Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tricks of the Trade- Manipulative Storage

Linking up for the first time with Joy in the Journey for her Tricks of the Trade Thursdays" 

Since I am not in my classroom right now, I won't have any photos of my actual storage system. 
But here is what I have done for years. 

I am all about plastic sturdy storage. I had been teaching for 10 years when I met my husband. He didn't realize how many plastic tubs I had until we moved after being together for five years. He was truly shocked. He told me he would move them once and that was it. Isn't he so funny? He has moved them twice so far. He's a trooper though. 

1. Large plastic tubs.
I have a gazillion unifex cubes, pattern blocks, and base ten blocks. These are in large tubs. 
I have about 15 of these with various color lids. Last year they stored manipulatives and notebooks. They have lasted for many, many years and several moves. 

2. Smaller tubs
I have some smaller tubs as well for the manipulatives that I have less of, like cusinaire rods. I think these are called shoe boxes. They are a great size smaller amounts. 

3. I have many, many sets of cards. I have them all labeled with matching letters. This helps get missing cards to the correct set. The cards are kept in index box holders. These are cheap when school supplies come out. 
This is actually a picture of my reward cards, but these are the exact boxes I use for my decks of cards storage. They are labeled "Deck of Cards A, Deck of Cards B, etc..." 

4. I use pencil boxes for everything. I bet I have over fifty boxes. When I taught first grade, I used a lot of "junk boxes". These housed all my small things. I have a bunch of seasonal erasers from Oriental Trading. These boxes were perfect for those type items. 
At the end of the year I keep all  these pencil boxes in a very large tub. I have about 20 of these in my room. They store a lot of things since I don't have closets or cabinets. 

Everything is labeled. Right now they are with homemade tags and clear packing tape. 
Fifth in the Middle shared about a sticker maker on a Monday Must Have. I am seriously considering getting one of these by the end of the summer. 

I also have a basket called "Lost and Found".  When things are already put away and a unifex cube or card is found, it is put in Lost and Found. This way I can put them back where they need to go when I have time. 
This is the exact basket I have that collects my lost and found.

For me, my manipulatives are changing since I am now in middle school. This year, I plan to buy Algebra Tiles and Anglegs. Time to buy new tubs! 
Shh! Don't tell my husband though.  

1 comment:

  1. Hodge, you are a woman after my own heart! I'm a basket/tub fanatic and overly organized in my classroom and office. You will LOVE the Xyron Sticker Maker. I have a couple different sizes from my Scrapbooking stuff and use them a lot! I also buy the cheap labels from VistaPrint to use too!

    Jennifer Smith-Sloane