Classroom Organization: What’s new this year!

Teaching Elementary instead of Middle Level comes with new strategies.  You’ve seen my “Fill Your Palette” display in which students earn rewards, but with a vastly different schedule and structure to elementary, I had to come up with a few new ways to keep the kids expectations high.  I, of course, post procedures and routines around the room but what stays consistent are my calenders, my goals, and my art jobs.

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This is my goal and job board.  You will see a nice empty spot. This will be where my quote of the week/month/term goes.  I haven’t decided the quote quite yet but I’ll share eventually, of course.

Starting in the left corner, my jobs are as follows:
Topside Team: Clean all counters, table tops, and surfaces.
Dry Rack Deputies: Man the drying rack or drying cupboard – keep everyone’s work safe!
Caddy Control: 60 second walk around at the end of class making sure all erasers, pencils, etc are accounted for and organized.
Sink Shiners: Clean, wash, rinse down the sink and sponges.
“Green” Giants: Manage the recycling in the room – keep us Eco-friendly and living green!
Handout Helpers: Help me handout work or supplies at the beginning of class.
Level Leaders: Remind me when it’s getting too loud!
Chair Checkers: Push in any chairs at the end of the class that someone may have accidentally missed!
I keep these designated by table.  And not every job is used every day.  The dials are on sticky tack so I can rotate the jobs around the job board. What are you classroom jobs? Are you as anal as me and have to have the words match (C&C, etc)?

The entire right side of my board is the “Findley Student Goals”.  It was suppose to be “Findley Student Focus” but I got distracted during it’s creation and it’s not as clever now. Haha.  Because my classes rotate by day, they share boards and I just switch the information back and forth.  At the beginning of class, I ask the students what we’ve been focusing on and I start to jot down their ideas and notes onto the white board.  Then, this is up the remainder of class so when a student loses focus or an adult asks what they are learning – they have a prompt that can help them out.  The boards are strategically placed on hooks so I can remove them easily and erase without trouble.  This works great and students like having the goals flat in front of them.

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This is my calender and control center.  This is new because I finally figured out how to fit my classes logically on a board that included a place for the date, the days and my classes that don’t line up with that.  This picture was taken last week because I’m not timely and forgot to post.  You can gather what comes from this.  It keeps me accountable and let’s the kids know what’s coming.  Friday we don’t have school (PD) so that’s why it’s blank.  My favorite is “Who’s Out?”.  This is for restroom and drinks – I don’t have hall passes and with so many names, this helps me know not only that someone is gone but who it is.


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This is a bonus – not so much organization but I love it.  I am taking a class on Arts Integration 101 for various reasons but the way learning was described in one of the handouts was spot on.  So of course, I had to make posters to go along with it.  From another experience I had with AUSL (look it up – Chicago), I learned how appreciative students are of hand made posters.  So I’ve broken away from the computer and made much more by hand.  It’s true though – students respond and notice it more!  The posters say:

Learning is…
Active: We construct our knowledge from previous experience and understanding.
Experiential: We learn from doing.
Reflective: We learn best from ourselves and our experiences.
Evolving: We experience best by revisiting and revising.
Collaborative: We learn best from each other and working together.
Problem-Solving: We should ask questions, investigate and try all ideas so we learn.

I occasionally reference these posters lately and at the start of my next unit when students are fresh, we will talk about each one and reference a lot more.  I love it.  It’s easy – straight forward – and students can see how you can learn so many ways!


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