Friday, May 23, 2014

Ending the school year (and packing all that junk)

The end of the school year is always crazy for all parties involved, teachers, students, my own children.
It is delicate balancing act really... Report cards, field trips, field days, movies, end of the year assessments and assignments, and oh yeah, packing my room...again.

I have become kind of an expert in the process of packing and organizing my room as I have moved classrooms 7 times in 5 years. I have a pretty streamlined process. Here are some ideas that have worked for me in the past!

1. About 2 weeks before the last day of school I have a group of nice volunteer girls come in and help me organize and throw things away. I try to keep it small like 3 or 4 kiddos. If there are too many there is not enough for them to do. OR they get ambitious and want to tear apart everything! I assign them jobs such as:

*packing my teacher books and resources
*Supplies we don't need any more
* packing up all my lessons and resources from the file cabinets

2. Next, as we get closer to the last day of school, I have the students take home their binders/notebooks. One less thing to have to look at and worry about. I also require students to turn in their books from our classroom library so we can organize and get that all packed up. As students turn in their books and I throw their library cards away, indicating that they do not owe me books or money. The left over cards, I turn into the office and they hold their report cards ransom until their fines are all paid.
Each class has a box and each student has a card to keep track of their books.

3. The last week of school I have my sweet volunteers remove everything from the walls. I have this old art portfolio that I bought in high school painting class in 2001 for like $10. It is worth it's weight in gold! I store all of my posters, anchor charts and pre-cut letters in here.

 A few years ago, a retiring teacher left me this map box which is perfect for storing all the boarders.

4. Last, I pack up all of the things in my desk and file cabinets in clear containers. They are the first things I unpack when we start a new year. I also pack up all my planning resources and beginning of the year files in clear boxes so I can find them and access them right away, when we return for the new school year. I also put a treat right on top, so when I open the box I don't feel quite so overwhelmed, this year is was new markers. It's the little things in life really.

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