This school year I will be embracing change like it’s a long-lost sister (I will also be having mini panic attacks about it). I came across the 5 Habits of an Effective Teacher while idly browsing Facebook and realized just how much #2 relates to me. Besides the millions of ways I’ve thought of to improve my routines, lessons and management, I’m also going on maternity leave in December. During the first few weeks of school I’m planning to focus on classroom procedures with the intensity of this cat:
Two more changes I’m making are how we store artwork and how we start each class. Last year, I used simple manilla file folders as portfolios. They were affordable and easy to re-use (just flip them inside out) with our transient student population. However, artwork often fell out and students had trouble finding things as there were no pockets to organize papers. This summer I had the BRILLIANT idea to order folders with three prongs in the middle to hold loose leaf paper. So I now have 700 bright, new, multicolored folders sitting in my living room.
How does this tie in with how we start class? When students come in to my class, they have a “Do Now”, which is something they get started on right away. Sometimes it’s an open-ended question, sometimes it’s a quote to think about – a hook to get them invested in what we’re about to do. Now, thanks to the loose leaf paper in their folders, they can keep their answers organized, in chronological order – we can even incorporate more art vocabulary. Paper in the folders also solves the conundrum of where to store 700 spiral notebooks. I’m pumped!