I’ve always tried to use my time with my students as efficiently as possible. Any random moment of down time is usually when I see student misbehavior, and I feel like I’m losing out on valuable instruction time. I’m always looking for ways to streamline procedures to keep my day running as smoothly as possible.
One simple strategy that I love is how I organize my manipulatives. I used to store each type of manipulative in one large tub, which worked okay. I would just dump a handful out at each table for my students to distribute to each other. Then a couple of years ago, I had a summer of organization, and I now store my math manipulatives in several small containers. I have one container for each group, so whenever we need our manipulatives, I don’t have to do anything! One person from each group gets the manipulatives from the bookshelf for their table, so that there’s no need for me to stop instruction while I pass everything out. I know it sounds so basic, but you wouldn’t believe how much smoother the whole process has become for me!
I only do this for the manipulatives we use on a regular basis, because I’m very limited on the amount of display space I have. I created a label for each tub and made sure to buy stackable tubs to keep things nice and straight. This is also nice for our independent work time, because I often allow students to use manipulatives as needed, so they can independently get what they need.
The next blog on the blog hop is Laura Candler’s Corkboard Connections. When you have some time, you should check this blog out, because you’re sure to find tons of great ideas! For the blog hop, Laura has written about creative seating options for independent and group work, so be sure to hop right over!