Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Teacher Week: Why?

Linking up once again with Blog Hoppin' for today's Back to School Teacher Week: Why?
So today I'm going to talk about the ways I stay organized in my classroom and why they work...

Tip #1 Everything has a place!

I always am sure to never have piles of "stuff" sitting around my classroom. I have a few ways I do this...
First, I always sort my mail immediately... trash or file... this works because basically everything can either be trashed or filed.

Second, I have this organizer by my students' mailboxes/near the classroom door.

To Office: papers that I have my messengers deliver to the office.
To Copy: self explanatory.
Next Week: Items that need to get sent home the following week (we copy our hw packets a week in advance, so usually it's these packets that live here).
Send Home: papers that need to go home that day. My mail managers put these in mailboxes at the start of the day, during snack or after lunch.
Again, this words because it gives items in these categories A PLACE.

Third, this organizer lives on the counter where all my curriculum resources and such are...

This picture is from 2 years ago, (can't find a recent one with the new labels) it is now stacked Monday through Friday (for some reason I had it separated for this picture). This file holds all the copies that are made for the current or following week (I try really hard to stay a week ahead). This prevents stacks of paper from accumulating... once again: everything has a place.

Tip #2 Get those kiddos to help out!

I am pretty sure this was one of my tips last year for Blog Hoppin' Teacher Week, but I stand by it! My kiddos LOVE LOVE LOVE to help out and I use that desire to help to make my life a little easier. Every morning that I needed help this past year, I put a note under their morning work on the Smart Board that said I need helpers. Once their morning work was done, kiddos who wanted to help would come up to my table and ask to help out. I would have them do all sorts of things for me that weren't a classroom job. They would take down or put up solve the room cards, organize folders (for example: take old papers out and put into our scrap bin), sort book bins that had become unorganized, and more!
I find this works simply because kiddos love to help and there are plenty of things kiddos can do to help that will keep the room organized!

Tip #3 Put things away throughout the day, NOT at the end of the day!

I spent way too much time my first few months of teaching cleaning up at the end of the day. It was amazing how much clutter made its way around the room as the day progressed. Now, I make sure students (as well as myself) are responsible for putting every item away that they take out. It's so simple and saves SO much time at the end of the day!!! So why does it work? It makes little jobs out of what could be a big job at the end of the day!

I hope some of these simple tips will help motivate you to stay organized this year :)

Also, be sure to check out the 1-day sale at TPT. Click below to head over to my store!

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