It shouldn’t be a problem but it often is….so just where should we be storing all these piles of exercise books – here’s some pros and cons.
Piles of exercise books have a mind of their own…yep, it’s a well known fact that they tend to migrate around the classroom both during the day and especially after school has finished: occasionally, and just for the hell of it, falling off their perch and crashing to the floor.
However lightly we may regard this, it can be and for some colleagues it is, a constant problem!
There are 2 factors we need to consider when looking at this …
- There are quite a few piles of different books to accommodate so they need a fair bit of space.
- These books are in constant use during the day so need to be easily accessible.
Now there can be a few solutions to choose from but do they match the above requirements.
- Stockroom – if you have a stockroom in your class then lucky you….no really, lucky you! They are becoming more and more scarce! Whilst there may be plenty of room in your stockroom it’s the access that is restricted. This is because, and if you are like me, no children are allowed in the stockroom and so it means that you will have to collect the books to hand out or to put away.
- Using children’s individual trays – ok so it’s an option but not really a great one! Trays have 2 places in classrooms. More often than not they are stored together in low level storage units or alternatively they can be under a child’s desk. Tray storage inevitably causes problems with too many children in limited spaces – so that’s not really an option and under table trays…well its a possibility but means that logistics of collecting books together for marking etc becomes difficult.
- A “well chosen” space somewhere in the classroom. However this has to be thought about as it does need to become a permanent home / place for these books. It will not work if they are being constantly dumped on the first available space that happens to present itself…. make sure it is away from all possible disaster areas such as sinks or water bottles, and it has enough space to easily fit all the book piles and can be accessed simply and quickly by both you and also children.
The key to all of this is, like so many things, being organised
If your book storage area is well placed and can accommodate all the exercise books that you use then you have a great starting point.
Book monitors are perhaps the most important monitors that you have in class. I used to have 4 and they were in constant demand. They would hand out exercise books quickly and efficiently at the start of lessons and then when needed would collect all the books up at the end – returning them to the storage area and tidying the whole area as they did so.
There was never any problem with book monitors once they got to know the job…they knew where everyone sat, split the required pile of books 4 ways and off they went. There was never a mess and never a fuss.
The crucial thing here is of course ease of access for the monitors – get this right and the whole process is almost on autopilot. What you don’t want is for you to have to be part of the process in either getting the books from a stock cupboard (and returning them!) or having them stored somewhere where from a safety point of view you need to become part of the process!
So there you have it – a quick look at the logistics of exercise book storage. The key elements are in having a permanent decent place within your classroom for these to go and for them to be easily accessible to book monitors if you should use them.