I love when teachers are innovative and thrifty! Literacy&MathIdeas shows us how to be both with two cool ideas for classroom centers. Put old materials to good use by reusing plastic water bottles and old CD cases!
Her blog shows several examples of using water bottles for all kinds of centers. All you need to use are a few popsicle sticks and you've got a good way to have students practice math problems, sorts, spelling, vocabulary, place value and lots of other skills. Simply decorate and label the bottles, slide the sticks back inside, and you can easily store several activities and conserve valuable space. Her example photos are very helpful.
Another idea she had was to reuse CD cases. Instead of wasting paper and worksheets in centers, her students can use markers to write and wipe-off practice questions of the case itself, and then open it to reveal the answers inside. It's a great way to self-check during the activity.
I thought these ideas were highly recommendable, since teachers often look for ways to save money and space. Reusing materials shows a good example of not wasting resources, and may spark a good discussion on recycling.
For other interesting tools for classroom centers, be sure to check out how you can use paper cup stacking and clothespins for your activities.