Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Challenge Boxes - and SO much more!

I am always on the lookout for great ways and ideas to organize, simplify, enhance, and [you get the picture] my classroom.

Insert these wonderful, awesome, incredible Photo and Craft Boxes!!
Photo from Michaels

They come in multi-color or in all clear. Each box has 16 cases that can be used to keep 4" by 6" photos.... and so. much. more!!

These boxes were a huge hit this summer in a Facebook Group I'm in.  I was so excited about all of the uses of these boxes that I went out to Michaels and got three of them: one colored, and two clear.  They run at $39.99 but were on sale for 40% off.  I had gotten the colored one for this price and then a member of the FB group posted that there was a 30% off coupon that was one day only and could be used on an already marked down storage/organization item.  At that point, I was so addicted to these boxes, I drove to Michael's, realized I had forgotten my wallet at home, drove all the way home, and drove back to Michael's to purchase one at 40% then 30% off of that, and the second one at 40% off.  

These boxes are incredible and the uses for them in the classroom are seemingly endless!
 1.  Challenge Boxes

This is how I'll be using my colored set of boxes in my classroom this year.  It's a great Fast Finisher Activity! I love that I can switch in and out task cards or activities that go along with what we are learning.  It helps me keep track of student progress and I can use this data to reteach in small groups.  I can even use the boxes to assess students!

2. Math Toolkits - I'll be using one of my clear sets for this in my classroom.  I will have about 26 children, so these toolkits will be great for pairing children up in whole group lessons and for using in small groups too! Right now I have all my pieces printed out, laminated, and waiting to be cut by a parent volunteer! Check out Teaching Pineapples' blog about Math Toolkits!

Check out Math Toolkits on TPT
Check out Math Toolkits on TPT
3.  Storing monthly items - (calendar pieces, bulletin board letters, memory book cut outs, etc.) I can use 10 cases to store things from August - June (If I combine August and September) and then still have 6 more cases for seasonal or holiday items!

4. Supply boxes - these will be great for holding a set of crayons each.  Especially for centers time!  They'll be great for children to use individually or in pairs.

Here are some other great ideas shared by other teachers:
  • Task Cards shared by Kelsey
  • "Fine Motor Suitcase" with different tools, manipulatives, and tasks for working on fine motor skills also shared by Kelsey
  • Busy boxes with lacing cards, ABC puzzles, tracing cards, color match games, etc. shared by Gianna
  • Card boxes for individual decks of cards shared by Patti
  • Counting Collections where each box holds different amounts of objects (mini erasers, macaroni noodles, beads, pennies, mini pine cones, foam shapes, etc.) with amounts going up to 30 and extending into higher numbers like 100 for more of a challenge shared by Tarah
  • Organizing Bulletin Board Letters shared by Kelci
  • Small Letter Storage including one set of uppercase letters and one set of lowercase letters to make CVC and other words shared by Lori
  • Early finisher boxes and individual center boxes shared by Kara
  • Word Families for use during literacy centers shared by Heidi  


I'd love to hear how you plan to use your box(es)!  Leave a comment below!

 *basic photo box photo from Michaels.com