How to Organize the Classroom: A Book Review

By Laurie Patsalides

A wonderful tool for teachers to keep the classroom organized and establish routines for the school year.

Classroom Management in Photographs

This book is a most valuable teacher reference. It has been a great tool for me as a classroom teacher. It will be especially useful for a new teacher, but even the veteran teacher can glean insight from other teacher's ideas in the book. The author includes visual pictures of over twenty classrooms to help teachers strengthen their ability to organize their own classrooms. It is a combination of teacher's effort and input, which is what I love, teachers helping teachers. I have included a picture of the book at the bottom of this article, for your reference. A must have! You will want to use it year after year when organizing for the school year.

The chapters in the book are as follows (I will provide a brief summary of each chapter below):

  • Chapter 1- Setting up the Classroom
  • Chapter 2- Creating Classroom Routines and Procedures
  • Chapter 3- Establishing a Learning Environment
  • Chapter 4- Managing Behavior

Chapter 1- Setting up the Classroom

Here you will learn about how to set up the meeting area in the classroom, create a classroom layout of furniture, label the classroom, organize supplies, set up the classroom library and classroom displays. All include picture support. This will compliment the first part of this series of article on how to set up the classroom.

Chapter 2- Classroom Routines and Procedures

In this chapter you will learn how to create classroom routines for arrival in the morning, transitions during the day and dismissal at the end of the day. Included in this section is creating classroom jobs, helping students to organize homework, and how to create a line-up order. Again, all have real classrooms to view. This would compliment an article I wrote about classroom management.

Chapter 3- Establishing a Learning Environment

In this chapter you will find mostly how to set up the physical space of a writing center, a math center, an art center, a poetry center and a listening center. Also included are reading activities, and games for word wall and word study. All include photographs and directions for activities and games. You can even find lesson plan organization ideas and portfolio ideas.

Chapter 4- Managing Behavior

This is the shortest chapter in the book. Here you will find a selection of classroom management ideas for rules, incentives, a behavioral management example, and an example to encourage individual behavior management.

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