As summer break comes to an abrupt end and the school year looms closer, I have been making attempts to really organize myself for this year. After battling my way through my first year of teaching, I have realized that I really need to be much more organized in the beginning of the year, especially considering I am still going between two schools. I am really focusing on organizing myself for the special needs school right now.
1. I have been making a Data Notebook for myself to keep track of:
– Daily Attendance for each class
– Star Chart for each class (this is their reward system)
– Student Pages (each student gets a section with Level 2/2A Data- discipline for the school, behavior data sheet, art progress
2. I found colored plastic bins in the dollar section in Target and decided that this would be much better for each table rather than using all of my random recycled bins for art supplies. This way each table will be labeled with a color and the colored bins will correspond to each table.
3. I found .50 cent plastic supply boxes at Target. I labeled each of these boxes with the table colors as well and each colored bin will have a corresponding supply box with it as well. When the student work time begins during class, an assigned student will pass out each colored bin the the correct table with the supply boxes inside.
4. Student notebooks. Last school year I used colored pocket folders for each class for their warm ups. This year I am avoiding extreme clutter by using student notebooks. Each wide ruled composition notebook has the art rules in one the very first page with a line for their signature. One the first day of class, each student will sign on the line agreeing to follow the art rules. This can be used as reference throughout the year and gives the students ownership for what they choose to do.
On the inside of the front cover I have their reward choices listed. At the beginning of the class period everyone will complete their warm up inside of their notebook and then choose their reward for the day. I typically allow reward time for the last 5 mins of class. If the students follow the art rules and the school rules, then they will be allowed to have their chosen reward. I chose to pre-list the rewards because last year got a little bit out of hand when every student was doing something different. By pre-choosing the “art” rewards I will be limiting the amount of chaos at the end of class.
I am really hoping that all of these things will help make the school year go smoother. The students will also benefit from the schedule of events each day and the repetition. Organization benefits every student when it comes to learning, especially those students who have special needs. As I better my teaching tools and my classroom organization, I am bettering their learning.