Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Teacher Week '13 Day 3 ~ Organizing for Instruction

We are "Blog Hoppin'" our way through Teacher Week '13 in the blog world.  Today's topic is one of my favorites...organization for instruction.  I've decided to put together a Top Ten List of some of my "tricks of the trade" for classroom organization.

1.  Class Rules:  Use a pocket chart to organize them so that they can be taken out easily.  When a cherub of mine breaks a rule, I bring the card to him or her to reread the rule and to discuss what we can do to fix it.
2.  Check In:  Start the day off right with an organized check in system.  Here is what mine looks like.  Everyone starts the day off as being absent.  I use numbers instead of names so that I do not have to write them over year after year.
3.  Bins, bins, bins!:  I never put anything on a shelf that is not in a bin.  It makes things look organized, maximizes the space and keeps things tidy.  Also, I always label my bins.
4.  Hardware Holders:  This handy dandy organizer is perfect for keeping tiny things organized.  I use it for my student banks (a form of positive rewards), magnetic letters, calendar pieces, etc.  I suggest that you always glue an item on the outside for easy ID.  Oh, these are fairly inexpensive--BONUS!

5.  Portable Clothes Hangers:  These are way sturdier, less bulky and cost tons less money.  I use one to organize my charts for instruction.  This way they are easily accessible.  I can put one up using the hanger and do not need to fuss over tape.  Easy up, easy down.

6.  High Storage:  Utilize the tops of cabinets to store even more teaching supplies.

7.  Magnetic Shelves:  These are a great way to organize and to display holiday, theme and content books.  I got these from Calloway House.
8.  Shelf Benches:  I turned these shelves on their sides and made an instant bench.  They are a great way to give fun reading seating for buddy reading.  They also, yup you guessed it-- give you MORE storage.
9.  Easter Baskets:  I am a bit obsessive when it comes to these baskets.  They get really cheap after Easter.  They are definitely fun looking.  I use them to organize books, learning tools, etc.  I spy an Easter basket in this photograph...
10.  Centers on Wheels:  I use these rolling cart shelves to store centers.  This way I can turn any area into an instant center by rolling it over.  Here is my fluency center as an example.  This saves time.  I never need to search for my timers, flashcards, etc.

Well I hope you have scored some terrific tips.  I'm off to start checking in with you bloggers to see what inspires me.  Good luck!  Be sure to check out other bloggers by clicking HERE.

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