Hi, HC! What a great question! Like you, there are many challenges in creating an organized and chaos free classroom. I find that modeling the habits that our students struggle with is best. I am posting a blog specifically on organization in the next few weeks in great detail, but here are a couple of key ingredients to get you started:
*keep a designated area just for students that is full of supplies that they need (this prevents going on the teacher desk)
*color coding works wonderfully for me (mostly by subject)
*Have clearly labeled areas that provide easy transition (i.e. homework turn in bins, copies of assignments, reading area, writing, etc)
I hope that you will find this helpful and read the related blog in detail so as to better help you! This will include pictures as well so you can see my room in action.
Keep in touch! I am more than happy to help in any way that I can.
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