"Tried It" Ideas....
- instructional strategy
- teaching product/resource
- management strategy
- technology tool
- recipe at home
- personal interest/hobby
- ANYTHING GOES!
I thought this linky would go well with my "Flipper" theme since teaching (well, life!) is all about trying out "things" all the time...borrowing and tweaking them to your style.
Sometimes it works out and other times it doesn't!
Posts about things we "tried" in our personal lives are fun to read about too!
After reading about Donors Choose last summer in the blogging world, I decided to submit a project. I really needed a better way to organize all the center materials I was accumulating for Daily 5. I bought a hanging pocket chart that held 10 file folders but it wasn't great for holding task cards. I found this cart on Lakeshore Learning but it was $99!
Sadly, I cannot find this product on Lakeshore's website anymore but the link will take you to a similar product.
I love this cart because it has 8 drawers and is SO sturdy. The students can remove the drawers easily and put them right back on the track. The legs have wheels on them that can be locked in place too!
When I filled out the request for this storage cart, a pocket folder for vocabulary strips, and a water cycle interactive SMART board activity, I thought that it probably wouldn't get funded (even though 70% of the projects are funded, I thought mine would be in the 30%!). I am so glad that I submitted it. The process was SUPER EASY!
Once my project was funded, I had to:
1. Write an "impact letter" on my account page to my donors. It has a maximum word count that is pretty low so the letter had to be short and sweet.
2. Print a permission slip for parents to sign in order to have their child's picture using the materials downloaded on to the site. You must download six photos of students using the materials. I was the most nervous about this part but about 75% of my students' parents returned the slip signed so it was easier than I thought! I wrote a note and copied it to the other side of the permission slip.
3. My students wrote thank you cards and notes to the donor (I only had one donor). The students loved making the cards and the letters were from their hearts (so sweet!). I had over a month to get this done and they sent me a prepaid envelope to mail them in. They are sent to the Donors Choose facility and checked to make sure they meet their requirements of no pictures sent or students' last names used. Donors Choose mails them to the donor(s).
THAT WAS IT! It was done!
This is the message I received from my donor. She is such a kind woman.
It was such a rewarding experience for the students too. I loved watching them get so excited over the new supplies and see how grateful they were that a stranger would donate to our class! Now, I am brainstorming a second project. Last summer I bought new bins for organizing supplies and cardboard book boxes for daily 5. I really could use some book bins for my library or more sturdy book boxes for Daily 5. If you haven't tried Donors Choose yet, I highly recommend you put it on your to-do list:)