I am a firm believer in organized classrooms. Organized classrooms lead to a clearer headspace for teachers and less visual stimulation (umm… distraction!) for those kiddos. Here are six ways to simplify classroom organization and establish balance in your classroom!
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Stock Photography provided by Jana Bishop
Here are my Top 10 Recommended Classroom Organization Tools any teacher needs in his or her classroom!
If you’d like to get a detailed guide for how to step by step organize an area in your classroom, you can check out the Organize Your Utable Guide which breaks down the step by step process to organizing a desk space in your classroom.
There is also the Classroom Organization Guidebook which breaks down how to organize 20+ areas in your classroom with pictures, tips, and recommended resources.
6 Ways to Simplify Classroom Organization
The six ideas I am about to share here are all about setting up routines for your day, your weeks, and your year. Some of these ideas might be time heavy on the front end but they will be well worth your investment during the year when things are hectic.
1. Everything Needs a Home
My number one rule for an organized classroom is to give everything a “home.” If everything has a home, then you know exactly what to do with whatever item you need to put away.
Taking the time at the beginning of the year, or during a break, to figure out homes for everything will help you out in the long run!
2. Organize Your Cabinets
Organizing your cabinets is important, but make sure to do it in an intentional way as this step is SO crucial! I like to say that your cabinets are the heartbeat of your classroom.
If you can take the time to organize your cabinets now then you are saving yourself A LOT of time in the future looking for things or trying to find homes for things.
There are five pages in the Classroom Organization Guidebook dedicated to helping you organize your classroom cabinets.
3. Create a Year at a Glance
A Year at a Glance allows you to map out your whole year and with a birds-eye view. This way, when it comes to lesson planning during the school year you already know where your going (and maybe even some ideas of activities you want to do).
All you have to do when you lesson plan is map out the specifics of when and how you will teach the concept, instead of looking through your standards to figure out what comes next.
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4. Use a Lesson Planning Format
Speaking of planning for the year, you should also create a routine for planning for each week and day. I can’t stress this one enough!
I am pretty passionate about the difference between lesson planning and calendaring but essentially lesson planning is digging into the standards, mapping them out, figuring out what vocabulary is needed, how you will modify for each group of students.
Calendaring is deciding (and writing down) what days you will teach what.
My favorite way to plan is by unit with my team. We would go unit by unit using this format right below. We would go deep into the standards and everyone would share their ideas.
Then when it came time to calendaring we would each do that on our own to accommodate our specific schedules and our students.
I generally wrote out my plans on Thursday during my planning period. While doing this, I made a list of all the resources I needed for the upcoming week. I spent Friday making copies, creating anchor charts, and organizing my lesson plan materials for the following week.
5. Create a Routine for Organizing Papers
There are SO many papers we have as teachers. Turned in papers, graded papers, papers to be redone, notes from the office, notes from home. The list could go on!
I perfected my paper organization routine (at least for dealing with papers from kids!) and the picture below is the process each paper “goes through.”
In the Classroom Organization Guidebook, I break down how to clean out, get rid of, and organize your papers (as well as all those online files!)
6. Be Intentional About Organization
Anyone has the ability to be organized, believe it or not! For some, it comes easier, than for others. That’s why you have me- your Classroom Organization BFF!
The Classroom Organization Guidebook is the guidebook I designed and wrote to help the busy overwhelmed teacher get a hold of her classroom organization so she can focus on what really matters- teaching her kids!
Here is what the Classroom Organization Guidebook is:
- A practical and helpful guidebook laying out key areas of your room that require intentionality when organizing and setting up. This guidebook will help you organize areas of your classroom whether you want to do it all at once or area by area
- In the guidebook are tons of pictures of real classrooms, efficient organization strategies, and checklists to help you organize your classroom
- Includes tips, additional resources, and recommended products for organizing the classroom
The book is broken up into four sections to help you in your organizing journey. There are also tons of pictures, checklists, and my favorite products listed.
My hope is these ways to simplify classroom organization help you restore balance in your classroom by creating organized spaces that allow you to breathe a little easier!
You can grab the list of my Top 10 Recommended Classroom Organization Tools every teacher needs right here.
If you’d like more help in organizing your classroom, you can check out the Mid Year Classroom Tune Up Course which will help you organize your room and prepare yourself for the return to school after the break!
Until next time,
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