Today’s guest blogger is Lori from Teaching Tykes. She’s sharing her top eight tips for different ways to use clothespins in the classroom. I bet you’ll be surprised by some of her suggested uses!
I love Clip Cards and clothespins! I have 280 clip card products in my TpT store! C’mon, who is not addicted to the way clothespins open and close?
Clothespins are inexpensive and versatile, too.
Inexpensive? You can get a bag of 50 clothespins from the dollar store for $1. Versatile? Clothespins are crafty; you can make cutesy animals and gifts with clothespins.
But wait! There are so many more ways to put clothespins to work in your classroom, so I am sharing eight ideas with you today!
I always carry a clipboard with me, so I have to start with this tip from Alyssha at Teaching and Tapas. Alyssha teaches in a workshop format and uses clothespins and her clipboard to keep track of her student conferring schedule. We’re talking organizational simplicity! Alyssha’s idea can easily be adapted to be used during teacher conferences, student assessments, or any way in which you need to meet with and keep track of your students.
Save a staple, use a clothespin.
I remember being in fifth grade and my teacher handing back my paper with big holes at the top because of her stapling it to the bulletin board. Trust me, your students will thank you for not defiling their papers, plus using clothespins are much faster and easier than stapling. Glue two flat thumb tacks to the back of the clothespins so they stick into the bulletin board. Totally easy!
I am definitely a centers teacher. I employed centers with my primary students and even during my stint teaching high school. While all centers should be motivating and engaging, let’s admit it: Some center activities are more fun than others. That is when a centers chart is handy, to help choose and rotate centers. And a great way to keep up with rotating centers? Clothespins, of course.
I should buy stock in clothespins!
I actually squealed aloud when I first saw this idea on Pinterest: using clothespins as bathroom passes. Ingenious! The passes will return: The clothespins are clipped onto the students’ clothing; hence, the passes never get left in the bathroom. The passes will be germ free; the clothespins are clipped onto the student before leaving the room and then unclipped upon returning to the classroom. They’ll be untouched in between; hence, germs are super reduced.
Classroom jobs are a must as they are a great way to instill a sense of responsibility in our students. And, you guessed it: Clothespins are once again the go-to tool to use when rotating student names on charts.
Everyone wants to be the paper passer!
Many teachers use the traffic light behavior management system: Green, yellow, and red circles with, of course, clothespins. I have used a similar behavior management system, one that, for my students, was less embarrassing for the yellows and reds and less stressful for the greens. We had individualized “charts” placed at the students’ desks. This “chart” was a craft stick colored in thirds with green, yellow, and red and a clothespin that can be moved to the appropriate color. (I never once had a student change their chart.) Either chart monitoring system you choose, there should be clothespins involved.
Excellent tool, once again!
Yes, clothespins can be used in math centers to show the correct answer to a math problem, but clothespins can also be used with meatier math center activities.
Look at the graphing method shown in the picture below. I LOVE it! It is a simple yet effective visual representation for comparing. Think of the many discussions that could be generated from a graph like this.
Thanks, Donna at Math Coach’s Corner!
Look what you can do with clothespins and hangers (which I love, too). I especially like using this idea with equivalent fractions.
Clothespins can be used in ELA centers to show the correct part of speech or the correct sight word. One of our favorite center activities is clipping final blends. My special ed kids especially enjoy and benefit from this activity.
My students also love making clothespin words: Write letters on clothespins, and have students pin letters to make words. They can pin onto hanging string (think a clothes line) or even an index card. And this activity can be differentiated by allowing the students needing extra help to clip the matching lettered clothespin to the letter in the word.
So, let’s review:
Clothespins have so many classroom uses. Clothespins are such an inexpensive resource. And do not even get me started on how clothespins are a perfectly fun way to improve fine motor skills!
Even though my kids have nicknamed me, “The Clip Card Queen,” I do have more than just clip cards. But if clip cards are what you are looking for, then I have a freebie for you. My Fairy Tale Clip Cards will be free for the rest of January. (See if your students can identify from which fairy tale the image belongs.)
Fairy tales + Clip Cards = FUN!
I am Lori Booze (aka Teaching Tykes). My family and I live in the boonies in NC. I have been a TpT seller for a year-and-a-half now. And yes, while I have a plethora of Clip Cards in my store, I do have other teaching resources that I would LOVE for you to check out! A huge thanks to Rachel Lynette for allowing me to guest blog! Aren’t teacher-sellers fabulous?!