Reflection: Classroom Setup Topic Sentences - Section 2: Topic Sentences Mini-Lesson and Reference Sheet


Keeping students organized is a full time job.  Forget actually teaching.   Keeping all the papers, handouts, writing projects, reflections, notebooks, lab reports, etc. organized?  Seriously.  A full time job.

I used to require my students to keep all their handouts in a binder. It worked. . . okay. . . for some students.

My co-teacher suggested that we give students paper folders with prongs and keep them in the classroom.  I resisted.  I said that if we did that, we wouldn't be teaching them responsibility.

She said that if we spent time time teaching responsibility (looking for papers and replacing them all the time) we would lose time for teaching actual content.

I said okay.  I said we could try it for a quarter and revisit. We never revisited.  We just kept on keeping on.

Folders, yo.  What was I thinking before? 

All the reference sheets that I give students live in their folders. They are all in one place.  They are color coded, organized, and all in one place.  When I ask students to take out a reference sheet, they know exactly where it is.  We don't waste time waiting for students to dig around in their black holes, I mean backpacks, trying to locate the elusive handout. IT'S RIGHT THERE.

It is glorious.  I will never go back.


  Reference Sheets and Folders, Oh My
  Classroom Setup: Reference Sheets and Folders, Oh My
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Topic Sentences

Unit 1: Laying the Foundations: Teaching Routines, Procedures, and Expectations through Authentic Activities
Lesson 8 of 11

Objective: Students will be able to introduce a topic clearly by writing notes on topic sentences, analyzing sample topic sentences, and writing an original topic sentence.

Big Idea: Showing effecting writing through examples of "not so effective:, "effective", and "very effective" examples allows students to recognize when they need to revise their own work.

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