Thursday, May 10, 2018

Organisation in the CI classroom

It's May! If you're like me, you are already making plans for next year and those include ways to become more organised. Also, if you are like me, you have a Pinterest board full of ideas on how to do this. Lastly, if you are like me, you often start and fail to finish these ideas and get lost in all the options. My post today is another form of "round up" and discussion. I am sharing ideas for organisation in the CI classroom along with my personal experience with them. I'd love to hear your ideas for organisation and how you handle these issues.

My organisation system (for me)

I keep my organisation system in a very particular way. I've tried them all - desk calendars, Google calendar, agendas.... all of them. What I've come to settle on, and really enjoy is a bullet journal. Each morning I sit down and update my journal and add anything I think of right away. As the day goes on, I add things and mark them as appropriate. Right now on my weekly spread, I have my tasks and appointments, and a sticky note of grading I need to do. Bullet journals are great for those who love sticky notes like me. Below is a labeled picture of this week's spread. 

My organisation system (for lesson plans)

As many of you know, I collaborate with a number of other teachers. Over the years, it has included teachers of multiple languages, and in both person and online. To that end, I have a specific format that I use each week for lesson plans (pictured below). It lists the days, has a space for writing notes, and a final row for things I still need to do. 


My organisation system (for students and supplies)

I have tried a lot of systems for organising supplies and things I do with students. I have listed many of the more popular ones below. Now, my system is much more relaxed and consists of a few things:
  • sticky notes! I use sticky notes to mark papers for copying, and mark them for my substitutes. I will use different colours for different classes to help be clear. 
  • File Folders! I love folders. I use them everywhere. I have a different folder for each class, and they live in my desk drawer. When I pull thing for grading (see bullet point 3), and have graded them, I put them in these folders to remind me to pass them back out. 
  • Hanging file folders! I have a set of file folders that hang. When I pull the entire thing down, it folds into an expanding file easy to pack up. My students turn in their assignments here based on class period. You can find these files, here. 
  • A small set of drawers! I have a set of 3 drawers that are often shown on Pinterest as a "file, copy, grade" set. Instead, I have a "file" drawer and a drawer for things I use that I don't want out and about (masking tape, stapler, hole punch, etc.). My third drawer is kind of a "junk" drawer for things I need to go through like old posters, papers, etc. I clean these drawers out every year. 
  • Cell Phone Pockets! I have taken hanging shoe pockets and put them on the back wall. Each has a tag inside, numbered. Students may turn in their phones at the beginning of the period and take their tag (I give them a ticket they can use to charge their phones with). I also will tell students to turn their phones in to this system when: I see them out during class, during final exams, etc. 
  • Assignment Folders! I use file folders in a basket to leave work for students who are absent or who are resubmitting work. There is a file online where they can see what folder something is in. 
  • Point System! I use a variation of Lauren Watson's point system and Meredith White's ticket system. I am planning to edit it some for next year, but you can hear more about it in our podcast. Essentially the students earn points for speaking in Latin, using rejoinders, and leaving the space as it should be (and impressing me). When a class earns 100 points, we trade them in for a fun Friday. 

Organisation Round Up

Here we go! 
  • Student Jobs (and my previous organisation system) - This worked for a while (and we still do the date and weather every day, but that's for another post). Now I've changed what I do with jobs to only include what I need when (which is usually time keepers, note takers, etc.). You can read more about Bryce Hedstrom's resources with student jobs and classroom management here
  • File and Computer organisation - Martina Bex wrote a nice blog post on how she organises her files and her social media. Here are my thoughts
    • computer files - I solely use Google Drive. At home I have a Chromebook and I am fully on the Android train (sorry fam. I will never switch to Apple). I love Google drive and its capabilities. 
    • paper files - I get rid of these as much as possible. If it is something I want to keep, I will scan it and put it online. Otherwise, I recycle. 
    • Pinterest Boards - I love Pinterest. It is one of my two go-to social medias (Instagram being the other). I use Instagram and Pinterest for just about every aspect of my life, while something like Twitter and Facebook are solely professional (and Facebook is slowly dying from my life - sorry). I have boards and am in the process of organising those boards. Pinterest is great for ideas. 
  • Daily Engagement Assessment - You can read some of my thoughts on this in the first bullet point, but I still use the DEA regularly. I am considering some changes for next year, when I get first years again, but I consider this a staple in my class. 

Daily Rituals

Lastly, I want to take a second and talk about daily rituals. I have developed one this last year that I really like, but I have made changes to it. I will be posting on this later. For now, you can read Bob Patrick's thoughts and John Piazza's thoughts below.