Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Organization in the Classroom

I have found a new blog that I LOVE!!!  If you haven't already, it is definitely a blog to join.  Check out The Clutter Free Classroom.  This is just what I need.  Let me give you a little background into the reasoning why...
This past school year our school system found themselves with a NINE MILLION dollar deficit.  Many people lost their jobs from the bottom all the way to the top.  They also closed two schools and combined into one large campus.  There were only two of the second grade teachers who got to remain in second grade.  Thank goodness, I was one of the lucky two.  However, I did have to move to the larger campus.  Instead of 8 second grade classrooms, we now have eleven.  You can just imagine the panic of so much fruitbasket turnover.  Added on top of that, we were not able to work in our classrooms during the summer because of so much moving.  (Not only 2 schools, but due to the fruitbasket turnover there were more classrooms that were moved, than those that got to stay.)  We had FOUR days to unpack our classrooms, figure out how to arrange furniture, and get everything ready for students.  (Actually 3 1/2 days due to Meet the Teacher Day.) 
Okay, maybe that's TOO much background information (LOL)...ANYWAYS, that's why I was so glad to stumble across this website.  I admit, it got to the point that things were shoved and hidden just to have my classroom presentable.  We were just told that we will be remaining in these rooms next years and will still be teaching 2nd, so it's time to get serious and get things like they should be.  We have 2 teacher workdays coming up (Friday and Monday) so I plan to do LOTS of work in my classroom.  I'm SO excited!

With all the teachers who were new to the 2nd grade, I have been doing lots of organizing of our lessons, mapping, etc. to help them out.  As I started doing this, I realized that it would help me be more organized to store my lesson plans like this:
I have 4 of these large notebooks that I made for each quarter.

I then took everything we are responsible for teaching (directly from our system's curriculum map) and put into a document called, "2nd Grade at a Glance."  This is for the 2nd half of the year.  I have these placed in the front of each of the notebooks.

On the inside, I have the months that are in that quarter on colored dividers.  Each subject of the month is then on yellow dividers.  I have my Standards Based Math Lesson Plans that I have made for each day in page protectors.  I can easily pull these out year to year to teach instead of having to pull out my big bulky teacher book.

I also made a shared folder that I placed on our school server for all the 2nd grade teachers to access as needed.  It is divided into months and all subjects as well.

How do you get organized?  I'm joining the Clutter-free Classroom Challenge.  I'll be posting more soon!


  1. That move sounds crazy! Thank goodness you at least got to sty in 2nd grade!

    I really like your planning document! Someone on my team made one with all the details of the reading series, and it is a lifesaver! I still need to do something like that with math, though. Thanks for sharing what keeps you organized-I always need organization tips!- and for stopping by my blog! I'm now following you!


  2. Wow! What a crazy move. I am glad you got to stay in your grade level AND keep your job though. Every year I get a pink slip and stress all summer thinking I won't have a job and then a few days before school starts, they call me back and I run around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get things ready. lol.

    Thanks for sharing your organization tips and for stopping by my blog. I am excited to be your newest follower! :)

    A Day in the Life of a Classroom Teacher