The ABC's of Classroom Organization

Organization...the 12 letter swear word. ;)

We all want to be more organized, I know! is the time! You're getting ready to head back to school and your furniture is all pushed against one wall of your classroom.  There's no better time than RIGHT NOW to pull yourself together and put your big-girl panties on. Let's get ORGANIZED! Here are the ABC's of getting your classroom to look in tip-top shape!

I will be doing a short series on organizing your classroom. You'll want to download {these} FREE handouts.  Up first this week, organizing TEACHER STUFF.

I bought these tubs at Dollar Tree last year (they still have them this year) and I store supplies on the top of my cupboard.  I pick supplies that I don't need every day and maybe just extras of things my students use.  I used clothes pins to attach the labels to the bins (since I'm constantly changing things).

 Inside of my cupboards I label ALL THE THINGS (there's even labels on the sides of the big containers. I want an outsider to be able to come to my classroom and find whatever supplies they are looking for (ie. substitute). 

Would you like these labels (over 48 labels PLUS 6 that are editable)? Perhaps the opportunity to edit and customize? Snag them {HERE}!

I love to hide things under table with a simple table skirt (my mom made it). 

These rainbow drawers (I got mine on Amazon and sometimes they have them on sale at craft stores)
You can get the labels for these drawers {here}. 
*Please note these are free and I won't be able to customize these or offer them to be editable. Love you!

I'll be back next week to talk Lesson Organization!

Classroom Management for the 1st Days of School

Tonight I did something totally out of my comfort zone. I talked to over 200 teachers about classroom management LIVE through a Periscope broadcast. Periscope is a new app, designed by Twitter, that you can download on your smart phone/device where you can stream live video feeds from across the world. Teachers have been taking Periscope by storm and have been posting all kinds of great teaching ideas.

My topic tonight was all about establishing classroom procedures for the first days of school. I talked about how important it is to go into the school year with a clear plan of your expectations and to teach students all about the important procedures you want to create for your classroom.

I'm not going to type up the whole broadcast, but I will outline a few of the things I talked about. 

First, I shared my very favorite resource for getting ready for Back to School. This book, "The First Days of School" is especially good for 1st year teachers, although I will say that I've read it and re-read it every year before school starts. It gives fabulous tips for setting up your expectations and procedures for the year. It's like a giant pep talk to get you excited about going back to school and starting the school year off on the right foot. 

Waaaaay back in 2011 I posted this resource on our blog here at What the Teacher Wants. It is not meant to be used in your classrooms. Use it as a guide to create your own classroom expectations. I suggest to type it all up into a PowerPoint and use it as you teach your expectations and procedures to your class.  

***Important Update***
After getting many requests for an editable version of this PowerPoint, I have recently created a new and improved (and EDITABLE) version of this resource. It is available in my TPT store by clicking here

To help you get started in creating your own management system, I created this new resource just for you! It contains a procedures checklist you can use as you create and teach your own set of procedures in your class. 



These pages are available as a FREEBIE in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I would like to ask 2 favors if you download and use this in your classroom this year.

1. Please follow my store. Click the little follow me button up by my picture.

2. Please leave me some feedback on this product. Just tell me what you like about it or tell me a procedure that you like teaching to your students. I would appreciate any love you could leave for me!

Here are my tips to a successful year:
1. Have your PowerPoint ready on the 1st day of school outlining all of your expectations, definitions of your classroom rules, and explaining all of your procedures.
2. On day 1, go over your slides in class and explain what each of the slides mean.
3. Stop and practice your procedures after you learn them. Model what they look like, have students act out what they don't look like. Discuss what they each look like and sound like.
4. Take breaks while you teach them. Teach 3-5 new procedures and then take a break. Do an assignment, play a get-to-know-you activity, or do a fun brain break in between. Keep it exciting!
5. Don't expect students to learn and remember each of these things on day one. Practice, daily if needed, until students understand and know what you expect in your classroom. 
6. Revisit each of your rules and procedures as needed throughout the year. If students forget, PRACTICE. After school vacations, PRACTICE MORE. Don't be afraid to remind them how you expect them to behave in your classroom. 
7. Be consistent. The key to being a good classroom manager is to be consistent. Any time you let one student get away with not following your rules/expectations/procedures, you are sending a message to the rest of your students that they can get away with it too.
8. Love your students. Let them know that you care about them and you want them to learn. Explain that the reason why you have these guidelines is because you care about everyone and want to help everyone learn. 
9. Type some of these into your sub plans. Let your sub know how you expect students to behave while you're gone. Reward students when they get excellent sub reviews.

