With new guidelines for keeping students safe for back to school 2020, one of the major questions is how to keep student supplies separate. Sharing supplies and containers is just not feasible or safe this year- therefore personal supplies will be key to keeping students safe and reducing exposure. Read on for tips for organizing materials and keeping student supplies separate.
REMOVE SHARED CONTAINERS
In order to keep student materials and supplies separate, we must remove ” shared containers. This means we won’t have a bin full of all the crayons, all the scissors, or a spot for all the markers any more. We won’t be handing out materials in this way… probably for a long time. Even if students only used one materials for the whole day- keeping up with sanitizing would be a nightmare. So start here, rethink your shared containers…. make way for personal supply boxes.
PERSONAL PENCIL BOXES
Plain and simple: Students should not share materials this year. Each student should have a pencil box of materials only used by them. Labels will be key for keeping this straight.
PERSONAL SENSORY BINS
Our students in special education thrive on sensory input. With all the change occurring this year, SO much will be different for them… we must find ways to keep sensory experiences in place. Individual sensory bins are the only way to safely do this.
PERSONAL DAILY LIVING BOXES
Do you see a theme yet? Yup keeping them in plastic containers in the same open cabinet won’t work this year. These skills for daily living are still necessary for our students…. but we need to think smart about how to implement it. Keep student supplies completely separate in their own contained bin and have only one student at a time performing a daily living skill distanced from other classmates.
PERSONAL LIFE SKILLS MATERIALS
In the past you may have had one dustpan, spray bottle, and facecloth, etc. to implement your life skills centers in the classroom. Rotating the students through the centers as normal just won’t work this year. I used these shower caddy’s from the dollar store to build personal life skills kits. All the materials in the kit were $1. Having personal kits allows students to practice life skills without sharing materials. (Learn about starting life skills centers here)
PERSONAL MASK BINS
It seems like schools will be implementing “mask breaks” or taking off masks for meals at the very least. But where will the masks go? You know, the thing that is essentially the most germy in the classroom now? We can’t just have these all over desks, floors, and tables. Using a pencil case to store your mask every time it leaves your face is the easiest way to keep them contained and separate. Student labels are key for this.
EDITABLE STUDENT LABELS
Labeling student materials and supplies will be the key to success in separating supplies this year. I made these editable labels with real photos of supplies, but also included the template for you to add your own names and images. You can grab the set of editable labels here.
STUDENT REMINDER VISUALS
Visuals were always important in special education classrooms, and we are seeing them in our world more and more with new guidelines. Wear a mask signs are on the doors of most stores…. lines for where to stand at the grocery store to remain socially distanced… these are visuals in the real world. We will need new visual reminders in the classroom this year too. Reminders about masks, visuals to show when we need them and how to ask for help or a break will be very important. I included these in the student label set.
Where to find materials:
All of the materials and containers seen in these photos were found at the Dollar Tree for $1. This is the most cost effective way to have individual bins in your classroom. There are sets of 10 also available on amazon. (affiliate link)
Stay safe this year!