Investigation Boxes

Every morning, I would come in and get ready for my day, as the kids sat out in the hall as they trickled in from carpool or the buses which are frequently late. It’s halfway through the year, and I started thinking to myself,

Why let the little ones sit out in the hall when they could be independently learning?

So, over the break, I decided to come up with a plan that would allow the students to work in the classroom and still allow for me to have time to set up and get ready for the day. As I racked my brain, I thought, maybe they could go to centers, but as I thought about that, I didn’t want the students to make a mess of the room before the day had even officially started. Well what else could I do? I wanted this to be something that required very little instruction and didn’t require tons of prep work. I wanted the students to learn and grow independently. Eventually, I was searching the internet and came across sensory table ideas. I started thinking to myself, well I could definitely use something like this, but make them portable hence morning bins were born.

After discovering what I was going to use, I decided to try to find bins that would stack, to make a quick transition. I found them at (of course) Target! They came in a set of 3 for 8.99 each. I bought 3 sets from my 19 kiddos. This made it 8 groups of 2 students per bin and 1 group of 3 students. I grouped my students according to their levels. The higher students had an opportunity to teach, while the lower students had an opportunity to learn from their peers!

Organization time:

Each day, as the students came in I had a chart posted on the Promethean board. This chart told the students who their partner was, which bin they would be working with, what they were supposed to do with their bins. The child’s names were color coded by groups to help them find them easier, as well as each different objective had its own clipart, so eventually they would associate that picture with what they are required to do in each bin. An example below is what I used, and it worked perfectly with my little ones!Screen Shot 2017-01-08 at 11.38.12 AM.png

In action:

After the students read the board, they go and sit by their bins and get to work! The first day I introduced these, I had the kids all stand on the perimeter of the rug. I set my expectations and roles they would play. I told them they can play teacher and student if they would like or they may work independently in the bin on a project! I informed the students how to find their bins, and what each bin was supposed to do. After the first day, I didn’t have to repeat myself again, minus the ones who were absent ;). But, they were a success. Each morning, the kids came in, put their stuff away, found their bins, and I still had time to get ready and start my morning. Plus, if you are are prek teacher, like me. This was GREAT for Teaching Strategies GOLD documentation! Here are a few pictures of my little ones using the bins!

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Sincerely,

A Happy Teacher