As you get ready for the beginning of the new school year, organization should be your first step in preparation — it helps to provide students with stability and keeps a classroom running smoothly.
Classroom organization doesn’t require a lot of money or fancy tools for success. Implementing a few basic organizational items will go a long way toward streamlining your classroom to benefit both you and your students. Here are 5 must-have organization tools for teachers who want to set themselves up for success.
- Record Books
Tracking student progress often feels like a full-time job in and of itself. Accurate record keeping is important, especially because it allows teachers to identify learning gaps early enough to intervene. The right record book will make the tracking process easier and less time-consuming. An ideal record book should be suited to your grade level, include a student roster (that’s used across several pages), provide space for behavior notes, and offer a grading scale chart. This may be one of the simplest tools that can make the biggest difference in organizing your work and your goals. And this tool will serve as your guidebook all year long, so pick a bright color or design that fits your personality.
- Bulletin Boards
Bulletin boards allow you to share information with your students quickly and in an organized way. According to the Visual Teaching Alliance, visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text alone, making fashionable, yet functional bulletin boards an asset for students in the classroom. Your bulletin boards may include weekly updates and schedules, display classroom rules, set behavior expectations, or most important, reinforce essential lessons. The use of a few well-organized bulletin boards, instead of just one, will allow you to aesthetically display information in manner that’s easier for students to digest. Not feeling creative when it comes to bulletin board design? Grab some readily available bulletin board sets that vary based on season, subject, color, and more, to decorate your boards and classroom.
Displaying an oversized classroom calendar helps students of all ages. For younger kids, it provides a way to easily track the days of the week, day of the month, and months of the year. Calendars are also great for familiarizing students with the concepts of weeks and months. For older students, a large calendar offers space to insert upcoming assignments, days off, holidays, and more, keeping your entire class informed and organized. And, don’t forget the benefits for yourself, too! The simple act of filling in the calendar boxes will remind you of what important classroom events are coming up and help you organize your schedule.
- File Folders
Organize that stack of papers on your desk with a simple file folder system. You can use an actual file cabinet or develop a portable file folder system that works for you. Use colorful labels and file folders to easily locate and identify your information. At the end of each year, go through your file folders to determine what’s recyclable and what’s ready for the paper shredder. Give yourself a fresh start each school year by choosing plenty of new file folders for all of your student data, assignments, and other documents.
- Pocket Charts
These classroom storage options are great for teachers and students alike. Pocket charts make excellent organizational tools. They are also ideal for displaying classroom responsibilities, managing behaviors, and making learning fun. Chairback Buddy™ pocket charts, which contain storage pockets for name tags, pencils, erasers, glue sticks, markers, and more, are great for keeping students’ supplies organized and within reach.
Smart classroom organization and record keeping will save you a lot of time — and as a teacher, that’s more time you can invest in your students. Start with these five organizational basics and build from there based on what works for your classroom. Ultimately, the effectiveness of your teaching will improve if your organization is strong; plus, you’ll foster good organizational habits in your students as you lead by example.