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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Ready or Not BTS Blog Hop


Good Morning and welcome- It's my turn to share something great for our
 It's time for Back to School Blog Hop.
I went back and forth about what I should share.
And I decided to share something that worked like a DREAM for the last two years I was in first grade.
It was when I made the choice to go to COMMUNITY SUPPLIES. Just the mention of it used to make me worry what the kiddos would say and the fit the parents would throw because "Those were mine!" .....but I was VERY pleasantly surprised to find that with some great organization and a fool-proof routine, they would catch on to this system quickly!
Below are the pictures from when I made that transition, along with some excerpts from the blog post that shared this wonderful way of keeping up with supplies!

I do not have the tables I wanted, so I used my desks to make "tables".

They are in groups of 5.
There are 4 "tables" so far this year.
They use these table #s for various things, I will share those.

At each table there is an A,B, C, D, E.
It is on your nametag  to help you remember.
I might say "I need the Es to go get your table bin".

So the Es would go get the bin (only four people up).

 Let's pretend we are coloring something.

I keep the crayons in these little travel soap containers. They fit perfectly. They will actually hold all 24, but I take out all but the main 12.

The red violets, blue greens, and dandelions are saved for other projects.

Those little "crayon boxes" live in a table bin.
The table bins live on a cart.

So now we will pretend that the Es have gotten the bins and taken them to the table.
Whoever takes it to the table, passes them out.
I might call the Ds to put them away. (again, only four people are up).
If you are the person putting them away, you make sure you get one from everybody at your table.
5 friends. 5 boxes.

What if someone is missing a color?
They can go to the crayons and get the color they need to put inside of the little box.
I painted them, but am not loving them, because they are too "yellowy".
Notice how two very distinct colors live in the same drawer.
Also if you find a crayon on the floor, you can just put it in the correct drawer.

Now let's pretend we are working on something that needs scissors.
I have learned my lesson.
Scissors used to live at their desks (first 5.5 years of teaching).

I can't take it anymore.
The cutting of the clothes. The hair. The paper that WASN'T supposed to be cut.
Not to mention my aversion to metal- I can't handle that noise when they

So the scissors live in a separate bin.
They are in the four little bins on top of the shelf. Each contains the # of scissors to match the # at the table.
If what we are working on needs scissors, I will put that little bin in the table bin before we start.
That way when the Ds come get their bin, they have what they need.
The same with glue. It isn't in the bin, unless we are going to use it.

What about pencils?
We can't be up ALL the time taking pencils and putting them back!

Pencils live........

in the CUPS! See the cups? Cups are good.
There are only three things that can be in your cup.
A pencil.
A dry erase marker.
The coins from behavior system (that's another post).

What about keeping that cup from falling off?

The cups take up a tiny little space. Pencils don't roll off onto the floor.
NO ONE has to "dig" in a pencil box to find anything.

We only use yellow pencils- because they are community.
See how nicely they stick up out of the cup?
At the end of our day a friend just takes 'em right out, puts them in the
please sharpen me can, and then another friend puts one sharpened pencil in the cups
each morning. If you need a new one during the day, you just trade out at the cans.

This is how nice it looked while they were at lunch.
When we are finished, someone  from that table will put all those boxes in the table bin and then the table bin will go back to the cart.
And all will be right with the world.

Whooo is coloring so nicely???

A few questions I have gotten from fellow teachers

What about the pencil boxes they brought in?
Those are in the closet with a set of markers in them.
We do not use them that often, so they don't need to be in the way.
What about the books and notebooks?
Notebooks are in a literature stacker (which I am considering a bin for each table)
Books live in cubbies when not being used.

What if they need supplies for a center?
If crayons, scissors, or glue is needed for any activity- it will be in the center box.

So, now you all think I am this crazy Hitler Teacher who doesn't let anyone use anything EVER.
I promise I am tons of fun- we do a lot of fun things- I promise:)

I have just based this system on my previous experiences.
They cannot interrupt your instruction with noise from supplies that are not in their hands. (They will find other ways to do it, but now they must get creative) :)
The less distraction, the better.
They all have to take ownership of our room. We want our room to reflect the type of students we are:

It really did work so well- and it did away with all the distractions that came from things being in front of them all the time. When I taught K, I tried right away to do community supplies, but it all just ended up being a bunch of broken crayons in a crappy caddy in the middle of the table! It only took me 6 years to get it all together!

Hope you have found lots of great ideas and freebies to help you on your Back to School Adventure!

Your next stop will be with Jennifer from The Teacher's Open House- Click on her Button below to head over and see what she has for you!


  1. Thank you! I totally have the broken crayons in the crappy it drives me nutty! Thank you so much for the great ideas! I NEED THIS POST. : )

  2. Love! I pinned that sh______________________________.

  3. Wow! You have really given us some great ideas! I totally agree with not leaving the scissors at the table. Learned that one real fast! LOL! Loved your post! Made me laugh! But, then again, you ALWAYS make me laugh!

  4. This is amazing. Thank you. Going to try to incorporate some of this in my class.

  5. I love the soap containers for crayons! I bought mini pencil boxes this year for crayons and they constantly are playing with them! I may have to move them to a cart like you!

  6. Love, love, love how organized and structured you are with all of the supplies. I am a big fan of community supplies. I went to a system kind of like this and saw a big difference in work habits and discipline with my students. It was so much easier for students to work and not up wandering around the room because everything was where it needed to be.

  7. Thank you for the tips; I'm moving from fourth to first and so nervous. No scissors in the caddies; got it!

    I love your tip about having A, B, C, D and E students at each group. One question I have is what about when you move kids to a different group? I get parents asking for seat changes a few times every year so I tend to do a big move every month. Any suggestions?

    Oh, and totally separate, off topic question. I was drawn here by your blog name. I actually NEED a one week "squirrels" unit. I searched TPT and found nothing. Do you have links to any materials on TPT or Pinterest or anything?

  8. Here at this site really the fastidious material collection so that everybody can enjoy a lot.


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