Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Few Random Things

First, is anyone out there in blogging land from NY?  I would love to get together with other blogger from Western NY.

Secondly, I thought I would share how I organize some of my math materials.  My goal is always to give students access to all materials and have them do prep work.  I am not a fan of prepping things unless I have to.

I store all of my manipulatives in a shelf like the one in the middle in the picture below.  I REALLY disliked the primary color bins.  When I inherited the shelf from another teacher, they had seen better days and I just did not like how they looked.  I bought  Sterlite shoeboxes to store manipulatives in and made labels for the boxes.  It looks all matchy-matchy and very clean now.

Then I made a few systems for the students to get all of their own pieces to play center games.  Again, I bought a Sterlite drawer container – I swear I must keep this company in business! I store dice and game pieces in the top drawer.  The game pieces are in little container I bought at the dollar store and are actually little erasers.  You can buy containers of them – like 100 in a container.  They make great game pieces because students have enough markers to play any game.

P1010287  P1010288

I the bottom drawers, I store cups I rescued from a teacher who was throwing them away.  I put about 20 counters in each cup to be used as manipulatives.

P1010289    P1010290

This system allows students to get whatever they need when ever they need.  Saves boatloads of time!

Thirdly, I am getting ready for Valentine’s Day!  I wanted to send home a project for students to make their own containers.  I usually do them at school, but need all the time I can get for academics this year and wanted to have the students do another project with their families. Snag a copy of my letter and a graph by clicking on the image.


Have a great Monday!


  1. Just discovered your blog- love it! And I love the Valentine activities. I'll have to modify the graph- no candy allowed at our school. Love my principal, but last year she wouldn't let kids pass out cards that contained candy. Thanks for sharing!

  2. So glad you stop by, Jan. We're not allowed to have candy typically, but we have an exception for Valentine's. I just don't le the kids have it at school. I would be happy to e-mail you the word version! Let me know.

  3. I love the cup idea, I have the drawers for my counters but never thought of breaking them up into cups so they weren't so hard to manage! Great tip! Thanks for sharing!!

  4. Christine,
    I would love to meet up! Central New Yorker here! The Valentine's Day Letter and Graph are so cute! Thanks for sharing!
    ❁Beth Ann❁
    Taming My Flock of Firsties

  5. I'm from NY also, I teach in "Queens"- 3rd grade..A little NY blogger meeting would be so much fun!
    Thanks for the Valentines activities!
    My math area is my next small project..

  6. Thanks for following my blog. I am a new follower of yours! I have tubs that are pink, purple, and green (which don't go with my color scheme at all) but I am going to paint them with the Fusion spray paint for plastic as soon as it is nice enough outside. I've used it on other things and it's great.

  7. Erika - that sounds like a great idea! I took the quick and easy way out and just bought the bins. Good luck with the painting - it would be great to make the bins match your classroom!


  8. Love your Valentine idea! I am new to blogging! my blog is:

    Check me out!!


  9. You have some great ideas on your site!