Today I thought I would share some of my classroom organizational tips for teachers. For the rest of you, I will end this post with a little classroom funny. Before I begin, I want to wish my beautiful daughter Katey a Happy Birthday! She is 21 today! I love you sweetheart!

For this post, I thought I would share with you how I  organize my classroom lesson plans. I know we all have our methods, but for those of you who are interested, this is the way that works for me. I put each week in a notebook and label the week with a tab. Next, I put all ideas, papers, etc. behind the week so that I have easy access to it. There are generally 3-4 weeks in a notebook.

I keep all of the notebooks in a bookcase close to my kidney table. I do not have a desk because I want the
maximum  amount of floor space  available for the children to use. I have long rectangular storage boxes that hold instructions for projects or samples of crafts for each month. I will add that picture tomorrow as I forgot to take one today. If you would ever like me to share a unit or lesson plan with you, just let me know. I am happy to do so. I will also make a copy of any activities that you would like and send them as well along with instructions.


 I also keep all my lesson plans on the computer by week. I do the same with my newsletters. Every year the class makeup will change but I have a skeleton curriculum map and can change my plans to fit the needs of my students.
I also take pictures each year to put in a book I call "The Wonder Year". I mentioned it in an earlier post. Each child writes a sentence for the month and we post a large picture on the page under the sentence. It really helps to set up files for each activity. For example, once we take a field trip, I label the folder field trip pictures. Then I set up a folder for each child within the main folder.
 I keep a stack of each child's name handy so that as we complete an activity, I have a checklist to ensure that I don't miss anyone.

I will close with a little classroom chuckle. We share a bathroom with the kindergarten class next door. One day a few weeks ago, I was working with a small group of children when one child asked if we could hear singing. No one else heard it, so we continued with the game we were playing. Now, the kidney table I use is next to the bathroom wall. All of a sudden, it sounded like a young Elvis Presley was belting out a tune at the top of his lungs from inside the bathroom. My entire class got quiet and listened. Then we all broke into laughter at the same time. Meanwhile, the singing continued with our little American Idol wannabe still singing at the top of his lungs. I went over and knocked on the door and asked whoever it was to please stop singing.  The singing immediately stopped. Evidently the child had been oblivious to the fact that he could be heard. I am not really sure what it is about bathrooms that causes one to break into song, but we haven't heard a peep since that day.

28 comments

  1. Dustine // March 22, 2010 at 10:45 PM  

    First, your daughter really is beautiful...happy birthday Katey, and hope you all enjoyed the day!
    Second, wow...my first major in college was elementary education and this post proves to me that I truly did NOT miss my calling!! Organization not my strongsuit...makes me dizzy in fact. Glad you have a such a good system!
    Third, how cute! You're right, there is something about a bathroom that makes us want to break out in song! Don't we all sound like rockstars with the echoing walls?!!

  2. Debbie // March 22, 2010 at 10:47 PM  

    What a pretty young woman your daughter is!~ Now when you are done in your classroom, mind hopping on over to my home and start color coding, shredding, etc......you are something, I could only hope every teacher is like you....but their not LOL!!~

  3. Ms. Anthropy // March 22, 2010 at 10:47 PM  

    Beautiful daughter! Love the bathroom story.

  4. Shell // March 22, 2010 at 11:13 PM  

    Happy birthday to your daughter!

    You are so organized! I taught for a while until my oldest was born and I think only I and my TA, bless her heart, could understand my organizational system!

  5. Bernie // March 22, 2010 at 11:24 PM  

    Happy Birthday Katey.....and she is so very pretty, hope she had a wonderful day.

    Still chuckling over Elvis singing, was he too embarassed too come out in front of the others.
    ........:-) Hugs

  6. Sarah Lindahl // March 22, 2010 at 11:36 PM  

    Happy B-day VTK's beautiful daughter! Thanks for this post! It's so nice to see other people's systems.

  7. Frugal Vicki // March 23, 2010 at 12:10 AM  

    Your daughter is beautiful! and I loved the story, that was too cute. Poor little one!

  8. RosieP // March 23, 2010 at 3:40 AM  

    Lovely daughter, happy birthday Katey.

    What a refreshing attitude towards the children, the teachers in my sons school (he's 9) seem to think themselves very clever if they can 'get one over' on a 9 year old!, I just think they're very sad and in the wrong profession.

