Classroom Management Series Week 4: Organization

Hey there!

Thanks for coming back for the final week of my Classroom Management Summer Series. This post will be all about organization! Yes, I know this week's topic is more classroom management for YOU as the teacher, however, your students will surely benefit if you are put together and organized.
As long as I can remember, I've always been a very organized, color coded, alphabetic order, "let's make a to do list" kinda girl. Clearly, organization is most definitely my strength in the classroom. Most people who walk in notice it right away. "Wow, you're organized!" is the most common compliment I get from new parents on Meet the Teacher day. Funny story, during my first teaching interview, I was asked the typical question, "What is your biggest weakness?" Being nervous, I kinda froze and blurted out "organization". Then, I had to tell them how I planned to become more organized (which was already what I planned on doing in my first class). Oh well, I got the job and that was definitely not my weakness my first year, but they'll never know.

I believe that a well organized classroom runs smoothly! If you think you are a Type B, unorganized teachers, don't fret- I've seen smoothly run classrooms by teachers who do not have an organized bone in their body. Everything has a place and if you and your students know where it is- then it works. If you want to get more organized, then check out my tips to help your get more organized in your classroom!

It doesn't matter how you label things, whether you use sharpies and write it on, or print fancy ones from TPT. Just label everything, especially for Kindergarten! I like to have labels that have a picture of what's inside the bin, so that the ones who can't read, can look at the picture and put it away. If students find something on the floor, make them be responsible to put it back where it belongs. If they aren't sure or can't find where it goes, then I have them put it in a Lost and Found bin on my desk. It's just a little blue bin and usually is filled with marker caps or marker caps by the end of the day.
Be Prepared
One of the areas of organization I needed to improve on was being prepared. My first year teaching there were a few days when I needed a last minute sub. I had to drive down to school, very early in the morning, while being very sick and throw together sub plans. My commute my first year was 25 minutes each way, so clearly this was the LAST thing I wanted to do. I started organizing my weekly plans and copies before I left for the weekend. I kinda got into this routine and it has helped me so much! Monday, I spend planning for the following week. I write everything down in my planner, print a copy, and save it to copy on Friday. Friday morning, I get to school earlier than most days, and head straight to the copy room. I make all my copies, then separate them by day into these bins when I get back to my room. I also add in any other resources, such as read aloud books, center activities, etc. I like using these bins better than drawers because you can fit so much more. Plus they are pretty to look at!
Now if I am ever sick, all I need to do is write in the sub plans that everything they need is in the labeled bin. Do you see why labels are SO great?!?!

Make To-Do Lists 
It doesn't have to be a cool pad like this one, (that I found at Staples) but it needs to be written down! Use a sticky note, and stick it somewhere you can see so you will do it. I am constantly forgetting what needs to get done, so I have sticky notes everywhere. I think of something, I write it down, and save it for later. I use this to do sheet and sticky notes to make to do lists for the week! It is a freebie in my TPT store. 
Although, I love writing things down, but have recently started using the app Trello for my "on the go" to do lists. I love that you can organize it into different categories, and make to do lists within each tab!

Clean your desk every day
Raise your hand if your desk looks like this HOT MESS at the end of the day? If we teach our students to clean up after themselves, we should be too! While my students are cleaning the classroom at the end of the day, I take that time to clean up my desk. It sets a good example for my students to see! Now, when I need to tend to some other bigger problem during clean up time, I make sure to clean my desk before I leave for the day. NO MATTER WHAT! When I walk in the next morning, I want to see a nice clean desk, so I get to work rather than feeling the need to clean it up.
I hope these tips and tricks will help YOU become a more organized teacher!

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