Spend any time in a classroom, and you’ll quickly see how hard it is to organize a room full of twelve to five-dozen kids or adolescents. But there’s one simple way to cut down the chaos by far: Labels. All it takes is a label printer and some simple label paper. The labeling possibilities are endless, from grade school all the way up through high school. Here are a few examples to kick-start your process.
In an elementary school classroom:
Labels may as well have been invented for children. Most label printers print in color, and if you combine colored label patterns with fun fonts, you’ll have labels kids look forward to reading. Your average classroom has many things to label, including but not limited to:
- Place settings. Assigned seating is a staple, for an elementary school teacher. What better way to do that than a personalized label?
- Supply bins. Teach how to properly put things away by putting a label on each bin, like ‘glue sticks’ or ‘scissors’. Try including pictures of the items above the word–your label printer will let you add clip art to your labels.
- Cubbies. Help give students their own individual space with a name tag at the mouth of their cubby.
- Bookshelves. Label each shelf with a genre, or if the books are organized alphabetically, with a section (“A-G”, “H-P”, etc.),
- ‘Centers’ or ‘Stations’. Sections of the room with names like the ‘Reading Center’ or the ‘Math Station’.
- Other key learning tools around the room. For example, you could label “CLOCK” and “What time is it?” below the clock.
In a middle school or high school classroom:
While elementary schools tend to work that label printer the hardest, there are plenty of need for smaller, neater labels at the middle and high school level.
Binders. Give each student a slim binder with their name labeled on the front to keep in the classroom so all of their classwork is neatly organized in one place.
- Cupboards. These are more for you as a teacher than for the children–oftentimes, you have so many cupboards full of teaching materials that without labels, it’s hard to remember what you’ve put where.
- Technology. Make sure you’ve got labels on your computers, calculators, and any technology you let your students use. It helps prevent them from taking it home by mistake, or that any of your technology will get lost in storage over the summer.
- Handout folders. Nearly every class has supplementary loose-leaf handouts, and the larger the class, the harder they are to keep track of. Putting them in labeled manilla folders should do the trick.