Classroom Teachers' Management Tips (Part II)
Last month we posted a compilation of teachers' tips for organizing and managing classroom procedures. Here is a second installment offering tried and true tips implemented by veteran teachers.
I allow students to check out my books. I use the library pockets on a posterboard. When a children want to check out one of my books, they bring me the book and their card from the pocket. If they have one to return they bring it at the same time so that I can mark it off. I just use 3x5 cards and write small. (We do 100 Books by 100 Days. Often it's hard to find really easy books at the first of the year so I encourage students to borrow mine.) I give them each a gallon sized ziplock to take books home in.
I also have one helper for the day. Anything that needs to be done is done by that person. That person also gets to choose a partner to read with in the $5 chairs I got at Wal-mart. Woo-hoo!
Tina in OK
One of the things I use for anecdotal records is this:
I have a legal sized clip board and on the board are large index cards that have each student's name on the bottom of the card. I use masking tape to tape them to the board in a stair step fashion, so I can flip them up to write on them. I absolutely LOVE it because when I'm doing reading groups, I can make notes while the students are writing and they can't see what I'm writing because my hand is hidden under the previous cards. When I fill up a card I simply pull it off, put on a new one and file the completed one in my "private" files for each kid. I really like it because I can show growth over several days and have used it to show parents what we are working on and what I've noticed happening.
More about the clipboard system for anecdotal record keeping:
I use a legal size clipboard to accommodate the number of children in the class. I start out by taping down what will end up being my bottom card 1st. Line up the bottom edge of the card with the bottom edge of the board. Next tape the top edge of the card to the board. At that time I write the child's name at the bottom of the card. The second card is placed on top of the first leaving enough space to read the name on the first card I taped down. Again, I tape the top of that card to the board, write the name, and place the 3rd card on the 2nd.
I do the same thing with the 3x5 cards taped down stairstep except instead of a clipboard (which is a great idea) I use legal size file folders. Also, I put a blank card on the very top of each row of cards so the info on the top card can't be seen. This is one of my favorite organizational ideas.
Also teaching kids to put their work in the work basket right side up with their names at the top. No unfolding, shuffling, and turning over papers to get them all going the same way.
I've purchased a lot of teacher resource books through the years as well as magazines. What I 've finally figured out this year after after more than 20 years in the field is when I find an idea I may want to use or, in fact, DO use, I make a Xerox copy of it and file it. I also may make a couple of copies of one idea for cross reference filing. I have far too many books and magazines to thumb through when I need to find an idea and this is a real time saver.
Also, I purchase The MailBox hard cover yearbook each year instead of purchasing the magazine because it has an index! (Can you tell organization is a challenge for me?!) A colleague told me the yearbook doesn't contain everything published that year in the magazine, but it works for me!
I have an office tray (the kind that stack) labeled for each child. After I finish grading a set of papers, I file each child's paper in his/her tray. At the end of the week, each student's papers are already sorted...all I have to do is put them in the envelope to go home.
My calendar is the type with cute little pictures on the number cards to go with the month. After trying velcro and other methods, I discovered an easier method of attaching the number cards to the calendar. Using a razor blade, I cut a small slit at the top of each square where the # card goes. Then I inserted a paper clip, so that part of it is showing. Now all I have to do is slide the number card under the paper clip...very easy to change the months now!
I post a parent volunteer sign-up sheet on Back to School night.
I make sure I go to at least one conference a year---even if I have to pay for it myself.
I keep a purchase wish list just in case money is found that needs to be spent in a hurry.
I make a basic lesson plan form on my computer with times, subjects, special classes for RSP, etc. already filled in so each week I just need to fill in the details.
I collect papers when I take roll call, so they are already in alphabetical order. (Students come up to the front of the class as their names are called and place in the pile/s. It takes a little training, but is well worth it.)
Barbara D. Martin
Whenever my students need to work with partners they use their clock buddies. In September each child receives a Xerox of a clock and the children find a different student to pair up with for each hour. The form is glued on their class work folders and whenever I call for partners I indicate a time of the day (such as three o'clock buddies). There is no discussion as to who they want to work with. If a child is absent they can work with their Foster Grandfather or with me.
See last month's Gazette for more management tips!