Sunday, February 5, 2012

My Super Power

 My wonderful husband once said that if I had a Super Power- I would be known as The Organizer.  Seriously, organizing things is what I do to make me happy.  It just gives me a sense of happiness when I organize and re-organize everything in my life.  So, I thought I would share some of my classroom organization ideas. Pictured above is one of my favorite buys from Calloway House.  This is one of my favorite places to shop for classroom organization items.  Sure, it is expensive.  But, the products are outstanding!  I use this cart for station supplies.  The students are able to get what they need without asking me for help, and they put things back easily by reading the labels.
I love using crates for all sorts of things, and I have enjoyed using this one for organizing my math materials in hanging file folders.  It is so easy to find what I need without having to look through a filing cabinet.  Plus, I am able to keep everything I need in the file folders, too- like my laminated part-part-whole mats and hundred charts.  I just store them with the unit they go with, then I place them at the front of the crate when we are using them.  This way, the students can go get one if they need them anytime- during the lesson or math stations.
This simple, budget-friendly shelving is from Wal-Mart.  It works great on top of the counter.  It gives me the height I need to keep my sweet treats from getting into little hands, so that some things can just be on my level.  But, I also have labeled bins for their station work materials.  The purple ones are labeled using velcro dots so I can change them out.  They are used for their recording sheets, and then the students turn in their completed station work in the silver basket.    These allow the students to take care of themselves during station time.
These amazing purple drawers were found at Target, but I think that I have seen them at Wal-Mart, also.  I could not live without these to organize EVERYTHING.  I used some scrapbooking paper which I laminated and labeled for the drawer fronts.  I absolutely love these drawers.  I store my daily math workbook pages, skills, reading workbook pages, etc. in these drawers right behind my desk.  They are easy to access.
This is another area for station materials which are located on the bottom shelf.  I love these clear heart boxes which I purchased at Target.  They are very sturdy and seem to be indestructible.  The top shelf is where I store my materials.  The purple binders were an amazing find from Calloway House a few years ago.  Unfortunately, they have now stopped making them.  I organize them with pocket dividers which are labeled by each story from our reading series.  I place every activity and skill that I use throughout the year in order.  It is a great way to keep up with everything without having all of that material in ten different places the way it comes from the publisher.  The first thing I always do is put everything together by story so it makes more sense to me.  These folders also have my I Can Statements (which are laminated) in clear pockets, along with my lesson plans, and a Weekly Five Letter to Parents.  Once again, everything is organized by week, by story.
The last thing I will share is another way to use these awesome crates!  I also bought these crates at Wal-Mart.  I think these are a fun way to add some color to your room and they are so much cheaper than buying actual book shelves.  They are a great way to store puzzles and station materials.
     Go have some fun organizing!  Enjoy it!

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