Top 5 Best Ways to Organize A Middle School Classroom

Middle School Classroom Organization Ideas!  #teaching #backtoschool

During a normal school year, I teach about 130 middle school students over the course of six periods in a day.  To keep all my classes straight I am big on having dedicated spaces and places for things as well as routines.

At this point, I have been teaching for 24 years and so I have had time to really craft some good organizational techniques and this is what has worked the best for me:

1.  Restroom procedure.
Students write their name on the board in a special spot on the board in order.  If Sally's name is first and Fred's name is second, once Mrs. Spangler is not instructing, then Sally gets up, signs out on the clipboard by the door and goes to the restroom.  When she returns, she signs back in, erases her name and tells Fred it's his turn.  That's it.  No fancy system.  Nothing to track.  Works like a charm.  

2.  Paper turn-in place.
Near the door to the room, I have two bookshelves - one on either side.  Each class period has a shelf.  On that shelf is a tray.  That's where that class period hands in all papers.  I make a big deal about it at the beginning of the year and tell them "I don't care if I am swinging from the light eating Fritos, your papers go in THIS tray."  

  Notebook/textbook storage is also
on the class period shelf where the turn-in tray is located.

The idea behind this shelf system is that it's near the door so that on their way in, the students can pick up materials and it's an easy drop off on the way out.  I think of it as classroom "feng shui".

3.  Student center
Near the bookcases, by the door, I also have a "student center" with the pencil sharpener, tissues, hand sanitizer, and of course the restroom clipboard.

Middle School Classroom Organization Ideas!  #teaching #backtoschool

4.  Beginning of class bell work

This changes from year to year but whatever I start with whether it's a journal or mentor sentences is what I continue throughout the year.  Why?  Consistency.  Every day the students can count on the fact that as they walk in, they retrieve their things from their class shelf, go to their seats, and get out their bell work.  Period.  It's the same each and every day.  

5.  Supplies

A creative way to store supplies in the middle school classroom.  #teaching #organization #classroomorganization

And the best for last - how I store classroom supplies.  I put this toy organizer right in front of my desk and keep all the crayons, marker, glue, scissors, colored pencils and such in the bins.  See those little blue baskets on top?  I use those to divvy up the supplies that partners will use during class and place them on the desks before school.  

I love this because I am reusing a toy organizer and because everything is always very handy.

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