System- Organization Expectations

Establishing the classroom rule “Take Care of Our School” becomes a simple yet effective tool to save your sanity! 

The next step is to slowly introduce the organizational expectations for the classroom positively. How? With simple community tasks.

In our first meetings, we discuss the schedule, and what to expect each day. We work together to clean up at transition times to put everything back where we found it (and we ask for help if we do not know what to do.) 

In a curious and creative classroom, there will be many loose materials, open-ended toys, building supplies, books, and new items coming and going often. That is how we maintain novelty, and engagement in learning.

Recall that our brains like novelty… and function on systems. 

This is why everything must have a place it belongs in the classroom, and it must be logical.

Example 1:

In the classroom, there are books on display shelves and displayed at relevant centers to invite engagement… when putting away books, small people can put the book away nicely in any logical place. If it happens to end up on the wrong table or shelf, the teacher can move it later. That way the kids feel ownership and pride in their classroom, and a positive relationship is maintained between teachers and learners.

Example 2:

Art supplies are a must-have for creativity- but a plethora of pipe cleaners, pompoms, glue sticks, scissors, paper, stickers, stencils, and recyclable materials can become an overwhelming mess quickly! This example calls for the next tool in the creative classroom toolbox- Labels! 

Labeling the classroom serves both a literacy and practical purpose. Labels with pictures are ideal to support all students in taking care of our school. We typically use labels for the various materials in the block and writing/art centers. Those printers and cameras with mini photos make a great tool for creating labels for the actual items in your classroom. Similarly, photos of classroom shelf organization can be printed and stuck to the shelf for reference. Personally, I have not yet had a group that needed that level of scaffolding, but I came close! 


This product from Pocket of Preschool offers a nice selection of premade labels. 

Classroom Labels - Real Photos - Pocket of Preschool

This set for natural and outdoor materials might inspire you as it did me.

Outdoor Discovery STEM Bins® - Teach Outside the Box

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