Monday, September 20, 2010

Classroom Organization & Management

It’s the start of a new school year, and by now everyone is settling in. For those teaching younger students, you probably have a good idea of which kids may work well together, and which students are best kept apart during instruction. New teachers may still be tweaking the arrangement of their classrooms, trying to figure out the best way to maximize space and promote an effective learning environment.

When I was in graduate school, those of us about to start our teaching practicums fretted not about our organizational skills, but about classroom management. Not surprisingly, research has shown that newly-minted teachers express the most anxiety regarding classroom management and potentially disruptive student behavior. Research also states that one of the most frequently-cited reasons for leaving the teaching profession is unruly student behavior.

What initially appears to be two disparate topics – classroom organization and class management – are actually two symbiotic elements that together help form a well-run classroom. Educational literature is rife with studies and commentaries from teachers about the effects of a comfortable, organized work environment and the beneficial effects on student learning and behavior. While not a panacea for all classroom challenges, good organizational skills help to maintain order in the classroom, maximize student productivity, and provide a model skill set for students to emulate.

My picks this week focus on classroom organization and management resources that can be used for a variety of ages and classroom settings. As always, please check our Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the week for additional resources and information on these topics, and consider sharing your own comments and tips on organization and management techniques on our pages.

Prevention & Intervention for Effective Classroom Organization & Management in Pacific Classrooms
Subjects: Classroom management, Organization
Grade: K-12
We all know that classroom organization and management are ongoing processes that directly impact student learning. This resource outlines numerous practices for creating a classroom system that is both preventative and interventional. While the resource is written with Pacific classrooms in mind, the information is certainly applicable to classrooms in all geographic regions. This best practice is part of a research series by Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, a nonprofit organization that serves the educational community in the U.S.-affiliated Pacific, the continental U.S., and other countries throughout the world.

Avoiding PowerPointlessness
Subjects: Classroom management, Presentation skills
Grade: K-12
We’ve all been there – trapped in a mind-numbingly dull presentation where the speaker reads from each slide. This column offers suggestions on how educators can create effective presentations and add value to lessons, rather than simply using technology for technology’s sake. This resource was created by The New Curriculum, a site devoted helping teachers integrate technology into their classrooms. While the site is no longer actively updated, it still contains useful information for teachers.

Planning Matrix B: Objective Grouping
Subjects: Classroom management
Grade: K-8
This planning matrix is useful for grouping the objectives of a number of children in a single classroom into five domains (communication skills, self-help/adaptive skills, social skills, cognitive skills, and motor skills). This can help in planning activities to address the needs of a variety of students. The matrix was created by researcher Jason Wallin of Polyxo, a site devoted to those who teach children with autism. The matrix is suitable for use with all types of students.

~Joann's Picks - 9/17/2010~


  1. Excellent resources for the first of the year! I wish I had had these my first years of teaching!

  2. I wish I had them too. Social networking and the tools and resources available online have increased the support system so much for new and returning teachers.


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