Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Whoa! A new Workbox post!? Yup. It's all about a new approach

Well, it was time.  Time to take charge of my out of control classroom area. Which, after many, many and many more hours of cleaning, rearranging and a whole new layout-it's now back under my control.  Whew!

Of course, that included the workboxes. Those beauties were turned into classic junk drawers formed by negligence and perhaps a mini F4 tornado or two. It was time to corral these puppies!  And so I did.

There are so many ways to pull off workboxes, and we have tried many.  Including the classic way of using shoe boxes on the shoe rack to the IKEA drawers (for the boy) to folders stored in a desk top file holder for my (then) high school daughter.  For my son, we have mostly used the drawers and pretty much followed the plan noted below: 

*IKEA totes filled with various assignments (refilled nightly/semi-nightly) that were switched up by subject to avoid boredom. Mini-notes included on top of work if extra instruction was needed.

*Schedule Book (with tags like the number cards) used to layout day/week's worth of activities (including those things not put in the workbox) that he referred to daily.

*Tags numbered 1-6 (or higher depending on assignments) that were on the tote, then removed and put on his chart when done.

*Items needing to be corrected were placed in a basket-items that needed to be re-shelved/sorted were put in a larger tote for me to take care of.

Due to many things, and some sad events in our life over the last two years-the workboxes became dormant. They turned into junk collecting tubs. They beckoned me. I ignored them. I just looked away. Now, I knew our day would go more smoothly if I just recommitted to using them-but I couldn't get myself to that point. Time. Life. Laziness. Whatever it was, it has now come to an end. 
I have a high schooler who needs to get things completed in a timely fashion. He needs to be able to find all that stuff. He needed a new, efficient way to use his workboxes. Mind you, many already do this-but we were just late to the party is all. I knew I wanted to go this route for some time-I just had to have the opportunity and will power to change it over....

NOW-here is the exciting thing, they have been emptied, cleaned and reset to accommodate our new plan.

So instead of having the boxes numbered, with tags removed after the assignment is completed and then transferred to the chart:  The boxes are labeled by subject and the tags stay on.  These will now house the main materials and larger items for that subject.  All of it, except for things that must be graded, will go back in the same box when done.  All nice and tidy like.

I will no longer have to fret over what order the subjects are completed. He will (for the most part) control what he does during the day.  I will set some "Let's do this now." activities (esp. for history, math  new lang. arts material and spelling) where I can give him my utmost attention, but the rest of it is up to him. He can suggest the order to me. I mean if he wants to start with history-so be it. But I will def. encourage math in the morning.  He does much better with that earlier than later. He can stay with the same routine each day or switch it up. As long as he's getting those daily assignments completed...I don't care about the order in which they are done.  

There is no longer a picture tag Schedule Book.  He is now the proud owner of a 3-ring binder which contains the following:

*His personal schedule book noting specific assignments for that day/week. See the video!

*Folders containing any specific worksheets, lapbook/notebook components and quizzes/tests that he will have to do.

Bin for turning in papers to be graded.  It's still there (altho a different one than before) and conveniently located next to his main desk.

Anything too large for the workboxes will just be on the main desk and we can put it away when done.  I mean, geez-he's certainly old enough to do that. :)

My main goal is to get him into the groove of using a written in schedule book, being much more responsible for his work/class load and taking charge of his day.  He needs that exposure to be better equipped for college and beyond.  And I need a break.  Seriously, it's a lot of work covering all the scheduling/planning, filling and refilling of the workboxes, setting up the daily schedule book (younger version) and so forth.

So there you have it.  Our new (to us) system to navigate our workboxes and stay organized, on schedule and accountable.  So now that you have read all the way to here-watch the video to see what I am talking about here.  Enjoy!

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