Tuesday, July 8, 2014

New & Improved Student Resource Center

Between the last day of class and the Regents exam I had two days of downtime.  I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to start cleaning things out and organizing for the new year.  While doing so I had an idea to improve my student resource center.

Before:


Throughout the year I noticed a few issues with my system.  Firstly, the folders for absent work are great, but they're not all visible to students, and when they are full of papers, the folders flop over.  Secondly, I had the trays organized with papers that students routinely need, but they had a hard time finding them.  Lastly, the folder organization system I had was not visible enough to students in the corner.

The first thing I changed was getting rid of the trays.  I needed a way to label the three sections so that students could find what they were looking for.  My solution was to purchase another set of Sterilite drawers for paper.  I labeled each drawer so that students could easily find the paper they are looking for.

The next thing I did was create a new DIY Bulletin Board.  I wanted to display all three folders at the same time.  I also wanted to get rid of the dry erase calendar, and display the procedure for completing absent work in a neater presentation.  I thought the best way to do all of these at once was on a new bulletin board.

I covered the board in construction paper and wrapped the edges with Duckings Duck Tape.  I used permanent foam tape to secure the folders to the board.  (I wish I could simply use some push pins, but my students will take them from the board, rearrange them, etc.  It's not worth the headache for me.)

I had to cut down the paper used to the absent work procedure and the calendar.  The procedure is laminated.  The calendar needs to be switched every month, so I attached a sheet protector the bulletin board using more permanent foam tape.  (I use the calendar to write down all of the homework assignments for the month so students know what homework assignment they are missing.)The sheet protector had to be folded to fit the slightly smaller paper, but the sheet protect did not agree with this.  I found a thin piece of cardboard to place behind the calendar page that helped to flatten out the sheet protector. 

To finish the board I added an Absent Work banner at the top of the bulletin board and fixed it to the wall.  I am very happy with the finished results.  I just hope that they don't change my schedule because then I will have to make some changes to the board.

The last thing I did was move the folder organization for extra papers to the front of the cabinet.

After:

I already love the changes.  My students liked them too.  When they came in the next day for review.  I got the ever popular question, "Why didn't you do that for us?" 

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