The Organized Classroom | Mom Blog: written by a teacher-mom, but not just for moms- a blog for everyone

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Organized Classroom

The countdown has begun!  I am officially going back to teaching, and the students will be arriving shortly.  I have mixed emotions (which I will blog about on a later date), but for now, I want to share some pictures of all the work I have done in my classroom over the last few days.  There is still more to be done, but you can get a good idea of my efforts. You will also probably realize why my Blogging Mom blog postings have been slim pickings.

I love for my classroom to be organized.  I also try to instill organizational skill in the kids by having them keep their desks clean and tidy.  I don't think kids can work efficiently in a classroom of clutter. 

So, here goes.....

We will start with my class library.  There are many ways to organize books in the elementary classroom.  Some people separate books by genre.  Some do it by the reading level of the book.  Actually, some people don't organize them at all.  They just stick them on a shelf.  I am sure there are lots of other ways. What have I chosen to do?  I have taken all of my chapter books and separated them by reading level using a color coding system.  The pink crates are second grade reading level.  The purple is third and fourth.  The green has fifth grade.  As far as the picture type books, I thought long and hard about how to organize those this year.  I wanted something different.  The genre thing is great, but I wanted something that would grab my kids' attention and draw them to the library.  I decided that to best do this I needed display shelves that would allow for the covers to be seen.  Of course these types of display shelves at teacher supply stores cost hundreds of dollars.  To compromise, my husband and I built the shelves pictured below.  I think it really makes the books say, "Come read me!"

When the kids arrive in the morning, I don't want any questions about what the expectations are.  Each day as they hang their book bag, they will get a brief reminder of what to do.  There are actually six expectations, but only a couple are pictured.

I can't stand for kids to sharpen their pencils all day long.  It either makes noise or a mess.  If you are a teacher, you know what I'm talking about!  So, in order to eliminate both of those, we sharpen a bunch of pencils at the end of the day to use the following day. 

At the beginning of the year, the students are issued a different science book for each unit of study.  This makes about six paper back books for each student.  This is simply too much to keep in the desks.  I collect them at the start of the year and give out each unit as needed.  Here is where they are stored until used.

This is just a simple organization system where kids turn in their work. 

The students keep most supplies in their desks, but I always have extras on hand.  These buckets make great organizers for basic school supplies.

I have lots of literacy games or math folder games that I have made.  I store them in these boxes, which I made the labels for.

I use the file cabinet to store copies of worksheets for upcoming activities.  Each drawer holds a different subject.

There is always some kind of important handout for me to keep up with, so I kept part of my bulletin board for teacher stuff.

And the last picture to share for now is my essential question display.  I made the labels to go along with my cooking theme.  I can easily change the question on the dry erase board.

Hope you enjoyed.  Let the learning begin!


If you enjoyed this posting, please share it on Face book by clicking on the link below.
Also, I love comments, so please feel free to leave one.
Thanks for stopping by. Please visit often!


Melissa said...

Love these ideas! I'm going back into the regular classroom after a few years out and I'm a bit anxious as well. I'm going to be team teaching in fourth grade so I'll teach Math, Science, and Social Studies. I've loved following your posts here and on FB so I may be calling you for more ideas!

Endang said...

Wow Molly,you are indeed a true teacher....

Molly said...

HI Melissa- Thanks for visiting and for posting. I will be headed to fourth myself. I haven't taught fourth in over six years. Feel free to share some ideas if you have any.