May 9, 2013

Summer Challenge 2013: Goal #2

This summer, we are being intentional about spending just a little bit of time doing some things that can make a big impact on our classroom. Join us as we try to create a stress-free school year! Did you miss the first part of this series? Check it out Let's Get Started and Goal #1.

Last week, we brainstormed ways that our students could help us with the little things around our room.

Today, we are going to talk about getting rid of some STUFF! I told my husband at the beginning of the year to ‘watch out’ because this was the Year of the Declutter at our house. I’ve been marginally successful at getting rid of some things, but it’s high time to get more focused!

It’s time for YOU to focus too! Here’s today’s goal:

Every day (yes, EVERY day) until break, go through your classroom and choose 10 items to get rid of.

And when I say get rid of- I mean permanently leave your room… 

They can be big or small items, but regardless of size, they gotta go.

Broken pencil that’s been in your desk for 5 months. Check.

Dirty bean bag with three duct taped holes in it. See ya.

One of your 50 ‘Teachers are Special” apples on the bookshelf. Buh bye.

You may want to designate a box or container in the corner of the room as your catch-all for items that you are getting rid of. Then as you find items to toss throughout the day, you can just place them there until you have a chance to decide where they are going to go.

Here are some places these lovely, unwanted items can go:

The Trash: It’s a given, but it needs to be said: some things just ain’t saveable (new word). Like that planet chart from 1975 that is so faded, you can hardly see Saturn. Oh yeah, and Pluto was still considered a planet. (Poor Pluto!)

Other Teachers: During the teacher work days leading up to break, place a table or desk outside your room and a sign that say ‘everything on this table is up for grabs!.’ Then watch it disappear.

PTA (or other school organization): A district I worked for collected unwanted, but usable items from teachers at the end of every year (included decorations, curriculum, books, you name it!). The new teachers had orientation at a central location at the beginning of each year. The PTA would spread the items on the sidewalk outside and declare it a ‘Fill a bag for $5’ yard sale. They raised money for the schools, new teachers got a bargain on some great resources, and teaching materials got a second home in someone else’s room. Win. Win. Win.

Yard Sale: Maybe you could make some money on your unwanted classroom items. Yard sales can be a bit time-consuming, but if you are going to have one anyway, you might as well throw some of your supplies in there and make a few extra bucks.

Craigslist: Following the same idea as having a yard sale, placing items on Craigslist can be an even more effective way to make money and get rid of stuff. Hey, you could even go the ‘huge box of random teaching supplies for $25’ route and see if anyone bites.

Thrift Store: One man's trash is another man's treasure. You get the idea.

So what are you waiting for? Go find one item this VERY minute and declare it banished for your classroom forever. Then come back and tell me how good it felt. (‘Cuz it will... Feel good, that is.)

See you back here next week when we talk about what to take home for the summer so you can continue this challenge from the comfort of you own couch!

Just joining us for the Summer Challenge? Don’t worry! You still have time to jump in with both feet! Here are the links to the mini-challenges we’ve accomplished over the last few weeks:

Following along with the Summer Challenge? Grab my button here:

Your Teacher's Aide
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