TeacherVision - Lesson Plans, Printables and more Free Trial  Member Benefits  Sign In    
Click Here
Feb 26, 2015
We have merged TeacherVision's international content onto one website. Educators around the world can use TeacherVision.com to browse an extensive library of teaching materials. You can still find relevant content for Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States in our Educators' Calendars.  [x] CLOSE

Classroom Organization Tips from Veteran Teachers

  • Use accordion folders with 10 to 14 slots to organize anything. It helps to keep assignments, activities, quizzes, tests, and lecture notes in order.

    Beth Hayes
    West Liberty, WV
    Grade Levels: 9-12

  • Teach your class an attention code. I say "Hey" in a sing-song voice and the class responds with "Ho." This code alerts the children that they need to stop whatever they are doing and immediately look in my direction. This is useful in the classroom when the students are working in centers and I need their attention. If we are on the playground, my class is quickly distinguished from the others by this code.

    Angie Dulaney
    Delhi Elementary School
    Delhi, LA
    Grade Levels: 3-5

  • Make a file folder for each child for all parent/teacher communication. Then all year you have a concise record of every note you have either written to or received from parents.

    Jerri McCreless
    Brookwood Elementary School
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Grade Levels: 3-5

  • Collect the kids' school supplies at the beginning of the year so they don't overfill the desks and floors. Label them with their names and do a bimonthly supply restocking.

    Jane Armbruster
    University Park Creative Arts School
    Charlotte, NC
    Grade Levels: 3-5

  • You don't have to grade and record every paper or piece of writing. As a new teacher, I felt I had to read through every piece of their work, write comments, and record nearly everything in the grade book. Prioritize what work is important enough to grade, note which students aren't catching on, and then recycle the rest of the papers and worksheets!

    St. Cecilia School
    St. Louis, MO
    Grade Levels: 3-5

  • At the beginning of a new quarter give each student a piece of paper with three bathroom passes drawn on it. They may use them during the quarter, but if they do not, add extra points to their report card grades. It motivates the students to use the restroom during their normal breaktimes, and really cuts back on classtime disruptions!

    Marissa Hurley
    Mt. Carmel School
    Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
    Grade Levels: 3-5

  • Assign each child the number that corresponds to the number in the grade book. Each child writes that number in the upper right-hand corner of everything that has to be turned in. With this done, I can simply put the papers in numerical order and call out any missing numbers. It also helps with recording grades in the grade book and saves loads of time.

    Angie Dulaney
    Delhi Elementary School
    Delhi, LA
    Grade Levels: 3-5

  • Make a class list with columns. Draw the necessary columns next to the students' names and assign headings that are appropriate for that specific list. It can be used to keep up as students bring in supplies, money for field trips, and important signed forms.

    Sybil Derderian
    Shrine of the Little Flower Elementary School
    Royal Oak, MI
    Grade Levels: 3-5

  • Offer extra credit when you need papers back ASAP. Give the extra credit to all that return the papers within two days!

    Jennell Ward
    Pines Middle School
    Pembroke Pines, FL
    Grade Levels: 6-8

  • Make an "Appointment Clock" at the beginning of each quarter. Draw an outline of a clock, but only label the times 12, 3, 6, and 9. Next to these numbers I draw a line. I run off enough for each student and use a different color for each quarter. Then give students 3 minutes to get an appointment (or partner) for each of the times. They must have four different people and can not repeat the previous quarter. They clip it into their binder and the next time I say, "Meet with your 12 o'clock partner" they know exactly who to go to.

    JodiLyn Simmons-Machota
    Dirksen School
    Joliet, IL
    Grade Levels: 6-8

  • The first week of school, write all of your student's names on 3"x5" notecards. When looking for "helpers," taking turns reading, or answering questions refer to the names on the cards. This will give everyone an equal chance and keep them on their toes. Use a blank card to separate the beginning and end; when you get to the blank card shuffle the cards before going on. It also cuts down on discipline problems because if students are not doing what they should be, then they forfeit their turn.

    Patti Kopp
    Sigel Elementary School
    St. Louis, MO
    Grade Levels: K-2

  • When I was a new teacher, I amassed materials. That was 12 years ago. Since then, I have taught many different subjects and ability levels. I have also moved classrooms more times than I can count. With the wonder of the Internet and scanners and CD burners, it is no longer necessary to carry (and move) loads of papers and books everywhere. If I were starting out now, I would
    a)choose a color-code system and stick to it from the get-go, and
    b)store as much electronically as possible.
    I'm preparing to go back to school to a new position and have spent much of the summer re-organizing, cleaning out files (wow, the things I'd forgotten I had!) and minimizing clutter. If only I'd started out that way!

    Good luck to all new teachers!

  • Shyrl Cone
    Third Grade Teacher
    Hartland, Michigan

  • Make sure you find out bus numbers for each child before school starts if you are a kindergarten, first grade or special education teacher.


More Advice from Veteran Teachers


Galactic Hot Dogs Reading Marathon
Join the Galactic Hot Dogs Reading Marathon! Read each episode as it's re-released with newly revealed facts, behind-the-scenes illustrations, and the inside scoop. Make it official by pledging on the blog to read each chapter with Cosmoe. Your students will love following the exploits of these space travelers, and you'll love the educational elements that can easily be paired to the stories.

Handwashing Awareness
Kids are especially susceptible to contracting and spreading viruses during the winter months. Prevention starts with proper handwashing. Show students how to keep germs away.

March Calendar of Events
March is full events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: National School Breakfast Week (3/2-6), World Orphan Week (3/4-11), Boston Massacre (3/5/1770), Daylight Saving Time Begins (3/8), International Women's Day (3/8), Teen Tech Week (3/8-14), Pi Day (3/14), St. Patrick's Day (3/17), Spring Begins (3/20), Make Your Own Holiday Day (3/26), and World Theatre Day (3/27). Plus, celebrate Deaf History Month (3/15-4/15), Music In Our Schools Month, Women's History Month, and Youth Art Month!

Poptropica Teaching Guides
Poptropica is one of the Internet's most popular sites for kids—and now it's available as an app for the iPad! It's not just a place to play games; each of the islands featured on the site provides a learning opportunity. Check out our teaching guides to four of Poptropica's islands: 24 Carrot Island, Time Tangled Island, Mystery Train Island, and Mythology Island.

Take Our Survey!
Help us improve TeacherVision by taking our brief survey. Thank you for your input!

Women's History Month
March is Women's History Month. Talk to your students about the accomplishments women have made—as well as the adversity they have faced.

Teaching with Comics
Reach reluctant readers and English-language learners with comics! Our original teaching guide to the Galactic Hot Dogs comic series, as found on Funbrain.com, will take students on a cosmic adventure while engaging their creative minds. Plus, find even more activities for teaching with comics, featuring many other classic stores.

Free 7-Day Trial for TeacherVision®

Sign up for a free trial and get access
to our huge library of teaching materials!
Start Trial