This post originally appeared on the blog Tidy Teacher.
Be prepared (make copies, gather supplies, materials and have them ready for the students)!
Assign Center Leaders! They are the “go- to” person designated to help others when you are working in small group. Center leaders are usually chosen by the teacher at the beginning of the year, but as the year progresses and the students learn the system they also can begin to choose their own center leaders each week!
Provide clear instructions and directions for each center! I love to use choice boards to go along with my center menus! Students are also trained to use notebooks in my class! This is one of the key Teacher Tips for center organization! It may seem simple but it was a game changer for my class. I began to use notebooks about seven years ago and I would definitely recommend that if you are not already using them, then try them out. I went from loose papers to folders; then I went to a workshop some years ago and they shared their interactive notebooks. I was like, “Of course.” Why didn’t I think of that? So with our school district purchasing less student workbooks and of course cutting back on copy paper and rationing copies, I needed to discover a new affordable way to keep all students’ work. I used folders, binders, and even those dreadful ringed notebooks but I have found that composition books work best for me. I try to get tons on sale over the summer during the penny sales so that I can ensure that all students have enough for each subject. Then I laminate a nice colored subject cover for the front and attach so I can write their names and change if students leave (high turnover rate). I use different colors for each subject notebook.
Jamila James, Ed.S. is a full-time TpT Teacher-Author in Georgia. She has served the Atlanta community for over 18 years teaching and mentoring in Title 1 Schools grades K-8. She enjoys designing curriculum, blogging, and sharing organization tips & hacks for busy educators. Feel free to visit her TpT store or blog, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or Periscope for more great ideas to support your organized classroom.