Thursday, January 2, 2014

BC2 - A Classroom Organizational Tip - Lost and Found

I'm not sure what is it about 4th graders who change classes during the school day, but beware if they find someting at or near the desk they use in my classroom. Just as I am starting that wonderful hook to get them pumped up for today's lesson, a student will want to interrrupt to let me know (s)he found something left by a previous student.
This use to happen a lot in my classroom, but no more! I put a small bookcase just inside my classroom door. It only has two shelves. The bottom shelf holds reference books for my students to use while doing research projects. The top shelf stopped the interruptions about "Found" items. How? I put a big label on it "Lost and Found". Now when a student finds something belonging to someone else, they simply put it on the shelf. I teach each class procedures for using the shelf and it was ended the problem of interruptions. One of my classroom jobs is a Lost and Found Custodian. At the end of each day, that student is responsilbe for returning all items to their rightful owners. This is usually very easy becasue all of the teachers on my team make a big deal of our students labeling everything they own with their names. Sometimes an item has no such label, so it is returned neatly to the shelf and is eventually "found" by its owner. 

There are many times when my classroom door has quietly opened, a student has entered as quietly as a mouse, and a missing item has been collected without causing any kind of interruption to the class because every student I teach knows exactly where to look. I love how well my "Lost and Found" shelf works. 

Do you have a designated Lost and Found in your classroom? What is one of your favorite organizational tips? Please share in the comment section.

(Thanks to my dear friend, DEN Guru Kelly Hines, for hosting this blogging challenge. )