Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What Can I Do With...? Volume 1

This year has been a turning point in my relationship with stuff.

You could chalk it up to living in a small apartment in one of the most expensive cities in the country, the stress of moving all of my stuff annually for the last six years, or simply realizing that very little of it makes me happy. So this year I've sold, swapped, donated, recycled or thrown away more of my stuff than I ever thought possible.

In what I hope to become a regular feature, I have a list of stuff I've kept solely for classroom use but that I'm not sure what to do with. I've been trying to come up with academic or culture-building purposes for these things, but unfortunately they're just taking up space.

So I'm reaching out for ideas, as well as providing a forum for others to solicit ideas for their potentially useful stuff. What can I do with...
  1. ...a disco ball? - I think I used this once in class, but I can't remember the reason. This is the sort of novelty lighting you buy at Spencer's in the mall. I've always had this vision of roller-skating around the classroom with disco ball going, and what a memorable moment that would be, but I haven't been able to come up with any legitimate reason for doing so. (Never mind that I don't have skates.)
  2. ...Trivial Pursuit? - I've always loved this game, even when I was too young to know any of the answers, but I've never found an opportunity to use this in school. I think it might work well for those long hours after standardized testing or benchmarking when we're just sitting around, but I wonder if there's a better academic use for this.
  3. ...Clue: The Simpsons Edition? Do today's kids even play Clue anymore?
  4. ...Miniature foam footballs? I have a half dozen of these from a car insurance company giveaway that I've been saving. Does anyone have a fun, simple football-themed review game or math lesson I could use these with
  5. ...paper sandwich bags? I have used some of these for separating out decks for card games, but I feel like there's untapped potential here. Is it time to start an algebra puppet show?
Your ideas and suggestions will help me decide whether to hold on to this stuff or find a better place for it. As I said, feel free to share your own stuff in need of a good idea in the comments as well. Thank you!