Yesterday I couldn't stand the mess any more. A few days back, I went in my storage closet for something, tripped on a big box, and went flying, landing with a crash face-down on the floor and bruising my knees. Thank goodness I wasn't hurt more. The 6th graders were entering the room and saw me go flying. I told one boy to go the nurse and get me an icepack, PRONTO!! Some of the kids were asking "are you OK?" and others were simply saying "where's my project?" or "where are the poofing tools?", barely noticing I was flat on the floor. The nurse, knowing that I'm an absolute klutz from prior incidents, stopped up in the room to make sure I wasn't really hurt (I guess the boy had charged into her office yelling "Mrs. B needs ice NOW!!!!")
Anyhow, I've had so many projects ongoing that the materials needed for them all had piled up and gotten out of control. By yesterday afternoon, the mess had me so freaked out that I didn't know what to do first. I knew I didn't want to risk any more injuries, so I had to do SOMETHING. So after the kids were gone, I finally tackled the closet, hoping I wouldn't come across this:
I didn't leave my classroom until 7pm. My garbage pails were full, and my storage closet was hugely improved, with nothing on the floor to trip over.
So I told my husband I would be home early today.
But then, after the kids were all gone, and I had stacked up the dry paintings, I noticed the ever-growing pile of leftover paper on the counter.
There was construction paper of every dimension, some in good condition, some faded or with staple holes around the edges, in every color imaginable. I began trimming them down to manageable sizes, cutting away torn and faded edges, and stacking them by color family into a big flat box. A lot of the colored paper will be used for a flower-making activity I have planned.
But I was still left with a HUGE pile of white, especially strips and rectangular chunks, from when I've cut 18"x24" paper into 18" squares, or 12"x18" into 12"x15", and so on... And it was 6pm on a Friday evening and certainly time to go home.
You must have those strips and chunks of white paper too, right? WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THEM?? I had already used some of them yesterday for a really fun painted paper activity with first graders (we used printmaking rollers - very cool results), but there's still just SO MUCH of it left.
Do you have any brilliant ideas for the use of a volume of white paper strips, in a variety of sizes? INSPIRATION, PLEASE!