Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sewing Supply Storage & a Pep Talk

Once you've assembled students' sewing supplies, the next step is to create an easy way for them to access their materials and a headache-free way for you to store them. My classroom came equipped with a few "storage tray" cabinets - you know the kind I mean, with the removable trays/drawers for student supplies. When teaching high school I just assigned a tray/drawer to each student (complete with name labels) and put them in charge of retrieving and putting away their own tray. I found this to be a complete disaster at the junior high level due to all the pushing, shoving, and messing with other people's stuff. So scrap that idea!

Since my classroom is arranged in four horizontal rows with a supply table in front of each, I now assemble one tray per supply table:

In the tray, I place the supply jars, supply bags, and folders for the kids in that row. The folders are usually kept in a tote in front of the classroom, but during the sewing unit I put everything together to cut down on the time it takes to transition between classes. While I still love the SpongeBob formula can cover, I've found it's a good idea to make each jar in the tray a dramatically different color so that students are able to find theirs much quicker than by looking for their name label alone (it is AMAZING how long it takes junior high kids to accomplish simple things like "find the jar with your name on it" compared to high school!). The other items I keep on the supply table are a small stack of paper towels (cuts down on student "need" for tissues dramatically when you offer paper towels only, not to mention having them within arm's length cuts down on room traffic) and a measuring cup of golf pencils. Yes, I have given up on the pencil war. Except for the class that kept constantly throwing theirs on the floor - they're completely on their own for pencils for the rest of the school year. But I digress. The tray you see in the photo above only has three jars because my smallest classes are in the sewing unit right now - during the last rotation each of my trays was packed in, but it still worked well.

In the baskets (purchased at Dollar Tree - don't you love that store?) I place the supply baggies and whatever materials they need to share. Right now I have a roll of Scotch tape in each basket because it's usually necessary during paper sewing. Later on I'll add mini rolls of yarn for our plastic canvas project, etc.

The trays admittedly are pretty ugly; in time I will pretty them up. For now I've just thrown some colored duct tape around the edge so that each class's trays are obviously marked.

I just toss these out on the supply table before class, and throw 'em back in the closet before class ends. Works great!

This next part has nothing to do with sewing, but I have to share. This was shown during a student assembly at school yesterday, and I found it to be absolutely fantastic. I am not one who is big on YouTube sharing, email forwards, etc, but this one is totally worth it - check it out!

(Here's the link in case the embedded video doesn't work for you.)

I'll end this with sharing that I have finally jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon and put together my own teacher "toolbox" from Lowe's:

I have been coveting these all year and now that I've finally made my own I LOVE it! Buy one for $23 at Lowe's, trim some scrapbook paper, make some labels, and presto, supply command central. If you've been hesitating, do it already, it is so handy and sooo cute!

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