Sunday, February 12, 2012

You know you're a teacher...and upcycled storage!

What a weekend! It was one of those I felt like I didn't get time "off" at all. I think I sat down less than I do when I'm at school! Whew. Why does Sunday evening have to come so soon?!

Anyway, I'm linking up with two fun parties/projects tonight. The first is the "You Know You're a Teacher When..." linky party over at Kindergarten Lifestyle. I'm sure we are all pretty good at spotting a fellow teacher - and here's a couple of my own reasons why:
 I go with my class to all specials, and on the days we have art class, I definitely have a wardrobe that doesn't get worn on my regular teaching days. Because no matter how "washable" tempra paint professes to be, it's not...paiper mache glue leaves grease marks...clay is a beast, too.
Okay, so I promise I don't regularly talk to inanimate objects. Living creatures are, however, not known to be exempt from my teacher-voice!

Next, this week's challenge at the Clutter-Free Classroom Project was all about creating classroom storage for free - "upcycling" containers into usable storage for the classroom. Since I desperately need to overhaul my table work/goal work cupboard, I decided to go with something for that.

Here are a couple "before" pictures of my table work cupboard, just for reference's sake:

The bins are what I'm looking to change. I have one for each student, but they take up way too much room, and I don't need them as-is. Right now, I keep things in them related to that individual student's IEP goals, but that's really not necessary or practical. What would be more helpful is bins categorized by skill area, rather than student (as you can see, my miscellaneous skill area materials are a hot mess in the rest of this cupboard!). I do still need something for each student, as I also place any missed work or projects in their bins, if they're absent a day or something. I still need something that functions for that.

So, I decided to create something more like mail/paper sorting files for each student where I can put any missed individual work, or things that are only specific to them (ie, personal info such as addresses). I found this idea several places online - I used Priority Mail boxes, wrapping paper, and colored duct tape.

Now, first of all: yes, we all know you can get Priority Mail boxes free from any US Post Office. However, it's illegal to use unmailed boxes for anything other than shipping things Priority Mail. So, use boxes you've received in the mail. Or something. *whistles innocently* Um, yeah. That's my legal disclaimer.

Also, second of all: I'm very craft-impaired. And my visual-spatial skills leave something to be desired. So this photo is my first-try, very imperfect attempt. I'm going to make some more that look much better! You know, measure and everything. I'll use this one - just not anywhere it's always visible in my room! But I'm pleased with the way the concept turned out, even though the look is kind of sloppy. I'll need three of these units total, and they'll fit perfectly (and take up much less space) in my table work cupboard:


  1. I have class t-shirts, teacher bags, coffee mugs - you name it - I got it!
    THanks for joining my linky party!! It's so fun!!
    And I am now following you!

    ­Kindergarten Lifestyle

    Kindergarten Lifestyle Facebook Fan Page

  2. Hey, for a first try ,it look's pretty good!!!!

    Ms. Rachel’s Room

  3. I love your mailboxes! I've seen this before, but yours are much cuter covered with scrapbook paper. Is that duct tape around the edges?
    Teaching With Style

    1. Nicole - thanks! I actually covered the boxes with wrapping paper; I think scrapbook paper would work even better since it's thicker. Yes, that's colored duct tape around the edges. I love that stuff!


  4. I laughed out loud at the "making better choices" graphic! My poor poodle has to hear me talk to him about "appropriate behavior" ALL THE TIME! :)


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