Minimalist Classroom Tips & Tricks

A clean, organized, and green classroom is a constant process. Tackle one or two bullet points a day for 15 minutes every morning. Use your students to help you. It is their classroom too and they love to help. Also, don't forget about room mothers, classroom volunteers, interns and student teachers.
Student's Desks:
  • Assign a student as a Desk Manager who, once a week, looks inside all of the students desks and chooses one as a winner. The cleanest, most organized desk wins. 
  • Send home finished essays, projects, etc every 2 weeks. Consider writing down everything on the Smart or white board that needs to go home to keep clutter at a minimum. 
  • Assign each student a white board to keep in their desks. For younger students they can use these to color on instead of using paper all the time. For older students, they can use these to answer questions that you project to the whole class. You can come around and check their answers or have them hold them up for a quick check of understanding. 
Teacher's Desk:

  • This year vow to use an online calender to write down your lesson plans. Google Calender is great because you can access it from anywhere, your desk, home or bring a tablet to faculty meetings. 
  • You know all those binders you have full of lesson plans, materials and unit plans? This summer break,   scan all your resources into the computer. Separate files with folders by month and then by topic. 

  • Ask your students what books are there favorite and what books no one has ever touched. Why haven't these books been touched? If it's because they are hidden in a corner or tucked behind classics then rotate your books. Any books that are ripped beyond repair should be recycled. Books that do not fit your students interests or levels donate to another classroom
  • If you have limited resources consider doing a book swap with another classroom. Have each student choose one book for another classroom to borrow and have another classroom do the same. Two weeks later swap back. Do this every month so that kids can experience new books and are reminded of how good it feels to share. 
  • Pick up the first thing off the shelf, behind the cabinet, or hidden behind your desk. Have you used that  in the past year (if you are teaching the same grade) if not, donate it to another classroom. You aren't going to use it. 
  • Be ruthless with your sticker collection! Consider donating some to a new teacher. Same goes for books, workbooks, etc.
  • Clean or toss old glue sticks and wipe down sticky scissors. All your kids who have to wait an extra few minutes for their busses can test out markers. Donate the old markers to the art room where they can be cut apart to make watercolors. 
  • Grab an empty jar, stick a post-it note on it that says broken crayons. Whenever a kid or teacher finds a broken crayon they can put it in the jar. Once it is full, have a parent make new crayons with them. 

1 comment:

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    5th Grade Tomfoolery