Thursday, March 8, 2012

My Adventures on a Cart, Part 3

Day 8 of 31 at TWT!
Yesterday I gave you a tour of my cart, Rollsie.  Yes, she's undergone an official name change, thanks to Elsie!  Now I can think of Slices of Life and smile while I'm careening down the hallway, dodging kids to get to my next class in the 2-minute class change window!  (Which, some days, is really more like one minute -- or zero minutes -- or negative one minutes, by the time I throw everything back into Rollsie, answer some kid's question, and/or listen to a story another one just HAD to tell me!)

Anyway, today I have one more glimpse to share of my life with Rollsie.  How do I function without walls of my own?  No whiteboard with which to create a homework-posting area and display the day's scheduled activities.  No walls to hang posters on for student reference or developing curiosity. (I love Linda's idea of hanging a poster on my cart and changing it every week, but none of mine seem to be the right size, and Rollsie's already so full I don't know where I would put it that wouldn't block something essential!)

To solve the homework board problem, I just got a portable whiteboard and re-created my homework board on it.  Since I'm rather obsessed with color coding, like Diana, I always color-code the board.  (I like to pretend that it helps the kids, at least!)  There's not much on it this week, but usually red is required homework, blue is optional homework, and orange is for when assignments are due.
the traveling hw board, easily set on any small piece of board tray I can get my hands on!

Unfortunately, there's just no logistical way to also have a place to write the plans for the day, so I just have to live without that.  Too bad, because the kids acquire significant vocabulary from the posted plans (I always write them in Spanish) -- they really remember words like "game", "video", etc!  Sadly, that's just one of those things that we have to do without.  (For myself, I carry the plans on my clipboard, as I mentioned yesterday.)

The other big essential item is the daily routine board.  When I got this job three years ago, I spent an entire weekend (no really, the WHOLE weekend) covering a tri-fold board in contact paper for durability, putting Velcro on it for each question and answer, and laminating/cutting out all the paper pieces.  Husband and I (poor thing, he always gets stuck helping!) were ready to collapse by the time we got it done, but it's been AMAZINGLY durable and easy to use.  Even when I've had a room, I've just set it up on a whiteboard tray and kept using it.
Every day we do feelings, weather, days of the week, the date, and the time (7th graders only).
The board also displays the word of the day and important classroom phrases (i.e. "Can I go to the bathroom?") for reference.

One student runs the routine each day.  He or she finds all the answers first and then asks the questions, calling on other students to answer and putting up the answers as they say them.  When I have a room, all the possible answers (and weather pictures) are in bins on a nearby table, but when I'm using Rollsie, they're in bags on the back flaps of the board.
the routine board closed up, showing storage on the back flaps

Best of all, both the homework board and routine board are the perfect size to fit on top of Rollsie for transportation.  (That was really just a fortunate coincidence -- I'm not THAT organized!)
Ready to roll!  (The routine board is under the hw board.)
Hope you enjoyed these peeks at my "rolling room-away-from-room"!  Have you ever traveled between rooms?  What tips and tricks do you have to share?


  1. That is quite a cart! We used to have our music teacher teach from a cart and it was fun to hear her coming with all the instruments jangling away.

  2. I loved the view from the cart! I now have the schema to understand your world a little better. I have tried to block the memory of being a traveling teacher from my data bank of memory. Now I travel and everything has to fit into my trunk and I haul in my bags of books to schools. One thing that is new this year is a tube that I think is meant for art students. I roll up the chart paper so it stays crease free until I need it. It is like a giant quiver with a top. That's my tip. BTW: I like the name, more girlie.

  3. You are THAT organized! And then some! I love the board hanging off that little slice of ledge. Your resourcefulness is amazing!

  4. I like that name too, Jennifer & Elsie; it is more girlie! Your cart is amazing, & like Christy said, you are 'that' organized. It really does make the job easier, I think, so good for you for making it work so beautifully. I bet the students love to see you rolling down the hall!


Comments make me happy and I'd love to hear from YOU! :-)