Saturday, July 16, 2016

Classroom organization made easy. Really!

There are some people who are just naturally organized.   Everything is in its place. It comes to them instinctively. If that's you, you're lucky. I envy you. I'm not that person. I have to work to be organized. I have to be intentional. After all these years I feel like I've tried everything. I start out great; I'm committed. But I have to confess, I don't follow through. I don't put things away. It just becomes a big mess.

 I've found there are some things I'm good at and some things I'm not. For all those things that I struggle with, and organization is one of them. I need help. Since I work alone, the only other people who can help me are the kids!  They are my saving grace. I NEED them. My favorite trick I've learned is to delegate. Once I learned to do this we actually starting having less (I wont dare say none, but less) missing glue stick caps. Honestly it was the ban of my existence. Constantly having to throw out perfectly good glue sticks gone bad,  because we couldn't find the cap. I hear you, "Oh I just keep a little baggie full of caps" I do too, but where is that bag when I need it?!?!?! Missing socks Huh! Amateurs missing socks have NOTHING on missing glue stick caps.

So I use color codes. I love color-coding things. For the most part my kids all come in at the beginning of the year knowing their colors, it's really visual and to be honest it looks good. So I color-code everything!

One of my most effective and easiest tips to keep up with is color-coded tables. I know simple right? But if it's going to work it has to be simple. I have red, blue, green (you get the idea) tables. I found these great caddies at Lakeshore and they match my tables. I put everything the kids need in the caddy: pencils, crayons, glue sticks, scissors, everything they need goes in the caddy. Then I make a table captain.  The captain then takes that caddy and puts it on the shelf on top of a matching piece of construction paper. This part is key, because the caddy ends up in the same place every day. Are you seeing a pattern? Simple is the way to go. 

 Here's my dirty little secret, I have the captain in charge of making sure all the caps are on the glue sticks. The captain is my savior. They keep the supplies organized. Forget door holder, line leader what you really need is a keeper of glue stick caps. Every kindergarten teacher I know has a love/hate relationship with glue sticks. We love them seriously how can you not? But oh my goodness nothing hurts more than having a brand new glue stick all dried out because the cap is missing. 
So delegate this role to a student. Make them a table captain, put them in charge. Don't let the activity end until all the materials are neat and in their place.  The very best bosses know, put someone else in charge and get out of their way. You'll look great and in reality you just have increased your kids independence. Like all things... give everyone a chance to be the captain.  You can download my free captain signs here. Check out my table sign and name tag resource in my store by clicking here.




5 comments:

  1. Hi Della! What a great post. I love organizing and consider myself pretty organized, but love to get the kids involved too. I use color coded groups, tables, etc and it's a life saver. I love the idea of a table captain. I use flexible seating so I'll have to figure out another way to do it. Thanks for sharing!
    Paige
    Our Elementary Lives

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    1. Paige, Thanks. Having my kiddos help me has been a life saver. I'm so interested in flexible seating too. This year I'm going to start exploring for options.

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  2. Great post I struggle with organization too but that's my goal this year.

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    1. Hi Toya, I think if we use one new tip every year organization becomes easier. Best of luck!

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  3. I totally understand Della! It's easy to start the bag of glue stick caps, but in your moment of need it is nowhere to be found. I have the same problem. I love table captains. I've used them for handing out papers, but like the idea of making them responsible for more. Thank you!
    Jordan
    Team J's Second Grade Fun

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