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March 22, 2012 Spring Cleaning — Tips for Organizing the Classroom By Jennifer Solis and Jenifer Boatwright
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

    Spring break has arrived, and not a moment too soon. Yes, my friends, this is what we call the home stretch. There are still a few months left of school, but now is the time that we begin to plan for the daunting task we face in May: packing up for the summer. We certainly don’t want to anxiously shove junk into our storage cabinets and have to face it in the fall, so we start preparing now. Of course, we could spend the entire spring break working in our classrooms, but we decided to choose two tasks and tackle them before we trotted out of town. In this post, we'll describe the two spring break tasks that have been most helpful to us.


    1. Plan for the Future

    Think of a simple task that you can complete now that will lighten your workload at the start of the next school year. For example, here is an awesome idea for organizing your word wall that we implemented last year.


    We organized the words into weeks, stuffed the words into an envelope for each week, and labeled each envelope. This idea has definitely made our planning a little easier this year. All we had to do was pull a new envelope each Monday, and the words were ready to hit the wall.


    2. Purge the Piles

    It’s probably safe to say that most classrooms tend to acquire piles. Piles of paper, piles of books, piles of shoes (yes, shoes!)  — the list goes on and on.  Somewhere in those piles are a few items that we really need to keep and the rest of it, I’m sure we could live without. Prior to heading out for our spring break, we sifted through the piles. The end result? A box of gently used books that we can donate to children in need, a smaller pile of papers labeled and filed by standard, and a bag of shoes that I am returning to my closet at home. Our motto this past week was “Get rid of it.”

    As you head out for your spring break, think of ways that you can make life easier on yourself come the end of the school year. Don’t take too much work home with you, and don’t spend all of your time off doing schoolwork.


    What are some of your spring cleaning tips for the classroom?


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Susan Cheyney