One thing that I've done to make it easier to transport a large number of bins is to purchase a larger tote to place the smaller versions into. I'm sure there is a large tote with an expanding handle and wheels similar to luggage, however, I didn't spend too much time looking for that version.
I place the same items in all the bins (although these need to be updated this school year):
- 1 box of Crayola markers
- 1 box of Expo markers (for whiteboard activities)
- 2-4 Sharpies
- 2-4 boxes of Crayons
- 4 Glue sticks
- 4 Tape dispensers
- 4 Post-It pads (two 3"x3" pads, two 5"x8" pads)
- 4 Scissors (I just completed a staff development and used adult scissors. I use kid scissors when working with students).
- I'm thinking about adding color pencils.
This is a classroom I recently conducted a professional development session in. However, the setup would be identical to my classroom (although, I had lab tables). The only time students really need to get up is to sharpen their pencils or throw away trash; or if we are moving based on an instructional activity. However, I purchased cheap bins from the dollar store and placed one at each group table to make trash disposal easier. Boxes and the group area were checked for cleanliness as a dismissal method (to save me from cleaning the boxes and the janitors from having to sweep all the trash off the floor). Additionally, I had two electronic sharpeners on both sides of my room to make sharpening pencils readily accessible for students.
If you use interactive notebooks in your class then I recommend a system similar to what I have shared here. Your life (and the lives of your students) will be so much easier as they will have all the materials at their disposal versus a bunch of students getting up to grab random materials.
I purchased the bins online at Office Depot as my district receives a discount. Check with your campus and/or district to see if they receive discounts at office supply stores. Here is the product info in case you're curious:
- Really Useful Boxes® Plastic Storage Box, 64 Liters, 12 1/4"H x 17 5/16"W x 28"D, Clear Item # 787653
- Really Useful Boxes® Plastic Storage Box, 4 Liters, 3 1/4"H x 10 1/4"W x 14 1/2"D, Blue Item # 546858
I believe there are 4 liter transparent boxes. You could even organize the boxes by coloring or placing some other different identifier on each box. I just numbered the materials inside the box to correspond with the number written on the outside. Be as creative as you wish. :)