7.30.2011

Oh! The Things I Found (while cleaning out my classroom cupboards...)

I have a lot of "stuff." It was time to get rid of some of it...


  I will admit that I tend to save things. OK, I'm a pack rat. But...I don't think I've reached hoarder status! I just have a fondness for things that are a little out of the ordinary. Plus, I have a really hard time throwing away things that can (somehow) be useful in the classroom.
  However, I did do some cleaning and tossing of things this summer because I have run out of room in my classroom for them (and I need to make room for more books!).  I do like to have my room looking somewhat orderly at the beginning of the year. It will collect stacks of papers and projects soon enough, so it's nice to at least start out clean, right!?
  Let me first say that I love my classroom & its built-in storage capacity. My entire back wall is cupboards and counter-space (see photo, right). I do have one of the smaller closets (I have a corner room) and the other two English teachers in my building have built-in shelves along the adjacent wall from their cupboards/counter. But, Ann--our wonderful custodian--set me up with some great book cases last year to span one wall of my room (see photo below). And a great student custom-made a shelf in shop-class for me to fit a small gap of wall (not shown). Yes, they all know I love books!

Thanks to my awesome custodian, Ann, I have bookcases along one wall of my room for my class library.


As I was cleaning to make room for more books, I was pretty surprised at some of the items I found in my cupboards. Here's a sample of things I both wonder why I kept and things I forgot I had:

Some old Sports Illustrated magazines from the early 1980's. I also found some Glamour magazines from 1988-89 (my senior year in high school), but those were quickly snatched up by students. I put these in the box of magazines that students can use to cut up...but since they all have laptops, no one has been touching that box. I guess they will just get recycled this year. Unless anyone knows if they are worth money. If so, let me know! I'll gladly sell! ;]
Some old laminated ink-blots I used for creative writing prompts long ago. I forgot I had these. But since I haven't used them in years, I recycled them. We can always create more, right!
A "To Kill a Mockingbird" project with all the characters cast as comic-strip characters. I still think it's cute & clever. The characters the student chose to represent the TKaM characters are perfect! It really doesn't take up that much room...

A box of PEZ dispensers. There are actually two full boxes; these happen to be ones still in the packaging. The others used to hang from my ceiling with fishing line, but they collected way too much dust and grime. So now they reside in a box. :( I would like to find a way to display them in a fun way because the students have fun looking at them. Not sure how, though...
My "Scream" painting that was to be a Halloween costume (to go as the painting--since so many students were wearing the "Scream" masks...), but I liked it too much to cut the eye-holes & decided to hang it in my room instead. I went as Princess Leia's hologram projected from R2D2 instead.
Nope, these aren't real... I had to get rid of some of my Mexican currency before returning to the States on a vacation to Cabo. My husband & I went with another teacher & his wife. We saw these in the airport gift shop & thought it would be a great prank to put in the teacher's lounge to see how many people would try to eat them. Now, at least once a year, I set them on my desk to see how many students will pick them up. You'd be surprised at how many actually do...

Why? Why did I keep this full-page ad Billy Corgan took out in the Chicago Tribune back in 2005? I mean, I know why...because I'm a huge Smashing Pumpkins fan. But I'm not sure why I held on to it. So...sorry, Billy. But you just got recycled.
"The Most Dangerous Game" board game, made a few years ago by some students. It's so darn cute, I haven't been able to throw it away. But it does take up a ton of room. It just might have to go this year...
Well, I can't throw out my high school letter jacket, right!? This, sadly, made it to my costume box for dress-up days (we dress up for Homecoming, Halloween, Red-Ribbon week, and various other spur-of-the-moment days). The 80's was our Homecoming theme a few years ago (you know you're old when the era of your high school days is now a novelty dress-up day or Homecoming theme!), so I brought it to school and now it is always on hand just in case someone wants to look like a big dork! (The sailor zip-up hood is especially classy, don't you think! ha)
Need I say more? This, inside my closet, has found a permanent home. Because we've all been there at some point, right!?
No matter what, I continue to cheer on the Cubs. Ya, I don't know why, either. I just always have. Some day they'll make us proud...some day...
Pieces from a Tragedy of Julius Caesar-themed board game. I especially liked the colorful paper die the students made. Alas, it was recycled.
In my Homecoming/Halloween/Dress-Up Days box is a collection of masks. This is my PEZ clown mask. I went as a PEZ clown one year (I converted a box into the red dispenser & wore the mask). It was very hard not having the use of my hands, I must say! My giant Bunny PEZ decided to wear the clown mask. This mask actually freaks a lot of students out. I never realized how many are afraid of clowns! Maybe we should stop watching "IT" in class! Ha ha...just kidding! But I do teach a Stephen King unit that is fun. And creepy.
So what types of things do YOU have lurking in your classroom cupboards and closets? Share them below or link a post to this one. I'd love to read about yours! (It also helps to know I'm not the ONLY teacher who hangs on to things...I know you're out there...somewhere!)

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