...because this is the least amount of stuff I've ever had in my classroom in 11 years of teaching! I can't wait to tell you all about it, but first I will pause to say:
Welcome to a new week of Optimum Organization!
If you would like to join in with our summer linky, here are the steps...
An Organizational Idea
This can be something that you've used in the past that has worked well, or something you are developing this summer for next year. One idea is fine, as this will be a weekly linky party.
An Organizational Find
Share a find you scored when out and about shopping during the summer. Bins, binders, folders, containers...any of those items that make a huge difference in our classroom organization and management.
2. Grab a button for your blog post:
3. Link on up! You can join the party on Elizabeth's blog or mine...it's all the same party so come on over. We'll be hosting each Saturday this summer!
4. The Fine Print! We do have a couple of rules for this linky, as shown below. Please note that any links that do not follow the rules will be deleted regrettably.
The purpose of this linky party is to provide new and veteran teachers a chance to come together and share ideas on how to get organized for a new school year. Please join us and share your advice and expertise, but not links to products please. Please share new posts in which you are participating in the party, not links to older posts or labels on your blog. Thanks so much for your understanding!
Ok, back to the cleaned out classroom (well, almost cleaned out!).
I know I've blogged and blogged about cleaning out and decluttering over the years. Every June, I feel a sense of achievement...like I've finally overcome the clutter for good and that's that.
Then I come back at the end of the summer wondering, "how do I still have SO much stuff?"
I think I'm finally figuring it out and getting down to the bare essentials. And I want to share a few things that have worked for me in really streamlining my classroom.
It Takes Time
By time I don't mean it eats up all your precious planning minutes, but rather how much time it takes to weed out materials.
I started a couple of years back with all of my teaching books and files. I would pull out and donate the ones I didn't want and refile the stuff I thought I couldn't part with.
Then I went back through them again.
I'm finally at the point this year where I look at my books and files and say to myself, if you haven't used it this year at all, get rid of it.
I am left with very little now. These are the papers I have left to either scan and save on my iPad or recycle...
Make the Most of Technology
I never knew how digital my classroom would become in the relatively short time I've been teaching! My students can bring their own devices to school, we have laptops in class, and then there's my lovely iPad. From file storage to meeting notes to so many other things, it's my iPad that has truly helped me declutter.
Thanks to all of the wonderful stations we can listen to for free on Pandora (the Film Scores station is a favorite with my 5th graders)...
I've been able to get rid of my old stereo...
(it was a huge dust-collector)
And thanks to the technology of teacher files on Teachers Pay Teachers, I've been able to discard older games I've had for years in exchange for more modern and appealing ones that I can store digitally...
There Can Be Such a Thing at Too Much Storage!
You all know how much I adore my plastic storage. I can't even count how many times I've blogged about various items in my room and I certainly don't want to think about how much I spent on them!
We all know storage is key to a well-organized classroom. But too many containers, bins, shelves, and all of that...
Well it just led to clutter in my classroom.
Of course I can't part with a lot of my storage. But I took a hard look at what I really needed to keep my room sorted. I donated tons of small containers and shelves to happy colleagues...
Again, it's thanks to technology that I can really do this. Instead of storing tons of little game cards for activities I only use once a year during a particular unit, I just print out exactly what I need for a particular lesson and then recycle it when finished. It's stored on my computer and doesn't need to be in my classroom eating up space.
I have so much more to share about cleaning out my room and I hope to do so in the coming weeks as we wrap up our school year.
Do you have some tips to share with us on cleaning out materials? I would love to read them if so!
Or link on up with us for Optimum Organization...
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Thanks for stopping by! :)