I love the big think and ideas. For example, yesterday the students and I discussed how our current read aloud, Yolen's Young Merlin Trilogy, is a metaphor for life. It was a rich discussion that fostered stretch and connection making with students.
Yet, while I love the big think, there's need for details to make the classroom seamless and streamlined. What are those details that so many teachers complete with ease each year?
Having an organization center in the classroom helps everyone. That center needs the following items:
Sign In and Lunch Count
It's critical to many in the building that students sign in and sign up for lunch. There needs to be a lit and related forms readily available.
It's important for safety and security that children sign out and in when they leave for the bathroom.
Students check this daily so it needs to be posted in important places.
There needs to be a place to retrieve extra assignments or supplies for current project work and study.
Students like to know what's going on, so it's important to list the daily schedule and post the weekly routine.
Students are often asking about the date--a calendar helps.
Students access their portfolios often so it's important to have them readily available.
Paper, writing supplies, and other classroom supplies that students need
It's best to have a ready supply accessible to students.
The organization board needs a place for reminders.
I'm putting more effort into these details this year and will organize the read aloud/organization center to support greater student independence and classroom community in the days ahead.