Planning is an important part of teaching. It's also an important part of repurposing. I often look at something and think about it and see some possibilities...or maybe read about an idea online before I put materials out for the kids to use.
Then...sometimes I just try something because I had a flash of an idea.
A few weeks ago, we were using cars with the blocks. When we were planning, we talked about using masking tape for roads. We decided not to use it this time. As I was putting the cars in my bag with the classroom materials, I saw the craft sticks. I decided to toss them into the bag, just as an idea.
We put the craft sticks with the blocks and cars. For a while, I thought my idea was a flop. The sticks just stayed in the basket.
Then, one boy decided to use them.
Sticks make great roads. They are the perfect width for the cars. It's easy to make roads and crossroads.
And they are easy to change into other configurations. When we use tape (and we like to use tape), the roads are much more fixed. But the sticks made it possible to rearrange.
This repurposing idea was a spontaneous choice – and one that I will definitely use again.
What spontaneous and quick ideas have you had in your classroom? How did those work out?