Classroom Organization Ideas

Jessica Shaffer
Jessica Shaffer
5th Grade Teacher; MA in Administration & Leadership, Georgian Court University, NJ

If there is one thing I am constantly stressing to my students, it is to stay organized: In their lockers, desks, book bags, folders, and even keeping their math scrap work organized. Organization is one of the keys to success in the classroom.

The Importance of Classroom Organization

One of the (many) jobs a teacher has is to create a safe and positive learning environment. You can accomplish this by having a classroom that is comfortable, as well as structured. Clearly labeling classroom resources will help to keep the classroom and students organized, while positively contributing to learning. Students will know where supplies are located, and where to turn assignments in, which contributes greatly to classroom organization.

Another way to stay organized is through the use of hand signals. Instead of students raising their hands to ask to use the restroom, create a sign, like holding up your pointer finger. The teacher sees this sign, and knows the student needs to use the restroom. The teacher can then nod yes or no, and keep moving on with the lesson without missing a beat.

Having a clear list of “Must do” assignments, and “Can do” assignments are of utmost importance in keeping the classroom organized. Students can prioritize the urgency of completing assignments with this list. It helps to keep the class running smoothly, as students are not constantly asking, “What do I do now?”

Classroom Organization Tips

Class jobs are helpful in creating an organized learning environment. During the first days of school, it is important to clearly go over the roles of each of the jobs within the classroom. Students can take ownership over the completion of the assigned jobs. They will also  develop much responsibility of self through having jobs in the class.

Bulletin boards are a great organizational tool. You can use them to keep the class schedule posted, a calendar of events, and any other information students need to help keep the classroom running smoothly. Bulletin boards can be informational, motivational, or brag-worthy (meaning student work is displayed). Allowing students to help in the creation of bulletin boards can also be a great way to help increase student responsibility.

How Classroom Organization Leads to Better Classroom Management

If your classroom is organized and you are organized, it will lead to better classroom management. Many times students misbehave when they have too much free time or finish work very quickly and become bored. Staying organized and having “Choice assignments” is an important way to stay organized, and in turn, have a classroom that runs more efficiently.

As the teacher, it is important to be aware of what is going on within your class. Staying abreast of social happenings dealing with friendships and conflicts within your class is important to its organization. This type of knowledge can help with the actual physical setup of the classroom, such as how the desks will be organized and where/who the students will sit by.

Staying organized in the classroom comes in many different forms, but they all lead to a more effective and efficient learning environment. The more organized you keep your classroom, the more productive students will be. Organization doesn’t necessarily mean your desk looks perfect and there’s no clutter, but that the actual class itself is organized.

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