This is Sara from Smiling In Second Grade here to guest blog for Valerie and I'm so excited to be here!
One of the questions that I got a lot over at my blog is, how do you keep your classroom so neat? My answer? Labels! I label EVERYTHING in my classroom and it makes a huge difference for the students (and myself!). Not only do they know where everything goes, but they are also very independent in getting it themselves which is an important skill for second graders.
This is where my students pass in their hw, notes and folders in the morning. Each bin is labeled so the students know exactly where to put everything without having to ask each morning. It is also easy for me to grab important notes quickly.
In our classroom library, all the bins are labeled by genre, topic, author or guided reading level. We do a lot of work with genre in second grade and this system makes it easy for my students to choose books that interest them. Every once in a while, I get some stray books but my class librarian takes care of it.
This picture is a little far away, but here is my writing center and, as you can see, everything has a label! Yes, it is always this neat. There are drawers for different types of paper (first draft, second draft, letters, etc) as well as drawers for a variety of writing tools (highlighters, pens, markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc)
In my spelling center, there are lots of games, manipulatives and worksheets for the students to use. This is an area that the students use independently. I assign each group 1 or 2 activities for the day and they get the materials on their own.
Last, is my math materials. My students know that when they are completing math work, they are allowed to use any of the resources available in the math area (unless specifically stated otherwise). If they need rulers, base-10 blocks, counters, calculators, coins, etc they can visit the math area. The students also know that they are responsible for putting away their materials when they finish.
That's all there is to it! My goal for next year is to make all my labels match and make them a little bit cuter with all the new clipart that I've accumulated!
Do you use labels in your classroom? What do you do to keep your room organized?
A big thank you to Valerie for letting me hang out here today! Hop on over to Smiling In Second Grade to learn more about my classroom and teaching style!
Thanks so much for your guest post, Sara!
I wish I was as organized as you are... You have inspired me to make a few changes in my classroom ;)