Sunday, August 26, 2012

Getting My Act Together, Part Deux

And I think I should add, that making a plan based upon a goal without educating yourself on the parameters of the situation FIRST is also just as foolish.  At least I know what is going on this week though with the job I need to accomplish, however.

So, in the attempt to educate myself on my situation, I've looked up this week's agenda at school.
There are only two one-hour blocks available on Monday to work in my room.
There are four one-hour blocks available on Tuesday morning.
All day Wednesday should be available.
There are five one-hour blocks available on Thursday BEFORE open house at 2pm.
All day Friday should be available.

1) I know that I have my student desk groups full of stuff I'm trying to give away.  Looking at it sitting there brings me down, and prevents me from moving about the room freely, and draws people in to my room to either ogle or shop.  It's gotta go.  Monday at 3:30, I'm tossing what's left of it into bags and taking it down the street to Goodwill.
2) I know that the largest job left undone in the room is sorting the library books.  I also know that this takes HOURS.  I also know that I don't have hours to do this at school.  Soooo, it's got to come home with me.  Since most of it is still in boxes, I've got to load the car with the boxes  on Monday after I've taken the load to Goodwill and bring it home to sort Monday and Tuesday night.
3) I know that out of those library books, I have too many to fit in my library.  So the purpose of sorting is to reduce my inventory.  Pull out books that go with my PYP units and set aside to put in the bins so all of my unit stuff is kept together. I know I have repeats of some titles, so that will be easy to take care of. Repeats that I bought with my own money keep here at home for my kids to use. With the rest, I'm going to have to be really picky and only keep the good quality books.  Good quality being defined by not only condition of binding, but also quality of story.  Some books are stinkers, and you know it!
4) Place books that I am not keeping in boxes in hallway outside of room until Thursday afternoon.  Allow teachers and visiting parents to select at will.  Keep it out of the room so they aren't coming IN to bug me.  Anything left on Thursday afternoon take down to McKay's used books and get a credit.
5) The only places left to store my items are the built-ins on the far wall, and five plastic bins under the student computers.  Oh, and I have a filing cabinet that I have to fit in that room somewhere...  Use my super supply of clear plastic shoe boxes to pack my keepers in and fill the built-ins, use the plastic bins under the computers to put away Fairy Tale Unit supplies, Measuring math manipulatives, and the excess folders/mailing labels/divider sort of office supplies.  This should leave two bins empty for any future need. Put my reading A-Z stuff and extra hanging file folders, and other office supply sort of paper stuff in the filing cabinet. I also still have half of my pull-out drawers left free so I can finish putting away my paper clip type stuff.
6) Label all of the bins and drawers with the fancy Dymo machine my Dad got me. Loooove it.
7) And Hey! I totally forgot about my teacher desk!  I really don't use it ever, as I sit at the small group table to teach or I'm on the carpet with whole group meetings.  But it does have three drawers.  I will need to be selective about this area.  I suppose this is the best place to store my lesson planning tools and student data.  And THAT'S IT.  Nothing else is getting jammed in there.  That way, any time I have a sub or an administrator needs to come in and look at my things, all they need to do is search the desk. Excellent. I feel good about that plan.
8) Gah, I almost forgot about the ribbon I was going to put on the library book baskets.  Ok.  Here's an idea:  take the ribbon in a bag with me to the all day staff development meeting and cut it into sections while I'm "listening".  That's terrible isn't it?  Especially after I posted about acting like children during these things.  Arg!  Why did I have to develop a conscience about this?  I guess add that to the list of things to bring home Monday. Sheesh.

Having the room organized and decorated by Thursday at 2pm is my goal.
I have to concentrate on the organized portion first.  If the kids come to visit on Thursday and the colored paper isn't on the bulletin board yet, no big deal.  It's more important that things are clean and orderly first.

So my steps are:
1) Spend the two available hours on Monday putting away the remaining office supplies, and organizing the math and language arts materials in the plastic shoe boxes.
2) Take the left over freebies to Goodwill, and bring my library boxes  and ribbon to cut home.
3) Bring back the library books I did manage to get sorted on Monday night and place in baskets Tuesday morning to keep it tidy.
4) Spend the four hours available on Tuesday finishing up putting things away and labeling with the Dymo machine.
5) Make sure that I've dusted, wiped off surfaces, cleaned my windows, and vacuumed the blue carpet.
6) Get a plug-in air freshener.
7) Wednesday morning, bring in remaining sorted library books, attach ribbons to baskets, add hanging tags, and arrange books by 11am.
8) Use the rest of Wednesday and Thursday morning to decorate.

If this works, my evidence that I met my goal will be that I will have the room completely organized and clean by mid-morning Wednesday and decorated by Thursday at noon. Re-assess Tuesday evening to create decorating action plan. I'll be sure to take pictures, so I can do a before and after decorating post.

Here we go, folks!  Let's try to knock this out of the park.


  1. You are absolutely AMAZING!!!! You walked into an awful situation, without even realizing how awful it was. Instead of giving up, you revamped your plan in a major way and shifted back to being positive. Wow! Go, girl, go! I love your attitude! I am so sorry I don't teach with you. Those other teachers are so lucky to have you!

    One idea: Are there any parents you can enlist to help you? For example, someone could cut the ribbon for you. I am teaching a combo and was told to pull three lessons out of every kinder and first grade math packet in my room to give to teachers that are short. Since there are about 170 lessons for each grade level, that is a lot of pulling. Enter super parent. I had a previous parent who wanted to help in some way. I gave her the packets (one box) at a time to take home and then return. I am talking HOURS of work! Do I love her? Oh, yes! Can I ever repay her? I wish!!! I am trying to think of a way. But she is thrilled to be able to help. You may have a super parent just waiting to be asked to do something.
    Take care and stay strong. YOU can do this because YOU are amazing!
    An Open Door

  2. So what you're saying is, I should be prepared to come pay you a visit and rummage through your stuff tomorrow? ;)

  3. I say go ahead and bring the ribbon to the meetings. I will definitely be bringing something to do and I bet our teammate will be knitting a circus or something... And I was serious about helping you out if possible. I can help you load up on Monday.

    ❤ Karen
    Flamingo Fabulous in Second Grade

  4. Good luck! We have all kinds of meetings this week, so not much in class time.

    Chickadee Jubilee