Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My Adventures on a Cart, Part 2

Day 7 of 31 at TWT
Yesterday I started to write about my teaching life on a cart.  As often happens while I'm writing, I thought I had a small, quick idea... and then the words just kept falling out of my mind.  Teaching from a cart has been such a big part of my life that I had quite a lot to say about it!  So much, in fact, that I didn't even get to my original "main point", which was to give you a tour of my cart and how I make it work.

So today, in part 2, I want to introduce you to my current cart.  I'm really surprised I haven't named it, considering how I love naming things.  Not to mention my cart is a friend that never leaves my side at school!  Maybe this is a good time for a name -- better late than never!  Cartie?  Store-y? Rolley?  (I'm infamous in my family for naming things that way.) I kind of like Rolley, actually.  :-)

Anyway, Rolley has all sorts of amazing compartments to help me out.  She was already pretty amazing when I got her, with an enclosed bottom compartment, two shelves, a drawer with dividers, and slots for pens/markers!  However, I've really made her my own traveling room with some special modifications.
Look at all that space!  I was in love as soon as the secretary got her out of the storage room!

First, the top layer: The clear boxes are my pass-out-materials boxes, one for each grade level.  I discovered they had to have lids so worksheets wouldn't fly away as I sped down the hallway!  My example binders, laptop, and teaching clipboard (with attendance/formative assessment checklists, my plans, and my schedule on it!) go in the middle.  New after I'd had a room are the two little black bins: blank notecards in the left front corner and a place to put notecard suggestions for the "word of the day" on the right corner.  Last but not least, in the middle: a box of extra pencils for those kids who somehow never have one.
top layer

The front of the middle layer is all for students and contains my most essential procedures. First, turn-in drawers for each class, labeled in green.  On top of each set of turn-in drawers, the red slivers peeking out are my absent work folders for each grade level.  Each is an accordion file with 10 folders inside: 2 for each day of the week.  One says "(Day) required"; homework and other essential items that must be picked up. The other says "(Day) optional"; other stuff we did that they might want but doesn't NEED to be made up.
middle layer, front

Behind the turn-in drawers, on the back of the middle layer, are my prize boxes (one with big prizes and one with small prizes), speakers in the corners (the cord runs up to the top layer to plug into my computer as needed), flyswatters (for a vocab game we play), and my sports drink (I don't like drinking water!).
middle layer, back

On the doors to the enclosed bottom layer, I taped my hall pass holders.  After asking in Spanish to go, my students must choose the appropriate hall pass for where they are going and then sign out. (You can just barely see the green sign-out clipboard wedged beside the left-hand turn-in drawers in the first picture!)
hall passes!

Inside the doors of the bottom layer, the students can find supplies (markers, scissors, glue, dictionaries) and "What do we do when we're done?" activities.  On the left (hard to see, sorry!) is a big blue accordion folder of extra practice activities, filed by topic.  On the right, they can peruse my collection of children's books in Spanish, including many of my favorite childhood books!
bottom storage

That's Rolley!  Hope you enjoyed seeing how she helps me function no matter where I am!  Tune in tomorrow for the exciting conclusion of this little mini-series: my "homework board" and my "walls"!


  1. Wow- you're super organized! I loved the part about naming your cart- it made me smile!

  2. I'm still amazed at all that you cover-students & classes-Jennifer. When thinking about it, I guess in my regular classroom I really did cover many things & organize a variety of tools to help me and to help the students, yet what you're describing still seems like a lot. Good for you for being so organized and good for you for having that wonderful Rolley!

  3. Amazing! I can't believe you can create a classroom in such a small space. You have got to be uber-organized.
    So the cart is a girl, I should have known. A fellow wouldn't be so put together. I'm thinking a more feminine name might be appropriate, like - Rollsie or Rollamunda. What's Spanish for rolling cart?

    1. Haha elsie, your comment about "a fellow" cracked me up! :-p Rollsie is pretty good... I may consider an official name change! (Spanish is no good for a name -- "carrito con ruedas" just doesn't lend many ideas.)

  4. I thought I was going to have to be on a cart my first year teaching. I would have sunk! Your cart is so souped up, I am in awe of the way you have so many systems in one place.

  5. I always love seeing the way people organize, especially related to education. You definitely have a well-organized system! I also loved how you incorporated print-rich environment aspects in the target language.

  6. Thank you for talking about your cart in such a positive way. After 9 1/2 years with my own classroom, I spent a very frightening (tear-filled) 24 hours thinking I would have a cart + 7 different classrooms during other teachers' conference times. I'd almost completely cleared out my classroom today when I found out I'll have a room next year (probably), but I'm going to keep clearing because I don't ever want to be that anchored down with stuff again. The pictures and descriptions of your cart make me believe that I can do it if I ever need to, and I want to thank you. I appreciate you and your hard work, and I am glad you have a place or two to call yours.

    1. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment, Amy! It's amazing to know that my old posts are still helping people years later! Teaching from a cart has its challenges, but it is possible to still be successful! I'm happy you got some good news though! :-)

  7. Thank you for sharing this! I just found 2 days ago that I won't have a classroom this year. It's my second year to teach Spanish (first year in 7th grade, last year was 4th & 5th). I am very nervous about the cart thing, but we will see. I was a flight attendant many years ago so I do have experience with a cart! I may make it a travel theme all year long! ;-)

  8. Where did you get this cart? We need these for our intervention team!

  9. Love your cart! Where did you get the folders you have the hall passes in? They're perfect! And can you share the passes themselves, or sell them on TPT? They're super nice and I've not seen any like that anywhere!

  10. Estimada Jennifer, gracias por compartir tu experiencia con el móvil !!! Estoy empezando en una escuela donde tendré que moverme de salón en salón. Quería pedirte si podrías compartir como son los pases para los estudiantes. Gracias y felicitaciones.


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