As a teacher, you likely understand that the manner in which you organize your classroom is very important. Your classroom organization should foster an environment that promotes learning. A well-organized classroom will be a constant reminder to your students about your commitment to teaching. Consideration, pride in accomplishments, respect for others, security in knowing how, what, where and when to do things are all the positive elements that are found in a well-organized classroom. Students need a predictable, orderly, and safe environment to excel, which is why improving your classroom organization can make you a more effective teacher. An organized classroom can provide you with positive benefits as well, the most obvious of which are improved efficiency and less wasted time. The goals of organizing your classroom are to create a safe and positive environment for the student that will maximize learning while minimizing behavioral problems among students. These organizational tips for your classroom will improve your student's ability to learn.
- Arrange the classroom so that the desks are either in half-circles with a front row and back row, in groups of four or five, or with the chairs lined up, one behind the other.
- Your classroom desks should be lined up so that you can make eye contact with your students, all of your students.
- Seat the students in your classroom so that they can see the whiteboard, chalkboard, or other visuals. Make a seating chart, and subtly move all of the taller kids to the back rows, shorter kids in the front rows so that everyone can see without obstruction.
- Do not place desks facing windows; this provides distraction and also makes a glare that can cause kids not to see the board as well.
- Note where areas of high traffic in the classroom are, and keep these areas free from clutter and obstruction.
- Your desk should be in front of the class, but not in front of the whiteboard or chalkboard.
- Purchase inexpensive plastic totes when you run out of filing cabinet space to store materials for each unit. These easily stack in a corner for out of the way storage and can put an end to the clutter in your classroom.
- Throw away materials that are not going to be used, or donate them to another teacher. New teachers are usually struggling to come up with their own supplies in districts with limited budgets.
- Have a file folder with each child's name on it, filed away for portfolio assignments and other must-keep paperwork.
- Get the students involved in keeping their classroom looking good and staying organized by assigning jobs to each child for the week. For example, one child's job might be to clean the white board, while another might straighten up the class library. Kids love to help - and be sure to praise them for a job well-done.
Students are the most important part of any classroom, and organizing your classroom involves organizing your students as well. Here are some ways to help students keep up with their class work and homework:
- Make sure students get organized from the beginning of the year by giving them a classroom syllabus. This will let them know what to plan on. Also include a list of classroom rules for them to follow, but make the list brief so that they can understand them better and remember them.
- Have each child purchase specific supplies at the beginning of each year, such as green folders for science, blue folders for math, and so on. Label each folder on the outside - and on the inside, use one side for homework, the other side for returned assignments.
- Give each student a calendar with assignments on a weekly or monthly basis.
- Use the old-fashioned reward stickers and reward chart for homework assignments and good behavior. When your student accumulates enough stars, he or she can choose from various prizes, including homework passes, treats, etc.
By following this short list of tips you will be able to keep your classroom and students more organized, which should help make you teach more efficiently and effectively.
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