Monday, January 28, 2013

New Teacher Planner

So today we had a surprise snow day!  With extra time on my hands, I got motivated to finish up re-organizing my teacher binder.  Here's what my old one looked like:

While I LOVE this calendar lay out, writing out my schedule by hand is not so easy this year (now that Kindergarten has changed to full day!)  So I wanted to simplify and I was also really inspired by some techy lesson plan templates that I saw on some blogs like these from Erica Bohrer and Dee Dee Wills

I had a hard time figuring out how to make these work for my classroom, since my schedule is different each day of the week and I do like to have the option to write things in and change them throughout the week as needed (like when we have a snow day and I need to change my plans)!  So I ended up creating a digital template of my weekly schedule with space to write in specific lesson plans for those activities that require them.  

I had fun decorating my new binder with some collages (repurposed from last planner), adding my schedule, and adding monthly calendar pages (from Goddess Leonie!).  I have a pocket in front for any papers that are coming or going, a pencil pouch to store both pens and smaller materials that I've created, space in the binder for my year-long plan, and also room at the back for my teacher journal.

This Calendar page is from Goddess Leonie!

I feel more organized now that I have all of my "stuff" (other than curriculum) in one compact planner.  Yay, I guess this counts as an organization project for the Clutter-Free Classroom Project!  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Clutter-Free Classroom Week #2

The week #2 Challenge for the Clutter-Free Classroom Project is for us to share our plans for classroom organization!  I will probably keep adding onto this list, but so far I'd like to:

1. Create a new lesson plan binder system so that I don't have to write out my entire schedule in my calendar each week and so I have all of my stuff (plans, created materials, teacher journal, lists) in one place rather than piled up in my bag.  

2.  Organize my classroom celebration plans so that I don't have to think of new ideas every year (for Fall, Winter, Valentine's Day, 100s Day, etc...).  I'm thinking that I should have both a digital file on my laptop and a physical storage space such as a box or file or something.

3.  Organize my desk, specifically my top desk drawer, which has accidentally become a junk drawer!  

4.  Spend more time re-teaching students how to take care of supplies at center time so that I'm spending less of my planning time cleaning up the classroom.  

5.  Plan on cleaning up as a I go and cleaning up everything before I leave for the day, so that things don't end up piling up on me!  

6.  Re-do my bulletin boards, which I haven't though much of since the start of the school year and after I had moved my furniture around mid-year.  I have some extra space that could serve a better purpose!  

Classroom Photos (Before)

I am totally inspired to participate in the Clutter-Free Classroom's yearlong project.  I'm a bit late already, but here are some "before" photos of my classroom.  I do have to say that I took these photos right after Winter Break and I had spent a few days over the break organizing and cleaning, so it's not like my classroom is in total chaos.  But there are some areas in which I'd like to be more organized and there are always ways to improve!

My Desk

Shelves in my office

My desk drawer!  Ugh!

Top two shelves are where I store phonics/math center materials for the week.