Spring Break — Organizing Your Thoughts as You Organize Your Classroom

By Megan Power on April 2, 2012
  • Grades: PreK–K

It’s spring! Just before spring break, teachers are busy in their rooms cleaning, organizing, and getting ready for the homestretch to the end of the school year. This is the time of year that really flies by. Before we know it, we will be saying good-bye to these students and getting ready to welcome the new ones.

Every spring break as I am cleaning up my classroom, I take time to reflect and organize my thoughts. What strategies or routines have worked well this year? Are there any areas that we haven’t worked on that we need to?

I typically ask students to give me a list of things they love to do in kindergarten. I think about their comments and try to see if I can incorporate more of these activities into my plans for the rest of the year.

Even though next year seems far off, I start listing ideas or thoughts to help improve my program or class routines. I find that after summer it is so difficult for me to remember ideas or procedures that I wanted to try. Having an ongoing list makes for a smooth transition into the next school year. In this post, I'll share two of my favorite suggestions for getting organized and cleaning up this time of year.

 

Organizational Book Tip

Keep your read-alouds or theme books in organized containers. I have them grouped and labeled in two rows of book containers, as you can see in the photo above. As we begin each theme, I take the whole stack of books out and place them in the classroom library for read-alouds, book lessons, and student reading. Having them so organized has kept me from having to search for books. 

I also feel that it is important for students to have access to read-aloud books for rereading or for retelling the story during independent reading time. Taking them out and putting them in a special basket makes them readily available for my students. Take a look at a post I wrote a few years ago called "Rethinking Your Classroom Library: Getting More Books Into Students’ Hands." You can see some of these baskets below.

 

A Fun, Educational Spring Cleaning Activity for Little Hands

Take a look at another, earlier post called "Academic Spring Cleaning With Shaving Cream" to have your students getting your tables sparkling clean in time to leave for spring break.

I hope you take some time this spring break to regroup, rethink, and relax a little. Happy spring!

 

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Keep your read-alouds or theme books in organized containers. I have them grouped and labeled in two rows of book containers, as you can see in the photo above. As we begin each theme, I take the whole stack of books out and place them in the classroom library for read-alouds, book lessons, and student reading. Having them so organized has kept me from having to search for books.
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Megan, your idea for organizing my read-aloud books thematically in book boxes is amazing! Now I just need to find some time to start sorting. (I found 5-packs of book boxes/magazine files at Ikea for just two dollars.) Thanks for the practical advice - I look forward to having neater bookshelves soon!

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