Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My Classroom Organization

True, right?

someecards.com - I'm a teacher and the Queen of organization. I'm like Monica from Friends, except I live in my classroom.
Also true?  

I'm GUILTY and I've often been teased that I'm the most organized teacher in the world....but my husband actually tops me (he was a teacher, then a principal, now a director).  When I started my teaching career 15 years ago, I just innately knew that I had to have my "ducks in a row" all the time in order to do my job really well.  Over the past 15 years I've tried a lot of things in my classroom, in regards to organization, and most of them have worked.  But here are my Top 3 most important ways to rock classroom organization:

3)   The Home-School Binder   Since my classroom is an outer space theme, we call ours a ROCKET binder (Really Organized Children Keep Everything Together).  Inside are: a Ziploc pouch for money and notes, a folder with a label that says "Communication from School: EMPTY each night" and a homework folder that has a Ziploc pouch in it for take-home reading books.  Students also have a weekly behavior log that is tucked into the front inside pocket and is completed (by them) at the end of each day.

2)  The School Binder   I ask every student to bring a 1" white binder with front and back cover plastic pockets) to school.  Students also bring 3 folders (mandated by our district school supply list) that go into this binder.  I give students a 4th folder.  The folders get sticker labels for: Unfinished Work, Math, Writing and Science.  Any papers or resources for these subject areas are stored in the appropriate folders.  Each month students get a cover for their binder that they color and keep in the outside cover. This binder REALLY helps cure "junky desk" syndrome!

1)  A Multi-Drawered Cart   This gem sits next to my desk and helps keep me organized AND helps keep my students on track with their work.  
There is a drawer for each day of the week and I put all my lesson plans, resources, books, etc. in the drawers so I know what I'm teaching and when.  When I'm done with things, I usually put them in the very top drawer which is my "put this back in its original spot".  The original spot is usually a binder of some sort. There is also a drawer for "Next Week" lesson plans, etc. and a drawer for "Future Things".  
On top of the cart is our Finished Work Chart and Finished Work Basket.  Students are in charge of their own work completion.  My rule is if you have any outstanding work on Friday, you must stay in at recess (which is before lunch) to complete it.  There is an "Extra" drawer if students are missing or are in need of a worksheet, etc.  I always make 2-3 more copies than necessary and stick them in this drawer.  Then there is the "Corrected Work Drawer" into which I put all work that is done and complete.  Every 2-3 weeks we pass back all those papers and kids take them home.

I hope you consider trying these ideas if you're not already doing so in your classroom!  I'd also love to know if you have any variations on these ideas or any other great organization ideas.

Vive l'organization!

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