The school year is just around the corner. It is about this time every year that I start to really think about how I want to organize my classroom. I will be in a new classroom this year, and while some may be dismayed at the thought of changing classrooms, I always look at it as an opportunity to reassess my organization strategies. My biggest challenge is organizing myself in a way that is simple enough to maintain when the year really gets going. I have found some ideas around the web that are definitely worth a look. (There are some amazingly organized teachers out there!)
1. Daily work files: Create daily work files at the beginning of the week with lesson plans, all the copies you need, and any supplemental material. I did this last year, and it was a life saver. It is especially helpful if you switch classrooms during the day, or if you happen to be gone unexpectedly.
2. Have a place to put missed work. Teach students to be responsible for finding missed lessons when they are absent or out of the classroom by utilizing a system like this pocket chart, or an absent bin. (Of course, with all the engagement we will be doing in our classrooms, it will be hard to put it in a file folder!)
3. Color code your room. I am a visual person, so I love this idea! This middle school math and science teacher from To the Square Inch share her strategy for keeping things organized by using one color for each class, so that student can quickly locate their guided notes, supplies and know where to put their homework. Brilliant!
4. Make supplies accessible. If you use collaborative teaching groups in your classroom, this one is for you. We know that middle school students will take advantage of every opportunity to get out of their seats, so bring the supplies to them! I have also seen this done with crates that sit in the middle of each pod.
5. Crates, drawers, and containers…oh, my! You can’t have enough of these invaluable items in your classroom. If things have a designated location, they will have a better chance of making it back to that location. Let’s face it middle school teachers, we could take a lesson or two from our elementary friends when it comes to cute and organized, right? Kindertrips, Following my Heart to First (she used to be a 6th grade teacher!), and this amazing site about Getting Organized have some really creative ways to get your year started off right.
I hope you found something useful that you can incorporate into your classroom this year! Be sure to follow my blog here and on Facebook for more great resources and stories about middle school! If you are a Texas middle school teacher, I would love to add your blog to my collection, and have you contribute to this blog! Let’s connect!