Sunday, 2 February 2014

Bright Ideas Blog Hop

I am so excited to be teaming up with an amazing group of teacher bloggers to bring you the first official "Bright Ideas Blog Hop". This blog hop was created to bring you practical classroom ideas from a variety of teachers, from different grades and subject areas. I hope you find some great ideas that you can easily implement in your own classroom. 

Happy Hopping!

My "Bright Idea"

This month, I will stick with my current theme of filling your room with Math manipulatives on a budget.

Are you ready for my bright idea?


Crazy concept, right?

By getting your students involved not only can you fill your room with manipulatives for FREE, but you can quickly collect enough items to keep you busy throughout the whole year.

I start collecting math "junk" right at the beginning of the year, by sending my students on a scavenger hunt in their own houses.

In order to collect items that I will incorporate within my math lessons, I challenge my students to scavenge their houses. In order to encourage enthusiasm and participation, I make it into a game in which students can earn points for “junk” collected. I would hold the scavenger hunt for a week or two, tallying points as students bring stuff in.

**On a side note, the first year I did this, I let it go for a month, by the end I had enough “junk” to last me 3 years and not enough room to store it all! It will all depend on how enthusiastic your students are about collecting, and bringing the items into school. Just make sure you have room in your classroom to store the stuff you will not need right away.**

I also used the items collected in my science class as well, for dioramas, models, experiments, etc.

Of course, you do not need to collect all these items at once, especially if you have a lack of storage. You could also send home short notes, asking for specific items right before you will be using them in your class.

Remember: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Here's a sample letter I send home. Of course, the items you request will depend on the concepts you teach throughout the year.

Here are some examples of "junk" in use.

There are so many ways to make junk into something useful for your classroom. If you are creative enough, you can think of another use for just about anything. I would love to hear any ideas you have tried! I hope you enjoyed my "bright idea".

If you’re looking for more great ideas, here is a great post by Kate at EduKate and Inspire on how she utilizes a Super Improver Wall in her classroom (whole brain teaching). She shares some great tips that you will definitely want to check out!

Looking for something specific, browse the bright ideas below:

Make sure to check in next month for another batch of "bright ideas"!


  1. Kim,
    I really like this idea because it seems like it would have to get the students to begin thinking a little differently (which is always a good thing) and how everything could fit together. I'm definitely going to have to try this out.

    Thanks so much for sharing
    Digital: Divide & Conquer

    1. Your welcome Matt. Thanks for sending people to my page! :)

  2. I love how this teaches kids to be frugal and to recycle at the same time. Love the cookie tray, milk jug tray idea. This is one I haven't tried.

    The Math Maniac

  3. Love these ideas! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Such an awesome idea! I never thought to ask parents to bring in their recycled goods and to use them with/as math manipulatives. The cookie tray is especially amazing! I'm your newest follower!

    Loose Shoelaces

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