Sunday, August 11, 2013

How I spent my weekend...

This morning my pastor said, "Oh! Your kids are with their grandparents?  So you're on vacation too!"  Well, only sort of.  My husband and I spent the bulk of our weekend in my classroom getting ready for school to start.  I am thrilled, because the job he did was one I couldn't have done by myself, and wouldn't have done as well.

At our school, the students used to be required to leave their back-packs in the hall.  Now that each of them has been assigned a computer, they are forbidden to leave their bags on the floor, or unattended, which creates a whole lot of mess in the aisles.  Even when bags are tucked carefully under chairs and desks, the errant strap inevitably sneaks into the aisle - and trips me every time.     

The other problem with bags in the room is that they are accessible.  Always. So who needs to have their pencils ready on their desks when you can just hunt for one whenever it occurs to you?  Why not try to sneak chips during class if you're hungry?  And look, here's something interesting sticking out of your bag that I'd like to pull out and discuss with you!  {sigh...}

I've decided that this might be the single best space decision I've made.   Ben hung coat-hooks - 35 of them - evenly spaced along two walls.  He even painted them the color he painted the walls last year, and used his open paint-bucket to touch up places that tape and finger-prints had marred the walls.  The space already looks cleaner than it has all week.

I'm supposed to get furniture on Friday, which is good because school starts Monday!

Things I'm thinking:
1) number them, and assign them, so there's no jostling for position when they come in.
2) Leave a couple near outlets open for students who ask if they can charge their computers during class.  They'll be able to plug the computers in while still in their bags, still hanging nicely out of the way!

Any other thoughts or suggestions?


Edit:  Seven days in, and I conclude that this was in fact the best classroom management decision I made.  I numbered them, randomly assigned numbers, and insist they use them.  I asked the students to gather their math supplies - including an INB - in a ziploc, and the baggie is the only thing that's allowed to come to their desk.  It's working FABULOUSLY.  Far better than I imagined.  I can walk in the aisles, easily see if they leave something behind, and generally manage the "stuff" that they seem to require constantly.

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