Classroom organization is so important for every classroom, in an organized classroom the students know what is expected and what to expect. You can reduce student anxiety by letting students know what is expected and once the routines are established students will know how to follow the routines and things should run smoothly. Over the three years that I have been teaching I have used, followed, and then changed several routines that I have established in my classroom. I have always believed that if something isn’t working then it is time to move on and try something new.
Three classroom organization strategies that have worked in the past for me and I will continue to use next year are:
The in and out bins
This is a simple idea. When students have completed and are ready to hand in their assignments they hand the assignment into the “in bin”, and after I have marked the assignment I will put the assignment in the “out bin” so that the marked assignment can be returned to the student. This has been an easy way for me to stay organized with the overwhelming amount of paper work. This strategy has also established a routine, so students always know where to put their completed work.
The shape of the day
The shape of the day is our posted classroom schedule. The shape of the day is probably the most important routine that I use in the classroom. This routine helps me stay organized because I glance at it to see whats coming next all the time, but it is also important for the students to be able to glance up and see what we are doing today. For my classroom schedule I print off all of our classroom routines and subjects on coloured manila tag and then I use the magnetic strips with the sticky tape on the opposite side (you can find this magnetic tap at Staples, Walmart, or the Dollar Store) to stick the subjects on your white board. Magnets work perfect because you can move them around easily.
Getting students to do their homework has always been a struggle, so during my second year of teaching I came up with the idea of creating a bulletin board with a sticker chart for each student, and a hundreds chart for the class. Each time that a student does their homework they get a sticker on their own chart and a sticker for the class’s hundreds chart. This is a great visual for students to see how many homework assignments they have completed individually and how many homework assignments that the class collectively has completed. Once the class has made it to 100 homeworks completed we then have a celebration. I have had pizza parties, cupcake decorating parties, sundae decorating parties, bowling parties, and movies with popcorn over the years. I like for the class to decide as group what kind of celebration we are going to have and it’s even better if the homework celebration falls close to a holiday like Halloween or Valentine’s Day. This is a great way of collecting and organizing the homework data, and it’s also a great incentive for students to want to get their homework done.
“Back to School Classroom Routines”
and also my “Back to School: Bundled Package” for more classroom organization tips, strategies, and ideas as well as the pre made resources to get the classroom organization strategies mentioned above up and running in your classroom.