Organization can truly make or break a successful classroom. When dealing with a group of people, especially children, organization can create more effective use of time and easier transitions. In unorganized classrooms, students and teachers spend time finding materials or explaining what to do rather than focusing on content.
When students know routines and classrooms are organized, teachers can spend more time on the “meat” of teaching. With the demands placed on today’s teachers to provide rigorous instruction in a limited amount of time, classroom organization is key!
Organizing the physical space in a classroom helps students use materials effectively with ease. Here are some of my favorite classroom organization ideas.
- Labeled bins are a necessity for small items such as math manipulatives. Students can then retrieve items and put them away with little intervention from the teacher. Label things like art supplies, construction paper, pencils, and other classroom tools.
- Book bins are also helpful, as teachers can organize reading materials by genre, reading level, or even seasonal themes. You can create a section of your classroom for books only with different types in different colored boxes.
- For individual desks or tables, frequently used materials should have specific homes. This way students can transition between activities easily and find the tools they need quickly.
- Use a colored filing system for your own supplies so you can easily find resources for your lessons when teaching.
- Create a substitute teacher bin. Store your sub plans and everything they will need in that. So if you ever need to take the day off, you know that everything is ready.
If you are working in a blended classroom or distance learning there are some other classroom organization ideas that may be helpful to keep your class running smoothly.
As many classrooms now operate at least partly in the virtual world, organization and routines are somewhat different than in previous years. Routines and classroom procedures are still of vital importance in order to keep the virtual or blended classroom operating smoothly.
- Online safety rules should be practiced by the class and reviewed frequently in order to avoid issues on the internet. Teachers can use a google slide to go over the rules frequently until students know them well.
- Daily calendar procedures can also be presented digitally, providing students with a routine that is organized and comfortable.
- For blended classrooms, social distancing rules are important for the physical organization of students and transitioning between areas. Hang easy to understand signs around the classroom as a visual reminder for students to keep their distance. Putting tape on the floor to mark spots students should stand on to keep their distance may also help.
If you would like to prepare your blended classroom for an amazing year with routines, check out my Distance Learning Back to School Bundle.
Using Google classroom, this bundle has everything you need to start the new year right. Social distancing rules are included, as well as virtual Meet the Teacher slides and online safety rules. Once your students are familiar with these routines, you’ll be set for a smooth year!
Organizing your classroom does require some prep work, but the benefits will last the entire year! What are your favorite classroom organization tips? Let me know in the comments!
If you want more tips for setting up your classroom, check out my post here on decoration ideas!