It’s spring break. (Hooray for warmer weather, longer days, and a pocket of time off to visit friends and get things done!)
Today I stopped by the school to accomplish a handful of tasks and managed to finally take some pictures of a few organizational things I have done this year that have made my class run more smoothly and my life a lot easier. Thought I’d share.
To cut down on time spent handing out papers in class, I created hanging file folders for each student, organized by class period. All graded papers are returned here, as well as copies of any handouts given when a student is absent. Additionally, I use the table space in front to lay out the day’s handouts and/or trays for collecting work. Students are used to taking care of picking up and turning in papers on their way in the door, before class starts.
I’ve always posted the daily agenda for my classes, but this year I sacrificed some whiteboard space to posting the weekly homework assignments as well. (Sorry that everything is erased in the picture – spring break!) Super helpful for students who want to plan their week, absent students, etc. I used to post homework info online at my old school, but a physical board in the classroom seems to make more sense here.
At the beginning of the year, I had each student fill out an index card with some information – name, interesting fact, favorite song (title + artist), favorite book (title + author). I keep these in the containers on my desk to use for a couple of different purposes: 1) as equity cards, to randomly call on students to answer the bellwork (or other times I want to randomly select a student) and 2) to randomly assign seats when I group the desks into clusters of 3 or 4 by setting them out on the desks (students know to find their card.) You can also see that I keep the regular seating charts in this basket – we switch seats after every unit test.
I keep a copy of the answer key to every homework assignment (with all steps worked out by me) in the 2 binders at this little round table in the front of the room. I project the homework solutions daily as part of our start-of-class routine, but for absent students these binders are a way to ensure they have access to check their own work. It’s also been great to have them during the lunchtime enrichment period – both for students who want to get a head start on an assignment/see if it is going well and for those who really struggled/would like to look over the work. Again, at my last school I used to post answer keys online, but the physical binders work well here. Occasionally students will ask to take photos of a key to use for checking work on their own time – works well, and doesn’t require me to manage a massive online library of files like I used to.
That’s it! Back to break. 🙂