Today we are going to talk about toys. Teachers are natural collectors, and after a few years your classroom can get filled with too much stuff.
Remember that young children can be overstimulated by all of the materials in the classroom, which can lead to some very frustrated and unhappy children. An unorganized classroom can also lead to laziness and lack of concern for the materials provided. Lastly and probably the most important is an unorganized classroom gives the impression to parents, community and administration that you might be a nice and well-loved teacher, but you are not a very professional one.
A well-organized classroom tells children and parents that you care. It sets the mood of those entering right from the start, and it tells people that you are a professional that cares about those living in the environment.
You are probably asking yourself right about now, where do I start?
De-cluttering is the first essential step to transform your learning environment to one that invites learning.
Step One- Grab three large plastic tubs. Label each one trash, recycling and donation. I like to place my tubs on a dolly (ask the janitor) this way I can move smoothly through my classroom as I de-clutter each area.
Step Two- Put on some fun and fabulous music. This will help you get in the grove and enjoy the process of de-cluttering.
Step Three- Dance around your classroom and discard any materials that are broken, have missing pieces or they just don’t get used. Now go to your storage area and do the same thing, but in your storage area I want you to get rid of anything that you have not used in the last year or two. If you have not used it in that long chances are you will never use it again, and it is just taking up valuable space.
Step Four- This is probably the most important step, and that is to remember that it is going to get worse before it gets better.
Step Five- Make an inventory list of everything that you are keeping. Keep this list with you so that when you are out and about and see storage containers on sale or you see all of those fabulous containers in the dollar section of target you can find the best containers for the job.
Want to take on more than just one learning center?
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I'm Tami Sanders creator of Learning and Teaching with Preschoolers, a blog to help teachers create magical moments for the young.
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