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Organizing the Classroom

Joan Sedita

Setting a good example and modeling for your students will go a long way in helping them see the importance of organizing. It will also help you become a more organized teacher. Some suggestions follow.

"How-To" Lists

Place posters on the walls with lists of helpful items, check lists, and directions to follow. Some examples include:

  • a list of transition words

  • items needed for an organized notebook

  • proofreading steps (capitalization and punctuation, spelling, content, sentence and paragraph structure)

  • how to take notes

  • how to answer an essay question



Visual Reminders vs. Visual Distractors

A classroom with bare walls is boring, and everyone enjoys seeing colorful posters and samples of student work on bulletin boards. However, for some students, too much information can be distracting and overwhelming, taking away the advantage that some well-chosen posters and lists can have for reminding them of study and organization strategies. Update the information on the walls on a regular basis. Keep the items that will help all year, but rotate the material that is temporary. Keep the temporary items in the same place in the classroom. Be careful not to put too much on the walls; moderation is the key.

Joan Sedita, M.Ed. is the director of Sedita Learning Strategies in Boxford, Massachusetts, a private consulting and teacher training service. Joan is an experienced educator, nationally recognized speaker and teacher trainer. She has worked for over 30 years in the education field and has presented to thousands of teachers, parents, and related professionals at schools, colleges, clinics, and professional organizations throughout the United States. Joan specializes in developing curriculum, teaching materials, and professional development in the following areas: reading, language arts, writing, study skills, and learning disabilities.

This article is posted on by permission from Joan Sedita,

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