Saturday 24 August 2013

Inspired By Pinterest 1 - Classroom Organisation

I've admitted my addiction to Pinterest and I don't feel so bad about it anymore! Setting up a new classroom in a new school has been a great opportunity to try out some of the things I pinned on my boards a long time ago. I'll put them up in a few separate posts, this one will focus on general classroom organisation ideas.

1 - Teacher Toolbox.
You can read all about this one and see step-by-step instructions in my previous post.

2 - Class journals.  
I saw this pin and immediately liked the idea.  I bought the notepads and sponge letters from The Range and decided these were the 4 topics.  The books will basically be free writing journals for kids to write about a sports event (like a report), a dream, a holiday or a wish. It's a really simple idea which, I hope, will encourage writing.  My job is to make sure children have time to use them.

3 - Assessment In-Trays
My husband and I bought a couple of sets of these each as an easy way of understanding how children felt the lesson went.  These used in the wrong way can be awful. However, with the right classroom ethos and understanding they can help teachers judge where to pitch the next lesson, who needs help on the next day and who is ready to move on.  The in-trays can be bought here. 

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Creating My Teacher Toolbox

I have an addiction to Pinterest. There. I said it. I love it and I can't get enough of it. I will be satisfied to browse for half an hour without any luck if I just find one good idea.

In the few months that I've had a Pinterest account, something has caught my eye again and again: the beautiful Teacher Toolboxes that people create and post. So, having created a board full of Toolboxes I liked, I was inspired enough to create one myself.  Again inspired by Pinterest, I have chosen a black and white theme for my room, so I followed this when creating my Toolbox.

So here are the instructions.

You will need:
A tool accessory box, mine is this one from Amazon.
A laptop.
Some washi tape, like this.
Some double sided sticky tape.
Lots of stationary items to fill the toolbox with.
Spray paint that can go on plastic, I used Direct To Plastic.
A large area and lots of time, preferably with movies or a TV series, I chose One Tree Hill.

I collected my pieces and was ready to go.

First, choose a colour scheme that matches your washi tape then load up your laptop and create a table in word. I measured the fronts of each drawer and made the boxes of the table the same size (right click, table properties, adjust row width and column height). Then insert your words and a pattern image to the box of the table.
The next job is to put the patterned tape on the handles of the drawer. This is an easy job, just cut it, place it on, secure it down and tuck in the edges, like wrapping a present.
Hopefully you'll see that things are coming together! Next job: back to labels. This is where the double sided sticky tape comes into its own.  Cut tiny bits and attach one bit on each side of the front of each label, peel the backing off and you're good to go. Stick it to the inside of the drawer and, voila! 
Once you've done all your drawers, you're almost there.
The final job is to remove all the trays and spray paint the frames. Unfortunately my spray paint hasn't arrived yet so that job will have to wait! 

UPDATE: The boxes have been spray painted and I added some white sponge letters like these to the top.

I hope this helps those wanting to make one of these, particularly if you're in the UK as I couldn't find any information online about where to buy things! 

Let me know if you try one of these, I'd love to see how it turned out!