I'm back once agan today to link up with Blog Hoppin' to share my *why organization" tips. Well, let me start by saying that I am by NO means an organization expert. Try as I might, I just really can't seem to get it ALL together. But alas, the job of a teacher is never really over is it? And honestly, how is anyone really supposed to balance all those papers?
Still, today I'm going to show you a few tips that have seemed to help me hold on to the last bits of my sanity, while also appeasing my OCD tendencies.
First up, a look at my teacher books!
If you're like me, then you have a stash of books that you use specificially for lessons and units. Call me greedy, but I just don't want my students reading those books over and over again before I'm ready to use them. I absolutely LOVE the feeling of reading a good book to my students for the first time, and I always feel at least a little disappointed when one of them has heard it before. Therefore, I certainly don't leave my teacher books in an area where my WHOLE class can enjoy them before I'm ready. Selfish, I admit, but I truly think it helps keep them special.
I believe it was in my very first year of teaching that I realized my teaching books could simply not be housed in the same area as the student books. I realized that by separating my books, it not only prevented my kids from reading them over and over again and therefore killing their luster, but it also helped protect them and keep them pristine (well, almost). Since then, I have always kept my teaching books on a separate shelf, on another side of the classroom. I have my books organized by month. So, all the units and themes I teach in September are all in the same bucket. Books that I use for grammar lessons or math lessons fall into the last category of "school books". When I am on a particular unit, I move those books to this colorful little shelf (not pictured), so my students can access them while writing or researching. This system has NEVER failed me and I truly have never regretted this decision. I think if You keep the students library well stocked with equally great texts, its a win, win! Do you agree?
Next up, is how I keep student work organized.
After my first year of teaching kindergarten, I quickly realized that my sweet kinders are just like me. They want to stay organized, but they just don't know how. I tried everything! But mostly it all resulted in anger and frustration on both ends. This year, I decided I was going to tackle this problem head on, and vowed to never spend another minute frustrated about my students organization. Therefore, I developed the drawer system. Each student has a drawer that corresponds to their class number. Finished center work or seat work that is only for practice or a participation grade goes in these drawers. Graded papers are still turned in, but now my students have a place where all papers are housed, and none are flying out of their cubbies! When its time to hang up work or send work home, I know exactly where to go and what to look for! It's been a lifesaver, I tell you. My students also really adore having a special place to keep their work safe. Amen!
Lastly, I'll share my center organization with you. Let me preface this by telling you....I haven't exactly tested it out, yet. We're getting there though. It's only our first week of school so we haven't quite nailed down our center routines, but so far so good! Previously I used folders to store all recording sheets, but my students alwasy seemed confused by what sheet went with what activity, or they never put them back correctly. It was a MESS, and that's an understatement.
This year, I've decided to store all recording sheets on numbered paper trays. No more crinkled papers and folders, or mixed up sheets. Instead, students just grab the sheet after they finish the activity. VOILA! Easy as that! Check back with me in a week or two and you'll see the real results of this new design.
So, what do you think friends? Love it? Hate it?
I'm thinking it'll all work out! However, I will still be checking out all the other fabulous organization tips on the Blog Hoppin' Linky! Go check it out!