I bought two bags of potatoes, because I wanted be sure I had a potato for each student. One was larger than the other which allowed for us to discuss the difference when estimating, and using the information we had gotten from the first bag of potatoes.
When weighing the individual potatoes it proved to be a little difficult. One of the skills we had to cover at the end of the year was using grams and kilograms. Well the potatoes weighed more, in grams, than we had weights for...so we had to combine weight sets and do a lot of adding of weights. We managed though. My suggestion would be to maybe use those small, yellow potatoes or even cut the potatoes in half.
Now to answer a few questions from you all!
My Lesson Plan Book:
I have had a lot of questions about it, and would love to share it with you all, however it is an Excell document and would need to be adjusted to fit your schedules and school hours. When I upload it into Google Docs it goes crazy! So I guess the best thing to do is maybe have you email me and I can send it through email. Like I said I don't mind sharing it at all!
My shelving for each group:
I found them at Walmart! They are the Mainstay brand and as I tried to find them online, but I think they can only be found in the store, it's similar to this one but black in color: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Mainstays-3-Shelf-Bookcase-Alder/11061207. They do have two removable shelves I just use one because my book boxes are so tall.
What I keep on the shelves: On the left is their book boxes for Guided Reading/Reader's Workshop. They keep their journal, post-its, library books, classroom books, and possibly a book they are reading in group in their boxes. Any time we are doing reading they take their book box wherever they are....at a center, at their desk, in group with me...that way they have everything they would need. On the right is their crayon/colored pencil box. I do buy these myself...they very from year to year depending on what is on sale and where. On the bottom of course dictionaries...and this year Kleenex and occasionally the trash can (so they don't kick it around the room). On the top I have always had some sort of group caddy/bucket etc. to keep glue sticks, scissors, and hand sanitizer in.