I hate passing out worksheets and other things. It takes up valuable time and leads to talking and behavior issues. The students that get their papers first get bored and tired of waiting for me to finish passing out worksheets and for the last kids to get ready. I worked on this issue a lot last year. I had a very (I mean VERY!) loud, talkative class. I also had lots of behavior issues. I had to find ways to combat these issues and make better use of my time. However, I'm not saying that my new way is te best way but it has definitely saved time and cut out fighting.
Let me start with how the students are grouped. We have desks and the students are grouped in pods of 4. The students keep their supplies (pencils, crayons, erasers, and markers) in their pencil box that is kept in their desk. The only other thing in their desks is their homework folder. This way any fliers or completed work can be put right into their folders.
In the middle of each 4 desk pod is a green bin. I bought the bins at Dollar Tree. Inside each bin are their scissors and a glue sponge. We spend a lot of time at the beginning of the year practicing to share the glue sponge and use patience while others are using it.
Now comes to the part about the paper passer. Each week I pick a paper passer for each pod. This student is responsible to passing out all supplies and papers to their friends in their pod. Only this student can touch the stuff in the bin and only after I had told them to pass them out (this takes some practice too). Every Monday, I take a Sharpie and I draw a smiley face on the corner of one desk in each pod. Like this:
Now on to the bins and paper passing. Each bin always holds the group's glue sponge and scissors (as mentioned before). I also use the bins to put in manipulatives we will use that day. Students are not to touch the bins until I tell them to. When I pass out papers I just count four for the pod and I set them in the bin.