Cool things I found in some of my recent classrooms

I love reading.  I love everything about reading.  The thrill of the hunt for a good book, the joy of emotional content, the purity if information, and even teaching folks how to do it.  I do have to admit, that last bit is really quite shiny in my mind.

I also love finding new ways of teaching reading.  One new thing I found was this;  a Personal Reading Phone.  It’s a hot line to your brain.  You read a story aloud in a quite voice and it gets piped right into your ear.  If you need it louder, just read a bit louder.  The kids loved this deal.  Its easy to sterilize and generic.  If you really wanted to, you could spray paint them to match the phone gag in the Fantasticks.

Personal Reading Phone
Personal Reading Phone

I’ve seen these little gems kept in student book boxes, in student drawers, and in a bin below the easel.  I have seen some in desks, but I don’t recommend it.  We all know how the inside of student desks get.

I’ve also seen some really great classroom organizational ideas.  Remember that drawer thing?  I have two ideas for you:

cheap plastic student drawers for daily use
  cheap plastic student drawers for daily use

I found drawers like these at Savers for about $4.  Your biggest investment might be a P-Touch label maker, though.  I’d play with that thing for hours and spend hundreds on the label tape.

Classroom drawers:  what the label says is what's in there!
Classroom drawers: what the label says is what’s in there!





What’s really cool about these drawers is not only the labels, but the pictures.  That’s what in the drawers.  I know it’s funky that I’m making a federal case out of labeled drawers, but you have no idea how many times I come into a classroom and drawers are all neatly labeled and that is not what’s in there.

Directly above the labeled drawers is student mailboxes.  Instead of putting student names on the boxes, put numbers.  That way you can use the same situation over and over and all you have to do is print up another sheet with student numbers on it.  Also makes it really easy to assign jobs, spaces, and tools to students.

Cool reading ideas.  We are all looking for them.  I found a super cool idea from a second grade room in Prior Lake; hats and beads.

Reading Hat Tree
  Reading Hat Tree

This super cool teacher buys the hats at the beginning of the year.  When she meets the kids face to face, she then takes a permanent marker and writes that name, however they want it, on the hat.  Each hat gets a little safety pin and a piece of leather shoelace.  Students bring in wide bore pony beads to add to the bead bin.  Each bead represents 10 books read.  Students can wear the hats whenever they wish in the room, but they may not wear them outside of the room except when they go home on the last day.  The teacher says the hats are easy to wash in case you need to.

some hats have dread-lock like collections of bead on them

This teacher says she has had students come back after many years and say they still have their reading hats.  I think that’s cute.  What’s in your classroom?






some hats have dread-lock like collections of beads on them

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s