Am I the only one who can’t stand when kids bring toys to class (or who make toys in class)?! Well, I have finally found the solution! A toy graveyard! I made a box with a foam skeleton on it and labeled it “Toy Graveyard.” I put it on a top shelf where no kids could get into it.
When I saw toys in my classroom (or paperclips bent into shapes that were distracting my kids), I walked over to the student, and without pausing what I was saying, simply held out my hand. The students knew they had to surrender the toy and I would walk over to the toy graveyard and put the toy into the box. I did this without ever making a fuss or calling lots of attention to the toy. My students knew that the toys in the graveyard may or may not come back to life at the end of the year, but not seeing me throw it in the trash seemed to make it easier for them. (I never did end up giving things back at the end of the year unless the student remembered it and asked for it specifically on the last day. This is how I’d make sure they got back things that were important to them.)
This picture is of the toy graveyard my friend uses in her classroom. She randomly had this big can and re-purposed it instead of tracking down a small box.
It’s probably one of the best I’ve come up with (not to brag or anything). 🙂 What’s one of the best teaching ideas you’ve ever had (or heard of)?