Making The Most of Curriculum Adoptions

Surprise! You show up at work one day and your counter is stacked high with boxes and boxes of new curriculum.

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Your district has adopted math, language arts, science, social skills, or the “you name it” program.  Your initial reaction when you see the mile high pile  is to walk right back out. When you do decide to come back in, here are some tips for successfully implementing and storing your new materials.

Attend the publisher’s INITIAL training. They are generally pretty good at explaining what each component is and how to use it. Granted you won’t fully get the gist of it all until you use for a while but this will help you get started. If future trainings are optional then ask what will be covered before you decide to attend. If you are not someone that will use the technology component then why try to master it? Can you wait until year two or three of implementation to attend a follow up workshop once you have a better understanding of what you want more help with.

Storing materials. Most publishers make districts pay for the core components but throw in all of the supplemental materials that you may or may not use for free. Still you are obligated to store it all in your classroom. Learn the program first before you take everything apart. Pieces may store easier in their original packaging then after assemble. If you find you don’t use it why unpack it.

Do you already have similar items like linker cubes or student clocks from previous adoptions? My new math program had place value blocks made of foam. (For second graders? Really?) Luckily I had hard plastic ones from older adaptions. Guess which ones I kept accessible for the students. Supplies you have to keep but won’t be using can be stored high upon a shelf out of your way.


Repurpose Containers. Can any of the packaging be repurposed for something else? I cherish when I get magazine boxes. I cover them with contact paper and they become extremely durable items to store my students’ workbooks.


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Plastic bins that you empty out can be used for keeping other materials organized in closets and on shelves. These photos all show containers holding supplies other than what was originally in them.

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Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate. Talk with others in your department or grade to see how they are using the curriculum. (Check out my amazing teammates below.) If you go solo try to connect with folks in the same position at other sites or district to share ideas. There’s always Pinterest or blogs to see how others are using it.


So as you head back into your room to conquer those packages remember that having a strategy to take apart, store, and use your materials will help those boxes empty out quickly.

© The Uncluttered Teacher

If you would like more organizing tips check out my best selling book The Uncluttered Teacher.


Also check out my other book How Common Core Can Make You Clutter Free.


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