Organizational Tips for Your Middle School Classroom

 I am breathing a sigh of relief. Aaahhhh…. Can you hear it? The first day is now behind me and I’ve got only one more day of going over rules, getting everyones’ materials labelled and put away and just getting to know the kids! It’s exhausting! We’ll be starting into the actual content and course material next week and I’m looking forward to the calmness and routine of that, for sure.


An aside… For those of you who read my previous post about being an emotional mess because of my first going to Kindergarten – he was fine! Surprise, surprise – I know. I didn’t get a lot of details from him about his day, but he says he’s going back tomorrow, so I take that as a good sign.


So, since much of my day was spent trying to organize my kids and our class – I thought I’d share a few organizational tips with you.

 1) Take your students’ geometry sets, rulers, scissors, calculators and anything else that usually goes missing through the year. Label them all and YOU keep them. Distribute when the students need them and collect at the end of class. I’m trying this out this year and I’m hopeful that it’ll keep us all more organized!

2) Give your students their ID numbers and then use them for everything. I ask my students to put their ID numbers on all of the papers that I need handed in (easier to find who’s missing). I have numbered the cubbies where students store their extra supplies  (that way I don’t have to switch the labels every year) and even where students leave their footwear is labelled. My motto this year is, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” I wrote that – I did! No, I didn’t. Someone much smarter than I – but I’m going to try to follow it AND have my students follow it as well.



organizational tips to get your classroom ready for a new school year photo

Clip Art:

3) Have students create a table of contents for all of their notes. I’m trying this one for the first time this year. Basically, I’m going to have students go to the first page of their scribbler and label it “Table of Contents”. Then, I’ll ask them to number the first few pages of the scribbler. As we add math problems, notes etc to scribblers, I’ll first have students add a title for that material in to their “Table of Contents”. I’m keeping it simple. They can write “Math problems pg 118, #4,5,6,7,8,9” ——————————————————-PG 5,6. My thinking is that they should be less likely to tear random sheets from random places in their scribblers for random reasons. I learned last year that not everyone starts a scribbler at the first page and works to the end of the scribbler. Who knew? Multiple students would flip through the scribbler to a clean page and just start there! Oh the horror. So, this year I’m trying to use tables of contents for all subjects. We’ll see – but again, I’m hopeful!


What tips have you got to share?


middle school lessons from the middle school blog canadian blog, middle school math photo


About krystalmills

I am a Grade 7 teacher in Prince Edward Island. Lessons From The Middle shares lessons from the classroom, and occasionally from my life as a mom of two young boys. The goal of this Canadian teacher blog is to share middle school lessons, activities and ideas from my classroom and to collaborate with the wonderful online community of teachers out there as well! Thanks for stopping by!   Find me on Facebook Twitter Pinterest Browse my TPT Store Browse my TN Store

Posted on September 6, 2012, in classroom management, General Teaching, Middle School, Student Organization and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. We have been thinking alike! I use student numbers to file papers so they have to put the numbers on all of their papers as well. Also, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, I am having them do a table of contents in their history notebook as well. But it’s hard for me to remind them to add something to it at the end of a lesson-I need to get better about that! 🙂

    Here’s to hoping this year is the best organized one EVER!


  2. You know what they say – great minds think alike!

    I’m also really hoping that using scribblers rather than binders and loose paper will also help with lost papers this year.

  3. I am still using the binders for my course, but adding a table of contents is such a simple solution, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it! Thanks! I do have them put the binder in a specific order that we spend the first week of school reinforcing, but I don’t actually have them write the order down. I will now though! Ha! One thing that I have them do that is a huge help is label important parts of their texts books with post it notes at the beginning of the year. It helps them get comfortable with using their books and seeing all the great things inside them (index! who knew!). Plus, it solves the problem of them running up to me during assingments asking where to find something.