    Hope you and Katey have a lovely day.

    Hugs RosieP x

  9. Theresa Milstein // March 23, 2010 at 6:08 AM  

    Happy birthday, Katey!

    Wow - you're organized. I love that you forgo a desk to maximize space for the students. Kindergarten rooms have a lot going on.

    I love your singer story. My daughter always sings when she brushes her teeth - probably since kindergarten.

  10. Terri // March 23, 2010 at 11:55 AM  

    Happy Birthday to your daughter!!! She is so pretty... must get her looks from her Mom?! Thanks for stopping by.... I love the singing story! How cute!

  11. Choices // March 23, 2010 at 5:03 PM  

    Happy Birthday to you daughter. She is very pretty. All the teachers that I have ever met who organized are excellent teachers. So, That means you are one of them. I would love to see you teaching your class. I am sure you are great!

  12. halpey1 // March 23, 2010 at 5:23 PM  

    Oh boy... I have a little girl who sings almost EVERY time she goes in our bathroom (I'm lucky enough to have one in my room). It's particularly funny when I'm reading a story and she's belting out Miley Cirus. Ugh. :)

  13. Heather // March 23, 2010 at 7:02 PM  

    Your daughter is beautiful! Happy Birthday to her! My stepmom is a teacher also. She teaches 1st grade :)

    Thanks for your comment :) I found out today I didn't get the position, but it's what was meant to be I guess.

  14. VKT // March 23, 2010 at 7:14 PM  

    Dustine,

    Thank you for the sweet comment about my daughter. I will be sure to share it with her. I have to work at being organized...trust me....lol

  15. VKT // March 23, 2010 at 7:15 PM  

    Debbie,

    I am the one that wants YOU to come and decorate at MY home. Every picture of your beautiful home makes mine look shabby...sigh

    Thanks for the sweet comment about my daughter.


    Blessings

  16. VKT // March 23, 2010 at 7:16 PM  

    Thanks Ms. Hope you had a great day today.

  17. VKT // March 23, 2010 at 7:17 PM  

    Lol Shell. You are too funny. I love going to your blog. It always lifts my spirits. I am so glad I found it.

  18. VKT // March 23, 2010 at 7:19 PM  

    Bernie,


    I asked the other kindergarten teacher who it was but he didn't want to be found out. He came out very quickly and quietly and we never found out who it was...lol

  19. VKT // March 23, 2010 at 7:19 PM  

    Thanks Sarah. That is so sweet of you.

    Blessings!

  20. VKT // March 23, 2010 at 7:20 PM  

    Thanks Vicki dear. I can't believe she is 21..sigh...they grow up so fast.

  21. VKT // March 23, 2010 at 7:21 PM  

    Ah Rosie, Your comment will make her day. Her middle name is Rose.


    Blessings!

  22. VKT // March 23, 2010 at 7:22 PM  

    Dear Theresa,

    I am there for the kids and you know how kindergartners need their space!

  23. VKT // March 23, 2010 at 7:23 PM  

    Thanks Terri, My sweet blogging buddy! I hope you had a wonderful day.

  24. VKT // March 23, 2010 at 7:24 PM  

    Dear Anne,

    Thanks for your kind words. I do love my job!

  25. VKT // March 23, 2010 at 7:25 PM  

    Halpey,

    Maybe we could arrange for a long distance duet? Wouldn't that be interesting!

  26. VKT // March 23, 2010 at 7:26 PM  

    Dear Heather,

    I am sad for you but thrilled for your boys. You have the most important job in the world!

  27. Kristin // March 24, 2010 at 6:27 PM  

    I love the binder idea. I keep all of mine in file folders because that is just how it was when I got to the room. I have spent all year trying to organize those. I am officially the most unorganized teacher I think. It is just too much paperwork. Do the binders help? With the student pages and pictures. I am doing something like that, but once again keeping it organized is a challenge. I plan to buy lots of folders next year and keep trying to get organized. Love your ideas!

  28. VKT // March 24, 2010 at 7:27 PM  

    Kristin,

    I find notebooks the most useful. As I said in my post, I put all of the papers, etc. behind the lesson plans for the week in that notebook so that the next year, I will have it all together. I put the newsletter for the week behind it as well. I would be happy to email samples to you if you like.