I hope those of you who are on summer vacation are enjoying some time with family and friends, and I hope the rest of you are enjoying your time with your students! Today is my last day of classes and I am happy to say that, for the most part, I have truly enjoyed my time with my students these last few weeks. Today I wanted to share some of the new ideas I implemented for classroom organization and really liked. I'll be keeping these ideas to use again next year for sure!
The first and biggest change I made to my classroom setup was removing the big teacher desk from my room. I went from this:
That table was already in my room so I really did gain that much extra space in my room by migrating! I took most of the stuff that was in those giant drawers into the closet and set up my essential desk supplies on the small desk where I already had my computer setup to connect to the projector. I have LOVED having the extra space this year and I have not missed the old desk even a little bit. In fact I had forgotten that I had done that last summer until I sat down to write this post, to be honest! The key to having a smaller desk is the teacher toolbox with the little drawers to sit on top of my desk- I had it even on my old huge desk because it is so much easier to find all of those little things like paper clips, magnets, and bandaids. Read about how to make your own in this post. If you want to see in more detail where I moved everything else, you can read my post on the desk removal process here :)
Another new classroom organization idea I set up last summer was my new triangle storage:
I was inspired by the new hand drum storage idea I had set up the year before and finally figured out, after much thinking, that I could use a jewelry organizer for my triangles. It has worked beautifully! No more holders falling off, tangled instruments, or digging through piles of triangles to find a beater. And all of my students as young as kindergarten have been able to get and put back the triangles independently without much difficulty. I love it! You can read more about how I set it up, including links to the organizer I used, in this post.
The final organization idea I want to share is not so much a room organization idea but it did make a huge difference in my organization so I thought it would be a good idea to share it here: my new centers log!
It seems simple enough but it has made a big difference in my classroom! I printed off a copy of this chart, with the names of every class I teach down the left, and each time I did a day of centers I wrote down the names of the centers across the top and wrote in the date in the box next to their class. I use centers as a classroom incentive that the whole class works towards (read about that in this post) and I found that it was hard for me to keep track of which classes had done which centers, so I was either having classes do the same center they had already done 3 times that year or finding out at the end of the year that certain classes hadn't done certain center activities at all! This year I was able to keep track of who had done what when, and it made everything much easier. If you want to see some of the centers I use, as well as my tips for organizing and running center rotations, you can read through my posts on centers here.
I hope you found some new ideas to try in your own classroom next year! I'd love to hear some of the new ideas you tried in your own rooms this year. Leave a comment below or link up your own post if you're a blogger.