I love, love, LOVE helping YOU! It is the whole reason I started The Simply Organized Teacher in the first place. I want to help you be the best teacher you can be. My gifts are classroom organization and management. So that is what I write about.
But sometimes, you readers ask me questions and look to me for help in a particular area. So when my friend Kathryn reached out to me a few weeks back, I was ecstatic to help her. (I was also sitting in traffic on the way to Houston so she helped pass the time!)
I love Kathryn. We went to college together and knew each other through multiple mutual friends. But she ended up joining the sorority that two of my former roommates were in. We also dated the same guy, so that’s always fun! Oh…NOT at the same time!!!!
We’ve spent a few days together at a bachelorette party as well as lots of time at weddings and wedding festivities. We have spent countless hours “talkin’ shop” (aka school and our
annoying amazing students).
This girl has been given some of the most difficult students and faced some serious challenges in her few years of teaching. But I am always amazed at HOW positive she always is.
Okay…now onto the real stuff.
Kathryn was struggling with how to organize and manage her morning work. She had some specific things she wanted to accomplish during morning work time. But what she was doing wasn’t working or motivating her students so she called me to talk through some ideas. I think that a lot of times as teachers, all we have to do is talk to other teachers in order to figure out what will work best for our students.
After going back and forth with ideas we settled on a morning work packet. Each week she would prepare a packet of morning work activities for her students to work on throughout the week. But instead of them turning each activity in after they were done, the packet would stay together till the end of the week.
This served a couple of purposes. It kept students from finishing fast and turning papers in and then having nothing to do. (It also kept papers from piling up in the turn in bin.) Now those “fast finishers” had more activities to work on. When they were done with the entire packet they could turn it in and have access to stations or other fun activities. This provided the fast kids with a sponge activity as well as motivate the slower moving students to get their work completed.
We also talked about using a Bingo Chart to motivate students. When they turned in their morning work packet they could put their name on the bingo chart where ever they wanted. On Friday, Kathryn could pull one of the bingo spaces and that student would win a prize.
What do you do for morning work? I recently started using this See, Think, Wonder, Write activity and I LOVE it! It is minimal prep (cause I have my students just write in their journal) and it gets kids thinking outside of the box.
I loved being able to help Kathryn out and I want to do it more! I have a blog post on the schedule for June that will be full of reader questions and my answers. Do you have any questions you want answered or advice on how to handle something? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org OR post them in the comment section!
In the mean time, if you would like some classroom organization support as you prepare your classroom for the end of the year, reach out! I’d love to support you!
Until next time,