Sunday, December 6, 2009

Begin each day with Organization

Each teacher has his or her own way to manage a classroom. My way, of course, is what I've found to work for me the best over the years.

On Open House (Meet the Teacher) day each child is given a folder. The last few years our P.T.A. has generously provided an ACE (our mascot) ROAR (our expectations: to be respectful, organized, appropriate, and responsible) folder for each child. In years past I would purchase 2-pocket folders, all the same color, during back to school sales.

The inside of the folder should have two pockets. On each side I glue a left and right hand. (Why not do double duty and reinforce the concept of left and right while being organized!)

Left and Right Hands for Folder

Every morning, the children place their folders (and agendas) on my desk as they come in and begin morning work. Parent know from my first letter to them that they should place any notes in these folders. As the children complete morning activities, I check each folder. I pull out homework for grading later. I check for any parent notes, money, etc. Then I place the new homework inside the folder. Last I initial the current page in the agenda (These are provided by our school.) The parents initial the same page at night. That way we both know the folder was seen at home and at school.

We have a reward system at our school where the children earn "paws" for good conduct. Every morning the children brings me their folder--with the completed homework--they will receive 2 paws. (One for being responsible and one for being organized.)

As I have mentioned in another post our school-wide behavior system is called ROAR for being respectful, organized, appropriate, and responsible.

It is amazing how fast the children learn the routine. Our mornings are stress-free and I can easily check for missing homework. If more than one day an assignment is late or missing, I can notify a parent right away and we can all get back on track.

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