The Together Teacher - Create Stations
I'm reading along (for the most part!) with Kelly at An Apple for the Teacher to find new ways to become more organized (some of these ways, I have discovered, are strategies I used to use, but for some reason had forgotten about). Chapter 10 focuses on creating stations to help the classroom run smoothly. This includes stations such as: your teaching station, entry and exit ways, student mailboxes, an anchor board, distribution center, the "paper pantry," the "materials pantry," classroom calendar, classroom libraries, and classroom jobs. The chapter even includes some organizational information for how to keep track of these types of things if you are a mobile teacher. There are quite a few helpful ideas in this chapter which make me want to run into my classroom and change things. I don't have time to change too many things right now, so I settled for working on a few.
The teaching station is the area in which you'd keep all the materials you need to teach your classes each day, so you have to be searching for things in the middle of a lesson. This station could be your desk, or a centrally located place in your room. Some suggested items for the teaching area are markers, pens, pencils baskets or folders for student work, tape, stapler, hole puncher, paper clips, binder clips, timer, stickers, incentive items, copies for the day, materials for the lesson. I worked on cleaning up/reorganizing the counter behind my desk to use as my teaching center. I have files needed for my classes, popsicle sticks, and some other supplies in the drawers. .....a work in progress.
The distribution center is an area in which you keep the copies needed for the week (suggestion is to keep them in a hanging folder labeled with the day of the week). I'm also working on this, but no pics to share yet:)
A helpful suggestion for a "paper pantry," where you would keep multiple copies of forms that are used often in the classroom, is to put the original in a sheet protector at the bottom of the stack so that when the original is reached, it can just be removed from the sheet protector and put into your copying folder.
The "materials pantry" was the easiest for me to improve. It is an area I will use more often this year because of my increased use of "fold it ups." I organized my scissors, glue sticks, and rulers into 5 different bins so that when we need these items, I can just give a bin to a group (little need for student movement). My markers were already organized in a shoe holder (even though you can't really see them in the holder). I had another shoe holder on hand, so I used it to organize the calculators, putting 2 in each pocket and labeling the outside of the pocket with the calculator numbers.
Lots of good information in this chapter! I hope you get to check it out!