Believe it, or not, I am a simple girl. However, yesterday I was standing in the corner of my classroom and I began to cringe. I'm looking around and noticing all of the stuff. Stuff that I just don't use. Yes, every year I toss out broken or torn items, but then I have all of these other things that I just have hanging around that none of us in the classroom use. And couldn't that space be used better?
Case in point is my math center. I have baskets upon baskets of these games (this whole bookshelf and the cabinet across from it are filled with them). I cart them out when we are exploring multiplication, money, fractions, etc. In past years I have pulled games and thrown them into baskets, grouped my students by level, and had them choose a game to play to practice whatever skills we were currently working on. Let me just say that this really hasn't gotten my anywhere these last few years as far as expanding their mathematical understanding. So, in December I stopped using these games and turned to my blog and manipulatives instead. I am much more happy with the learning and dialogue occurring this way.
This is not the only place I am guilty of this. Here is my word study center. Not only do I have four drawers filled with items I also have a basket on top filled with games. What for? Interestingly enough, each year I set this little area up, and promise that I will use it better. This year I still did not. It's time it goes. We just don't use it! I even have centers for science, reading, and writing. All of this wasted space.
Sigh. How could a simple girl like myself get sucked into setting up centers that have a bunch of unnecessary stuff? I know how, but that's for another post. The important thing is that I finally recognize that I don't need it, and out it shall go. Imagine all of the paper and plastic I will be getting rid of and no longer using as well! Not to mention all of the dust that I will sparing myself of. My lungs will breathe much easier when I enter my classroom!