It’s school holidays and we’ve had a party over the holidays but now its time to get organised. Unless you were super organised and did it before the school break! As we all know an organised environment is the easiest environment to work in and get work done. Here are five ways to get organised before School starts back.
I’m not talking about your reflection in the mirror, nice though it might be. Let’s think back for a moment and reflect on what actually worked last year and didn’t? Are there heaps of cobwebbed resources scattered around your classroom? Were there some great resources that were used over and over? How about the seating arrangements – did they work?
Now when you’re getting on a bit like me you don’t want to have to get everything out. Or you just might not have enough time to pull everything out. My solution is to photograph everything with my iPhone. Then I mark each item with an X thats to go and ask my kids to lift it and dump it in hours. You don’t need to waste their school time either. Time it for when you’re working in groups and make one group activity tidying up. If, you have five groups, set one set of photograph instructions for each group and five areas are tidied by the end of the day. It’s much quicker than doing it by yourself, over days or weeks. Students learn organising skills and keep up with all their work. If the kids have finished school then its your hubby, your wife or/and a friend that you’ve called upon to help. Photos make it easy to share the organising.
Get organised and throw them out. Or do like I did, give them away, if someone actually can use them let them. You don’t need all that mess takin up space in your mind. If you can’t bear to throw it out, then find an organisation to give it to. Don’t use it – lose it. Teachers help Teachers is our motto here at I Love to Teach 101. BUT, if it’s really useless don’t make another teacher’s life a misery by loading them up with your unwanted trash.
Now, its time to splash out for some nice containers or make your own. Remember if it’s nice to look at your and your kids will enjoy the atmosphere you create. Don’t overdo it though. Keep it neat and not over taxing for the kids. I like to make special areas for art, tech and reading, so that groups of students can go and work in those areas. I make sure all the materials that are needed are ready in each area of the classroom. Labelled with photos where possible.
I have a classroom library and I use photos to keep that organised too. If you have a student with special needs then your classroom organisation needs to be super organised. Don’t wait till day one to get organised. It won’t work unless you’re super lucky. Here’s a teacher who has it down pat for special needs. Watch her short video she explains the system so well.
I saved the best till last. I love decorating my classroom to make my students feel relaxed and want to be there. A bean bag area is an immediate draw to the classroom environment. Students love the feeling of freedom they evoke. Reading a book is much more enjoyable lounging on a bean bag. Plants make the easiest and most effective decor. Students get a job looking after the class plants and beanbags so its easy to get organised and keep it up. It makes the air feel healthy. They look beautiful and your students can learn a ton from those plants. I also like to add a fish tank – there’s another real life job for a student. One of my kids just begged for the fish tank cleaning job. He would write about that more than anything else but he hated writing. Make the organising work for you and your kids learning.
It really is simple and easy, if you make the effort to follow these steps.