The “May” Basket- A Classroom Management Idea

I’m super excited to team up with 150 bloggers for another month of bright ideas!  My bright idea is a super quick classroom management idea about how to handle the “stuff” kiddos bring to school. 

I have a basket in my classroom called the “May” basket. Mine is just an old Easter basket, but any kind of basket will do. It has a little tag on it that says “May Basket” that is tied on with a ribbon. 

At the beginning of the year, I explain to the students that any toys or items that they are playing with during class time will be taken away and placed in the May Basket. 

OH NO!!  
Oh, yes… I do.  

The students do not get the item back until the last week of school in MAY! Sometimes I say it means they may- or MAY NOT get it back. (Wink! Wink!)   The basket sits up on my file cabinet, and really serves as a reminder to NOT bring toys to school. It is not entirely foolproof. The basket will (most likely) have some deposits by the end of year.  I will hear the children say to one another, “Put that away! You don’t want it to go into the MAY BASKET!!” The students help remind each other, which makes my job easier and leads them to managing themselves. 

 I do offer a bit of leeway if a parent comes to retrieve an item, but for the most part the collection grows throughout the year and the parents are very supportive. I have collected some pretty strange things over the years!!

I hope you enjoyed this month’s Bright Ideas blog post! If you would like more ideas from me, be sure to follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers, Pinterest, and Facebook to stay posted with fabulous freebies and ideas!


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  1. says

    I love it! The best thing I collected was a cell phone one year and I found it because someone continued to call and text it during class. These kids are in kindergarten and should not have a phones at school!! I might need a “May” basket this year!

    A Very Curious Class

  2. says

    I am moving to a grade 1/2 class this year and think I may need to try this – thanks for the tip (I hope I can hold on to it and not give in and return it at the end of the week!).

  3. Jana H. says

    I smiled when I saw this on my Pinterest feed. I’ve had a “June Box” for years. It really is a great management tool/motivation to leave things at home. Usually only gets items two or three times during the year, mostly Lego minifigs (of course, I give them a chance – put it in your backpack and don’t bring it back.) My parents have always been supportive too. Glad you shared.

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