Keeping organized, well trying to at least….
I love, love, love teaching and making new materials to help meet the needs of my students. What I don’t love, love, love is trying to keep all these materials organized and safe. So I hope that this entry will help other teachers like me who need some help with the organizational side of teaching. As I have said before I try to change out my materials every month or so in order to help keep my students interested and engaged. With these changes of materials I also will change the containers that hold them, the small fine motor material that are being manipulated, and the trays all move around. While I change them I sometimes put specific trays, items, manipulative, away.
Well as the year continues these materials don’t always get put back into the right place, which causes an inevitable HUGE mess. At the beginning of the summer I took it upon myself to try to re-organize everything. Imagine entering a closet full of boxes, art materials, trays, vases, and tons of little beads on the floor. Well that is what my storage closet has become, i.e. “The Closet of Doom”.
This took about three hours just to get everything out and actually clean the closet. The next step was sort items back into the months that they appear on my shelf. I have a general order of science and cultural topics that I talk about each year and I try to have them correlate to what is going on with the weather, world, or what time of the year it is. Once I finally got all that organized I went through each item to make sure it was complete, if it wasn’t I donated/threw it away.
When I was finally left with only the materials that I would be using in the school year I took out the bins, I ordered some from Amazon the previous year, and put the materials, items, objects, etc. into them. I then made sure to write what month each bin was needed along with the major topics I go over that month in hopes that it will help make putting the things away next year simpler. There were a few things that did not fit into any monthly bin, which is why those plastic storage containers from the dollar store are just so nice. I was able to put items in them as well and since they are bright colors it made my dimly lit closet not do doomy.
After about four days of cleaning, seven bags of trash, and lots of Ziploc bags I am happy to report “The Closet of Doom” has been completely overhauled. I currently do not have a photo of the new and improved closet but as soon as I do I will post it.