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Organization [Question]

Table Bins or Community Supply Bins?

Started on Aug 06, 2012 by jfrisco
Last post on Jul 15, 2013

In an elementary classroom, do you find that table bins (with markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc) work better... or community supplies on separate shelves with enough sets for every table (ie. 6 marker boxes, 6 crayon boxes, 6 colored pencil boxes, etc.)???

1 Keeps, 0 Likes, 12 Comments

  • jfrisco 08/06/2012 at 08:24am
    I have always had table bins. I keep scissors, glue and pencils in a separate "community area", but I wonder if this is the way to go? Often times the table bins get VERY disorganized. I rely heavily on my 5th grade helpers to come in and deal with the bins. I would love to discover a better way to handle this.

  • stapier01 08/09/2012 at 05:49am
    I found that table bins just become a distraction, and the kids grab things that really don't go with the project we are doing, especially with k-1st. Some student will inevitably grab a pair of scissors and have their project cut into a million pieces for no reason the second I turn around. I just get out the supplies needed for each project. Some I hand out as they are needed to pairs or groups of students to share (sets of oil pastels or chalk pastels, plates of paint) and some I have in large supply bins that I put on the counter for them to grab themselves (markers, crayons, scissors, glue bottles). I sort crayons, markers, and color sticks by warm, cool, and neutral colors into three larger bins. It saves them time "digging" for the perfect color.

  • jfrisco 08/09/2012 at 09:57am
    Interesting ideas! Thanks for sharing! :) Do you have students constantly up and down during studio time for the crayons, markers, color sticks? How does that work?

  • RuthByrne 08/24/2012 at 05:21am
    I have avoided table bins for exactly the reason stapier mentioned (great sorting idea for the crayons, do they stay sorted?). I find that "helpers" handing out required supplies to each table at the beginning of class works well, especially 'special' supplies that need to be used with extra care. Some supplies like oil pastels I even mark with their table symbol so they feel pressured to take better care of them since they'll be getting the same box back next week.

    I keep a drawing supplies area (markers,crayons, pastels,colored pencils, etc) that kids can take from at any time. There wasn't really an issue with kids spending too much time getting supplies and it helps me feel like less of a tyrant.

    It has become tedious to pass out pencils at the beginning of every class, especially with easily persuaded helpers giving the class persuader the only pencil still blessed with an eraser. So, this year, in a stroke of genius (we'll see about that), I pushed two tables together. The K-1 kids can't reach the center!! this is where I will be putting their bins. Then its just a matter of pushing them into place when the materials are needed.

  • AmyHall 08/26/2012 at 12:47pm
    I use table bins with pencils, sharpie markers, scissors, glue, erasers, and rulers and have had no trouble where I currently work. I guess you have to know your kids.... at a past school this would have been a disaster and I would have lost every sharpie within a week.

    I do a lot of role plays with the kids at the beginning of the year and have them decide what items would be best to have on their table... so they "design" the table bins. They tell me how this helps them have their materials close by. No lost sharpies the past 2 years.

  • jfrisco 09/01/2012 at 01:41pm
    Nice ideas! Thank you. I only keep crayons, markers, erasers, sharpener, and colored pencils in the bins. All other specialty supplies are in designated areas of the Art Room... including Sharpies. They have their own spot. I have all crayons (glitter, construction paper, multicultural) in one container in each table bin because when I had them separated the students had a difficult time keeping them this way. I gave up on expecting them to keep the crayons organized.

  • lovetocreate 09/13/2012 at 05:00am
    I only keep a pencil bin on the tables. Each student has an assigned seat with a number and a matching numbered eraser. Markers, crayons, oil pastels and glue are kept on the cart in the middle of the room. Special supplies are brought out of the cabinets and placed on the island in the middle of the room when being used. Supply helpers pass out supplies. Our room is on the small side so this system works well.

  • stapier01 12/04/2012 at 08:34am
    I like the idea of numbered erasers and pencils! My erasers are always getting lost! And I do have kids constantly getting up and down to get supplies, but I think the movement is good for keeping kids engaged. For kids who can't handle that for discipline or physical reasons, I make up a smaller bin for them to keep at their spot. The warm/cool/neutral bins are almost always still sorted. They learn the system in kindergarten, and are good about policing each other. I have the same students through 5th grade, so they get used to it really quickly!

  • ChocoKitty 07/08/2013 at 07:03am
    I think I will also try the numbered erasers and pencils at each table. Perhaps I will put them in clear pencil totes so I can easily and quickly check at the end of each class.

  • jbucher 07/09/2013 at 01:49pm
    I have a dollar store solution to disappearing erasers... an old fashioned plastic ice cube tray! It is a quick way to see how many erasers are still out! I didn't loose one eraser all year!

  • ArtTeach91 07/15/2013 at 02:55am
    Love the ice cube tray idea... I always have kiddos drawing on mine... so if I number the ice cube trays I will know whose it is!!! I have table helpers that rotate weekly... so each week a "supply person" will be the ones to get enough supplies for their own table... I do keep pencils and erasers on the table in baskets...
    Great ideas!!!