Things end up on the floor.
It’s a fact of life when you’re doing learning all day long with lots of little bodies and different personalities, learning styles and levels of responsibility.
So, what’s a teacher to do with all of those floor-found things?
How about NOTHING?
I highly recommend putting a system into place that your kinders can use by themselves to get what they need and turn in things that are found.
That way you can focus more mental energy on the things that matter, like those little people. Not their crayons.
No matter if you do community supplies or individual pencil boxes, you can use this system.
Let me show you how it works.
How it works
Have one clearly marked place to put things that your kinders find on the floor.
For example, in our classroom this meant we had a place to put lost:
- markers (regular and dry erase)
If students find one of these objects on the floor, they pick it up and put it in the proper container.
If a student has lost his or her item and needs one, they go to the proper container.
Model, teach and praise to get the ball rolling on utilizing the system and then let it work for you!
What I did
To set up this area, I emptied a shelf space and added a few inexpensive dollar spot buckets.
These were the right height to hold things vertically but not so tall that things would get lost visually.
I added picture labels for each of the most-used (and therefore also most-misplaced) items.
This system made it easy to put out new pencils, dry-erase markers, crayons, etc. without any hassle. Every so often, I’d just add in a couple of new items into the mix using these lost buckets and it worked out great.
It’s rather genius (if I may) and super easy to implement!
I’ll help you implement it – just download these free labels below.
Free printable download
This free download for teachers includes labels for: pencils, erasers, crayons, markers, glue, math pieces.
Each label comes in two different sizes but you can always change your printer settings to a different scale percentage to get it just right for your containers.
One set says, “lost” and the other says “extra.”
One bonus set of extra labels is half-sheet size and perfect for labeling supplies bins at the beginning of the school year to store away through the year.
When you set up a single space with all of these containers, you are pretty much setting up a command station for supplies.
If you have additional supplies that students will use every day, but aren’t specific to a location in the room, then you should consider also housing them here.
For me, this meant that our stapler and tape dispenser were also stored here at a height where my students could get them.
(I kept extra staples and an extra roll of tape in the unlabeled polka dot basket to make refilling easy and something a trained student could do as a classroom job.)
And I also kept a small lost math pieces basket near where I taught math in small groups.
This way any lost number cards, dice, dominoes or manipulatives had a place to go and it helped our classroom to feel tidy.
I wouldn’t have to put these items away every day but could wait until it was convenient for me and in the meantime, the classroom still felt organized.
Let’s wrap it up
There you have it – an easy system to implement to help keep your floors clean and empower students to get materials themselves as needed.
This system really helped me to establish and maintain a tidy classroom in regards to the little stuff. I hope it can do the same for you too.
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