "fly" across the room. When this happens, instruction or playtime is lost which isn't good for anyone.
I created an "extra lid" tub in my art center. Now when students loose a lid, they can go look in the "extra lid" tub and grab a matching lid! NO (or little) instruction time lost and no more wondering the room looking for a lid!
How to we fill the extra lid tub you ask? When a glue stick is empty, students throw away the stick and put the lid in the "extra lids" tub. When an EXPO markers runs out they throw the EXPO marker in the trash, put the lid in the "extra lids" tub. When I make watercolor using my "old markers", I toss all the lids in the "extra lids" tub.
OLD MARKERS - Keep your old markers and reuse them to make homemade watercolor paints. I will be writing about how I make watercolors with old markers next week!
SCRAP PAPER - How many times do you or your students need just a little piece of construction paper for a project? How many times do students use a full piece of paper, cut out a small piece, and throw it in the trash or recycling can? If your classroom is like mine, it happens all the time. I hated to see students recycling almost full sheets of construction paper. Then I tried and tried to have scrap box. Someone would always throw all the scraps away thinking the scraps were trash. So I decided to make a label for it so it wouldn't keep happening! It worked like a charm and no one throws all the scraps away anymore. Students and teachers are now using the scraps when they need little pieces too and less is going in the recycling.
You can grab your FREE labels HERE (click on the picture)! They come in two sizes.
Want more classroom organization tips and tricks? Check out my Classroom Organization board on Pinterest.