Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Notebook / Journal Storage - No Mess Monday

Today's No Mess Monday Tip for Classroom Organization is:
Storing Notebooks and Journals in Buckets

I use tables in my classroom in place of desks. To store journals and notebooks I use bins. The students are taught to return their items to the bins so that they face the same direction with the spines facing up. When the time comes to use the journals I pick five students and tell them to "Take 5."

This means that those five students go to the bin, form a short little line, each take the five journals that are in front and pass them out to their owners. The process is very quick and by instructing them to take the top five, they do not waste time digging through the stack to get the journal that belongs to a choice buddy.

If a child is absent, the student who is passing out the journal will put it into his/her "unfinished box" so that the assignment can be made up.

There have been years when I have assigned passing out the journals to specific students each time. I have found that it is better to stagger the role. Sometimes there are students who really benefit from the little movement break that is provided by walking around to distribute the books. Also, it is a coveted task so I will sometimes say, "while I am giving the directions (or teaching the lesson) I will be watching for five role model students to 'take 5' when it is time to do the activity.

I should probably note that the term "take 5" is based on me having 25 students. If you had twenty students you may opt to choose five students to "take 4."

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