I love organization. I love boxes, binders, file folders, plastic baggies, planners.. if it helps me stay organized and less stressed – I’m totally in. Our days are VERY fast paced and there is not a lot of down time or prep time, so I have learned several different ways to keep myself from being buried in clutter..
Each area in our classroom has some type of organizational system. In order to keep the day running smoothly with 4+ adults in one classroom, most materials are labeled in bins and activity bins stay in the same place, just the activity labels change. All of my data sheets for our month themed activities go along with the labels, so it makes it easy for my assistants to jot down notes in the correct place so that the student doesn’t do the same activities over and over again, and we can ensure they are mastering skills. We prep everything a month ahead of time so when the end of the month comes, we just organize the old materials in the monthly bin and put out the new materials for the month.
This is a video from last school year, but I like the way it was organized for these students that were able to retrieve their own tasks.
All activity pieces are cut and prepped in bulk ahead of time and placed in a labeled manila envelope or plastic sheet protector with a sample, so there is no worry to prep in the morning of the day you want to do the activity. We use my Easy Art packs for the prep and student directions.
To keep our play area neat and tidy, as well as to increase communication in our students, all of our toys are organized in bins inside a closet in the play area. Students have to request a toy before they begin playing with it (verbal request, sign language, or using pictures). If they wish to change an activity, clean up is required before they can have another activity.
Each student in my class is assigned a color at the beginning of the year. Anything and everything related to this student is color coded. Helps us locate needed data binders, behavior charts, schedule cards, and clipboards in a jiffy!
To help tame the paperwork MONSTER.. I use my Special Educator’s Everything Binder. It makes my life so much easier.
How do you stay organized in your classroom??