As I’m typing this I have 5 days left of school, so you’re probably thinking, why am I reorganizing my classroom? Shouldn’t it be in boxes for the summer? While some of that is true, I find the end of the school year to be the perfect time to reorganize. You’re always so rushed at the beginning of the school year - lesson plans, decorations, center tubs, files to comb through, and more. While yes, you’re probably thinking that the end of the school year has a to-do list a mile long too, you’ll thank yourself later.
What worked this year? How were your materials set up? Were students able to easily access everyday items?
This is the process I’ve been going through this past week and boy did it help. As a STEAM teacher I have so many materials, consumables, recyclables, building tools, and technology. I want my students to be able to know exactly where everything is (and let’s be real - I can forget where it all is too!) in my room because it saves time when we’re working on projects. They don’t have to stop and ask me 10 times during class, “Where are the scissors? Hot glue sticks? Googly eyes? Streamers?” and the list could go on. Believe me, there are times that I feel like my head is spinning trying to answer these exact questions, so it’s important to make it easier on yourself and your students. So instead of mentally checking out for the school year, my fellow STEAM co-worker and I stood in the middle of my room, started sharing different ideas, and immediately started moving furniture around.
In one week I have:
emptied boxes of materials that I didn’t have time or energy to do at the beginning of the school year when I was 7 months pregnant
moved furniture around, so all of my building and consumables materials are separated
organized consumables into plastic bins
cleaned out my closet, so it’s organized
created a shelf for all of the school supplies (crayons, glue, scissors, markers, pencils, etc.)
moved my books to a filing cabinet, so it makes them more accessible for lessons
My goals for next year:
label all of my plastics bins
sort student notebooks by classes
sort new materials that come in over the summer
Now believe me, I still have a lot of work to do in my classroom this week before school let’s out, but I already feel better about leaving for the summer. I know that I will be coming back in August with materials organized and a new setup that will work better for our classroom flow. Now I challenge you - if you still have time left in your school year, how can you setup yourself up with better organization before you leave for the summer?