« Preventing Classroom Profanity with Peace and Love | Main | Exceptions to the Rule Against Classroom Rules »

Classroom Organization Tip: Strap on Supplies Rather than Search for Them

Going to your desk or closet to get supplies during class may seem harmless enough. But the time you spend running to and rummaging through a drawer or shelf is time you're not teaching or supervising students. These seemingly innocent supply searches can therefore be a huge drain on classroom efficiency and an invitation for students to tune out or act out.

At the same time, you're bound to need lots of supplies during class, so you can't just stop using them. You can, however, store them in a place that's more convenient than a desk or closet. And what could be more convenient than your own body? That's right, wear your supplies. Or, more accurately, something that can hold them. For me, that something was a tool belt.

A tool belt is ideal for this purpose, because its many pouches make it easy to keep things organized. It's also remarkably roomy. On a typical day, I loaded my tool belt with a pocket dictionary, paper clips, tape, rubber bands, pencils, whiteboard markers, index cards, a hole punch, a calculator, a compass, a protractor, and a train whistle (great for getting students' attention and transitioning from one activity to another---more on this in a future post). And I still had room for little things that prevented big disruptions, like when a student reacted to a paper cut as though in need of a blood transfusion. I just reached into my tool belt, whipped out a Band-Aid®, handed it to the "injured" student, and carried on. No digging through drawers, no pass to the nurse, no words exchanged, and most of all, no instructional time lost.

Inspired to run out to the hardware store for a tool belt? If so, great, but what's most important is the rationale for wearing one. Tool belts, after all, aren't for everyone. But making supplies more accessible is. So if you can't see yourself in a tool belt, consider a vest or smock or whatever suits your style. What matters is that you find a way to store supplies so you don't squander time searching for them.

Classroom Supplies Organization.JPG

My signature classroom management and organization aid


Image provided by GECC, LLC with permission

Join my mailing list for announcements about webinars and the work I do to improve teaching and learning.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login | Register
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

The opinions expressed in Coach G's Teaching Tips are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed On Teacher

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments