For the kids who were absent, I have a Make-up work folder. They know to look in this folder on the wall to find any paper handouts (in addition to checking Google Classroom, of course). This has been handy because, honestly, I’m too lazy to keep up with a folder for each day of the week. So, whenever there are handouts left over, I just stick the whole pile in here and about a week later I recycle them.
To the left of the closet and handout folder is what I call my “Student Center”. On the far left the clipboard I keep a tardy log and below it there’s a Target $1 bin tin bucket for passes. When students come in late, they sign in with their name, date, and reason. This cuts down on the conversation that kids want to have when they come in late. We don’t need to speak about it. Come in, write it down, sit down, and get caught up. This is also a good deterrent. There’s something about making kids write down their own tardy that makes them think about it. I especially love it when a student comes in late and another student reminds them to sign in. THAT is how a classroom should run. 😉
In addition, I have an area for news, reminders, and the schedule on this board. I also keep (top right) a space for “No Name” assignments. I just hang them up there when they come in and wait for the students to find them. On top of the shelves below you can see the In Box for paper assignments, tissues, extra writing utensils (what I find on the floor goes in the cup), tissues, germ-X, a stapler, hole puncher, and pencil sharpener–basically all the things a student might need.
Did you know you can write on your windows with EXPO markers? Last year my friend Emily started doing it, and I was like MIND BLOWN. I love it because it extends my board space, but I don’t have to be in a hurry to erase it. The windows are perfect places for year-round reminders that may need updated or changed throughout the year. One window includes words to say in place of “Show”, one has words students should stop using in their writing, and this one covers reminders of the “Inexcusable Errors” that students were to avoid making this year. You could always see a few kids in each class checking out the windows while they were writing. So again, they worked!
And finally, I have this little pass system to put kids in charge of pass writing. I found this handy little box of tiny pieces of paper, so I attached it to a note card with directions about what belongs on their pass. It saves me having to explain the process every time a student goes anywhere.
The other day a student said, “Mrs. Louden, you’re so organized.” I’m not gonna lie, it warmed my heart.
Coming soon: ideas for next year!
What systems do you have in place in your classroom to make it run more smoothly, to utilize your space, or to be more efficient? I’d LOVE to hear more ideas!
Summer is almost here, y’all! 🙂
One thought on “What Has Worked in my High School English Classroom this Year”
So many great ideas, and I especially love the tardy passes they have to fill out if they come in late!