Teacher standing in front of a class

Organise your classroom

teaching practice
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For student year

Middle years

Helps students to

  • access all classroom areas
  • know what is expected
  • transition smoothly
  • Helps teachers to

  • ease transitions
  • use fewer verbal prompts
  • maintain room tidiness
  • Summary

    Structuring a classroom so that it is well organised and easy to move around creates a productive learning environment, encourages student independence, and helps with efficient transitions.

    Classroom organisation may involve:

    • structuring the physical elements of the classroom, including arranging furniture to create walkways so that students can access materials without disturbing others
    • strategically placing and labelling materials and resources, encouraging students to be responsible for putting away materials and maintaining a tidy classroom.

    How the practice works

    Watch this video to learn more about this practice.

    Duration: 2:32

    Preparing to teach

    • Identify a clear layout, including seating, where materials will be housed, and what labelling and storage will be used.
    • Organise resources and materials, e.g. colour coding for subjects or units, storing items in labelled boxes, preparing labelled baskets or trays for completed work.

    It works better if the teacher:

    • organises the classroom in a simple, streamlined, and consistent way, avoiding clutter
    • gives friendly reminders to students about where to access and put away resources and materials
    • uses regular classroom scanning to reward students who find and return resources and materials independently.

    It doesn't work if:

    • classroom organisation is constantly changing
    • trays, boxes, and shelves are not labelled with appropriate visuals to support all students
    • teachers frequently draw attention to students who are not managing to find and return resources and materials independently.

    Materials informing this practice

    In the classroom

    Introduce students to your classroom’s organisation

    Explain your classroom’s organisation to students, letting them know where they can find resources and materials and how to put them back.

    • Use colour codes, labels and other signs to clearly indicate where resources and materials are located.
    • Let students know if locations have been changed
    • Use consistent prompts too remind students where to return items
    • Allow time at the end of the lesson to enable students to put resources away promptly 

    Give students reminders

    Remind students of your classroom’s organisation and check for understanding.

    Practice toolkit

    Practice implementation planner template

    We know that in the busyness of teaching it is not always easy to keep track of what is working and what is not. So, we have created this template for you to record and reflect on what you are doing to help you create a more inclusive classroom. The implementation planner contains:

    • Guidance around goal setting
    • Reflection section (What worked, didn’t work and what to change and next steps.)
    • Prompting questions

    Implementation planner template

    Implementation planner with examples

    Set your professional learning goal for:

    Organise your classroom
    You can set and save your goal for inclusive practices using inclusionED. Saved goals will appear in your profile. Here you can access, refine and review your goal easily.

    Benefits of goal setting

    Setting, working towards, and reflecting on goals helps you grow professionally and improve your practice. You can access AITSL learning resources for teachers to learn more about:
    How to set goals
    The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership recommends using the SMART matrix to frame your goal setting.

    SMART goals refers to goals that are:
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Achievable
    • Relevant
    • Time-phased
    Read more about Improving teaching practices.

    Resources

    Classroom organisation: Practice brief

    Further reading

    Related Practices

    This practice is from the core research project

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