Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Back to School: The Nesting Bench & Tuesday Folders

The Nesting Bench

I have been teaching 4th grade for quite some time, and one thing I have learned is that 4th graders DO NOT like to sit on the rug or floor.  So, this summer I had a vision.  This vision will hopefully be my mini lesson savior :)  I call it the The Nesting Bench. 

Look closely.  At first glance, it looks like a bookcase, but in reality it is a bench within a bench.  The first bench serves as storage.  It never moves. When the children come to the rug, they use the handles on the side, and move it back. 
When the bench is pulled back, it will reveal another bench.  The benches are sturdy enough for both storage.  When the mini lesson is over, two students use the handles and return the slightly taller bench back over the small storage bench.
These are so great, that I am returning to Home Depot tomorrow to create another bench for the other two side of my rug.  If you're interested in making these they cost about $205 without the staining. 
Materials needed to make benches:
* 2 x 10 x 16 piece of wood  (ask the home depot guy to cut it into 2- 15 inch pieces, 2 18 inch pieces, 1 3 1/2 ft board, 1 4ft board, and the remainder as shelf for little bench)
* #8 screws
* Drill
* 2 braces (for the taller bench)
* 2 x4 hardboard (backing for the tall bench optional)

Tuesday Folders

On Tuesdays, my school sends out information, newsletters, and school wide letters to parents.  They go home in a red folder called Tuesday Folders.  My math partner and I decided to save time and send their weekly work home in these folders. 
I want to share how I get everything out to students.  In the picture below are my homeroom's mailboxes.
Mine are numbered because I have a large student turn over rate.  In the past, I have labeled their mailbox with their name.  Throughout the week, I have students return papers and graded work in the mailbox (along with all of the school papers).  When Tuesday rolls around, students grab their folder (left side of mailbox) and take all of their papers out.  They go home, have them sign the page stating the parent looked through the folder and return it back the next day.  It is super easy and the children do it all on their own. 
Summer has flown by. I return to school tomorrow. Keep a lookout for back to school freebies. I predict a large list of freebies to come (within the next few days).
As always, happy blogging!

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