Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How I'm Using Cookie Trays in 2015

It dawned on me today that I should I share with you how I am using my cookie tray activities for the 2015-2016 school year because it's completely different than how I was using them when I first posted. If you never saw the first post, you can catch up by reading it {here}. (The picture below is last years set up)

Last year when I started making cookie tray activities a part of daily routine we completed them as a rotation through 4 trays where each child did all 4. This year my classroom is much different and completing that kind of activity is not ideal for this group.

Instead we now use cookie tray activities as part of our arrival routine. Instead of planning activities that all the students will rotate through, I plan a specific activity sheet for each child for each day of the week. After students unpack their belongings, sign their name in, they comes to their spot at the table to complete their cookie tray. You can't see them in the photo, but there are name tags under each tray so each student knows where their spot is and what tray they will be doing.

When it comes time to sit down and plan this out it actually happens quicker than it sounds. It is a little time consuming to prep the bins for the week, but once it's done it's done. And again, this days of the week set is perfect! My paras know right where to look to either put away a students activity or set up activities for the next group of kids.

I keep an extra bucket at the end of this rack (the large orange one) that stores our non-seasonal activities like the one pictured above for the letter. I like to keep these handy if I need to fill in a gap here and there for a student with an activity outside of what our theme may be that week.

When it's time to plan activities I have students on similiar skill levels who I can just flip flop their activities for the following week, which makes planning that much easier and quicker. It's also helpful to keep a designated area in the classroom where all the activities and the extra materials can be stored together. Of course when we finish a theme I store all the activities in an envelope and that envelope gets placed in our theme container.

If you are looking to check out my cookie tray activities you can see all available theme sets by clicking {here} to go to my TpT store. 

What creative ways are you using cookie tray activities in your classroom? I know Gabrielle from Teaching Special Thinkers incorporates some of the activities into her magnet center! Love that idea!



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