Issue Bin

I went to a workshop in June in Indiana (you might have read my reflections @ first grade and fence posts). One of the sessions I attended was presented by a group of teachers from the area. It was called "Top 10 Quality Teaching Tools." It was based on the Baldridge Criteria for Excellence -you can read more about it here-http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/uploadedFiles/info/baldrige/homepage/Baldrige-Pursuit-of-Excellence.pdf
The workshop was very informative but a bit overwhelming for me because I had never heard of this system before. I had heard of some of the "tools" they discussed, but have never used them in my classroom. Before we left for the day the presenters suggested to just take one or two of the tools and try them out this fall.
I came home and thought about their suggestions. I decided I could do as they suggested and implement one or two of the tools I'd learned about....except being the first grade teacher that I am...I decided to put my own spin on it...
The first one I decided to to try is the "Issue Bin" This is a place set up in the classroom for kids to place notes for needs, concerns, ideas, or "issues."  These are left on the chart until a class meeting or other appropriate times to discuss or handle.
I thought this would be something I could use for the kiddos to place their notes to me while I'm conferring with other kids, or working with small groups (instead of a pile of sticky notes on my reading table). It will also be a good alternative to "tattling." I will have the kiddos write their concern on a note and place it in the issue bin.
Now for my twist on the "bin." To me it seemed a little too "corporate" for my first grade kiddos so while I was thinking where I'd place my "issue bin" I came up with my alternative: "Issue BEN" I have not drawn it up as yet, but this is my plan and what I envision it to look like in my classroom.

Issue BEN
If you have a problem, gripe, concern or idea
Write it down, let it go, leave it with Ben
          until we can deliberate, delegate, decide, or define. 

I will put it on the board by our door, and before we leave each day we can check our "Ben" for things we need to address.
Do any of you have "Issue Bins" in your classrooms? If so I'd love to hear how you use them. Or if you use any of the other Baldridge tools I'd like to know how you implement them as well. I have some "takes" on a few of the other tools too.


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