Monday, August 15, 2016

Back to School Blog Hop: Classroom Organization

Hey everyone, I am teaming up with 50 great teachersprenuers to bring you tried and true classroom management and organizational strategies that work in our classroom.  Please make sure that you hop to each participating blog!  We are also hosting a giveaway.  Enter to win one of two great prizes.  We are giving away the chance to win a $50.00 TpT Gift Card and a classroom resource from over 30 teacher authors.  Good luck and happy blog hopping!

My post today is going to focus on organizational ideas for your classroom.  I am a middle school math teacher and at times struggle on how to organize all of my supplies, task cards, centers, and worksheets/Teacher Pay Teacher purchases.  I wanted my organization this year to be accessible to my students, especially when we have math free time or Friday Funday.  I also wanted to make sure that my classroom was neat and organized for anyone that walked in.  So here are some strategies that I have found worked throughout the year and ones that I am implementing this year.  

Absent Bin
The absent bin is in a location of my room that NEVER changes!  I use this as a way for students to collect their absent work.  After taking attendance at the beginning of the class, I have one person in the class fill out an absent sheet describing the things we did in class and stating the homework or important quiz, test, or project dates.  That student also collects any worksheets, grades, or papers for that students and place them in the absent student's file folder at the end of the class.  When the student returns back to school, they know the first thing they need to do is check the absent bin and talk to the person who filled out their absent sheet for the notes or a small explanation of what happened in class.  It is a great way to make students responsible for their work when absent and keeps them from coming up to me asking me what they missed (I seriously hate that!).

Here is a link to my TPT Store in which you can find my absent bin and editable absent sheets!

Student Supply Cart
Rolling carts are often a great solution when closet and shelf space is limited. They are invaluable for teachers who must travel from room to room. When setting up for a lesson, the rolling cart offers the added convenience of taking the supplies to students' seats.:

This amazing supply cart I utilize for my student supplies.  The absent bin is usually found on this cart along with a stapler, tape dispenser, and hole puncher.  I then label the various bins with things like lined paper, graph paper, construction paper, glue sticks, scissors, rulers, markers, colored pencils, etc.  It is a great way to organize the student supplies and they students always know where to go for supplies they might have forgotten at home or do not have.

Center Cart
In addition to my student supply chart, I also have a center cart.  This cart breaks down the topics that I teach throughout the year.  It is a great place for me to organize my center items and is a great resource for my students as well.  In each bin I not only have center papers, but also card games, dice games, and review games.  When it comes to Friday Funday or when we have free time, I have my students pull out the skill we are working on, or one they need to improve on, and choose various games or activities from that bin.  It is also a great way for me to organize all my station papers that I might purchase or create from Teacher Pay Teachers.

Task Card Holder
This past year I used task cards heavily in my classroom.  I would have the students use various games or activities when utilizing the task cards.  What I found to be difficult was were to put the task cards after utilizing them in my lesson.  Of course I just did not want to throw them out.  By the end of the year, I had one counter that was stacked high with task cards.  I was so happy to find these amazing card holders at Michael's this summer.  They fit task cards perfectly and give my students and myself access to the cards.  I plan on putting these task cards near or on top of my Centers Cart.  I plan to allow my students to use the Task Cards also as a review on Friday Funday or when we have free math time.  I am also thinking of allowing struggling students sign out task cards for the weekend or before a test.  I would allow them to take the whole plastic case home so they would not bend the laminated cards.  (I am still unsure of this idea at the time.)

Teacher Binder
Last year I slowly started over Christmas break separating my worksheets from my TPT purchases and creations.  This past summer I took the time to organize my items together in binders that are color coordinated.  Therefore, when I am looking for an activity to do with my students, I know to pull out my TPT binder.  When I want extra reinforcement for a specific skill or concept, I know to pull out my worksheet binders.  I think what is going to help me most this year is that I labeled each binder and wrote specifically the topics that were found inside.  In previous years I organized my worksheets based of grade level or just with general topics like algebra, geometry, pre-algebra.  I found myself spending too much time looking through various binders for a specific worksheet.  I am so excited for all my binders to find their place on my teacher bookshelf!

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Thank you so much for stopping by!  
Please make sure to Hop over to My Math Imagination 
to take a look at her ideas for storage ideas for stations!  

 Thank you again!   Remember to add my blog, pinterest, tpt store, and instagram for a better chance at winning a product from my store!