Saturday, August 14, 2010


Mrs. H. has been talking about organization here, here, here, and here.

Which set me to thinking about my classes and school.

Organization comes from the top. If the teacher is unorganized, heaven help the kids. There will be some that have it together, but most will flounder. Organization is one of those things they stress in teacher-school and one of those things that good principals stress in their schools. With the teaching model we are to be using, which seems onerous at times, organization is the key.

So, in my classroom, I give the students a place to store the paper I expect them to keep up with. Each class has a crate (each a different color) and in that crate are hanging folders. In their hanging folders are two file folders. One for the key concepts we cover - to help them keep that organized. (I will grade it periodically to keep them on track and this is the page they can use on their tests.) The other holds their starter (problem from the state standardized test to keep them reviewing) and their current work. I two-hold punch the folders and the work and use fasteners to keep the paper from falling out. At the beginning of each unit, they are given a list of things to turn in, which are due at the unit test.

Part of what is due is all of the quizzes - this is their opportunity to correct them to raise their grade.

I also hand out the pacing calendar so that they can know - well in advance - what is being covered when and plan accordingly.

I have a school website which I use to post schedules (tests, etc) on.

Papers are turned in plastic letter trays (one per class).

When I give a test, I write the name of every missing student on a test and file it for when they ask. (They are in high school - take some responsibility). I do not give back tests.

But organization comes from the top. Our administration is a disaster. One admin will get on the intercom and direct everyone to homeroom and another will come on 2 minutes later demanding everyone go to their first class. Teachers rarely get information in time to plan for.

If the administration is plan adverse - it impacts the teachers which impacts the students. I can do the best job in my little piece of the world but the powers that be are sabotaging me.


maddie/cadesmimi said...

I know what you mean, and it sickens me. I gave up my job in education because I could no longer stand the new trend of "laziness, unorganized, uncaring, only here for a paycheck" types of attitudes that seemed to be infiltrating our school systems.
God bless you as you do your work among those types that I just described. You have your work cut out for you.

ChiTown Girl said...

We have the EXACT same problem. Doesn't it just suck? Like we don't have enough to stress us out!

I love how organized you are within your classroom. I'll be trying some new things this year myself. I hope it all works out.

Ricochet said...

Chitown - please share - And read Mrs. H at Math Tales from the Spring and Miss Teacha at Confessions from the Couch - they have wonderful ideas!