How to organize your teaching resources

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Organizing your classroom can be a daunting task. Keeping it that way all year can be even harder. It seems the younger the grade level, the more stuff you have và use! These 10 easy classroom organization ideas will start you in the right direction and help keep you & your classroom organized all year. 

Classroom organization isn’t taught in college.

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The first thing I tell student teachers when the topic of organization comes up is that you don’t have to bởi it all at once. If you can start the year with a place for everything, it’s a whole lot easier khổng lồ keep everything in its place!

Organize one area at a time.

I can’t think straight when my space is in disarray. God bless teachers who can. Getting organized can be overwhelming, so don’t try to vì chưng it all at once. Divide your classroom into zones. Think about your classroom & everything in it as belonging to one of those areas. Planning, teacher desk, reading table, files, centers, classroom library, & small groups. 

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Take one thing at a time, starting with whatever area is command central in your classroom. Create a place for everything so you can find what you need when you need it. Use bins, binders, tệp tin folders, stacking trays, or drawers. Use whatever works for you and your space. When you feel overwhelmed, take a break.

Get creative with storage.

Use baskets from Big Lots, Dollar Tree, Walmart, 5 Below, or Target to make “drawers” inside extra desks. These work well for storing community supplies, task cards, calendar wall parts etc.

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Supply labels source

To cut down on clutter, use Sterilite drawers with paper placed in the fronts. These I found at a garage sale & a thrift store. Using scrapbook paper, I cut it khổng lồ fit the drawer fronts. Measure the inside first, cut the paper, & then tape the paper in. It hides all the necessary things in the drawers for a less cluttered look.

Center storage

These numbered bins are from Walmart & used khổng lồ store math centers. When doing rotations, train your students to lớn put each numbered bin in a designated spot for students to work. At clean up time, they know khổng lồ put the lid on and place the bin back under the desk.

Anchor chart storage

Use a laundry basket or a tall, clean trash basket khổng lồ store rolled up charts. At the over of each quarter, rotate out the ones you don’t need and rotate in the ones you’ll use next. I keep another tall kitchen trash can behind the class library to store charts we aren’t using.

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Anchor chart label source

Teach students to stay organized.

Explain and mã sản phẩm your desk expectations the first week of school. Teach students how lớn keep their desks organized by stacking their folders and keeping pencils, scissors and crayons in a pencil box. Explain (and demonstrate) your expectations for every child’s desk. Include a minute lớn straighten inside desks as part of your dismissal routine.

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Provide bins khổng lồ use as “table boxes” (as we call them) khổng lồ hold whiteboards & anything else students use regularly. This prevents them from having lớn get up every time they need a white board, which can take up a lot of time when you’re teaching và space inside their desks. We used the bins that came with our cubbies. 

Number and màu sắc code everything.

Using a number system will save you a ton of time. Number your class roster, the cubbies or mailboxes, earphones, computers, book bins and anything else that will help. This way you aren’t changing out name labels each year on all of these items. 

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Have students put their number alongside their name on all of their papers. Once they are graded, it is quick và easy to lớn pass them back into the numbered cubby they belong in.

Consider màu sắc coding your anchor charts by subject. You can see at a glance the subject you want, especially if you only keep the current quarter’s charts in the basket.

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I color code my “teams” or groups of desks and students. This makes it easy to hotline each team to lớn line up. Use foam squares from the dollar store as color coded coasters for water bottles. No more wet papers!

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Use Ziploc bags to lớn organize classroom materials.

Organize your centers & leveled readers in a way that works for you whether it be by skill, week, or level. Set up binders to organize your data, assessments, fluency, & running records. Make one for small group plans and resources as well. Pick one thing at a time that is causing you áp lực or struggle and fix it. 

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Quart kích thước Ziplocs are just the right kích thước for sets of small group readers, chapter books, and “take home books” that students may use for homework. The gallon kích cỡ is ideal for storing centers & master copies of student pages. I use them khổng lồ organize vocabulary cards, science readers, calendar wall pieces not currently being used, word wall cards và anything else that gets changed out.

I’ve used them for book club chapter books that students can take home, leveled readers, and even sets of Reading A-Z readers.

Consider storing sets of student letter cards or magnetic letters for word building in sandwich form size bags & sets of base ten blocks or discs for guided math groups.

Give away items you don’t use.

One key lớn classroom organization is to get rid of everything you don’t use. I highly recommend purging before the end of the year so you don’t have lớn pack up your classroom with things you never use. 

Most schools have a place in the workroom where teachers place things they want to lớn give away. Go through your cupboards, files, bulletin board border, & books to lớn sort out things you don’t use. Every school has brand new teachers that appreciate things they are given và didn’t have lớn purchase themselves. 

Use clothespins and paperclips

Use this nifty trick khổng lồ spray paint clothespins khổng lồ match your classroom. Glue a flathead tack lớn the back or hot glue them lớn a cardstock shape và use them lớn display student work.

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Using clothespins makes it fast và easy to lớn change out students’ work. Use fabric on the backgrounds of your bulletin boards. It stays bright và lasts much longer than paper.

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Create a classroom news bulletin board khổng lồ hold missed work, extra homework, school lunch menus, etc. Staple a sheet of construction paper to the board và place large paper clips on the top to hold your weekly newsletter or any other items you want students khổng lồ see.

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Bulletin Board source

Label your class library.

Every organized classroom has systems in place lớn make things easier lớn find. This goes for your classroom library as well. Label the bins in your classroom library in a system that works for you. I originally used wash tubs from Walmart as book bins và editable labels. Since we use Accelerated Reading, I labeled them by AR level. I then màu sắc coded the labels & put a màu sắc coded sticker on each book. That way students know to lớn which bin to return them.

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You can also label your library by subject, author, Lexile or DRA levels. Have a parent volunteer help with this at trang chủ or in the classroom by looking up the levels và putting on the appropriate colored sticker. I also put on a sticker with my name because I let students take classroom books home. (I rarely don’t get them back.) 

Make up a basket with everything your volunteer needs to do the labeling along with a direction page. That way they can get started right away without you interrupting your teaching to explain. Put any new books you get straight in the basket lớn be labeled.

Organize your instruction

Keep your curriculum bản đồ and long-range plans handy. Get your weekly plans up lớn date & your weekly copies organized by day or week. I use a crate with hanging file folders for each day. The crate contains 3 weeks of daily tệp tin folders where I place copies, homework, spelling lists, read-alouds và anything else I need lớn teach that day in the file. I vì chưng the same for reading & math groups in the rolling drawers behind my reading table. 

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Assign Student Jobs

Set up a class job display & rotate students through various class jobs each week. Write each student’s name on a craft stick. Place the sticks in the pockets of their assigned jobs.

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Include a few minutes during your dismissal routine for students to vày their jobs. It makes all the difference khổng lồ have students help và you will come into a tidy classroom each morning.

Creating an organized classroom takes some initial planning at first, but once you have everything in place it’s much easier lớn keep up. I hope these classroom organization ideas help you thiết kế a calm và cohesive space, và remember to lớn take it one step at a time!