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Instructional Practice

Classroom Organization 101

Written by Jaclyn McCormick, Teaching Excellence Instructional Coach

After about 3 weeks of school, my classroom usually looked like a tornado had just swept through Room 134. The added stress of the stacks of papers on my desk and markers rolling around on the floor was definitely not what I needed as a teacher, and I learned that staying organized was crucial. If you are like me and need to get your teacher life together, do yourself and your students a favor and take a day to put some systems in place that will make staying organized much easier. Below are some quick and easy ideas to stay organized.

1. Plastic Bins: Get plenty of plastic bins. They are cheap and a great way to store all the things you use in the classroom but may not need every day. Although it may take more time, make labels for each bin so that you can easily get or put away what you need.2.  Plastic Drawers: While you are at Target getting your plastic bins, also get some plastic drawers. These drawers are the perfect size for papers of all kinds, and you can sort by what you need to do with the paper (grade, give back, copy, file) or by class period.

3. Shoe Hanger: Over the door hangers create a simple solution to storing things you frequently need that are small and easy to misplace. These are cheap and adaptable to whatever you need to organize- art supplies, books, and manipulative.

4. Sharpened Pencils: As a teacher I spent 2 years constantly dealing with students going to the pencil sharpener until I found this magic trick. Have a basket with freshly sharpened pencils and a basket for dull pencils. When a student needs a new pencil they hold it up, and you either bring them a new one or signal them to go trade out their pencil. Bonus of this system is that students LOVE the job of sharpening the dull pencils at the end of the day.

5. Coffee Cans: Start saving your coffee cans. These can easily be spruced up (or not) with some colored paper or fun duct tape. Cans are great for storing colored pencils, highlighters, and other school supplies.

 What organization systems do you use in your classroom? Share you ideas with us in the comment section.

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