I prefer to ease into the school year slowly and spend a tiny bit of time during the summer preparing for the upcoming year. Don't get me wrong, I still get plenty of pool time and have fun with friends...it's just nice to have time to reflect on classroom issues, formulate a new plan and mentally regroup.
Classroom issue one:
For the past few years, I've had classroom supplies separated by item in plastic bins by the door. Bins for scissors, glue, tape, etc. In theory, this worked great...except when we only needed one item. So instead, I'm going to use shower caddies for each table.
I will stock them at the beginning of the year with all the supplies, reinforce the handles with duct tape, then let the students have control. I'm hoping that by relinquishing control to the ten year olds, they will keep their bucket in good shape. If they want to buy extra supplies for their tables, I won't stop them. I will let them know that if they abuse the glue sticks and run out, they will need to buy more as a group...thus eliminating me having to purchase hundreds of glue sticks each year. (I wish I was exaggerating).
I also love the idea of chalk board paint and mason jars to hold extra supplies:
Papers that need to be passed back.
More than once, I've felt like this. We have gotten away from pointless worksheets, but there are still papers that need to go back and tests that need to be returned. So instead of letting them bred on my desk, I'm excited to try this new idea from a fellow blogger:
I figure if it works in middle school, it will work in fifth! I can assign "mail person" as a classroom job and have students retrieve papers upon dismissal from the classroom. It looks like a great idea and I'm hoping it works well in my classroom :)
Being handed notes, field trip money, etc first thing in the morning.
I have darling students, whom I adore most of the time. However, 8 am is rather early and my students know better than to just hand me things that early in the day. We tried the putting it on my desk and/or chair, but that didn't always work out so well. So, plan B: drop box.
Now, we use the real dropbox for all sorts of things, but I'm rather excited about the simplicity of this one. Plus, I can find a pink one and cover it in black and white polka dots.
Those are my three new goals for classroom management :)