Saturday, July 5, 2014

Time To Get Organized, Part Two!

One of the many challenges of teaching is organization of not only myself, but also my classroom and my students.  I cannot tell you how often I have planned to do an activity and found that I was missing some basic essential such as glue sticks (because they dried out), scissors (because for some reason they just "grow legs" and walk away), color pencils, crayons, etc. 

Once I do have everything I need, I find myself in one of two situations for distribution of those supplies.  Situation one:  I spend way too much time walk from group to group handing out, counting out the required number of each item.  Situation two:  I have students come up to get them and then have this free-for-all grabbing.  Both situations waste a great deal of time and the second one leaves me with a mess.   The clean-up, on the flip side, is just as much of a nightmare, especially if a project is long and students work right up to the bell to finish.  This leads to students that are scrambling to clean-up, supplies left on desks, or having fallen on the floor, etc.

Really Useful Box 4.0 Liter
  So, what then, is the solution?  Well, the solution I am going to implement this fall involves boxes with lids, a checklist and student roles!  I found boxes at Office Max that are big enough to hold everything that I need (including rulers!) with lids.   While they come in multiple sizes, I found this size best able to fit my needs.  I will initially stock the boxes with whatever I feel a group needs and then change the supplies out (ahead of time!) if an activity requires something more specialized.  I can label the boxes with group numbers and best of all - the are stackable!  Easy and neat storage!

Once I found my box, I needed to address the question of accountability.  I created a "Resource Box Checklist" that I will include in each box.  One person in the group will be responsible for checking off at the end of the hour that all of the supplies are accounted for at the end of the hour.  If something is running low, then they can let me know so that I can restock it. 

While I won't know until fall whether this will "fix" all of the issues that I am finding, I know that it is the first proactive step in addressing them!  You can download the resource box checklist here in editable PowerPoint format!

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