Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Organize It!

Hi everyone, it is Jane checking in with a few organization tips I have been collecting this summer.  After 15 years in the same grade and classroom, I will be making a move to a new grade and school in September.  When you are forced to clean out a classroom that you have been in for a long time you start to think that you could have been asked to star in an episode of "Hoarding: Buried Alive". 

 I am looking forward to a new room and a blank slate and I have been busy pinning ideas and making products this summer for  my new class.  My first goal was to organize all my paper resources.  This was no easy feat!  When I emptied my file cabinet with all my monthly themes I figured I better come up with some way to keep them all straight.  One quick trip to Costco for some binders and I was ready to go.  I now have binder covers made for all my monthly themes and subjects and have started the process of filing away papers for the year ahead.  I love the way they have turned out!
Binder Covers


Next stop was the local Walmart.  I wanted to get my composition books for my interactive math journals before they were all gone.

Where I live we do not go back to school until September 2, however, I was out on August 2 looking for these books.  I find so many teachers love using interactive notebooks now that you have to buy them as soon as you see them or they will not be there when you want them in September.  Luckily for me my local Walmart still had lots.  I love that the ones I found this year because they came in different colors.  I am hoping that it will make the process of passing out the notebooks a bit smoother as students can quickly identify their notebook by the color.  I plan to pick sticks with the student's name on them for their turn to chose a color.  I am hoping that will solve the problem of  students arguing over who gets what color.  I have a funny feeling that the purple ones will be the first to go.

Also, at Walmart I found these pencil pouches that I plan on using to store a whiteboard marker and a piece of black felt or a baby sock for erasing the marker on the whiteboards.  

Last year I found I was going through way too many markers.  Either someone left the top off or pressed too hard.  I am hoping by giving each student a pouch with their name on it and their own marker and eraser that it will help them to take more responsibility for the markers.  I will have to report back about how it goes.
 For the last three years my classroom has had a Hollywood theme, so I was really excited when I found these posters for really cheap there as well.  I am thinking about making a display showing my "I can..." statements.

Last but not least I have made a freebie I hope you may be able to use in your class as you start organizing your room.  I have been reading The Daily 5 Second Edition and thinking about how to organize my class materials for word work.  I have decided to go with a drawer system and let students take the materials they need for each activity from the drawer and then return the materials to the proper drawer when they finish.  These are the drawers I have purchased and here are the labels I will be using.  If you want you can get a free copy here.
I am off to look for some more ideas to organize my new class!


  1. Thank you so much for the fabulous labels! Good luck in your new chapter!