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Organization Tips & Tricks

“Lover of literacy and all things organization”

If you’ve been following along on my Instagram journey you’ve seen that quote in my bio since day one, and it’s still true! I love a good organization hack and I’m a big fan of things that are a “perfect fit” (I think that’s my OCD talking). Here are a few ways I stay organized in my classroom:

Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 3.32.04 PM.pngCrayons:
A 24 pack of crayons fit perfectly in these snack containers from Dollar Tree. My students keep their crayons in their desk for easy access (we color all the things). These snack containers latch on the sides so when they inevitably tumble out of student desks onto the floor, they stay closed. They are also way more durable than your average crayon box that tears and opens unexpectedly from the bottom flap (the worst)! An easy trick is to teach the students to put a handful of crayons in the lid when they open the container so it’s easier to see all of the colors at once.

Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 3.39.04 PM.png

Book Bins and Table Supplies:
These Kallax shelves from IKEA are super sturdy and easy to clean (white furniture takes a beating in my third grade classroom). I have three of them that sit at the end of my three tables (made of 6 desks each). Students store 3-5 books in their book bin from Really Good Stuff and all of their Reader’s Workshop materials live in those binders. The top right section holds all of their shared table supplies. Dry erase boards (one of my most used classroom item), scissors, glue sticks, pencils, highlighters and Expo markers are kept in a handy dandy holder that I found at IKEA but for some reason can’t find online! Another organization tip: make it the students’ job to keep these shelves organized! I use my table signs to designate which students are responsible for tasks at/around their table. Sharpening 6 pencils and counting highlighters all the way down to making sure binders are on the left side of the book bins are the students’ responsibility. (There’s that OCD again…)

Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 3.54.51 PM.pngWeekly Resources:
These beautiful drawers have served many purposes in my classroom, which makes them one of my favorite organizational necessities. I don’t know about you, but I find joy in having everything in one place. Have a student that’s going to be absent on Thursday? Did mom send you a note asking for work in advance? Done. Do you just like color and functionality? Done. I’ve used these drawers for 3 years for storing small group resources, word work activities, math centers, and even art supplies. I used the square adhesive label sleeves from Target to label the drawers. Teacher tip: You can use a paper cutter to trim the top of those labels to fit the space you need!

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Graded Work:
I use these medium sized Sterilite drawers as student mailboxes. Each student has his/her own drawer that holds graded work, newsletters, flyers, basically anything that needs to go home. Tucking graded work into these drawers minimizes the ‘side-eye effect’ (students trying to sneak a peek at their neighbor’s grades) that occurs when papers get passed back. I implement the Thursday Folder. Students take home all of the work in their mailbox (drawer) on Thursday and have their parents sign off using this sheet acknowledging that they’ve reviewed the contents of the folder. This holds students accountable for sharing their work with parents, and allows for parents stay up to date with their child’s progress. Students return their Thursday Folder on Friday and I will quickly check to make sure there’s a parent signature. Accountability? Check. Organization? Check.

Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 4.20.12 PM.pngStudent Headphones:
3M Hooks have a permanent place in my heart. I use them for everything in my home and my classroom. Most recently they’ve made their debut as the perfect way to organize these student headphones that were so graciously provided to us by our PTA. When I tell you that these headphones had NO HOME for the better portion of the school year, I mean that they are bulky and would not fit anywhere. That’s when I decided to treat them like fine art and display them on the wall. And from then on, they’ve lived in harmony, out of the way and neatly organized. I also use these removable hooks to hold my bulletin board borders in my closet (gather the borders in a binder clip and hang the binder clip on the hook). They’re also one of the few things I’ve found that sticks to painted cinder blocks (if your classroom is lucky enough to have them)!

I hope you’ve found some ideas to help you stay organized in the classroom! What are some of your organizational must haves? What questions do you have for me to help you get/stay organized? Leave a comment or message me on Instagram! Remember to follow my blog and TpT store!

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