Did anyone else catch the clearance at the Target Dollar Spot last weekend? I did, and believe me, I could have spent a lot more time in those aisles than I did. School-themed Dollar Spot items at 70% off? Yes, please.
One thing that I just could not stop putting in my basket were pocket charts. I just love pocket charts in general, and love them even more at $.30 each. I could have bought one for each of my students at that price, had there been enough.
Even there was not enough for all of the students, I managed to snag five or six, and completed my first Pocket Chart Project this past week.
I was needing a chart to help show the Little People when their turn was coming up at the easel or at the art table. I wanted the cart to be skinny and long, so only one name would fit in a row. That way the waiting list would only contain single names, all in only one long column.
Since my Target pocket chart was not this shape, I decided to cut it in half. I admit that I was a little nervous about this, but figured I could take a chance since it cost so little.
Obviously, once I cut it in half, I had open ends along the cut line. In other words, anything put in those pockets could clearly slide out:
For a very short time I considered how I could sew up these open edges, but then decided that was ridiculous and pulled out one of my Teacher Must-Haves: the colored masking tape.
I then took my two halves and placed one above the other, making one long chart. I arranged the two pieces carefully so that the pockets would be evenly spaced.
I then turned the chart over and taped the two halves together on the back with the tape.
After I turned it back over, I used more tape to bind the long edges of my new chart. I did this by placing the tape halfway off the edge of the front and then folded it over to the back.
I did this on both sides (even though one side was already secure and sewn up).
At the top of this chart I placed the "Who's Next" sign that I made:
I had already made my student name cards, so I just pulled those out and today began teaching the Little People to find their name card and put it at the bottom of the list when they wanted a turn at the easel.
Today as I experimented with the chart I moved the names up to the top as the Little People each got their turn, setting the "already painted" names aside for my reference. However, that was a lot of chart maintenance when I really needed all hands on deck with the painting itself. Therefore, I came home from school and made these little "Had a Turn" cards to slip in the pocket over or beside each student's name cards so I wouldn't have to adjust them each time.
I also made this "Last Person for Today" sign, so that when I see that our center time is running out, I can prepare those down low on the list for the cruel fact that they won't get a turn today.
I plan to scaffold this process by later only providing name cards with no pictures, and then will provide blank papers where they have to write their own names.
Would you like these printables? You can download them for free here.