Well, friends, August is here. And you know what that means?!?! It’s time to start the fun, yet sometimes dreaded process, of unpacking a classroom.
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I don’t know about you, but the start of a new year and unpacking all your goodies. Laying out things in a new way. It just gets me really excited. I love organizing and setting things up (hence the title of my blog) and so this time of year is always really fun for me.
But I also realize that it can be really overwhelming, especially for teachers who have a ton of stuff and may not have organized well before the end of the year. So this week I am going to share about how to unpack a classroom. And hang on tight, because it may not be what you are thinking.
Unpacking a Classroom Steps
I think I may annoy a few people here. But that’s okay. Just hear me out. You probably fall into one of these two categories of teachers
1. I put everything away where it goes
2. I shove everything in where it fits
Yes? One of those? Okay, well if you are the first type, you can skip on to step two below. If not, take a look at step one and just think about it.
1. Start Fresh
If you are the type of person that WANTS to be organized but struggle with where to even begin. I want you to have a fresh start. This may not be possible if you don’t have much time in your room before PD starts. But think about moving EVERYTHING out of your room. Like everything. Empty the cabinets. Move the furniture out there. People will look at you like your crazy but sometimes the best way to get a fresh start is to literally move everything out and then put it back in nice and neatly.
(I’m so sorry that many of my pictures lately have been such poor quality. iPhone 4’s sucked. Also, can you feel the proudness beaming off of me in that picture? I was SO proud!)
2. Layout Furniture
If you are not one of the ones who moved everything outside, then consider moving all of your boxes into one corner of your room. This will keep things from being strewn about the room and contained to one area.
Now you will be able to move your furniture about and place it where you want. Remember, when setting up a classroom you want to do furniture first, before all the cute decorations and bulletin boards. I typically start with identifying where my whole group area and student desks are going to go.
3. Establish Remaining Areas
This next step is when you will establish the remaining areas of your room. Like, your desk and small group area. Where you want your classroom library to go. Think about where you want your stations to be as well as where you will store materials. This way, when you get to step 4 you know exactly where to put things when you are unpacking.
4. Unpack Materials
Now you can start unpacking boxes, putting things in cabinets, and putting some materials out. Make sure to organize your cabinets by like things so that you are able to find items quickly and efficiently.
The LAST step is decorating. I encourage you to do this last for two reasons. 1. It is fun and serves as a motivator to keep you on task with the items above. 2. It is one of the most time consuming parts of setting up a classroom because we want it to be perfect. But, just because your room is adorable and looks great, doesn’t mean it is organized well. I would rather you have a well organized classroom for the start of the year than a cute room. You won’t have time to organize once those kids get there, so get that done first.
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Perhaps your classroom is already set up. You are one of the lucky ones that gets to leave your room set up over the summer and spend your time at the beginning of the year planning and creating fun projects for your classroom! Or maybe you get to leave your classroom set up, but you are ready for a classroom makeover.
If you read my blog on time management, you read about how I am redoing a lot of things in my classroom this upcoming year simply to make it look new and fresh. I have been staring at that decoration for the last 5 years…I’m ready for something new! And maybe you are, too!
Get the Classroom Organization Guidebook that will give you all the need to know info about how to organize 20+ areas in your elementary classroom. The guidebook comes with pictures, lists, and recommendations of organization tools you need to help get your classroom set up in an organized way!
This past month of July was focused on setting up a classroom. You can read those blogs here!
Until next time,