#Goals : Classroom Organization

Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Lets face it, as a co-teacher, who was stationed in a separate, shared room, I didn't spend too much time on setting up a organizational or procedural system in the room. It just wasn't going to happen. 

I mean ... I spent most of my time fighting for my role as a co-teacher in other rooms. "Don't nobody got time for that (classroom organization)!" One of my roommates did an amazing job of cleaning and organizing , so it looked a lot better towards the end of the year. Plus, I set up a supply bucket system that came in handy too. It wasn't enough though. So this summer, I wrote down on my #goals list that I wanted to set up a better system. This is only a small chunk of what I want to get done this summer though.

Now, don't get me wrong, I know there's a big chance that I'll probably be moving rooms with more/less resources or that I'll be sharing a classroom with one of my co-teachers. That's fine, I'm bringing something to the table when we sit down to talk about being roomies, procedures, and co-planning. Which, by the way, I've sent an email two weeks after we went on break asking for a co-planning date. They probably hate my guts.

  • Step #1: Table numbers and buckets
    Lets start with the bucket system. It seems like nothing, but it really makes a difference to how we ran testing in the classroom. I started this during PARRC. Since we had to supply the paper, pencils, and sometimes extra erasers and highlighters, I was getting real tired of paying them out everyday and finding things missing or lost. I ended up just purchasing the buckets from the dollar section at Target and putting all the supplies in there. Boom, easy fix.

    Table numbers is something that I didn't want to do since it seemed kind of intermediate/ early grades. I thought middle school students could handle not having them - I was so, so wrong. I spent most of my time telling students directions (middle back table, round table, etc). This was really bad in my math and reading co-taught classrooms. So, this upcoming year, I plan on putting labels not only on the group tables, but also on the group bucket with shared supplies (Kagan). 
I don't have 10 tables. I just hate uneven numbers. I made smaller ones for the buckets.
  • Step #2: The Great Pencil Challenge
    Pencils disappear faster than I can blink. Since Kagan has a community supply bucket, I'm going to label the pencils with numbers and issue a challenge to all students - if they can keep the same pencil in the bucket until it's almost unusable, they can turn it in for an incentive. Obviously, if I end up sharing a room with another teacher, I'd love to discuss this with him/her. However, if I'm in the same room as I am now, I'll post the rules in the bucket! Hopefully this eliminates me from having to purchase a ton of pencils. 
    • I got the idea from this blog (one of my faves).
    • Pencil sign freebie and shout out sign can be found here.

  • Step #3: Scanning all the classroom library books
    I have a Google document that lists all the books I own, but it's out of date and I keep losing track of what I enter and what I don't. I've decided to just use the GoodReads app and scan all my books. This way is much more convenient for me to take inventory at the end of the year. Plus, it's so easy to do!
It's blurry, but you get my point.
Pick up book, scan, repeat.

  • Step #4: Kagan Placemats
    I've only had one day of the training, and I'm going to be gone for a week for the full summer academy, but I've learned that if I want to implement Kagan activities I've got to purchase the mats. I did some snooping and found some free mats. I've printed them out and laminated them. Many of my co-teachers are Kagan trained, so if I'm sharing a room with them ... they're in luck! I'm prepared!
Kagan Partner placemats - simple and to the point.


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