Items in My Classroom

Let me rephrase: Items in My (Non-Existent) Classroom That I Wish to Have One Day When I Have a Classroom of My Own. But that title was too long.

  • student center (i.e. table or cabinet) with supplies such as paper, pencil sharpener, colored pencils, glue, scissors
  • bin or tub at tables to hold pencils and possibly other often-needed supplies
  • missing work bulletin board
  • lost and found bin
  • word wall
  • lamps
  • plants
  • book check-out and return
  • numbers hanging from the ceiling above each table (because students pick off tape holding down any paper numbers taped on desks)
  • consequence/behavior slips that look something like this:
    • step 1: conference with students
    • step 2: re-teach behavior
    • step 3: call home
  • parent contact sheet
  • file cabinet for student portfolios
  • file cabinet for evaluation evidence
  • file cabinet for copies of worksheets, examples, and assessments organized by subject and then unit
    • I’m also toying with the idea of putting these papers into individual binders with clear sleeves, but binders take up a lot of room and cost more money than simple manilla folders
  • bin with worksheets from each day for students who were absent or need an extra copy of an assignment
  • reading corner with bookshelves, lamps, and beanbag chairs
  • a poster with my contact information: skype username and e-mail
  • a poster with the classroom blog information
  • quotes
  • posters (many of authors)
  • a “where we’re from” map
  • bean bag chair(s) for quiet reading corner

Organizing Files

I’ve been putting far too much thought into how to stay organized while keeping everything as simple as possible. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  1. computer hard-drive
    1. everything goes here, organized into files like normal
    2. calendar is also kept here – one calendar for what’s being taught each day/week/month as well as meeting schedules, holidays, etc.
    3. back everything up periodically by saving a printed copy of everything or saving to external hard-drive
  2. google docs
    1. for files that I need to work on at home and at school, such as lesson plans and worksheets
    2. the final copy can be saved as a word document on the computer hard drive
  3. binder
    1. use dividers to organize notes for:
      1. house meetings
      2. PLC meetings
      3. all staff meetings
      4. evaluations
    2. keep filler paper in the front to take notes on and file when meetings are done
    3. archive binder notes by putting the binder on a shelf. bam. done. archived.
  4. file cabinets
    1. keep student work here
    2. also for extra copies of worksheets to use in future years
    3. student portfolios
    4. various resources that are given to you as hard copies


Organizing for Evaluations

When preparing to be evaluated (or when getting ready for the ProCert/National Boards), list all the criteria you’ll be assessed on and make a file for each part. As you teach and the year progresses, put copies of student work and other pieces of evidence (photographs, notes, etc.) into the appropriate file.

Student Jobs

Here are some ideas about student jobs and giving students more responsibility. This works best for groups of 4 students to a table or 4 desks pushed together.

  • Each student gets one of these jobs:
    • Collector (collects papers to be turned in)
    • Cleaner (tidies up the area)
    • Passer Outer (passes out papers to group) (I need a better name for this)
    • Leader (makes sure everybody does their job)
    • Other?
  • If a student is absent:
    • The leader decides who does the missing student’s job or
    • if using cards, “reds” will cover for other “reds” and the same for “blacks” or
    •  if using the compass, North and South will cover for each other, as will East and West.

The idea is to have students do lots of little jobs so that the teacher doesn’t have to waste lots of time. Student jobs will essentially help the classroom run more smoothly and efficiently.

Classroom Set-up and Organization

I stumbled upon this pinterest site that has lots of amazing ideas for setting up and organizing your classroom. Many of the pins seem better suited for elementary grades, but some can be applied to secondary grades too, such as how to rearrange desks, what to do with art supplies, and decoration ideas. If the link is broken, search for “pinterest classroom setup & decor.”

Edit: there is also this buzzfeed page with lots of great ideas as well.