Monday, August 15

Organizing the Chaos

Hello y'all! Today, I am participating in a Back2School Blog hop and give away. I have teamed up with 50 amazing teachers/bloggers to bring you a wonderful array of management skills and organization strategies to work in your classroom! The hope is that you will "hop" along to each blog. Make sure you enter to win one of two wonderful prizes. We are giving away that change to win a $50 TeachersPayTeachers Gift Card and classroom resources from over 30 other teachers!!! The drawing is through Rafflecopter. Good Luck...

Every year, I try new things to get my organization "just right"....and every year, I have to change or tweak something....sometimes, I even try to reinvent the wheel (CRAZY, I know). However, THIS organization trick, I learned during my student teaching and I have been using it EVERY YEAR SINCE! By now, you're asking "What is this trick???", so here it is...are you ready????

Every year, when I get my student list, I first arrange all students in alphabetical order by last name. *If two students share the same last name, I then order them by the first letter of their first name. (ex. Anthony Smith would come before Brandon Smith). After this is done, I number the students from 1 to however many students I have. I make sure that my students know that their number is just as important on their paper as their name and they will be keeping the same number all year long. This number also matches their locker number. When we line up, we line up in alphabetical order (or numerical order). We count off and can quickly see which kiddo is not in line where they are supposed to be. It may take a few reminders, but they catch on quickly. When handing out work, I simply say "Make sure to put your name and number on your paper".  I also correspond these numbers with the order in my grade book. Once every child has their name and number down your job just got easier!!! "How???" you may ask...well, let me just tell you. When it comes time to turn in those papers, I can very quickly and easily check to see who's paper I am missing. I put the papers (quickly) in numerical order, and I can see if #5 is missing or #11. Now, I can grade the papers as I normally would. Since they are in numerical/alphabetical order, once I start putting grades in the grade book I simply start at the first spot and work my way down the list! No more hunting for the name each time. If I don't have #5's paper, I skip the 5th line in my grade book and keep recording my grades. After papers are graded, I can have them recorded in my grade book in a matter of seconds. Here's how it would look:
"Anthony Smith #1" on his paper
"1--Anthony Smith" in my grade book 
Locker #1: Anthony Smith
Anthony Smith at the front of the line.
Now that their names are on their paper, papers are graded, and grades are in the grade book; it's finally time to give the papers back out to them. THEY ARE ALREADY IN ORDER!!!! You simply go down the line and either pass them out, file them, put them in their cubbies/baskets, or however else you hand back your papers. It honestly speeds up the process. Now, let me show you how it looks in my classroom (YES!!! Picture time!!!)

Student Lockers
Here's the lockers I was talking about. Each kiddo has their own locker. They unload what they need and put their other things in their locker at the beginning of the day. Then they don't have to go back to their locker for the entire day! "But what if they need to put something in their backpack?" Well, they put it in their basket!

Student Basket Area

Close up of student baskets

These are their baskets. They can keep any folders, or notebooks here if they don't need them at the moment instead of *clank, bang, crash* at the lockers 50 times a day. When I hand back graded papers (since they are in numerical order) all I have to do is start with #1 and work my way down. Papers are handed back in no time at all! At the end of the day, they grab all papers out of their basket, load them in their back pack, and take them home!

I honestly use these numbers everywhere! 
I use them here:
Student Job board

Hallway Work Display
and here:
Extra School Supplies
I can quickly see who is running low on crayons, who lost their ruler, or who needs some more pencils.

If you have ANY questions at all, please ask away. I hope that you can use something that I offered as far as organization goes! Don't forget to leave me a comment, share, or follow to let me know how I'm doing. Be sure to click the "Next Hop" link to continue on with the hop!

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  1. Hi Jared. I am the blog right before you on the blog hop. Great tip on the numbers. I love the pictures of your class. I always numbered my students. I also use the number system on field trips. I have the students line up and count out loud by number. If the counting stops I know I am missing someone and which student by number. Have fun blog hopping. Best, Kimberly Scott Science

    1. Hi Kimberly! Thank you for the comment! I too use it during field trips....I also use it during drills (like fire drills). I can quickly check to see that I have all of my little frogs in a row!

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