Thursday, August 15, 2013

Organization and Classroom Management

Once again, I have to do two posts in one because I fell asleep early last night. It's my third week of teaching and I am worn out!

Wednesday's post was all about organizing for instruction. I forgot to take all the pictures I wanted so I'll try to describe what I do the best I can! 

I say this every year, but this year is the "year of organization!" I tend to be the teacher that has a lot of piles and stuff everywhere. I'm trying to cut down on that. It's the third week of school and yes, I still have some piles. But I'm definitely off to a better start than I have been in years past.

The biggest help so far has been my three binders: yearly binder, student data binder and student information binder. I bought an adorable teacher binder organization pack from Little Lovely Leaders on TpT. Here's the cover of my main binder: 

Yearly Binder Contents:
* Weekly lesson plans
* Monthly author study lesson plans
* Quarterly at-a-glances for all subjects
* Proficiency scales
* State standards (TEKS)
* Meeting notes

Student Data Binder Contents:
* Guided reading group schedule (see picture below)
* Guided reading plans (see picture below)
* Student tabs - where I file running records
* Writing conference notes

Student Information Binder Contents: 
* Student information sheets
* Parent contact record sheet
* Student emergency information
* Pocket dividers to file notes and tardy slips 

So that is how I keep track of my lesson planning and paper work. As far as materials go, this is the teacher corner of my classroom and it's where I keep the majority of what I need to teach. My wonderful teammate, Kristi, made me the table skirt so I can store a ton of stuff under the table and no one can see it. Muwahaha! :) 


I use these awesome drawers to keep all my copies for each day. I got the sweet labels (and more resources and ideas) from Deanna Jump's organization guide on TpT. 

I also keep first aid stuff,  snacks, chapter book sets, story telling materials, colored paper and student data back here as well. I made some labels for each thing to keep things organized. I have about 20 plastic drawers in my hallway where I keep reading, social studies, science and art supplies.

Directly behind my teacher table I have a bookcase filled with teacher resources and guided reading books. This year I organized my books by subject and I'm continuing to try and organize my files in binders. I got rid of my file cabinet this year and I haven't missed it at all! 

This is not really about organization but I put a ton of pictures above my desk of my past classes, family and friends to help brighten up my teacher area. If I'm having a rough day it helps to have wonderful reminders of the many blessings in my life right in front of me. Plus the kids love to look at the pictures of my family. :) 

Now on to today's post, which is all about classroom management! Hoo boy! This is my sixth year of teaching and I still feel like I struggle with it every day. 

At my school, we use program called Love & Logic which basically advocates for treating kids with respect and empathy and the use of logical consequences for misbehavior. For example, if a child disrupts the class and wastes our learning time, my consequence would be for them to do that work during their free center time. Another example would be if they are disrespectful to the lunch monitor, I would have them write a letter of apology to her and deliver it to her the next day. 

Each student has a take home folder and I put a monthly calendar in it on the first day of the month. If the student has a good day, they receive a sticker. If they are constantly being redirected or causing major disruptions, I will write a note home in the box for that day. My parents have to initial each night that they looked at the calendar. I will periodically allow students to get treasure chest when they have gotten a sticker all week.

I started using a fun behavior management online program called ClassDojo. Basically each kid gets an avatar and I display the full class up on our class TV. Each time I see a student on task or following directions or being a good helper, they receive a point. It makes a little ding and their name is displayed on the screen. You can also take away points, but I don't have it make a noise. The program keeps track of what each child gets so it's a great way to keep documentation (You can set it up so parents can see how their child's day was). The kids love seeing their name on the TV and it's amazing how hard they will work to earn a simple point. I just like it because I can easily give positive reinforcement without stopping what I'm doing. My teacher table is write by my computer so I can be teaching a small group and quickly give a point to someone working independently without missing a beta. It also has a timer and a name randomization tool. Oh, and it's FREE! 

For a class reward system, I have a small glass vase I call the warm and fuzzy jar. I have a bunch of pom-poms that I have glued googly eyes on and I call them warm and fuzzies. I tell the kids that each time they do something that makes me feel good (warm and fuzzy) I'll put some warm and fuzzies in the jar. For example, if everyone is on task during Daily 5 - in goes a warm and fuzzy. If they get a good report from specials teachers - in goes several warm and fuzzies. When the jar is filled, the whole class gets a prize. I try to mix it up. Some of my favorites are: treasure box, dance party, popcorn/movie and no shoes for the day. 

Finally, I have found that giving my kids jobs greatly helps with classroom behavior. Some of my toughest behavior problems love to have more responsibility in the classroom and will do whatever they can to earn a job. I have a Classroom Jobs chart (see picture below) with ten different jobs. Every Monday I rotate the kids name cards so they get a chance to do something new each week. 

Classroom Jobs:
* Line Leader (first in line)
* Door Holder (second in line)
* Light Inspector (last in line, turns off lights)
* Teacher Helper (helps me with whatever I may need)
* Supplies Manager (picks up any supplies off the floor at the end of the day/organizes tubs)
* Trash Collector (picks up trash on floor at the end of the day)
* Librarian (makes sure all books are back in classroom library)
* Messenger (takes notes/materials to other teachers for me)
* Calendar Helper (changes the calendar/weather chart each morning)
* Chair Stacker 

Please let me know if you have any questions! Click on the buttons below to check out some more fun ideas!! 


christine said...

Loved your job chart...specifically the "chair stacker" job! I definitely need to hand off that responsibility to my kiddos!! Did you make your job chart yourself or is it available somewhere else?

Kim said...

Thanks Christine! Yes, I made my job chart. The name cards is part of my ocean unit and the job cards are part of my back to school unit.

Ruby said...

While mothers complain about the amount of papers and documents that always find their way into the house, teachers had a lot more in their hands when it comes to that. Everyday, the pile of paper will keep growing. This is why, learning how to organize and looking for that specific method that works for you, and you can keep, are the ways to go. You save yourself from the clutter, and you also provide a neat and tidy learning environment for your students. Good going!
Ruby @ Williams Data Management