## Wednesday, May 1, 2013

### Cabinet Tips

Are you storing your fraction insets in an old geometric cabinet like I am?  If you are, chances are that the real estate on top has been taken over by equation slips, fraction skittles, and other fraction paraphernalia.  Then, it comes time to take out the box of fraction cut-outs (for completing mixed numeral equations) and you think "if only I could slip this box into that little space under the cabinet."  You try it and are disappointed when it just doesn't quite fit.

Ta da!  I bought some thick, self-adhesive felt (the kind you put under the bottom of chairs and other furniture so that it doesn't scratch hardwood floors) and put it under the feet of the cabinet.  Now it fits!

Here is another cabinet trick that I use with my old botany cabinet (I moved the botany insets elsewhere).  Did you get tricked into buying a "demonstration tray" to go with your geometric cabinet only to realize you really don't need one in a homeschool setting?  The good news is you now have an EXTRA DRAWER that slides perfectly right under any geometric or botany cabinet.  Woo hoo!

How did all of my materials wind up in different cabinets?  At first my geometric cabinet was just a geometric cabinet and my botany cabinet was just a botany cabinet.  When it came time to start using the knobbed fraction circles we were long done with the rectangles and circles drawers in the geometric cabinet.  I retired the contents of those two drawers and filled them with knobbed fraction circles instead.  Eventually it became time to add the fraction triangles and squares to our work environment.  I wanted to keep all of the fraction materials together but didn't have any more empty drawers.  It was the dead of winter and our botany materials never seem to get any use in the winter.  So, I retired our botany leaf shapes temporarily to the basement.  Our botany cabinet has four drawers.  I only had four drawers left of actual geometric figures in our geometric cabinet (after retiring the circles and squares).  It made sense then to move all  the geometric figures to the botany cabinet and leave all the fraction materials in the geometric cabinet.  As we moved along through the early elementary geometry I realized we had some work to do with the rectangles again.  That's when the presentation tray popped into my mind.  The rectangular insets came out of retirement and found a home in the presentation tray slipped under what used to be the botany cabinet. Phew!

I still have one empty drawer in the geometric cabinet but will be happy for the space when it is time to order Pythagoras plates. I used to have an extra geometric cabinet and I SOLD it.  I could just kick myself because I'll never find that cheaply again and we still need all of the equivalent figure material.

On a completely different topic...I HAVE WRITER'S BLOCK!  I have three big posts on some (I think) great topics that are just STUCK IN DRAFT.  They are all 75% complete, but they just are awkward and awful and I won't subject you all to them.  Sigh.  That is how you all wound up reading a post about cabinets today...it was easy to write.  On top of the writer's block, I have been working every night on a variety of Montessori materials-making projects that just don't seem to have an end to them.  I've been tricked into starting four different things thinking it will "just take an hour" only to find out there is yet another step.  Please bear with me while I work through these sticky situations!  Hopefully I'll have something interesting to show for it when I'm done.