A fabulous time-saving and classroom management strategy is to set up some 'teacher organizers' or 'caddies' in your classroom.
I recommend at least two - one near your desk and one near your main teaching area.
Or, one at the back and one at the front of your room - whatever works best for you.
The benefits to you as a teacher are:
1. you save precious teaching and learning time (not stopping to look for things)
2. your lessons flow more smoothly
3. you have a clearer mindset because you are not becoming frustrated looking for things
The usability and effectiveness of these 'hubs' rests with three important little details:
1. Do not try to put everything you use in here - it will become overcrowded and become a 'dumping ground' for clutter. Just the absolute essentials that you find yourself reaching for the most.
2. Regularly clean it out, test the markers and top it up (I, or fabulous little classroom helpers, liked to do mine on a Friday) and keep the sections consistent (i.e. don't go changing the place things are kept)
3. Teachers only. No student is allowed to touch. This way, things will always be available for you, and your lessons.
The contents will vary depending on what you use the most. Close your eyes - imagine your most common lesson framework, and walk yourself through the steps. What are you using? What do you regularly have to stop and find or retrieve from another position in your classroom?
Here are mine:
Pens - one blue, one red, one multi-coloured
one or two lead pencils
sharpies or other chart markers
sticky notes and/or flags
blank index cards / flashcards
class camera (old phone or iPod)
sticky tape or wash tape
dry erase markers
(5 colours, one for each day)
Keep other teaching equipment and excess quantities in your storeroom or away from the main learning space. Keep that as clutter-free as possible.
I used a bathroom multi-section organiser from Kmart for this one. In the past I have used other baskets, trays or shelves. When teaching the lower grades I also used a drawer system in my main teacher area and would have something like this in the top drawer.
The key is to have the equipment easy to access and consistently available.
You might also like to read about the 'Core Drawers' system I created HERE
Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you have a terrific week!
- Mel x