New uses for old things

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Toast, Jun 25, 2011.

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  1. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Jun 25, 2011

    As an elementary school teacher I am always intersted in ways to reuse items I would normally get rid of or throw away.

    What are some random things you use in your classroom to guide your instruction or even just organize your space?

    I reuse a couple of tissue boxes. It seems that plastic grocery bags always make their way into my classroom. Instead stuffing all the bags into one bag, I stuff them into an empty kleenex box. That way they are neatly put away and I can just pull one out if a kid needs a plastic bag.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I used old frosting containers to store my bulletin board borders. I cut off a little section of border and tape/glue it to the outside of the container so that I know what's inside.

    Next year I'm going to cut the tops off of old cereal boxes at an angle to make my own magazine storage containers. I'll decorate them up with some cute wrapping paper or something so that it doesn't look like I have random boxes of Special K all over my room.
     
  4. Mrs.DLC

    Mrs.DLC Comrade

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    We save water bottles(small one are easier)for our maracas. It's hard to get 35mm film canisters anymore, so I may need the bottles(cut)for our volcanoes!! I use oatmeal boxes as storage and we save Pringles can for our markers, words, etc. I reuse shoeboxes in many ways.(storage,dioramas, card boxes,etc.) The kids always enjoy reusing things to help the environment!!
     
  5. ami6880

    ami6880 Companion

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    I'm not really the crafty type, but I am currently collecting veggie cans for utensils. As a team we decided to collect them over the summer and let them decorate their can and velcro them to the top of their desks. I get so tired of pencils always falling out of desks, so hopefully this will help! We have been eating lots of green beans!
     
  6. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    That's a good idea!
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Make sure you either use the can opener that creates no sharp edges or you use really good tape on the top before they start. I've created these and put them in these caddies. Different supplies had different colored backgrounds.
     
  8. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I save my diaper wipe containers for pretty much anything storage. You know the plastic ones.
     
  9. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    The bigger cans make good paintbrush holders.

    Those individual sized pie tins (I forgot what goodies I ate to get mine from) made excellent paint bowls.

    Toiliet paper tubes make good additions to so many classroom pet habitats (except for fish of course).
     
  10. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    I haven't done this yet, but I heard of a teacher cutting bathroom wall panels to use as dry erase boards for her students. She said they worked great and she got them cut at homedepot.
     
  11. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    A printer paper box makes a good holder for scrap paper that kids can reuse for a variety of projects.
     
  12. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    It's called shower board around here, and available at Home Depot or Lowes.
     
  13. historynut

    historynut Rookie

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    I collected and used my sons formula canisters. I peeled off the label and I use them to store small things like erasers, paperclips, staples whatever.
     
  14. ami6880

    ami6880 Companion

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    I have been making sure that the edges are nice and smooth, that is my big fear, I would hate for someone to cut a finger I would feel horrible! I might be able to tape some spots down with masking tape, thanks for the idea!
     
  15. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    I got this can opener from pampered chef that is wonderful for opening cans and there are no rough edges. It's little pricey and a little complicated to use but the can's edges are very smooth.

    http://www.pamperedchef.com/our_products/catalog/product.jsp?productId=31046&categoryCode=KW
     
  16. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Just as a caution, have all the students use duck tape around the edges. You can buy the colored kind to make it more fun for the kids.
     
  17. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Jun 26, 2011

    • Big plastic ice cream tubs are good for storing things or use for water painting.
    • Freezer meal containers good for art or sorting activities.
    • Oatmeal and yogurt containers good for storing, marble painting, making games out of, etc.
    • Window screen used for art projects,
    • Bubble wrap good for art and sensory activities.
    • Ice cube trays good for counting, sorting, fine motor and art activities.
    • Cardboard tubes good for marble/car runs.
    • Old coffee table turned into a light table.
    • Old telephones and clothes and dishes used for dramatic play.
    • Old calendars used for cutting and math activities.
    • Old books cut up and laminate to make magnetic story re-telling characters.
    • Poker chips for math games.
    • Chopsticks, tongs, tweezers for fine motor play.
    • One of those old beaded seat covers cut up for the beads.
    [/LIST]

    I could go on and on and on....
     
  18. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    I use a water bottle for the kids to put their number stick in when they go to the restroom. They get one trip in the morning, then I empty the bottle at lunch and they get one more trip in the afternoon.

    I use ice cube trays for math games. I write numbers in the bottoms and have the kids toss 2 marbles into them and add or subtract the two numbers the marbles land on.

    My husband got these big pieces of white cloth- I believe they are some kind of absorbent pad or something- but I wrote letters on them and we use them for team spelling. Each child gets a letter and when I call out a word they have to spell it out by holding their letter and lining up correctly.

    Fly swatters (of course these are not used) to play my favorite vocabulary game- SWAT.

    I buy those large blue cleaning cloths and cut them up in squares for the kids to use to erase their dry erase boards.

    I use plain white labels and let the kids make their own stickers.

