Looking to clean up your cluttered classroom? This teacher performed cluttered classroom makeover with a few simple steps (that I am going to share with you here!). So you can do it as well.
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Casey is a teacher friend I spent four years working with. She would be what I call a classroom hoarder!
She literally has EVERYTHING anyone could possibly want. You need a hammer? Casey has it. How about a staple gun? Yup! A magnet sweeper? Casey does in fact have it. Because…you never know when you might need a magnet sweeper!
Cluttered Classroom Makeover: Before
Because she has everything anyone could ever want in her room, she needed some help with purging and organizing. That’s where I stepped in!
Here are a few before pictures of her room:
As you can see, she has a lot going on.
Her U-Table is covered with stuff which makes meeting with students in guided reading or small group settings difficult.
(I always tell teachers, if you don’t do anything else, organize your U-Table because when admin walk in your room and see a covered U-Table, it is easy to assume that you aren’t pulling any small groups. So at least make it look like you are! ;))
Here is her writing center which you can see has tons of papers on it. While there is a lot of work for the students to do at the writing center, there isn’t much room for them to do it.
Classroom Makeover Game Plan
Anytime I meet and support a teacher, I have them tell me their three “high need areas.” What are the places that you feel the most lost in or the areas that need the most help? We target those areas first before moving on.
Casey’s number one objective was to get organized. About fifteen minutes into my time with her, I realized real quick that we were going to have to have a strict plan of action. Because every time I turned around, Casey was working on something new in her room.
So we started out by listing all the things she needed to get done, in order of importance, on her whiteboard. They were really big and in red letters so that we could stay on track. Then we could cross it off the list as we finished it. There is something about crossing an item off a list that just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
No…I don’t have issues.
Classroom Organization in Action
We made “sell,” “give,” and “recycle” piles outside her door. This way, as we came across items to get rid of, we had a place for them to go.
I would recommend that if you like to hang on to things for that “one day, maybe I MIGHT just need it, just in case” kind of person…getting a TRUSTED friend or coworker to help you with the decluttering process.
There were a lot of things that I found in Casey’s room that truly served no purpose. I was there to encourage her to part with things that weren’t being used.
(I also may or may not have gotten rid of a few things without telling her. 😉 Like…the 5th post it note container I found in her desk.)
We worked to clear off her U-Table and find homes for all of the things that were laying up there.
I also took over organizing her desk and making it look pretty. Weird…but I love setting up desks. We wanted to make her room look as welcoming and decluttered as possible for Meet the Teacher Night when her second grade kiddos would be venturing into their new classroom.
Then we set up her student desks in groups of four- again, to allow the optimal environment for cooperative learning.
We pushed her brown cubbies up against the wall, which she has since moved out giving her more space on the carpet and more space on that bulletin board.
On top of the brown shelves are baskets for all of the work that needs to be turned in as well as a crate to turn in homework folders. Again, as long as everything has a place to go, then there is no reason for clutter to build up in a classroom.
Classroom Organization Coaching
Classroom Makeover Goal Planning Guide
Want to makeover your own classroom? Then grab the Classroom Makeover Goal Planning Guide.
I walk you through all the steps of identifying your “top 3” areas and creating a plan to help you execute your classroom makeover.
And…if you do makeover your classroom, take some before and afters for me, please!
Check out other Classroom Makeovers here!
Until next time,
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