Only a few more weeks left of Summer! Say it isn't sooooooo!! Although my maternity leave will continue until the end of January, I am obviously hardwired to know that September is quickly approaching! Back to school commercials have been in full swing for months, and the Dollarstore has already put out Halloween items. Eeeeeek!! Many of you are already back at it, while others are soaking up the last few breaths of relaxation.
Are you ready to head back? Have you made goals and plans or found new ideas that you want to implement this year?
How are you planning on staying organized?
With moving schools and grades every year, I am forced to stay organized. When June hits, the last thing you want is a mess to clean and pack up. Here are a few organization ideas that I have found useful.
1.) Student Reading Boxes
This is where students store their independent reading books, their response journals etc. When I have a sheet or a specific reading for my students to read, I go to their boxes and slip them in at the end of the day, so that we're ready for the next.
It prevents clutter in the students' desks and books being ruined and bent.
2.) Storage Solutions
Ok, I cannot tell you how many times I find loose cards on the floor or randomly at the bottom of a bin. Two years ago I decided to buy soap dish containers and used them to hold cards.
No elastic breaking!
If you collect supplies (or don't) here's an idea to get stuff out of kids desk. Things that they don't always use on a regular basis. I store these on a shelf and pass out when needed. No "I can't find my glue" cries!
I never know what I am getting in terms of storage when I walk into a classroom. One year I used a closet organizer to hold games. If you have no shelving, this may be an option for you!
I never know if I will need to refer to an anchor chart again, but do not have the room to keep them up. (Plus, too much on the walls is never a good thing!)
How about this idea? Using Christmas wrapping paper holders would be an idea as well! Just roll up and put a sticky on the outside, indicating what the chart entails.
3.) Label everything!
It's easy for you, it's easy for an occasional teacher and it's easy for your students to find what they need. Labelling everything prevents whining, frustration and allows independence. It's easy to put back if you know where something goes.
4.) Ditch the Reproducibles!
I know a lot of teacher's cringe hearing that..... but how often are you using pre-made books that you bought way back when!? Or the binders or worksheets that you refer to once in a blue moon!?
A big weight off of my shoulders came when I started digitising my lessons and activities. I do not have the space or time to lug those babies around. I still have a few to dispose of, but the time is coming and it feels great!!
5.) Student Files
Do you take anecdotal notes? What do you do with them?
I set a folder or clip board like this...
When I have filled the card, I place it into a recipe box and refer to them during report card time.
I also really like to keep student portfolios when I can. It's a great way to store work samples, reflections and makes a great end of the year take home :)
Hopefully you gathered a few ideas to get organized this school year :) I honestly believe it's the key to a structured classroom.