07-07-2006, 07:06 AM
I did this once. It was really good at engaging some of my more active boys in reading. I used the paint cans (pint sized) for word banks and we put all of our descriptive words in the can. Everytime we found a word that we felt was especially descriptive, we wrote it on an index card and placed it in the can. The child put their name on the back and at the end of the day, we read them and added them to our word wall/bank.
We of course talked about how words paint pictures. The kids really loved this and we filled our walls with great words in no time!
I used 5 gallon buckets with upholstered lids at a few centers that year. They stored materials and were easily cleaned.
Those little plastic bins used for nails and things might be pretty neat for storing small items.
You really could used use the tool belts... or carpenter's apron for your calendar activities.
Use washers for counters and don't forget the PVC pipe whispermaphones to help with fluid reading.
I have (for years) used the ceiling hooks with a dropped ceiling and place bags (balls) and lightweight items up high for storage... why not use buckets?
Self adhesive floor tiles work really well on the wall as dry erase boards.
I once put many low on the wall outside my classroom for the kids to write notes to parents or school friends, the janitor... anyone they liked. Mostly it was used as a reward but many of my kids really got into writing this way. We painted names on permanently so folks knew where to look for their student.
Don't hesitate to use your home improvement store. They will cut things for you and sometimes even help deliver if they understand that kids will benefit. Develop a good rapport with the main manager. They are usually great!
For my parent meetings, I actually got one store to come and demonstrate one home improvement technique (15 min) at every meeting. Things like basic maintainence, tiling, flooring, dishwasher installation, and closet organization were covered at the end of my meeting. I had a lot better turn out. A lot of dads and grandparents became more involved and families worked together.
I hope something here will help.
Have a great first year. Teaching can be so rewarding!