In my years of teaching experience, there are loads of tricks I use to manage classroom organization and efficiency. I don’t even notice what I do unless I take the time to stop and analyze some of my strategies. Here are two I noticed this week, and I’d like to share them with you.
The Art Supply Shelf
My art supply shelf can be a place of total chaos.
Markers, in particular, are often tossed when “put away”. Students seem to have a difficult time using the markers correctly. They often take one marker out of a box and then attempt to just throw the marker back into the larger container. My solution: I store boxes of markers in small, plastic containers that have very little room for much else.
Since there’s no room to throw the marker in the plastic container, it forces students to actually open the marker box and return the pen.
Another organizational tip is for colored pencils. Colored pencils used to drive me a bit crazy, but I’ve developed two organizational strategies to help. First, I use the same idea mentioned in the previous paragraph: I keep my boxed colored pencils in a small, plastic box just big enough for the 8-boxes I have.
Next, I often will take pencils from their boxes and organize them by color using cardboard toilet paper rolls. I know…crazy. But here’s why I LOVE this tip: kids often need just one or two colors. With the pencils organized by color and visible to all, it’s easy for them to get what they need and return the items to the correct location. It also makes the short pencils visible and accessible, so they’ll be used.
One other benefit to this method or organization is that if the pencils do need organizing (and there will be times that they do), you can ask a student who may need a break or a time-out to do this job. There are very few instructions necessary, and the kiddo needing a task to do has something easy and productive in front of them.
I love it when I reduce my stress load and increase my classroom efficiency.
I’d love to hear some of your best organization tips. What’s one of your favorites?
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