Monday, December 17, 2012

Organization Overhaul

As I have mentioned before I am extremely organized and I really want my students to be organized as well, however, some students are not naturally as organized.  Actually, some are downright DISorganized.  It kills me...so I have been working on ways to motivate them to be organized.
I have tables in my classroom, which doesn't allow for much in classroom storage.  The students have a back seat organizer, but the space in this is limited.  The majority of their books go in their lockers, and it is very easy for them to become a mess.  This picture right here is locker perfection!
This locker, on the other hand, is a complete mess!  This is how most of them look :(  This gives me heart palpitations.  Unfortunately for me most fourth graders don't care about messy lockers.  I came up with a reward system to motivate the students to be organized and to keep it that way.
I distributed each student one of these organization nation rewards cards that I had printed on Vistaprint.com (Clearly have an obsession as seen in previous posts).  How do I use these cards in the classroom? 
It would take me all day to ensure that the students kept their back seat pockets, lockers, and the floor neat and clean so I decided to have the students monitor this.  I created a few new jobs that make my life easier and that the students seem to love!  I have two back seat pocket checkers.  These students go around at snack, lunch, and the end of the day and mark down whose pocket is nice and neat and they tell the students who are not neat to clean out the unnecessary books, papers, etc...  I also have floor patrol.  There are also two of them.  They patrol the room and point out trash under peoples seats so it can be cleaned up.  The final job for organization nation is locker inspectors.  These students check each of their classmates lockers at snack, lunch, and the end of the day to make sure that they are organized.  At the end of each day students can get their organization nation cards "punched" for good work in those categories.  It has really motivated even some of my messiest students!

 I spoke about my clip chart in a previous post.  This is a huge motivator for the students.  I had many parents at conferences say what a positive impact it has made on their children.  Students who clip up to excellent choices get a note sent home, a sticker, and a small prize.  The students who clip down have various consequences.  If they clip down to office visit a note is sent home to the parents written by the student saying why they clipped down and what they will do next time to prevent it.  It must be signed by the student, me , and the parents and returned the next day.
The following are some random thoughts and teasers on posts to come!
 I have a parent who is a science teacher at a school in Boston.  She was gracious enough to give me the materials for eco columns.  This is the start of our bottle collection...we need lots to do this!  I will be doing a post on this once we start them after the new year...get excited!

I updated my must do/may do board.  It was time consuming writing ongoing assignments each day so I wrote them on card stock and laminated them.  I just add daily assignments now which makes everyone's life easier.

This is something I purchased off TeachersPayTeachers.com from The Science Penguin.  I am at the beginning stages of setting it up, but the students really love it so far.  It is a science content board.  Does anyone else have this or use it?  I would love to see how others use it in their classroom!

I leave you with Buddy the Elf on the Shelf...This guy has been busy in my classroom reporting to Santa!

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