Sunday, October 13, 2013

15 Reasons Why I Label My Classroom
(& Why You Should Too!)

Labeling a classroom is a very important part of educating young minds. It gives them a great start in the process of reading & learning many skills they will need to learn and function well. :) Read on to hear why I think this is essential for an early childhood and elementary classrooms.

  1. It's a HUGE Time Saver- If the things in your classroom all have an organized place where they belong it makes it so much easier to locate exactly what you need at any given time! Need a spur of the moment activity? A book on a specific subject? A pattern? Then design and organize your room in such way where you can have your hands on whatever you need in mere minutes.
  2. Reading Recognition- What better way to learn words then to see them posted all around you everyday?? 
  3. Name Recognition- Put children's name on anything that belongs to them. This helps with so many things that they need. (Chairs and/or tables, Cubbies, Spots in circle time, In a place to line up, Etc.. ) Labeling items like these helps kids with not only reading and recognizing their own names but the names of their friends too. Also.. Social skills are improved when they can help each other find the correct spots and associate a special place for each friend.
  4.  Matching- Matching is an important skill for a young child. Use something like an attendance chart and put their names on both the main background and on a removable piece they can use to match when they arrive at school. (See my Apple Tree Attendance Chart)
  5.  Sorting- Labeling toy buckets is a good way to teach children to sort like objects into different places. Teach them to sort things into the correct boxes by labeling any boxes or shelves that hold toys.
  6.  Teaching Independence- When a child can accomplish something on their own it helps them to feel independent. When they can observe their surroundings and use label's (either in word or picture form) to help them complete a task it makes them feel accomplished and proud. Put your labeled toy bins on your shelving in the way that you would like them to stay and take a photo. Laminate the photo and attach it to the side of your shelf. Then, at clean up time have the children refer to the photos to put it away correctly.
  7.  Help- Lets face it.. if your students can accomplish #6 it's incredibly helpful!
  8.  Rules & Expectations- You cannot expect a young child to do anything perfectly but you CAN expect them to do their very best. Helping them to do so by providing expectations for clean up time and showing them where things belong in a way they can understand helps them to appreciate the fact that you know you can depend on them to do the right thing. 
  9. Routines- Make a list of your daily activities in bold bright colors. Use pictures for help if the age necessitates this. Work in clocks & time if your children are beginning to understand those concepts. Knowing what comes next is often very comforting.. even to me!
  10.  Awareness of Surroundings- Sometimes the world around us is a lot to take in. Labeling pin-points things that you want to make sure your class sees or focuses on.
  11.  Vocabulary Boosts- For a child every word is a new adventure. I remember the time my sister first learned to spell the word 'ham'... (Everyone around her was reminded of how to spell it 20 times a day..:P)
  12.  Education Opportunities- Children never fail to ask the question "why?" when they do, you have an opportunity to teach them something.
  13.  Organization- This applies to children, you as a teacher, and other teachers who may happen to be in your classroom (like a sub). When things are easily found and easy to put away everyone gets along better and has a more pleasant experience in your classroom. This also ensures that you will never leave your children without something to do or a sub without something to teach.
  14.  Cleanliness/ Germs/ Safety- When things that belong to specific kids are kept in specific places.. (like bins, cots, or cubbies) it helps prevent the spread of germs.
  15. It Looks Nice- An organized space always looks nicer then a cluttered one! :)
You may also be interested in:
Classroom Organization
Organizing In Small Spaces
New Student Packs
Tips From A Teacher

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