Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Storing Thematic Units in the Classroom {Organization Tips, Photos, Ideas}

Yesterday I blogged about storing seasonal and holiday items. Those tips are also relevant for storing thematic units so you’ll definitely want to check that post out for more ideas. Today I am going to share a few additional strategies specific to storing thematic units.

As always I am going to start by having you ask yourself, “Do I really need these things?”  Thematic units are a lot of fun and are a great way to engage your students and motivate them to really explore a subject. However, in order to accomplish this you’ll need to stick with one theme for a substantial length of time. This means you won’t have time to cover 20 themes in a school year. Take a critical look at what you have and decide if you can part with some of the thematic units you’ve collected. If you don’t think you’ll be using some then be sure to pass them on to someone who could use them and gift yourself some added space in the classroom.

Inventory the items that you are storing and keep that list accessible on your computer. It will be helpful to know what materials and resources you already have as you plan to teach the unit in future years.

You may want to consider a photo inventory as well. This makes it easy to see at a glance and serves as a reminder of what things look like if you are looking to add borders and other decorative details in the future.

I love using binders for organization, but if you have some time and are tech savvy, you could scan your materials and save them to your computer for easier access instead.

Team up with a colleague to house materials. It may be more space-effecient if you keep all of the solar system-themed materials in your classroom while she stores your penguin materials with hers. This works especially well if you collaboratively plan and share resources.

{photo credits: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8}

What is your all time favorite theme to teach?


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