Have I missed anything important?

I wish you ALL the best of luck as you prepare for the upcoming school year! It's a lot of work getting everything ready, but it sure is fun and totally worth it when you see those smiling faces show up in your classroom on the 1st day of school! GOOD LUCK!!

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If you liked this post, you might also be interested in some of the other resources I have available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store:




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Last, but not least, please post any questions you might have for me here in the comments. 
Did you find this information helpful? 
What are your best tips for setting up your 
management system at the beginning of the year? 
What's the biggest struggle you face when 
creating your classroom procedures? 

Students Taking Ownership of their Behavior

When it comes to behavior management in our classrooms, we are all different.  What works in my classroom might not work in yours. No judgements here.  I've used the "pull card" system since I started teaching.  It's worked for me and it's been fine, but I am ready for a change. I've always loved clip charts because they are cuter...haha! WELL- actually I wanted my students to be accountable for their behavior on more of a personal level and I didn't want it displayed in the classroom for all to see (if you do display it, THAT IS OK! I promise!).  So... I decided to make personal clip charts for my students and I thought I'd share them with you! I used these for the first time last year and let me say- they are AWESOME!  The students liked them and my principal and the parents raved about them.

I have my students keep their personal clip chart UNDER their desks (I use magnet tape on the back with a piece of book tape over it for durability and they magnetize the chart on the bottom of their desks)!  I bought mini clothespins on Amazon but I found that a regular old paperclip does the job!

This personal clip chart will help your students stay accountable for their behavior (all while keeping it personal and not displaying it for all to see). This pack expands past just the clip chart and provides you with a whole behavior plan!

This pack includes:

*Personal Clip Charts (3 versions)- Customizable
*Behavior Report (student)- Full page
*Behavior Report (student)- Half page
*Behavior Report (teacher)- Customizable
*Student Behavior Report Binder Cover
*Red Clip Report Form
*Behavior Plan Note (4 versions)- Customizable
*Behavior Punch Cards

You can check it out {here}

Vegas Teacher Blogger Meet Up 2015!

The meet up that we held in Vegas last week was AMAZING!! There really isn't many other words that could describe it. Picture 1100 teachers in a room together, having fun, meeting new people, and winning lots of prizes. We were all smiling so hard that our cheeks hurt. It was a great night and we appreciate all of the many teachers and bloggers who came and had a fabulous night with us. 

First and foremost, we have to give a HUGE shout out to Teachers Pay TeachersSDE, and GoNoodle!  These sponsors not only donated generous amounts of giveaway swag, they also helped organize and make our meet-up extraordinary!

It's safe to say that in a mix of 1,100 educators, we all appreciate staff development that is fun, engaging, and inspiring.  SDE donated several different staff development gift certificates... from online seminars to National Conference passes!

Not only did TpT host their very own conference, but they were also so generous when it came to our blogger meet-up!  Who wouldn't get excited about FIFTY TpT gift certificates??!!  That's right, FIFTY lucky winners went home with a little money to spend atTpT!  Oh, and those drink passes?  Those were from TpT as well!

I mean, what would we have done without those amazing GoNoodle swag bags??  Plus, they brought in the neatest PhotoBooth that you ever did see!  AND, we can't forget Freckles, theGoNoodle mascot!  How fun was it that he was running around snapping pictures with people all night long??

We had so many other sponsors that helped donate over $55,000 worth of swag, prizes, and goodies!  Can you believe that?!  I don't know about you, but to us... that's a whole lotta love for teachers!  Let's take a look at these amazing prizes...

Who loves Scentos out there?  Teachers AND students love the fun-loving smell of all theScentos goodies out there!  Scentos gave markers and stickers to all of our attendees!  Isn't that amazing?!

Who doesn't want a precious {and FREE} bulletin board set to start off the new year?!  Creative Teaching Press sent bulletin board sets to every single person who came to our meet-up!  A couple of lucky teachers went home with a Creative Teaching Press gift card as well!

Erin Condren sent products that were hot off the press!  Have you seen their teacher posters,  teacher bundles, and teacher planners?  Erin Condren makes lesson planning a beautiful thing!

Speaking of beautiful things... check out these too cute to boot Vera Bradley gift baskets!  Vera's bags are PERFECT for teachers, moms, and well... anyone who loves pretty things :)

Now, we all know how stylish all you teachers are out there!  The Pampered Teacherdonated TWENTY Teacher Subscription boxes to our lovely attendees!  These boxes are designed to help teachers keep up-to-date with the latest trends and styles without any hassle!

