I love bins, I am a bit fanatical when I go through that dollar section at Target. The drop box I use to collect notes and other papers that students bring in (mostly in the morning) so they don't get lost on my desk. My desk eats things. :)
The recess bin gets taken outside each day by my Recess Helper. It has wipes, antibacterial, gloves, bandaids, nurse passes, and a class list. It has come in handy most days because it has so many things that end up being needed at one time or another. My favorite part is that because it is a classroom job, I don't have to remember to bring it out or back in. :)
One of the teachers I work with suggested this idea at our first faculty meeting this year and I thought it was so smart! When kids are pulled for speech, OT, reading groups, etc., they put the cup on their desk to say they are out of the room. It makes it easy to glance around the room and see who has been pulled.
Arrival tends to get hectic. Getting 20 1st graders to come in and get settled quickly is always a task. This year I use these little cards to help motivate students to get moving through their routine quickly and quietly. Once they get their things away, homework out, and begin their morning work, I start handing these out. I choose 3 students to go to the computer and 3 to go to the Activity Table. I have some sort of game or flip chart on the computer and some sort of game at the table that reinforces different things we have been working on. Both options tend to be more desirable than the morning assignment so it has worked really well when it comes to motivating them to follow that routine and start the day out in a way that keeps me sane and happy. :)
Hope you had a relaxing break! I'm still trying to figure out what my New Year's Resolution is going to be this year....anyone have any creative ideas? :)