Middle school classroom organization is not always discussed online. I see a lot of really cute primary classroom ideas, but not a ton for middle school. As a middle school teacher trying to keep three classes of 30-35 students per class organized can be a challenge.
Below are some of my top tips for helping everyone stay organized.
1. Have students create a Table of Contents in the first page of their notebook, binder or duo-tang. I photocopy a template that they can fill in with the page number, lesson/hand out title and date.
|Grade 8 Personal Safety Table of Contents|
2. Have a class table of contents on chart paper posted visibly in the room. Ask a pair of students who finish early or need some leadership experience to create this. Have them create as many columns as rotary classes you teach. As you teach each lesson check off or write the date in class column. This is student created and may include some of their ideas. (Good Relationships was the title – the students decided to clarified boyfriend/girlfriend)
3. Need to sort students into pairs quickly? Cut a deck of cards in half, hand out 1 half as they walk into the classroom or have the half already waiting on their desk. Explain that yes they could potentially switch cards, and think you won’t notice, but that you have magical powers that allow you to change any grouping you think it is not idea. This stops the card trading immediately as they know my goal is to have them work with as many different people as possible, not just their immediate friendship group.
4. Post assignment sheets in the middle of anchor charts, therefore students will likely look/read the assignment sheets plus the helping anchor charts around them. In the photo, I have my October Monthly Reading Assignment posted in a high traffic area, with supporting posters surround it.
5. Assign each student a number according to their position on the class list. Tell them this number the first day of school. Tell your students to write this number down every time anything is handed in. Now you can sort the pile very quickly to see who handed assignments in and what is missing. This number system also makes lining up for fire drill very easy.