If there is something that we know... it's that teachers LOVE getting new tech-goodies for their classroom!  So many times our schools, districts, and counties just don't have enough funds to outfit our classroom with the latest and greatest, but we sure are glad that oursponsors are willing to step up to the plate!  Hue HD gave 11 different doc cams!  Isn't that amazing?!

ESGI is all about helping teachers simplify giving meaningful assessments.  They were so generous to donate a GRADE-LEVEL license!  That's up to TEN teachers that get to use ESGIfor an entire year! Plus they even included a little gift basket of goodies!

Alive Studios' mission is simple:  to equip teachers with engaging solutions that help young students become proficient in reading and math by 3rd grade.  I mean, who doesn't want to get on board with that?!

Do you want your students to come to the carpet, line up, and transition in an organized andFUN manner?!  Sit Spots knows how important spatial management is for teachers!  That's why they sent FIVE $100 gift certificates to our meet-up!!

Now that we are talking about staying organized, let's focus on Seat Sacks!  THREE lucky winners went home with different Seat Sack Packs!  These teachers will now be able to have a classroom full of organized and tidy students!

Carson Dellosa has been in the business of making teachers happy for over 38 years!  If you have taught for any amount of time you have probably purchased their classroom resources, decor items, or supplemental materials!  Not only did they give cut-out accents to every attendee, they also donated three gift baskets

It's no secret that the Ron Clark Academy has been positively impacting education for several years now!  Well, now that our sweet Hope King and her precious hubby are teachers there, we are getting to see even more incredible things that are happening there!  Several bloggers have visited over the past year, and now TWO more teachers will get to plan a visit thanks to the generosity of Ron and Kim! If you can't get to their Academy right away, you many want to check out their newest books: Move Your Bus by Ron Clark, Crash Course by Kim Beaden, and Inside the Trenches by Adam Dovico.

Have you seen the Ellison All-Star machines?  These die-cutting machines are portable and easy to take on-the-go!  Ellison generously donated FIVE of their AllStar SuperStar Machines!  They also sent goodies for our swag bags... that every attendee was able to take home!

While we are on the subject of classroom goodies, let's talk about Teacher Created!  They donated THREE gift baskets showcasing their very own classroom decor materials!

Do you teach about butterfly life-cycles in your classroom??  If so, you MUST check out Insect Lore!  They are the original Butterflies-By-Mail company!  Everyone went home with a package of 3D insect stickers at our meet-up!

Kaplan provides developmentally-appropriate educational products to families, early education professionals, and classrooms! 


Looking to jazz up your laptop, phone, or tablet?  Skin It makes those devices that we are so addicted to even better than before!    

If you haven't heard of Kim Sutton's math materials, you must stop what you are doing and check them out NOW!  She brings the fun into your math instruction!!  Creative Mathematicsgenerously gave a Staff Development DVD :)

Lakeshore Learning is no stranger to education, right?!   We all know and love their teacher-and-student-friendly products!  Their STEM kits were the perfect gifts for our winners!

Who doesn't love a pretty notepad, desk organizer, and cards?!  Well, we have all known that Krista Wallden brings her A-Game to clipart, but she's also knocking it out of the park with her new Creative Paper Collection!  Of course, we just adore her new designs that make scheduling and planning such a pretty thing!

OHHHH, and if you love adding personal touches to your classroom, home, and well, pretty much anything... you MUST check out Silhouette America!  You NEED this cutting system in your life!  Silhouette donated a Portrait and Cameo to our get-together!

Are you a blogger?!  Are you looking to start a blog OR revamp your blog-look??  Jumping Jax Designs offers printables, invitations, AND blog designs!  We can't wait to see the look that our winner and Jumping Jax comes up with!

And, finally, we all just swoon over 's educational products.  From teaching materials, classroom manipulatives, classroom decor, and management tools to all thingsorganizational... we just can't get enough!  Thanks to RGS for donating an entire Math Kit to our meet-up!

There are literally a thousand pictures that we took that night and it would be impossible to share them all with you. Here are just a few pictures of the night. 

(To see more pictures, please visit the What The Teacher Wants Facebook Page.)

As you can see, this turned out to be the biggest teacher and blogger bash of the century. Thanks again to all our generous sponsors who made the night possible and to all of you who were able to be there in person! 

The last shout of of the night goes out to all those who planned and organized this event over the past year. These girls reached out to all the sponsors and helped make the night such a success! (Not to mention they helped fill over 600 swag bags…)

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