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Category Archives: Classroom Organization
Classroom Organization. Everything from Teacher Organization, Classroom Design, labels, flexible seating, and organizing student materials. Here is where we find help in the “daily” activities of the classroom. Tips and Tricks help the classroom run efficiently and effectively.
I go out to our line at 8:15 and remind ALL of my students to get out of their BACKPACKS their BLACK homework folder (provided by me at the beginning of the year..black because I don’t use black for any other folder in my room..and their READ AT HOME envelope with TAKE HOME BOOKS.
They have them “in their hands” before we walk to the door.
NO ONE has to “dig through” their backpacks when we get in the door.
While we are at the door…I have a Home Depot shelving unit next to the door.
Gray Home Depot Garage shelving Unit. this helps with the beginning-of-the-day routines!
They put their backpacks and jackets ON THE SHELVES! Great beginning-of-the-day routine! NO backpacks or jackets on CHAIRS! No room!
After we enter..2 baskets on the table next to the door. One “homework”..the other RAH (Read AT Home) Envelopes.
Black folders in HW basket, Book envelopes in RAH basket.
(Any notes or OTHER STUFF…in HW basket).
NOW, they get a chair
( stacked at the back of the room..see routine #3)
and WALK to their desk. They know the routines.
When the starting bell rings at 8:25
(5 minutes after we enter…)
I choose the HELPERS for the day.
You can only be a HELPER if you are sitting in your seat when the bell rings! I am prompt!
( No tardies, wanderers, “chatting”).
If you are TARDY…you won’t be a helper on that day if it’s your turn. You will have to wait until tomorrow if you are on time.
An incentive for getting to school ON TIME!
I choose my helpers.
2 of my 10 helpers for the day are
I ask the TECH TEACHERS to choose a “quiet partner” to help them pass out Chromebooks ( We are a 1:1 school ) and earbuds ( they have their own in numbered baggies.
(We number EVERYTHING!)
They get their Chromebooks, long into our district reading/phonics practice program, and GO TO WORK!
ALL of this takes 10 minutes.
NO MUSS…NO FUSS! Routines help manage the classroom!
When the timer goes off…we freeze! I tell them they have one minute to clean up and return to their desks.
Always return to their desk.
Kind of like their “LANDING PAD”.
After everyone is sitting down ( well, almost everyone..there are always the 1-2 stragglers )
I say.. “One, two, three EYES ON ME!”
They respond ” One, two, EYES ON YOU!”
And then a call out… ( I have a list )
Could be “MACARONI & CHEESE”
They respond “EVERYBODY FREEZE!”
AND THEY DO!
I hold them “frozen” for 3-4 seconds.
THEY LOVE THIS!
While a few stragglers are getting to their desk, we play a game! A TRANSITION game. I only need a doc camera, my riddle cards, and a SOFT VOICE. If they can’t hear me..they can’t play! See my post on the TRANSITION GAME!
After we are settled, I can give directions for our next
activity. I do this SAME ROUTINE ALL DAY FOR TRANSITIONS!
The third routine!
The LAST 30 minutes of CLASS. End-of-the-day routines.
It’s almost OVER!
The day has come to an end.
HOW TO GET THEM OUT THE DOOR?
Many things to do BEFORE we leave.
REMEMBER…The class is ALL of yours.
It’s NOT my job to clean up, put everything away, and pick up the classroom AFTER they leave.
We ALL work here. The community is for ALL of us.
We dismiss at 2:30.
we STOP, put our work away,
and FREEZE to go back to our desks.
At 2:15 we begin the EXIT PROCESS.
My 2 TECH TEACHERS (helpers) put ALL of the Chromebooks back into the cart ( I have taught them HOW to do this MANY TIMES.They know the routines.)
*UPDATE… They now put them in the cart & plug them in! I put a number on each Chromebook with Sharpie Paint Pens. Then I put a RED dot (Sharpie PAINT pen) on the side above the plug. They know ALL the red dots must line up, every number has to have a matching Chromebook, and they PLUG them in on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays! TECH TEACHERS are awesome!
2 of my other HELPERS are the
CLEAN UP CREW.
They EACH choose a ‘friend’ to help them
STACK ALL OF THE CHAIRS
into stacks of 6.
Push the stacks to the back of the room, and clean all papers, crayons, pencils from the floor.
While these HELPERS are working SILENTLY..
the rest of the class goes to the carpet. Workers who are TOO LOUD..can be FIRED! If you don’t do your job in the real world with a “respectful” tone..YOU can be fired! #lifelessons
Each day 5-6 of my students can come to
AUTHOR’S CHAIR Routine.
( 5 color coded groups )
As we transition to the carpet, I ask “RED GROUP” if they would like to “READ…in the teacher’s chair” OR PASS (for this week).
They read one story from their JOURNAL. Their choice.
We LISTEN ( being a good audience )
and then they can choose 1 person to
“ASK THE AUTHOR A QUESTION”.
We must listen, to formulate a HOT question.
At the beginning of the year, we learn the difference between a HOT question…and a STORY!
After all 5 have read…I have one student bring me EVERYTHING from their cubby. (Student mailboxes ).
I go over ALL work we are taking home.
I open the BLACK HOMEWORK folder, where I have taken out last night’s HW and put in tonight’s HW.
I show them their RAH books to read tonight.
After all of our work has been reviewed,
I excuse them 3 at a time to clean out their cubbies, take everything to their desk, get their backpack & jacket, take it to their desk, LANDING PAD, and pack up to go home.
WAHOO! Summer vacation. The Beach. Family BBQ’s. R&R.
BUT, WAIT! NOT YET! First I need to pack up my classroom so I can find the things I need when we come back. Back to School is crazy enough without me NOT being able to find my MOST needed items! ( Where is MY stapler???)
