Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Can't Stay Away for Long

The school year officially ended last Friday, and like many teachers, I completed the check out process with time to spare.  Materials were tucked away, technology was checked out for summer use, and my keys were turned in.

All of my plants are now nestled into their summer spots at home.  My teacher bag is empty.  I've reclaimed the back porch and have attempted to start our summer garden, despite Mother Nature's attempts to overwater the raised beds this past week. 

And where did I end up yesterday?  Back in the classroom:

Each summer I try to tackle an organization task with the hopes that it will boost my efficiency the following year.  Two summers ago I sorted and rebuilt my reproducibles binders, and last year I divvied up and organized math manipulatives, making grab-and-go lessons and spontaneous teaching moments easy to facilitate.  My daughter helped me do an initial sort of all of my books two years ago before she headed back to college, but several times after Christmas I found myself repeatedly digging and searching for books I ~knew~ I had. A year of hastily putting books away and not sorting new books purchased or received by theme or month did a number on me.

Look at the stack above: it's just a small selection of books that I use during Theme 3: We're a Family, featuring letters Tt, Bb, Nn and Aa.  Family books: check.  Letters Tt, Bb, and Aa?  Check.  Take a gander at the Nn pile. Apparently I only have TWO books, Nests, Nests, Nests and The Boy Who Cried Ninja. 

Wait, what?  Where's Noisy Nora and No, No, Titus?  How about The Nose Book, The Nutcracker,  Nini Here and There and No Nap?  I didn't loan the books out, and none of them were damaged beyond repair requiring replacement, which can only mean one thing:

I put them away in the wrong spot.

And now I get to find them.


Like my reproducible binders, craft mock ups, files and curriculum map, I like to have my books organized and stored by thematic unit (we use Houghton Mifflin Reading) and for holiday titles by month, in instructional order.  At the end of each unit, I can quickly check books for damage, and replace them on shelves as I pull down the next set of storybooks, fairy tales, and poetry for my students. 

Methinks I'll remind myself to pay better attention to the re-shelving process next year. 

Do you work in the classroom over the summer? What organizational tasks do you take care of in order to prep for the upcoming year?


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