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Like others, I have kids put yarn into balls. Great busy-finger exercise
for those who have finished early in mid. school. They "fight" to have the
honor to do this and I haven't a clue why.
Anyway...in the past I've separated balls into soda boxes by colors which
worked okay. I've also done the liter bottle thing too where you cut them
into halves horizonally, insert ball, pull string through top, shove bottle
pieces back together again. This works okay too but you wind up (no pun
intended) with a bunch of bottles and takes much room.
I was lucky to find an old library magazine rack in the back hallway
waiting to be picked up and thrown away by the district warehouse. It
swivels and has "pockets"...actually a paperback book rack. I added some
spraypainted matboard strips so the balls wouldn't fall out the sides and
now I can put balls by colors and the kids can pick from all sides since it
spins. I added wheels (the kind you can buy at Office Depot to add
underneath files cabinets) and I can easily roll it to anywhere in the room
we need it or tuck it in the corner when not used. It's so colorful and
pretty to look at too. The trick is to teach kids to tuck ending string
into the ball so they won't unravel easily. They CAN be taught, BTW!
A big tip I can offer new teachers is to check your district warehouse
about 2 times a year. It's like Christmas shopping at a "free" furniture
store. Use your creativity to find things that will work, maybe in a diff.
capacity than normal, for YOUR classroom. Don't call and ask...go down
yourself and poke around. I've found carpet samples for kids to sit on when
outside drawing and two tables for our magazines. I also found my huge
fabulous desk that way...used to be a high school, double-sided drafting
table. I ALMOST got a piano for my classroom too but shared my find with a
1st grade teacher friend who could really use it. Go take a look at YOUR
Bunki Kramer - Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Rd., Danville, California 94526