Friday, August 3, 2012

Let's get organized!

   It's getting close to the beginning of the school year.  Everybody is thinking of how they are planning for the new year.  Since organization is so important to a teacher, I thought I would share some of my organizational tips and share those I've enjoyed seeing.
This site has all kinds of tips for new teachers.

I just found this helpful blog about how to keep a clutter free classroom.  Neat.  Check out Clutter Free Classroom

  I like this idea for storing stuff.

Here you'll find some good ideas for organizing back to school from Not Just Cute.

I also like this teacher's way of organizing.  Check out what she uses for extra supplies and books.
My paper or craft stuff-  This has been the most challenging area for me to organize.  I want to keep ideas together but also the stuff left over from those ideas (such as all the Ellison cut shapes for shape trains) that way next time I use them I wont have to do so much work or shopping.  This challenge has evolved into this.  I bought the long/ letter size manila folders.  Stapled the sides like a pocket.  On the front I have a print out or just wrote the directions for the activity.  Inside is big enough to hold regular sized construction paper flat or large paper folded.  Then if there are little pieces that go with the craft, they are in a Ziploc bag in the pocket.  I store all these file boxes in order of when we do them throughout the year.  When I am planing my week or month I pull out the pockets plan my lessons and write down how much of a supply is needed to finish the project.  It works for me.

1+1+1=1 makes what are called lap books.  It keeps all the activities they do in one file folder. 

My toys and stuff-  I use a tub for each month or season.  They mostly contain a certain theme.  So Beginning of the year, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Transportation, Winter Holidays, Winter, Doctor/ Dentist, Spring/ Easter, Farm, Bugs, Summer.  I also have a tub for ABC/ Number games that have no theme and one for art and craft materials that are left over.  Inside these tubs I put games, dramatic play items, manipulates, or anything 3D

Teach Preschool gives us a way to organize felt board pieces.  I think I will be doing this one.  It's great when things are easy to find.

My books-  I have nearly a thousand books that I with the help of friend, my mom (the garage sale queen), and scholastic (last year they were giving away a free book for every online order) have collected over the years.  I have not found the best way to organize them all so they can be seen.  I have simply resorted to sorting them by theme then storing them in a scholastic box.  This way I can pull out the box that is related to the theme we are working on and do my lesson plans based on them.  In order to store them in the garage, I then put the boxes in large plastic tubs with labels on the outside.  I once tried to make a spread sheet that I would be able to use with the title, author, subject, and description, but it just took too long and I didn't use it.  This year, as I use them I will write a book box post that will contain all of the above and maybe activities that go with them.  Blogging has been a great way for me to organize myself.

Here is a cute way to organize books.  The labels are available now.  Check the comments below for the link to visit.

Creating lesson plans- Amazingly my lesson book might look organized but usually I start out with lots of scribbled ideas and lists everywhere in a note book.  Then as they are written down in my lesson book, I cross them off my messy page.

Teach Preschool makes webs.  We have all seen this in college, but for some reason it did not stick.  This is a tool I need to try using again.

If you do guided reading and need a way to organize the kids, you're going to want to check here.
The Classroom- since I am still looking for a job in this state, I will not be sharing any pics of my own room, but check out some of these.

I thought this was a neat idea.  I think I would put journals in it.

I thought this might be a good replacement for those library pockets we use for jobs.

here is a great calendar set up

Great idea for all those long things like calendar names or poems or kids names
And as soon as mine are made, these will be my favorite organizational tools.

dish drainer file organizer
here is another use for a dish rack

This classroom is the nicest size.  Look how beautifully she uses space.

Here is a neat writing center.  Hanging it on the wall clears up space.

What a great idea to hold easily lost items

Here are neat organizational printables

How about using those name tag badges for label holders? Check it out.

Here is a neat idea to hold all those pens, pencils, markers, etc we have laying around.

and here is another one made with milk jugs.

Some more cute signs, but also neat ideas on what kids can do when they are finished. Here are some cute ideas with printables.  Check out What the Teacher Wants!  There are cute job signs.  Behavior punch cards and volunteer forms

The Kids and their Parents-  In the past I haven't had much of a problem communicating with parent, because I they had to drop off and pick up their children at my door.  I could just ask a question any time.  So, what do I do now that the children are riding a bus to and from school or getting picked up in a car that drives up to the door on a busy street?  We will see what works best.  Newsletters, emails, notes home, folders, calendars, daily or weekly "what I did" sheets

I have used a folder like this before.
I think my daughters school has a pocket folder with  prongs where they attach a calendar.

Teach Preschool uses a calendar to send home.

Two Things in Common has a great way to organize new student information.  Simple.  Why didn't I think of that.

Do you use portfolios?  Check these out.  What a great way to use play to assess.


  1. Thanks for sharing all these great organizational ideas! The book box labels are done, you can find them here

    1. Thanks, I've been working on this post for a while, so I'm glad you updated me.