Over the summer, I went through all of the cupboards and closets and nooks and crannies and reorganized everything so that it would flow with how I like to work. After spending about two and a half months on the physical classroom, I love how it turned out! (Two of those weeks were spent teaching summer school and painting. Have you ever painted cinder blocks before?? It is a crazy amount of work!! Good thing my sister and a couple friends helped out.) The only part that I didn't get to is the filing cabinets. I did put a few files in that I had brought from second grade, but that's about it. I had thought that I would just spend the students' specialty time going through my files, but that didn't last very long. I was hardly making a dent each time! Plus there were other things that I also needed to get done during those times.
That brings us to Christmas break. Now that I'm almost over this cold, I decided to spend the afternoon and evening today going through the filing cabinets (there are two). I went through one of the filing cabinets today. For the most part, I only kept masters of each worksheet, project, mini book, etc. in an attempt to keep things neat and easily accessed. A few exceptions were made for projects that are coming up soon and for which there happened to be enough copies for my whole class. I've now filled up three or four recycling baskets! I feel bad getting rid of SO much paper!! Good thing I can at least recycle it!
One reason why I'm going through them in such a detailed manner is so that I know what materials I have and what I need or can add. This weekend, I began going through the curriculum and making a detailed curriculum map. The great thing is that other teachers and schools sometimes post their curriculum maps online. Two of them were especially great for science and social studies. There are a few things that I'll need to tweak here and there so that it fits with my state's core, but it's nice to have more of an idea of where to start! Over the summer, I really want to make a detailed plan and file all of the masters by month along with the games and centers. It's a huge project, but it'll be amazingly helpful!
Lots of recycled paper!
Nice and neat with lots of extra folders ready to be filled!