Sometimes the BEST ideas are the simplest and right in front of your face. We both know trash is an issue in our classrooms, you know it's an issue, even your students know it's an issue! And nothing is worse than a student getting up in the middle of class to throw something away only to distract the rest of the class (and you!). So it seems that personal student trash bins are the answer to this classroom dilemma.
As much as we would love to take credit for this idea, the fifth grade teacher at our old school is actually the brains behind the brilliance. The concept is simple:
- Buy $1 tin cans from the Target Dollar Spot.
- Put one in front of desks of two (or three, or four, etc.).
- Students can only throw their trash away into these little cans - they cannot get up to throw trash away in the big bins. No questions.
- Each group is responsible for emptying their trash can at the end of the day (or recess / lunch / etc. if need be).
- Students switch turns taking out the trash weekly.
- If students forget to take the trash out, they lose points, credit, money from your class economy system, etc.
It's simple. It's easy. It's brilliant.
And now you have something to do with all those colorful little tin cans you bought from Target for no reason at all!
P.S. To handle big pieces of paper (since they obviously won't fit in these trash bins), we simply have students create a pile of this type of paper underneath the trash bins to be recycled later in the day (this prevents students from crumpling them up and trying to be the next Steph Curry during class!).
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