How do you keep your classroom organized?
Create a sticky-note seating chart, go digital, and get your students involved!
Clean Up Your Vocabulary
Everything in my classroom is labeled. This not only serves as a guide but as sight-word practice.
A volunteer from the town’s senior center comes each Wednesday to make all my copies for the week, file papers into the kids’ assessment folders, rip pegs out of the math workbook, and play academic games during center time. She is heavenly.
Cr(e)ate Your Own Cabinet
I keep my guided-reading group lessons in hanging files in a big plastic crate. It’s so easy to pull for the right group, and I have everything I need in one place.
Year-Round Spring Cleaning
It may sound cheesy, but if you organize year-round rather than just seasonally—a “spring cleaning”–type deal—your life will always be organized. For me, it’s a lifestyle.
Honey, I Shrunk the Seating Chart!
Make seating charts with tiny sticky notes. It’s easy to change seats whenever you want to. Place notes under sheet protectors, then use a dry-erase marker to mark students absent, make tally marks to keep track of disruptions, etc.
No More Missed Work
If you teach self-contained, put a “we missed you” folder at [an absent student’s] spot. Whenever papers are passed out, a student at the same table can just put a paper in the folder. When the absent kid comes back, he then takes the folder and completes the work. If you cycle, try a hanging folder system in a crate for each part of the day. Older kids can check there for missed work.
Save a Tree
Use online files as much as possible.
Check It off
I use checklists for everything!
All Hands on Deck
Make it everyone’s responsibility. Spend the first four to six weeks of the year going over and over and over the student procedures—how to hand in paperwork, where to check off names on a tally list, what students need when changing classes, etc. If they learn [the routines], you are halfway to organized.
One Day at a Time
Cleaning off my desk every day before I go home.
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