I started this blog with a big change. Five years of tweaking my teaching has led me to this point. There are so many practical ways to keep a classroom organized, which were never presented to me in graduate school. I hope this helps some new teachers looking for ways to keep organized.
I wish I had recorded my ups and downs in my beginning years– but I didn’t. New teachers: start writing now! It will be really valuable for you, even if it sounds impossible now. Find the five minutes to talk into your voice recorder, send yourself a reflective email, or write a journal or blog entry. It’s at the top of my should have list, and I hate that list.
I figured I should probably dedicate a few posts to what I have discovered that works and ways I have saved both my sanity and time.
Children should always know what they’re learning about. It is embarrassing and upsetting when kids can’t verbalize the topic they’re learning. Here’s my classroom solution:
I used Boardmaker, backed it, laminated it, and it’s a neat way to show what has been learned, what is being learned, and what will be learned– it also puts the year into perspective. They reference it for conversation, sharing with visitors, and it truly grounds them.
On an organized scale of 1 to 10, I would like my classroom to be at an 11. To do this, I have some structures in place that take me a lot less time than they did when I first started teaching. One of the major projects I took on was organizing the classroom library, so that the students were in control of maintaining it, rather than frustratingly reorganizing the library each week. Before school started, I made circle labels using Boardmaker images on Microsoft Word. It’s really easy. I sorted the books by category (science books, social studies book, history books, feelings books, friendship books, etc.). Each category has a bin (or two) with a matching picture label on the front of the bin. Now one of the class jobs is class librarian, whose job it is to organize the books.
More to come soon!