Cooperative Learning Table Toppers and Classroom Pencil Solution

It’s time for 4th Grade Frolics’s Monday Made it! I’ve been following these for a while and I’m glad to be participating for once!
Monday Made It with 4th Grade Frolics

I have two projects to show you for my very first Monday Made it!  To get me started, I needed some chocolate milk and a helper:
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Let’s just say the chocolate milk was a little more helpful than Sammie was! Do you see all those bite marks on my pencils?!! Not cool.

Cooperative Learning Table Toppers

Okay, so now for the first of my two projects: cooperative learning table toppers. This isn’t a revolutionary idea, but I think it will be super helpful for my classes!
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I give instructions, lots of instructions. LOTS. It’s my job, right? Well, sometimes I think I over complicate things because I have to say things over and over again. One of those things I usually repeat is to which location in the room that groups are suppose to go to. I’m learning more and more that students are visual. So, for my sanity and to help them visually, I created created table toppers for groups! They will serve as a visual reminder of group locations, while also possibility keeping me from needed to repeat myself.

These toppers will be good for stations, group work, team activities, cooperative learning activities, etc…

Making them were pretty simple:
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I love the idea of laminating them to make them reusable.  Also, I would rather use tape to assemble because the staple may rip the paper during use or storage, but it’s really about preference on whether to use tape or a staple!

Click here to download a free smaller version of my teachers pay teacher version.

Classroom Pencil Solution

Like most teachers, I need a pencil solution! The pencil situation is pretty tricky. Students must have something to write with, but school policy makes it hard to hold students accountable.

Our school policy is that if a student doesn’t have a pencil, we must send them to the guidance office for a free pencil. I agree with this because students should not be punished if they can’t afford proper school supplies. There are many reasons for not having a pencil. The issue that I have is that by the time they get to me in 8th grade, they know how to play the system and leave class every single day.  It can cause major disruptions and headaches, not to mention that the student is missing out on the much needed instruction/activity for the day. Class time is limited!!  So *I think* I may have found a solution…or at least a solution worth trying.  It’s not going to fix the problem, but hope it will curb the issue.

To get me started I found these bad boys at target:
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So cute! I have multiple pink zebra print stuff in my classroom, so it will be well known that these are my pencils.  I simply wrapped the duck tape around the top of the pencil to signify that these are Mrs. Graham’s pencils.  I’ll place the pencil sharpeners and pencils in a place students can easily access daily.  They can take a pencil if they need it, but they must return it at the end of class.  If I see students with my pencils in other classes or in the hallway, I won’t make a big deal about it, but I will ask for the pencil to be put back in the community stash!
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It’s inevitable that some pencils will go missing, maybe a lot more than I think. However, the goal is to have most returned properly because….

1. it’s the right thing for the students to learn to do

2. students need to be in class instead of roaming the halls on a daily basis

3.I don’t have a never ending money supply to keep buying pencils!

Thanks for checking in! Remember to make today a great day!

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7 thoughts on “Cooperative Learning Table Toppers and Classroom Pencil Solution

    • That’s such a good point! That definitely gives me something to think about. I may have to deal with the tape though…I like that if the edges just barely touch with the tape, then it can be folded and stored very easily! 🙂

  1. I love how you duct taped your pencils. I imagine some kids are going to want to use yours just because they are cute. Maybe you can set up an environment where kids can respectfully remind other students to return your pencils if they accidentally get taken out of class.

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