Why organize student stuff? When students are more organized, each day runs more smoothly. Let’s look at some ways to collect and student assignments, returning student assignments, keep students organized, and handle lunch count.
Ms. Sneed Is Ready to Organize Student Stuff
Our favorite fourth grade teacher, Ms. Sneed, was working on classroom organization. “This year,” she promised herself, “I will organize my students and all of their stuff.”
First, she did a little shopping. At the office store, she picked up three six-drawer plastic organizers. (“One for them, two for me,” Ms. Sneed said.) The next stop was Wal-Mart. There, she purchased an over-the-door shoe organizer. Finally, she headed for school.
Collecting Student Assignments
In the past, Ms. Sneed’s students placed their assignments in one basket. It was messy. She was constantly sorting and counting. Then one of her students told me about an organizational system she had seen in her religion class: one basket for each subject.
Ms. Sneed took some labels from her desk drawer. Using a permanent marker, she wrote the names of each subject on the labels. Then she labeled each drawer of a six-drawer organizer. “There,” she said. “No more sorting. This is going to solve a lot of problems. The students can just turn their work in here. No sorting necessary.”
Returning Student Assignments
Ms. Sneed rummaged through her packages. “Here it is,” she said to herself. She took the shoe organizer out of the WalMart bag and removed its packaging. She cut some tagboard and wrote a student name on each one. After she hung the organizer on the closet door, Ms. Sneed stuck the pieces of tagboard down into each pocket. The teacher looked at her handiwork and grinned. Hanging the student mailboxes on the door would save table/counter space and work great!
Keeping Students Organized
On the counter next to the sink, Ms. Sneed spotted a stack of homework folders. Fortunately, the school had purchased a folder for each child.
Ms. Sneed loved these folders! The inside pockets were clearly labeled “return to school” and “keep at home.” The front and back had clear plastic covers. Kids could slide their spelling words or study guides into these covers for quick review. These folders were awesome!
Each student would also receive an agenda. This year, Ms. Sneed vowed to write assignments on the board each day. That way, everyone would know what to do for homework.
Handling Lunch Count
Next, Ms. Sneed went to her computer. This year, kids would have five choices for lunch. What a nightmare! How could she streamline the lunch count? She decided to create a one-page sign-up sheet. It would make her life much easier! Students could mark their choices as they entered for the day.
Managing Itinerate Students
At Ms. Sneed’s school, students were grouped for math. This year, fifteen students would travel to her class for math. Invariably, two or three would forget something. To solve this problem, Ms. Sneed retrieved a large organizer with shelves from the school storage area. “One man’s trash…” she smiled to herself. After labeling the shelves with student names, Ms. Sneed set the organizer on a desk. “There. The kids who travel to my math class can keep their stuff in these cubbies. That way – fingers crossed – they will have everything they need.”
Over the course of her career, Ms. Sneed realized that there were 6 steps to enjoy teaching. First on the list was to organize. In addition to organizing her student stuff, she realized the need to organize teaching stuff, parent stuff, and professional stuff. Follow the Fabulous Teaching Adventures of Ms. Sneed and learn how you can enjoy teaching too.