Classroom Organization

Tips for organizing your classroom for back to school with elementary teachers

Back to School Tip #2

Classroom Organization

Classroom organization is one of the most important things to consider as we head back to school. Teachers with effective classroom management will have an organized classroom set-up, with routines and procedures in place that keep the environment conducive to learning. During the first weeks of school it is important to teach students those routines and procedures that will help your class run smoothly. A lot of time will be spent in explaining, modeling and practicing your expectations.

Classroom organization starts with the physical arrangement of the classroom. How will you arrange the student desks? Where will you do small group instruction? Do you have a large area or carpet to bring your students together? Where are your stations, centers and classroom library? You want to arrange your physical space so your procedures and routines are easy to carry out.

Classroom procedures and routines need to also be in place. Procedures and routines are how things are done in the classroom. Students must know from the very first day of class what they are expected to do and how to do it. You can use a checklist to help remember which routines and procedures are important for to directly teach when you start back to school. Here is a sample of a back to school checklist.

Checklist of elementary classroom procedures and routines for the first week of school

One important procedure you may want to have in place is the use of Hand Signals to do things like use the restroom, sharpen pencils, drink water and get a tissue. These are quick easy signals students give that you can respond with a nod yes or no and it doesn't interrupt the lesson. The general rule when in a lesson is that unless it is an emergency they need to wait until the next transition for these types of requests. However if that emergency does happen, this allows them to quietly let you know without disturbing the flow of the lesson. It is also helpful during other times in class like stations, seatwork, small group instruction, etc. Here are some hand signals I have used.  Each number 1-5 represents something students show me to let me know their request. The fist up is a signal to them that I need complete silence. These signals work great with the students.

Hand signals students use in elementary school when they need permission from teacher

Hand signals students use in elementary school when they need a pencilHand signals students use in elementary school when they need permission to go to the restroomHand signals students use in elementary school when they need permission to get a drink of water
hand signal that means everyone must be quietHand signals students use in elementary school when they need a tissueHand signals students use in elementary school when they have a question

All of these classroom procedure items can be found in my Classroom Procedures and Routines Packet. This contains the checklist for beginning the year, the Hand Signal Posters, a Student Booklet for students to use as they learn your procedures and routines and Task Cards for a Scoot Game to practice what they learned.

Routines and procedures activity packet and checklist for the first week in elementary school

Student booklet that contains routines and procedures for the first week of school

Task cards to review the first week of school procedures and routines in the elementary classroom

For other Back to School Teacher Tips click the link below:

Back To School Teacher Tip #1: Building Relationships

Back To School Teacher Tip #2: Classroom Organization

Back to School Teacher Tip #3: Classroom Expectations

Back To School Teacher Tip #4: Meet the Teacher

Back To School Teacher Tip #5: First Day of School

Until Next Time.......

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