Creating with Classroom Materials

This might be my favorite blog post this month.  This is a new hop that I will hopefully get to join each month.  It is all about finding new teaching ideas and strategies for your classroom.  When I started thinking about this concept, I immediately thought I'd love to show my friends some of my favorite materials and how I use them.  The best part is all of these materials are typical things in your classroom.  If you are like me, you probably have a box, cabinet, or storage bin just for all your crafty leftovers.  Well, those crafty leftovers can be used to form some pretty easy centers that your kids will love!

Here are three of my favorite items I use to create that are always in my classroom.

#1 - Clothespins & Popsicle Sticks

Popsicle sticks and clothespins are two of those things that I didn't understand a need for until I started teaching first grade.  Now, I think I have at least 500 of each in my craft tub at all times.  I have everyday Popsicle sticks and clothespins, but I have to say, I love the colored ones.  One thing that I like doing is writing math facts on them.  Then, my kids sort them into cups or piles.  You can also write the answers on the back if you want to let your kids self-check and see if they got them right.  This is literally a quick, hands-on center that is easy to throw in when you may need an extra center.  Oh, and if you need to differentiate this activity, you can let your higher kids make up their own facts.

#2 - Hangers
I have to admit, I am the world's worst when it comes to putting my clothes on hangers at home.  I think I have a permanent pile of clothes.  I am, however, great at hanging things up at school.  A few years ago, I hung four hangers from the ceiling in my classroom.  So they are out of the way, they hang on four pins on my barn.  When I need them, I just take them off the pins.  I use them in several ways - fact families, true/false equations, types of sentences, etc.  My favorite way to use them is to sort types of nouns.  I usually write the nouns on index cards or die cuts and put the nouns in a basket.  Then, my kids hang them on the correct hanger.  After that, my kiddos write them down on a recording sheet or even a piece of construction paper.  This is another quick center that your kids will love!  The best part is it's a little different, so it tends to grab their attention.

#3 - Construction Paper
Oh, construction paper, how much do I love you?  Yeah, I don't think I'm going to worry about counting the ways.  I have an obsession with fun colors.  My storage cabinet has all of my construction paper organized by color and size.  One thing I think most of us have at school is construction paper.  One thing that I make for one of my centers is ice cream cones.  All you need is a circle die cut and a triangle die cut.  If the triangle isn't the shape you are wanting, you can always draw them yourself which I do a lot.  Once you finish cutting everything out, make sure you write on them.  You can do nouns, verbs, and adjectives or even word problems.  Be sure to laminate them when you are finished so you can keep them from year to year.

Alright those are just a few of my ideas.  If you are looking for more awesome ideas, then definitely visit the next blog in this hop.  It is written by one of my closest blogging friends Lisa Mattes.

Seriously, you don't want to miss reading about how she organizes her book boxes.  If you are in a bit of a hurry, you may also visit the link up below.  It includes all the lower grade teachers in this hop and the topics they are covering.

Thanks for visiting and have a fantabulous day!


  1. What great ideas! I haven't ever used popsicle sticks {where have I been?}... so excited to hope through all the ideas! <3

  2. I ALWAYS LOVE LOVE LOVE your ideas Faith! Thanks for sharing...and we may be VERY my clothes NEVER make it on a hanger :) heehee :)


  3. cute are you? ENTIRELY TOO CUTE! :) What great practical and COST SAVING ways to help out other teachers! :) You are marvelous! :) So glad to call you friend! :) Thanks for always being so willing to share and help others! We are blessed to have your voice as part of the teaching 'bloggysphere'. :)
    Love ya friend!

  4. Clothespins are my favorites and love some popsicle sticks!! Your posts always give me good ideas!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. I have never even thought of using a hanger in this way! Easy and fun!! I wish Costco sold popscicle sticks, I seem to use them for everything!! Thanks for sharing all of your great ideas!

    Corinna (✿◠‿◠)
    Surfin' Through Second

  6. Hangers?!!! Who knew? Thanks so much for the great ideas, Faith.

    Mrs, Rios Teaches Second Grade

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Love your posts, your ideas and YOU!!! Thanks for the hanger tip! So smart!
    Growing Firsties

  9. We've been wondering what to do with all our hangers! Forget putting clothes away...They're headed to school! Such great, practical ideas that we can use in our classroom tomorrow! Thank you so much for sharing!
    Christy & Tammy

  10. Great ways to use those hangers! So easy and everyone has plenty of them to spare!
    Conversations in Literacy