While most of our friends have already started back to school, we do not officially begin until August 8th. I’ve been working on reorganizing our classroom space to accommodate the two additional students we will have this year. I’m excited and a little nervous to have all my children at Hoosier Academy this year. Excited because its ultimately what I felt was best last year, but we had to prove that to ourselves I guess. Nervous because I am the learning coach for 6 kids! WHEW!
We’ve made some changes since last year that I hope will help us stay a little more organize. Somethings worked and we’ll keep those too!
Even though we bought four desks last year and the had storage space in them, it just wasn’t exactly what we needed for the school year. So this year we’ve added “cubbies”. I bought 6 of the red fabric drawers that fit inside our white shelves we already had from last year. I attached a tag for each of the kids names. On the back of the tag is their user name and student Id for school as well, just in case they forget.
We have also added mailboxes. I used two 3 drawer plastic containers that we already had and labeled those for each kid. They will turn their papers in to a basket on top of these, and once I’m ready to return them to them, I’ll stick them in their boxes. I’ll also put notes about their schedule or things I need them to work on in these as well. We have quite a few science and math supplies as well, so those are now neatly stored in the clear boxes I had originally purchase before we were back in our home last year for books. These work perfectly to fit these supplies and keep them out ready for easy use. Just having them on the shelf last year didn’t seem like they were very organized.
We had a board on the wall that we used for the calendar last year. I’ll be honest…I’m not the best at doing that kind of thing, though I figure I will have to figure something out now that I have a kindergartener and 1st grader this year who need to learn about that stuff. I decided to use that board for fun. I bought some shaped decor sheets for a $1 from you guessed it the dollar tree. I used stars (which i’ll admit may make their way into some of my Scentsy stuff lol) and had the kids pick on positive adjective about each of their sibilings. Then I took the crayon pack cut out and wrote their grade, birthday and they told me their favorite color, thing to do for fun, food and subject. The kids enjoyed seeing each other’s responses. I plan to use this board to feature the kids or do fun things like this with them throught the year. Maybe we’ll use it for a field trip collage or YAY! board!
I also laminated two sheets of paper and hung them on the wall. The first one lists all the OLS user names for the kids and then the password. We use one password for all the kids so that no one “forgets” their password. On the second sheet I put all their student id numbers. Now regardless of which one of us is helping the kids we have the information at our fingertips!
Some other “supply” things we’ve changed this year. The 3 older kids will have a notebook and folder for each subject. I found some at walmart that had 10 pockets and were bound together. It also had a clear zip pouch on the outside. The younger 3 will just have one folder for everything. I also let them each get their own art box. This way they have to learn to take care of their own things and it gives them something “fun” to get out for certain activities.
Last but not least, we loved having our master binder last year. Inside I have a sticker with my OLS log in and password and the number for technical support. I have tabs with pockets for “to do” and then each of the kids names. Anything that is school related but not child related goes in the to do pocket. Anything specific to someone goes in their pocket. For instance I will put their spelling list for the week in the pocket so i have it easily available without going back to the book. In front of each kids tab I put a page protector and then in a colorful card stock printer their name and their teachers name and contact info. I will print and place any important newsletter or kmail things that come through in this section as well. This binder is important to me, because if anything were to happen and I was unable to be their learning coach for a time period, I am confident that someone would have the resources they need to pick up right away and not worry about them losing precious time in their studies.
Just a few more things to finish getting organized and we’ll be all set to start our school year later this week! Now if only I could find a good deal on pencils!