Management & Organization

5 Simple Ways to Keep an Organized Classroom

I wish I could tell you my house is just like my organized classroom, but at the fear of my husband commenting on this post and saying otherwise, I’m going to err on the side of caution and not outright lie. There it is. I said it. My house is not the picture of perfection my colleagues probably imagine it to be.

Keeping an organized classroom doesn't have to be a challenge. From labels to bins to rolling carts, these tips will keep you organized all year round. Grab the free labels while you're at it!

My classroom, however, now THAT is where the magic of organization takes over! When my classroom is clean and organized, I feel like I am a better teacher. It can be very inconvenient to try to teach a lesson that is well planned but the materials are nowhere to be found. I want to share some simple strategies to help you stay organized. These strategies are especially helpful if you, like me, got rid of your teacher desk. Does that mean you should get rid of yours if you haven’t?  By no means.  You have to do what works for you.

5 steps to an organized classroom

#1 Label all the things

Teachers.love.labels! Amiright?  In my book, labels make the world go round.  Not only do labels make life easier, but they can make things easily accessible for a sub or anyone else who is “visiting” your room.  It also helps students to know where everything is.  When looking on one of the shelves, students only need to look for a label to find what they need instead of inspecting every single bin (which they would probably love to do).
 

#2 Teacher Toolbox

Honestly, I don’t know who came up with this idea but whoever did is a genius in my book!  Since getting rid of my desk (the paper hoarding monster), I needed to come up with creative ways to store all my junk stuff.  I saw this idea on Pinterest and 2 minutes later I was in the car on my way to Home Depot and then on TPT to buy these beautiful labels from Teach Create Motivate. This toolbox doesn’t need anymore explanation-it’s just fabulous. Hello organized classroom!  Where have you been all my life?

 

#3 Binders, Binders, Binders

Binders should rule the world, y’all 🙂  I sometimes feel like I need a binder for my binders.  Years ago when we needed to put portfolios together, I learned to despise binders.  Later I discovered that binders were not here to torture me, but to make my life as simple as possible.  No more rummaging through stacks of papers.  As long as my binders have labels, I can easily grab what I need when running to the copy machine.  This is especially helpful on Thursday afternoons when I have to prepare my copies for the following week.

#4 Rolling Cart

This cart can be a little pricey, luckily Michael’s is always having great sales.  This cart was originally $45 but with a sale and armed with a coupon, I got it for $20.  They also have them in bright colors as well as pastels.  I personally prefer the neutral look of this one because I can use it year after year even if I change my classroom theme-God forbid the cart doesn’t match the class decor ::wink::  It’s great because it can easily be moved and it’s thin enough to fit into small spaces.

You can pretty much use this cart to store any papers.  In my class, we use it for independent work and centers.  I store my comprehension passages and some of the word work centers.  It’s perfect for differentiating because students can access the drawer that you identify as the one they can use.  I’ve seen other teachers label their drawers by color.  So based on what group each student is in, they can grab independent practice from the drawer that has their color label.

 

#5 Drawer Bins 

I use these drawers to keep myself organized on daily teacher routines.  When I quickly pull things out of my binder to go copy, I sometimes don’t have time to file it back into the binder. When that happens, I store the papers into the File Drawer and I pull it out when I have time during a prep.  As the day goes on, we always have things that come up.  We may need to copy or grade and keeping this drawer system ensures that I don’t have papers stacked everywhere.  When it’s my copying day, all I have to do is pull out the copy drawer.

Make sure to grab these drawer bin labels by signing up for access to my exclusive resource library!

I also use the bigger drawer bins to organize posters for the focus wall.  I keep them under my computer table next to the focus wall.  Every Friday afternoon I look at my plans for the following week and I change out the posters based on our learning objectives.  The students always have a clear idea of the expectations.

How do you stay organized?  Any ideas I could implement in my classroom?

Happy Organizing,

 

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Kelly
    January 16, 2017 at 1:10 am

    Your room looks great!

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