Monday, March 19, 2012

Reuse - Repurpose - Recycle

I am a firm believer in reusing, repurposing, and recycling whenever possible.  Not only does it help the environment, but it helps to stretch my teaching dollar!  I snapped a few pictures today of a few of my "RE's" to share.  If you have any interesting ways to "RE" something, please comment below.  I'd like to learn some other ways to use free or cheap stuff!

I admit it - I am a container junkie.  This cabinet holds a variety of containers: drink mix canisters, plastic bowls from noodle entrees, cups, coffee filters, and some little black foam plates that I have been using for years as "trays" to hold sequins, pompons, and other small craft supplies.

A wipes container makes a perfect paint brush holder.
My secret "hoard."  I purchase mushrooms every week and had always tossed the blue tubs into the recycling bin until one day I realized that they make wonderful little corrals for lots of materials.  (And the beauty of them is that if they get ruined I know that I will get a new one every week!)

A mushroom tub in use.  The blue rectangle beneath it is a piece of craft foam left over from a long-ago craft project.
If you know anyone with a baby ask her to save Gerber babyfood containers.  These little plastic boxes are good for many applications.  Here is the die from my Pots of Gold skip counting freebie.  I have also used these containers to "prepackage" small art supplies, and to dole out small manipulatives.  The lids snap on securely, so they are portable!
TV dinner trays make super sorting trays.  This bin is from my Math Center.

 This photo is elsewhere in my blog, but I thought I'd include it to show a use for the wonderfully versitile dish tub.
Glitter Station.  We use lots of glitter in our projects, and needed a way to keep it under control.  (After a particularly messy crafting session one of my students worried about what the custodian would think about the glitter on the floor.  Another student reassured her that our custodian might think that it was just another Christmas decoration!)  Anyway, a lid from copy paper box fitted with a large piece of construction paper makes a perfect glitter station.  The glitter is in a lunchbox apple sauce bowl.  Students place their project into the lid and glitter away.  Simply lift the paper out to funnel the excess glitter back into the cup

Cereal box template.
 These are the abacuses from my Skip Counting by twos activity.  I made them from the backing of a used up pad of chart paper.
Egg carton ten frames.  Simply cut off two egg cups to create a ten frame that can hold a multitude of objects. 

Lids, lids, lids!  So many lids and so many uses.  These "live' in our Math Center for counting and sorting, but they are frequently called to duty to hold wiggle eyes or other small items for craft projects.  They also are great for holding a dab of Tacky Glue or a smidge of paint.
Cheapo plates from Walmart.  (Four plates for 50 cents!)  The raised sides make perfect trays for keeping manipulatives in place.

 Another Walmart end-of-season find.  I have two wonderful Pencil Parents who sharpen pencils for us at home.  What a time saver!  Every Friday I trade out dull work-weary pencils for nice pointy ones.  Students are also able to swap out pencils when needed because we have them everywhere!
I have to give a nod to Dr. Jean for this one.  Repurpose page protectors into wearable signs.  Depending upon what you put into them, you can practice word families, numbers, etc.
Livestock water trough, cookie sheets, non-working fishing rod, and garage sale TV stand create a fun magnet center.
Such a lovely table!  This past summer when my daughter was moving into her new appartment at college someone was moving out across the hall.  He offered her this parson's desk.  She didn't want it, but figured I would.  My hubby sawed off the legs to make it kindergarten height, and PRESTO!  a table for our Discovery Center! 

Another lovely table.  It came from my parents' basement and is now used as a "Skill Spot."  The great thing about Kinders is the fact that they don't care what furnature looks like!  They are happy to have little spaces to work.

On the table pictured above are two more repurposed items - a little trash can (new) and some plastic popcorn containers that hold foam popcorn shaped sight word cards.

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