    I keep the edges I cut off when trimming paper and the kids use them as bookmarks.
     
  19. jlj

    jlj Devotee

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    Jun 26, 2011

    plastic frosting tubs could be used instead of veggie cans. they also make good water bottle holders when attached to side of desk/chair. No sharp edges & can be cleaned easily when needed.
     
  20. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I love the plastic frosting tubs for water bottle holders!
     
  21. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I was excited to find some really nice, sturdy cardboard paper organizers (kind of like magazine holders) in different shapes and sizes in the textbook samples we got this year--I got several teachers to give me theirs, and will use them for storage/organization. Also, those often come in small wheeled crates--I keep one in the room to use when we need to take supplies to another room (such as if we're working on a project in the computer lab and need to take paper/markers/etc.
     
  22. iloveschool

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    How are you attaching things to the side of desks/chairs?
     
  23. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    In the past I have used packaging tape.
     
  24. Lynn K.

    Lynn K. Habitué

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    Doesn't that leave a residue?
     
  25. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Yes. It does. I usually put the kids to work cleaning off their desks at the end of the year anyway (3rd grade) cleaning off nametag residue. Usually a wet paper towel and some elbow grease will get the tape residue off. I thought for sure they would complain about it, but they actually had fun being alowed to pick off the tape and residue.
     
  26. treysmom

    treysmom Comrade

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    Great ideas! I bought a shower caddy-the one with several "prongs" to keep my student pointers in. Because I purched it at the Dollar Store, it was very cheap. The pointers slide into each of the prongs. Also, I collent as many frosting cans with lids as possible. They are great for mixing paint in and using them for counting collections as well.
     
  27. Srohl

    Srohl Rookie

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    Egg cartons!!! I save them and give them to our art teacher. She uses them for when the students paint. If the paint dries, she just adds a couple of drops of water.
    I have also used them for art projects. We made these cute flowers on a pencil for Mother's Day. The flower was attached to the pencil. The flower needed to dry, so I flipped an egg carton over and stuck the pencils in the bottom. The pencils stood up perfectly:)
     
  28. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    Egg cartons to use as tens and ones frames.
     
  29. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Chiobani yogurt cups make good water cups for painting.
     
  30. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    fabric on bulletin boards

    old beat up posters cut into strips make borders
     
  31. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    great idea for borders!
     
  32. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Jun 27, 2011

    I had our local bar save me some of their cardboard six-pack holders. I covered them with contact paper, which made them very strong and covered up the Budweiser label, and use them as caddies on tables.

    Formula cans for storing markers and colored pencils.

    Whenever we get textbook samples that we don't have to send back, I tear the display apart. Many times, there are cardboard holders with dividers. I have one that I keep graph paper and all of my math materials in.

    I love Red Rope Licorice, and I love having it for the occasional reward. It's cheap to give each kid one piece of licorice and they think you gave them the world. You can buy it in a round plastic tubs with a screw on lid, about 4 lbs of licorice. Great for storing a lot of things.

    Pizza boxes for writing portfolios-I called my local Pizza Hut and the manager just gave me 20 of them last summer.
     
  33. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    I have a large plastic jar that held mayonnaise that I got from the cafeteria. I labeled it "Pick a Name" and write the kid's names on popsicle sticks and store them in that.

    Pringle's cans are great for lots of things. Last year we used one for each class as a "time capsule". They wrote something on the first day of school, then I made a big deal of sealing it with hot glue. They opened them on the last day and read what they wrote.
     
  34. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Anyone live near an archery shop? The arrows are shopped in long, clear tubes. I have used them to create giant sensory tubes with different materials inside. I have also used them as a form of marble painting - they can see the marble go up and down the tube.
     
  35. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Jul 3, 2011

    bump
     
  36. meglucy

    meglucy Companion

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    I sewed pouches that hang over the backs of the students' chairs (to hold school supplies) using my husband's old T-shirts.
     
  37. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Could you share pictures or instructions for these? I'd really love to see them!
     
  38. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    If you're looking for a fast way to make a lot of 'magazine holders', ask your post office for some of their rectangular medium sized priority mailing boxes. You can also order them in boxes of 25 off their website for free. Cut them like this:

    [​IMG]

    Then pop them open and close the bottoms on each piece with their already-there-glue.

    I use these in our Sprout garage to hold all our picture and resource books. They are pretty darn sturdy. I cut them with an industrial strength exacto knife, as it's difficult to get a pair of scissors through the cardboard. I have a cutting board under the box so I can jam the knife through.

    [​IMG]
     
  39. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Great idea Jem!
     
  40. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Thanks, Jem! That's a wonderful idea!
     
  41. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Thanks, mopar and Ceasar! I should say the only reason I use so many is because I also ship using these boxes, so my post office doesn't mind. You can get two holders for each box, so I doubt you would need as many as I use, although if you use them for your library you might want to see if you could get a box of 25 from the post office/website, or grab a few each time you went in.
     
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