Are YOU packing up your classroom?
What am I packing?
What is on my classroom packing list?
Here is my list:
It’s ALL about ME! What will I need the first week?
Teacher Editions and Lesson Plan Book
My Teacher Editions & Lesson Plan Book. I need them to plan for the first weeks.
Mostly Routines and Daily schedules. (Work on THIS before VACATION!)
Sticky notes inside to remind my “aging” brain…what I INTEND to do!
What MATERIALS will I need to accomplish this? What lesson to focus on those first weeks? What went well? What didn’t?
USE THOSE STICKY NOTES INSIDE YOUR TE!
You will NOT remember months from now… what you are thinking about TODAY!
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TPT is having A TEACHER APPRECIATION SALE!
EVERYTHING in my store is 25% OFF!!!!
ALL Bundles, ELA resources, MATH units…EVERYTHING!
May 1 begins the RUSH to the Finish Line! As of May 1, we have 23 school days left!
After the calendar changes, I start getting ready for Summer vacation.
Spring Fever is kicking in.
I daydream of the beach, family barbeques, gardening… Ahhh…
I am thinking BEACH! Spring FEVER is here!
But WAIT! I am NOT ready for the end of the year.
I have things to do!
STRESS is kicking in! So what? What do I need to do?
End of the Year Report Cards.
All end of the year paperwork for my students needs to be completed. We have to sign off on cum files. Put papers in files. Purge student portfolios so the second-grade teachers only get current information.
PURGE those files!
Our Open House for parents is in May. The end of the year is a good time for them to visit our classroom, see their child’s projects, and let their child “teach” them. I step back and become the “visitor”. The kids run the show. I teach them how to properly introduce their parent to me. “Mrs. McCarty, I would like to introduce you to my mother, Maria ” and we shake hands. ( Practicing good manners ALL the time!) The kids are the “guides” and they WALK THE ROOM (start at the door & show them ALL the things we do and then to their clean desk ( cleaned that day). EVERYTHING ON their desk goes HOME with them. MAKE SURE NOT TO PUT ANYTHING ON THEIR DESK THAT YOU WANT TO STAY. We have ALL of our end of the year projects completed and ready to go.
Clean classroom desks for OPEN HOUSE
Our End of the Year assemblies are WONDERFUL! Our school talent show, sing-alongs, class sharing, etc. happen this month.
At the end of the year, we celebrate our families. We have a LUNCH on the LAWN for our families. They can bring a lunch (McDonald’s is ALWAYS a favorite), a picnic blanket, and have lunch with their child. They can bring Grandparents, siblings, cousins, whomever. It’s at their regular lunch time, just a fun time for all. ANY student whose parent cannot come, ( like ME..I was always working..dad went) they get to sit on MY picnic blanket and have lunch with ME!
Picnic lunch with families. Photo thank you to http://allaboutgracie.blogspot.com/2011/06/school-picnic-lunch-with-gracie.html
We also have our end of the year BOOK FAIR! Families are encouraged to purchase books for their child to read over the summer. We usually have a good turn out. If you have NOT had a Book Fair at your school, try it!
Scholastic Book Fair
We are winding down with our books and curriculum. Workbooks are almost empty, journals are full, and the crayons and markers have had it! The end of the year has taken its TOLL on student materials! 🙂 But, I have to get ready for NEXT YEAR!
The books need to be sorted before the end of the year.
Before the end of the year…START NOW!
Have students sort through classroom library books. THEY CAN SORT! Add labels to any books not labeled and have your books ready for next year.
Sort writing center materials ( papers, markers, etc) and make sure everything is in working order. Have your students check markers. Any that don’t work..TOSS!
PURGE your FILES! ( Yes…I said IT!) If you haven’t used it, seen it, or are not even sure where it came from…RECYCLE IT!
OPEN YOUR CUPBOARDS! If you have NOT opened the cupboard this year…YOU DON’T NEED ANYTHING IN IT! Don’t store stuff because you MIGHT need it. If you aren’t using it… BYE BYE!
Take out EVERYTHING from drawers and closets. DON’T PUT IT BACK, if you haven’t used it! ( I found 10 computer cables for the technology we don’t even have anymore!)
Have students CLEAN! I give them a paper towel and SANITIZER! Wipe everything you can touch! NO PAPER OR BOOKS! Chairs, stools, door, tables, desks, TOPS & BOTTOMS! CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN!
Think about YOUR bulletin boards for the beginning of the year. Put ALL of the things you will need in one box. Don’t forget a stapler, tape, etc. MARK IT for TEACHER IMPORTANT! Keep it with YOU.
Don’t take home a ton of stuff over the summer. I allow myself ONE box. THAT’S IT! You are NOT going to do a lot of school work over the summer. Don’t FAKE IT!
I begin to pack at the end of the year, as soon as OPEN HOUSE is over. A little EVERY day. My goal is to fill one garbage can a day for the rest of the year. Purge a little every day. You have digital files…use them!
Runoff your first-week materials. Have them in a box ready to go! I am working on my lesson plan frames for next year. I do mine on the computer. Wouldn’t it be nice to open the lesson plan binder and already have the first week DONE??!!! I already have my year-long plans for ELA and MATH. My BFF teaching partner has done that.
SEND HOME STUDENT MATERIALS
I send ALL workbooks ( with pages we didn’t get to), BRAG TAG necklaces, student-made books, etc. on the last week. If I change the routines, I must deal with behavior problems. AND WE DON’T WANT THAT! We have a game day the last day. They can play our rainy-day classroom games. Then we write a letter to the kindergartners telling them about First Grade.
The end of the year is a fun time, a stressful time, and a time to organize for next year. Don’t “over-do” it. Remember…it’s YOUR vacation TOO!
When you are getting ready for Back To School… check out these HELPFUL resources: