Thursday, January 9, 2014

Winner...and a little management tip

Remember this picture...
I had some REALLY good guesses as to what caused this...

Allison guessed: Earthquake, fire drill, elf, or early release. Earthquake was a good guess because that is usually what the room looks like after an earthquake drill because the kids have to cram under those bitty desks... but not this time.

Amy guessed: small group activities but we got so carried away that we were late and had to run out to our specialty classes... also a regular occurrence in my class.. in fact, it happened TWICE today alone. BUT not this time.

Andrea guessed: the kids tried to stay organized but couldn't because the tops of the desks looks ok but binders are on the floor and chairs aren't pushed in. Sadly, our chairs don't push in. The chair and desk are one. I HATE them. They are so not for little kids. But I digress... the binders actually used to have to be on the floor permanently because they had no other place. I finally said forget this...and sent them home. They were taking up space and we didn't need them.

Ursula guessed: the kids left the mess and I wanted proof the next day because the custodians or I would have to clean up after them. Oh I can say this USUALLY doesn't happen. Usually we spend a few minutes at the end of the day getting my room organized. I can't stand to come in in the morning to this mess.

Sarah guessed: The students just finished a group activity and were about to write about it in their journal BUT said that if it were her school, I wanted proof that the custodians came and swept. AND with that, I declared her the winner because she was closest..

What happened here was... our floors were being swept... which is a LOVELY thing.. but daily I was coming in to my groups all over the place like this and I could not take it. Especially because I made my kids spend a few minutes each day getting their desks in order so we could start each day in the right place. So I took a picture to show the building engineer because it was daily... needless to say, it hasn't happened since.

Thanks everyone for participating in my fun!

And because I am telling you how much I hate chaos... I want to tell you one thing I do to help keep my room NOT looking like the above picture.

Every day during dismissal preparations, students work on straightening up the shelves under their desks (have I said how much I hate these desks?!). I have one person who is the "desk police" every week. They walk around to make sure there is nothing on the floor. That is step 1.

As far as keeping the desks in order... simple... the tiles on the floor. I make my kids line their desks up according to the tiles. Easy peasy.

But my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE thing... morning work. You see the folders on the desks? Those are the morning work folders. Students must put their folder on their desk before they can leave. And yep, I have a "morning work police" job too. They make sure desks have folders. Not only does this make everything look uniform (because I swear I have a little OCD going on in my life)... but it saves SO much time in the morning. How?

Well... when students come in...there is NO fumbling to find morning work. No excuse to not get started right away. They come in, unpack their bags, sit down (with their breakfast-we eat in the class) and get right to work. You would not believe the amount of time it saves by having that folder on their desk in the morning. Kids drag in the morning (ok who am I kidding, I drag in the morning too) and this cuts out a good 3-5 minutes of time wasting. LOVE it. My morning work routine has changed due to some school mandates, but you can look here and see what I did last year. (I still do the word problems and word wizard- though I have the updated version now).

You want a little more management... check out this bundle on educents. It is positively amazing!
There is so much awesome stuff in here. One of my favorites might have to be the brag bracelets. My kids love ANYTHING that says they did something outstanding... and a bracelet just takes the cake!! And the pizza pan praise... oh em gee... too cute. Having a visual is so helpful for my kids. They look forward to see the positives and their praise. And then there is the anecdotal records notebook... 50+ pages of amazingly organized materials. I am amazed. Not only is this one good for students, but it will be good for my own child when she is old enough (because yes I will be that mama that tests their child every now and again at home...)

Anyways... if you want to check out this bundle yourself.. hurry because there are just a few days left. Click the image above to be taken to it on educents! AND if you want an even better deal on this bundle.. sign up HERE where you will get $10 off your first order... making this bundle...ready for this.... 99 CENTS!!! seriously?! You can't beat that!


  1. I completely understand the OCD thing....completely! Everything has a home in my room. I am constantly late to Specials because my kids pack up for dismissal before we go to Specials. I won't let them leave the room if there is even a tiny scrap piece of whatever on the floor. Drives me insane! I have a solution for your desks that you hate. Get tables! Best thing I ever did! I'm glad we don't have to worry about earthquake drills...tornado drills and fire drills are bad enough.
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  2. Thanks, Gina! I'm lucky if my library gets sweep once a week. I usually take out my on trash so I know it gets emptied. We keep changing janitors and I think they just forget about me.

  3. I love your morning work system! That's perfect for making sure nothing gets lost.

    Beach Teach


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