Saturday, February 19, 2011

Classroom Organization

A teacher's job is multi-faceted and multi-dimensional.  In addition to planning and preparing for each lesson and unit,  the organizational structures in a classroom are integral and we must think about how to organize all of the materials and resources we need and use.  Marie's organizational structures are clear and consistent for her students.  It is not important to do things the same way every day, but it is important for students to know where to look and go if they need something.  Below are the different ways Marie organizes her classroom:

Daily Agenda
This organizational piece shares the layout of each day so students know what they are learning and the sequence of events for the day.
Classroom Calendar
Marie notes all of the important dates each month, including student birthdays, so students know what is going on and what is coming up.
Classroom Helpers
This chart is easily used and changed and keeps track of the helpers and who is next to help.

Mentor Texts and Read Alouds
Displaying and keeping mentor texts and read alouds accessible for students is a great way to invite students to revisit texts already studied.  It also reinforces a particular skill, strategy or topic that is being learned.

Classroom Library
Bins of books can be organized in a variety of ways and needs to be easily accessible by the students in your class.

Home Reading
Having a way to track what books are taken home for home reading is always difficult.  One way is to use book pockets for students to sign out classroom books.  Student reading achievements are then celebrated together.

Notebooks and Student Materials
Desks can become cluttered with notebooks and papers so having common class bins set up helps to organize the various materials with and for students instead of sorting through paper after paper.

Math Resources and Materials
It is very important to have math manipulatives and resources organized for students so the can be accessed by students when needed.

Lots of time and energy can be wasted trying to find a pencil or trying to sharpen one.  Having dull and sharp bins ready with sharpened pencils helps alleviate this obstacle and allows students to spend the time and energy needed to learn and work.

Art Materials
Clear bins are a great way to store and organize art materials so that items are visible and accessible when needed.

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