Making Cubbies When You Only Have Shelves

Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas You Oughta Know About blog hop Making Cubbies When You Only Have Shelves

You Oughta Know About...making cubbies when you only have shelves. I wish I had known it sooner! 
Do you remember when you first started teaching and everything had to be perfect? Maybe it was last year for some of you, maybe it was in 1989, like it was for me! Yep, I'm old, but with age comes wisdom. When we moved back to Florida as a Navy family, I was giddy to be back in my old school district. I could have been given a Sear's tool shed to teach in and I would have been happy as a clam. AND... my portable was pretty much that, a Sear's tool shed! My portable had no storage, no built in shelves, nothing as fancy as my two beautiful "in the building" classrooms I was given in Texas. I was spoiled rotten in Texas, my rooms were so nice.... anyway... One thing my school in Florida had was old black bookcases, old black file cabinets, old black least, most of them were old, I mean, black! :) Black didn't show the outdated age as much as the avocado green ones!  

To give the students a sense of "their space" I give each one a plastic shoe box from ole' happy Wal-Mart. They are only a dollar each and I could fit four on a shelf. I love these because they are roomier than pencil boxes. The students can dump their crayons, their pencils, their erasers, everything, into these boxes. Then you don't have a lot of wasted academic time with a student trying to re-stuff their crayons back into that small Crayola box!
So that's my tip, it's more like, be happy with what you have, real life is not always going to be Pinterest-Perfect, but student's feed off of your mood. When you're happy, their happy! :)
Click here to see more of my before and after classroom pictures from that year.
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  1. Love the tip! I have very few classroom that actually had cubbies. I made my own like you, too. Kids need their own defined space.

  2. You are brilliant! I honestly never would have thought of doing that. Thank you so much for sharing!
    Best wishes!

  3. Great idea! Thanks for sharing :)

    1. You're welcome, thanks for the comment and stopping by!
      Have a great week,

  4. This one's a great idea! It's very important to make the most of the space that you have in your classroom. Cubbies make neat spaces and make each child feel that they have a 'property' inside the room.

  5. Love this idea! However, I don't have shelves either. :( I love the black ones that are shown in the photos. Where did you get them?

    1. These are actually the 1970ish metal shelves that came standard with our summer my husband gave them a fresh coat of black spray paint. :)


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