Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mega Management: Entering the Classroom

Oh yah! Time to get to the nitty gritty of...

Am I serious you ask? Do I really need a plan for how students are to enter the classroom? Umm, yes! If little Johnny doesn't know what you expect him to do here's what he's going to do: speed through the door pushing everyone out of his way, forget to mark his lunch choice, throw his backpack in the closet, he'll probably leave his homework in there, and if he remembered to grab out his lunch box he'll throw it in the general direction of the lunch cart and proceed to bother everyone else while they're trying to enter and get unpacked. Don't you just love sweet little Johnny...

This little darling is not Johnny, nor I have I ever taught a mischievous little Johnny before....I HAVE taught a mischievous little ....well, I better not say ;o)
At the beginning of the year we practice doing this routing quietly, quickly, and safely. 

When students enter the class they'll move their number to the “Hot Lunch” or “Cold Lunch” column on the pocket chart. Last year I used these as magnets just to track attendance, but they kept getting flung off the file cabinet and that mischievous "Johnny" was always hiding his under the headers. Maybe the pocket chart will work better this year. We'll see. 

Backpacks are unpacked and put into the appropriate shelves in the closet.We have tiny rooms at our school so it's worth saving the cabinet space to have these things out of the way. Kids put them in cubbies last year, but the ones I have are gigantic and take up so much space!

Snacks are put in the snack bin and water bottles will go in the hydration station according to their class number. Kids have snack at morning recess, not in the class. It makes recess line up time easier if snacks are out of backpacks and ready to go. I cannot stand water bottles at desks, but I know it's important for students to stay hydrated throughout the day.

I got this idea from Multiage Moments last summer. Honestly I still haven't decided if I want to take up the counter space next to the sink, but it's not like I really use it for anything else. Once I put a stack of papers there and by the end of the day they were all splattered with water from kids washing their hands. saw this "image only" on Pinterest and that seems like a clever idea. Yep, that's a water bottle holder for bicycles! They're at least 4 bucks each on Amazon...maybe cheaper at Walmart or something. I don't know if I'd do $4 each for those.

Lunches go on the lunch cart. Only 3 people are allowed in the lunch cart area at a time. Others must wait behind the duct-taped line. Seems a little neurotic, but the lunch cart is in a small corner of the room blocked in my those gigantic cubbies, and it's a major traffic jam if the cold lunchers storm the cart all at once.

Two pencils should be sharpened for the day. Ugh! I hate the pencil sharpener. The last two years our school requested that students bring mechanical pencils in 3rd grade and I hate that even worse. They need to sharpen first thing so I can get that nightmare out of the way. Throughout the day they can get a pencil from the "sharp" cup. Dull and broken pencils are put in another cup. 

All of these things should happen in the first few minutes or so that students are in the class. Whew!


  1. YES! Teach every single procedure you want students to know! My first couple years I just assumed students would know what I expected. Well, you know what they say when you "assume" things... EEK! :)

  2. This last year I definitely realized I had to be a bit more explicit with procedures and not jump right in to curriculum. It saves a big hassle down the road!