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    Organizational Tips
    By ConnieWI

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    Here are some organizational tips I have found helpful:

    --There is a table near the door where students enter the room. On that table are tongue depressors with the student's names, and three containers labeled hot lunch #1, hot lunch #2, and cold lunch. As students enter, they place the tongue depressor with their name in the correct container. From this, I am able to do lunch count and attendance (tongue depressor is not in the container, but still laying on the table).

    --There is a table in front of my desk. On it, I place several baskets. Each homework assignment goes into a different basket. Thus, I can just count the papers and figure out whose work is missing. Then I can paperclip the assignments together for correcting. Students then place their assignment folder in a basket on this table. It is very handy at the end of the day, and no one is digging through their desk to find it.

    --I correct assignments every day (if possible)...no waiting until the weekend...no waiting until the pile is impossible to complete in a reasonable amount of time. This takes a lot of using my time wisely during the school day.

    --When students arrive each morning, there is a list of things to do on their desk. In this way, they know exactly what to do and in what order it should be completed. Students check with a partner to show them they have completed each thing on the list...no discussion, just showing...and then are allowed to check-off that item. This makes my students very accountable and it is good practice for following directions. For some students this is very easy, while others struggle for a few weeks. Eventually, everyone succeeds, and it really helps me too. (Some teachers put this list on the overhead.)

    --At the end of the day, my class spends five minutes doing their jobs or organizing areas that need organizing. After my bus duty, I return to my room and make sure everything is in place. I do not leave until my room is in order, even if I have a meeting to attend. I hate coming in the following morning to clean-up yesterday's mess. If you take these minutes to get things organized, tomorrow will go some much more smoothly.

    --I have students mailboxes near my desk. At the end of the day, students pick up their assignment folder from the table in front of my desk, and grab materials from their mailbox. Any work that has been corrected is placed in these boxes and any homework needed for that night is there too. This way, I do not spend time returning papers. They are automatically placed in the mailboxes and off my desk. If we work on something during the day that can go home, students automatically go to these boxes. This way, students desks do not get cluttered with materials that should have gone home two weeks ago.

    --My students clean out desks once per week. It is the second-last thing we do on Friday afternoon. Pencils for the new week are sharpened and all those off-task toys students bring to school are returned home. In this way, Monday begins with organization.

    --My students have a folder and spiral notebook for each subject. They are color-coded and labeled with the subject and student's name. I might say something like "Take out your blue math folder and place your number grid in the left pocket. Your partner will check to be sure you have followed directions." Next time a certain item is needed, it is in the correct place and no class time is used hunting for it.

    View the original thread this idea was posted on



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