Monday, April 22, 2013

Summer Classroom Pack-Up

Summer is just around the corner which means it is time to start packing up your classroom (or at least thinking about how you want to organize)! Even though I teach at the high school level, I hope some of my organization/pack-up can help anyone!

Here's my FAV 5:

#1 Label furniture and tape drawers.
I use Frog Painters tape (found at Lowe's or Home Depot) to write my name and room number on main furniture. I also number my bookshelves and cabinets as well using this tape. The tape works great for keeping lose drawers in tight - it's easy to come off in August (much better than masking tape!).

#2 Take pictures. Make a floor plan.
I always take pictures from various angles to see where the desks, tables, bookshelves, etc. are placed. I also make sure to take pictures of bulletin boards and placement of posters as well. Typically, we do not have to remove anything from the walls if it is above waist-high, so the bulletin board and poster pictures are there just in case. The floor plan serves a similar purpose to the pictures of the furniture, but I also include the #'s for the bookshelves and cabinets on this too. Since many of my cabinets are closed and look alike, this really helps to make sure that they get returned where I need/use them most. I tape a note and a copy of the floor plan to my closed classroom door for the custodians to reference when they reach my room to clean. My custodians are FANTASTIC, and they do a wonderful job returning everything to it's place.

#3 Bins. Bins. Oh, you said Bins?!
I use a lot of different sized storage bins for all sorts of reasons. I typically pack up everything on top of my desk into its own bin. This helps the unpacking process in August. Since I decorate my room for the various holidays and seasons, I have a bin for each one so that it is super easy throughout the year. I organize these in chronological order according to use. I also use a bin for all of my personal items - pictures, notes, cards, trinkets, gifts, etc. that have a lot of meaning to me. Usually this will get locked up in a cabinet or I will bring it home.

#4 Take inventory.
Make a list of office supplies that you need to restock when Back to School sales begin in July. Not every school provides office supplies a'plenty, so I usually hunt for my own. I also have my "favorites" (pens, notepads, etc.) that I like, so this helps me to see what I need to buy in preparation for next school year.

#5 Update handouts, websites, etc.
Prepare your handouts and modify your websites to be ready for the next school year. Thus far, I have been fortunate to know what I would be teaching the following year before the end of the school year. That makes things SO MUCH easier when it comes to planning. I tweak my first day handouts and even make copies sometimes before I leave for the summer. Also, since I use GoogleSites for my classroom website, I generally "copy" the year that has just finished and tweak for the coming year - taking down things I don't want them to see (my students are pretty motivated and would tend to work way beyond sometimes), modify calendars for the next year (months, days, etc.), and update any links.

Hope those 5 organization tools that I use can help you in some way! Happy Spring!

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