I don’t know about you but I LOVE organization!! I love looking up pictures on instagram and ideas on pinterest! The problem is, it’s harder -and more expensive- than it looks! Half the time I just drool all over the pictures! I’ve found that it takes a couple of years to build up the organization in your classroom. There is no way that this just happens over night. I want to share with you the organization that I use in my classroom and how it has made my life SO much easier! There are many teachers who feel the need to come in super early or stay super late to prepare for the next day. I wanted to make it so that I spend my time wisely. I rather spend that extra time creating new things for my classroom rather than simply changing out buckets or on busy work.
These organization tools help maximize your time in the classroom! Remember that what works for you might not work for other people. While this works for me, it might not work for you! I hope this post at least gives you some ideas for your own classroom!
Please know that this is always a work in progress. Every year I find new and better ways to organize!
Monthly Read Aloud Books
This year I decided to organize my read aloud books by months! I wasn’t sure how much I’d like it at first but I LOVE it. It makes my life so much easier. This not only helped me know what books I was going to read but it also helped me when I was writing my lesson plans! By having my books organized for the whole year it was one less thing to worry about every week.
On top of organizing my books by months I kept a bucket right under my easel for my read aloud books. At the beginning of the month I would simply take all the books out from my cabinet and put it in that bucket! As easy as that my books were always on hand and ready to go!
In our classroom we do a lot of group/center work. We have Morning work tubs (fine motor skills), Word Work Tubs (Phonics), and Math Tubs (Math rotations). In my first year of teaching I found myself wasting a lot of time trying to change out my tubs every month. I had all the activities in one tub. I would have to search through that tub for activities. By organizing it by month I know exactly what I need to take out when it’s time to change activities! Inside these tubs, I use ziploc bags to hold each activity. On the bags I label the activity, what tub it’s for and if there are any extra materials I will need. Something that I use to take me half an hour to do now takes less than 10 minutes!
The tubs below the scrapbook cases are shoe boxes from walmart. These hold extra supplies that I don’t reach for as often as those on my desk. These boxes are only available in stores and not online.
Do you guys seem a theme going on? I like to organize by months! I decided to get rid of my filing cabinet and use binders instead. I’ve being doing this for about 3 years now and don’t miss my filing cabinet at all! I find that the cabinet was wasted space and I rather have extra space for my kiddos! These binders hold master copies for each month. Within the binders I have tabs for units or holidays for that month.
I am sure you all have seen this all over pinterest and instagram! That doesn’t make it any less of a great idea! Seriously, this has kept my sanity! It is a wonderful way to keep me organized for the entire week! It is also helps me plan for the following week. In addition to the weekly drawers I also keep of drawers for my copies and lamination as well as notes home. We got a lot of letters and such to put into daily folders and these daily drawers help keep all those organized!
Centers/Dramatic Play Organization
I found myself rummaging through my things every month to update my dramatic play centers. Whenever it was time to clean up I would just stuff the items I didn’t need back into my cabinets randomly. It was driving my crazy! I had this space in my backpack cabinet that was just collecting junk. I wanted too find away to use all of the empty space and I discovered these Ikea tubs! These tubs hold so much stuff but they also look nice and sleek! I have a tub for each dramatic play center. In these tubs I include laminated signs, lanyards, play food, tools etc.
These are just a few ways I organize things in my classroom! I would love to see how you organize your classroom!