What to Watch: Ready, Set, Get Organized!

what to watch this summer

Does outstanding teacher organization make your heart skip a beat? Whether your teacher life is Instagram ready… or you’ve been searching for the secret to classroom zen since day one, these videos will help you create a more organized, peaceful, and supportive learning environment for the upcoming school year.

Create a Flow

A perfectly productive day in the classroom is a lot like a dance between you and your students. If you’d choreograph an upcoming dance number, why not choreograph your classroom this summer? Watch these videos to learn how you can create a flow, manage transitions, and create morning and end-of-day routines.

Build a Support System

Building a support system is just as important as planning the flow of your classroom. Watch how teachers create positive and supportive cultures in Advisory and Crew. And learn how Allison Balter works to build a positive school culture with a weekly community circle. Even if you don’t teach in a school with these built-in systems of student support, there are many practices you can take away and put to work in your individual classroom.

Systems For Student Learning

Speaking of systems, systems and structures for student learning can help to make some of the activities you do regularly with your students much easier. Watch this video to find out how you can use folders to streamline daily practice and assessment. And check out Sarah Brown Wessling’s Pattern Folders to see how she uses a simple file folder as a tool for literary analysis and assessment. If you find yourself wishing you knew just a little more about what Sarah was thinking when she designed this tool, make sure you check out Tcher’s Cut: Pattern Folders.

Be Intentional About Desk Arrangement

Summer offers an excellent opportunity to reimagine your learning environment. Even if you’re not planning a big change — like alternative seating or chucking your teacher desk — it’s important to think about how your seating arrangements will help students maximize their timecollaborate, and communicate.

Plan to Tame Collaboration Chaos

The thought of managing the mayhem of collaborative work is enough to make the most experienced teacher tremble. However, if you plan strategically with purposeful and diverse groupingsgroup contracts, and a little structure, your students will soon be collaborating like a well-oiled machine. And before long, your students may even take the reigns and start teaching each other!

Time-Saving Tech Tools

There are times when technology can really be a blessing to a busy teacher. As you plan for the start of a new school year, think about the ways in which technology can help to lighten your teacher workload. Check out these videos to see how two teachers use technology to help with formative assessment and data collection.

Student-Centered Decor

Are you spending time this summer worrying about how you’ll decorate every square inch of your classroom before your students arrive? While there’s something to be said about an aesthetically engaging environment, why not give your new students a little ownership over the decor? Wait until students arrive and adorn the walls with the unique products of student learning — like a living museum. Or, perhaps you can think about the lessons you’ll teach this year and set up your room in a way that allows you and your students to teach — and learn — from the walls.

How are you planning to get — and stay — organized this year? Which of these strategies will you try? We’d love to hear from you.

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Lisa Hollenbach is Editorial Content Manager for Teaching Channel. Lisa taught high school Social Studies for 15 years in Pennsylvania. A teacher leader during her 17+ years in education, she has served as Department Chair, new-teacher mentor, cooperating teacher, adjunct professor, and NEA-affiliated teachers’ association leader. Lisa served as a member of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Teacher Advisory Council, on several ECET2 Steering Committees, and is a Co-Founder, Director, and Writing Coach for the National Blogging Collaborative, a non-profit organization that cultivates and supports the capacity of all educators to use their unique voice to elevate the craft of teaching and learning. Lisa leads the Collaborative in engagement and social media storytelling. Connect with Lisa on Teaching Channel, on her blog, or on Twitter: @lisa_hollenbach.

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