Having returned to the classroom after being in another position for 12 years, I am struggling with organization! I am working on some very simple techniques:
1. I print out a class roll for each week for my clipboard. I take attendance and record if students bring their notebooks and their completed homework on that roll sheet. The roll sheet and seating chart for each class are attached so that I can continue to learn all my students’ names – calling on students with confidence! I almost have all 150+ names down. These roll sheets are perfect tool when I go to record information in my electronic gradebook!
2. I am using a 3-ring binder for my lesson plans. With each lesson plan I add a copy of any handouts and a printed version of any powerpoint I might use. If I get to teach this same subject next year, I hope this notebook will be a valuable resource. In addition all extra handouts or materials for each unit are going in a file folder pocket … on pocket per unit. (I have a matching electronic file folder on my computer at home & school!)
3. I’ve created a lesson plan template in Excel (my fave!) that keeps me organized in my lessons. The template has drop down boxes for the standards, for formative assessment strategies, and for differentiation plans. I number the steps of my plan in one cell (a large cell!) so that I know exactly what I am going to do … step by step. Lesson Plan Format is a blank copy of my planning tool.
4. I have a table in the front of my room near the door … students pick up write-on/wipe-off sleeves, markers, and any other tools we are using for the day as they enter. During those first few minutes students are picking up their materials, getting out their homework to check it, and working on the warm-up while I greet students, take attendance, and check for homework completion. This same routine each day is an organization tool to get class started without too much hoopla!
I look forward to reading all about everyone else’s organizational plans!