Thursday, February 14, 2019

Supply Management in the Classroom- Part 2

I've got to give some serious credit to one of my teacher-besties and my daughter's Godmommy. She teaches kindergarten and was a big piece in the inspiration behind the You Need Icons. We went to college together and spent copious amounts of time in Target, Lakeshore, Wal-Mart, etc. collecting everything we thought we'd need to start our classrooms and careers as teachers.

So fast forward just a bit and my teacher-bestie and I are 3 days from starting school our first year of teaching. She was hired to teach 5th Grade Social Studies and had the perfect classroom set up. She'd spent all summer making sure she had resources, maps, American flag borders- you name it. So Friday afternoon swings around, and she isn't teaching 5th Grade anymore. Hello, kindergarten! My husband, her husband, teacher-bestie, and I spent all morning on Saturday turning an empty room into a welcoming kinder classroom. I brought as much spare stuff as I had, and in that stack of stuff was a set of legal paper sized supply cutouts from the Dollar Store. I handed them to her and said something about how she could use them to give her kinders visual directions. And away she went with them- a massive bottle of glue, a cute yellow box of crayons, and the sweetest pair of giant paper scissors. That's how this idea was born:

On a team planning day, I threw these icons up to help out our substitute. Anybody else's students tend to slack with a sub in the room?

While the supply icons work wonderfully for making sure students are prepared, they're also a great reminder of your expectations for assignments in class! You can sequence assignments, order specific directions, or even leave specifics for certain groups of kiddos. It is very important that we work to support our students effectively now, so they can be weaned off of the support later. Systems like these are especially helpful for English Language Learners and students in Special Education, but it is ok to accommodate your regular education kiddos by providing visuals, too! After all- how many of your students are visual learners? Sometimes saying it (directions, supplies, questions...) just is not going to cut it!

In the picture above, I was calling Math small groups to my kidney table to introduce a new topic. I needed all of my kiddos to come prepared with certain materials, so I placed these on the board as a reminder. A few kids wondered up unprepared and all I had to do was point to the board! Some of them didn't even need me to point- they took one look at their peers sitting with notebooks, glue, scissors, and a pencil and took of running for their stuff! Peer pressure, guys- it works.

So really guys, if you have questions, comments, ideas or successes you want to share- please contact me. I promise you are not bothering me in any way! I am happy to help you!

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