Alternative to cubbies?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by karypal, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. karypal

    karypal Rookie

    Aug 22, 2016
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    Jul 12, 2018

    It's my first year teaching and I've been assigned to first grade. I'm very excited for the upcoming year and am in the process of obtaining necessary items for my classroom. I need to figure out a cubby system. I don't exactly have the funds to buy cubby drawers or shelving and I'm wondering if anyone has found an alternative to cubbies.
  3. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Devotee

    Jun 25, 2015
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    Jul 12, 2018

    Does the school not have any hooks for coats & backpacks?
    You could get a mailbox/slot thing (or make one) for their papers.
  4. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

    Jul 27, 2015
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    Jul 13, 2018

    I'm kind of surprised that type of equipment isn't already supplied as I'm assuming you're referring to a personal space for students' supplies. I'm also assuming you are using school money for this purchase. If not, I would recommend consulting with neighboring classroom teachers as to how they organize such.

    At my school, I experimented with plastic crates. They were usable, and more efficient than the type of desks the students had. The major hurdle was arranging them around the floor so that the students wouldn't trip over them, especially during an evacuation such as a fire. I also found that the plastic could find a way of cracking, but that was rare. I must admit, though, when the school bought new desks, I got rid of the crates.

    For lightweight equipment, cardboard shoe holders are useful for papers, but they can bend and sway over time; some, however, are reinforced with metal bars. There are found in school supply catalogs that sell these so that they fit 8x10 sheets of paper. Walmart and dollar stores are another possible source.

    A major problem with open containers and with some desks is encouraging students and providing time for students to keep them clean, especially avoiding food crumbs. In some school situations, the mess can attract mice, roaches, and ants. I tend to disagree with research that might suggest ignoring messily organized cubbies. Other research suggests that a neatly organized cubby is more brain friendly. Allowing students to organize their cubbies or desks through cooperative learning can be helpful. They can obtain ideas from other students' arrangements and share some of their own ideas. It also helps not to rush from closing one activity to beginning another. Instead, encourage and allow time for students to put everything away back in its place. This gives the teacher time to do likewise with her/his equipment, also, so that after school doesn't become a major cleanup job for the teacher.

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