For the past two weeks we've been lucky to have two teachers from Lighthouse Community Charter School in Oakland in residence with us. Over the next week we'll be sharing posts on their reflections, experiments, and ideas they want to take back to school with them.
I recently acquired additional storage space in the classroom where I teach my after school program enrichments. In the past, my supplies were stored in a mobile cart that would collapse under the weight and volume of my art supplies, a cabinet where I would store larger items and bringing up any additional supplies when needed from storage.
“What am I going to with all this new space?” was the first question that came to mind because I did not want to have a repeat of my last set-up . I wanted to have a space where my students could easily access materials, have more visibility of all their material options, and have a space that would be trouble free to organize and reorganize as the year progressed. During my residency at the Exploratorium I picked up many strategies and tips. Here are some:
- Stackable storage containers that are uniform in size and make are easy to access, look neater and it makes removing them from a cabinet much easier
- Open containers makes it hassle free for students to return materials to their correct place rather than opening multiple containers. Open containers also aids the teacher in monitoring the material supply level.
- Pictures on the labels helps younger students comprehend what material goes in which container. If you have doors on your storage cabinet, placing pictures on the doors will also help students quickly identify what is inside.
- Paper towel racks are great for keeping items on spindles organized and out of the way.