Sunday, 14 December 2014

Table Tubs- an organisational goldmine!

I don't know about you but one of the things I struggle most with is instilling a sense of pride and responsibility in my 6 year olds- I want them to look after equipment and tidy up after themselves but I don't want to have to spend hours waiting for them to stop fussing.

This year I think I've cracked it!

One of the first things I posted as I started my IG teacher journey was this picture of some £1 peg baskets I purchased in the Summer holidays-

I have used them for my Guided Reading groups for a while and if you look carefully around my classroom then you will spot them being used to organise resources left, right and centre but the greatest use I've found for them is as table tubs.

I have 5 'tables' in my classroom and each has a tub!

Inside each tub there are 3 buckets or beakers-
The large bucket is used as a table bin where any cutting out or general table rubbish can be put. The smaller, numbered bucket contains a pencil sharpener and is our sharpening bin.
The beaker is used as a pencil pot and also contains the tables rubber.

Each child keeps their 'good-fit' library book in their tables tub and it also contains support materials such as VCOP mats and number squares.
If I ever want to clear the tables quickly then the children just place everything inside the basket and it can easily be lifted to another place with minimum fuss.

One of the greatest things about the tubs are the mini bins- they cut down on children getting up and down and only have to be emptied at the end of the day (one of our class jobs).

At the start of the school year I put washi tape on the top of my pencils- a different design for each table- and I'm yet to give out any new pencils- a first for sure! I explained to the children that they must ensure the correct number of pencils with their tape on are inside their table tub at the start and end of the day and that it is their job to do this not mine- it has worked a treat!

I got the lovely table number labels as a freebie on TPT
from Teresa Lewis  and I cut out smaller ones to put on the class whiteboard. Each table can earn points for having everything organised, being polite and being the first to be tidy or ready- the team with the most points on a Friday gets a lucky dip from the prize bag. Each week The Desk Fairy visits a desk and the children get very excited and quite competitive to see if it will be them!

I've laid down explicit instructions for how to use glue sticks in class this year too (last years class went through our box of 40 by Christmas!) and we are just about to get our second lot out- I only put 5 out at a time!

I know this is a different group of children but I honestly don't think that is the reason my resources are lasting longer and the children are tidier- I think it's because I've changed!

I've not only told the children what I expect of them as in previous years but now I've given them the tools to achieve it and the positive affirmation to strive for.

I love my table tubs and can't believe I've never used something like them before- gone are the days of a simple pencil pot!

If you use a similar system or try out any of these ideas then please let me know how it works for you.

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