Tag Archives: organisation

355. Toyota logic

My fabulous colleague, Mr G, has recently been to the local Toyota factory to find out about the Lean model.

The key principles involve efficiency of process. He told me about a school using the Lean model that had tape diagonally along the spines. Students put their folders back in order and the teacher can instantly see if a file is missing. Genius!

Now I happened to be about to cover my textbooks with sticky back plastic. I put duct tape around the spine before covering them. Each book has tape 1cm lower than the previous.

Now you are thinking – that looks nice, but it will never work.

I’ve got news for you – every time I use the textbooks with my class of 34 Year 9 students, they put the books back in order. On the first day I made a big deal of how tidy the books looked and challenged them to put them back tidy. And they did – every lesson!

323. Split book headacheĀ 

As we reach the end of term and peruse our new timetables, here is a simple way to keep on top of your books. With the continued belt tightening in the curriculum more of us are sharing classes with colleagues. Do you have one book or two? Should you share a book? Should you keep the books?

How about a bit of funky duck tape? You know I love it!

I’ve put this rather garish tape on the spines of the books so both the students and myself can tell whose book they are. It also reinforces the spines. The Year 8 class thought it was ingenious. My Year 9 class were rather jealous and said they wanted tape too!

(You can get the same effect by wrapping a large sticker around the spine, but it’s not as ‘cool’)

PS That’s not my class size in the picture, before anyone gets jealous. There are 33 of them in total.

77. Basketcase

I’m always trying to find ways of keeping my classroom tidy. The mini-whiteboards are never put back ‘properly’ and it drives me crazy.

I’ve tried plastic wallets: ‘Miss, the pen is missing’, ‘Miss, mine hasn’t got a wiper’ …

I’ve tried seperate boxes: no-one takes responsibility for the ‘odd’ bits that are left on/under the table (someone must have used that pen!).

Then I saw these:

They are actually being sold as children’s mini garden organisers. There is a small, medium and large section in each basket. This became :


Each one holds six pens, six dusters and six boards (mine are small size, but standard size will fit too). They also stack nicely. I’m sure there are similar baskets in pound shops.

All I have to do is put one basket at the end of each row or group table. The pupil sitting closest is responsible for counting up the equipment at the end of the session. I have also found that keeping them in a tidy container takes away the ‘novelty’ – I can leave the whiteboards out after a class task and some pupils will use them to plan out ideas and others just get on with their work.

And the room stays tidy …