Monday, June 25, 2012

Random Classroom Organizational Tips

   So...basically there isn't an easier or better way to say it....I'm pretty much anal retentive when it comes to organization in my classroom.  I'm pretty particular about how things are organized, and I am always looking for ways to be more efficient, so here are a few organizational things that have helped me stay organized and SANE in a classroom of 20+ first graders! :)
 TIP #1:  Extra/Missing Crayon Organizer

  Never hear, "But I don't have a (INSERT COLOR HERE)!" again....  When a student finds an unclaimed crayon on the floor, he or she automatically puts it in the crayon organizer (two 5-drawer sterilite containers from Wal-mart labeled with each color).  Then when a student realizes he or she doesn't have a certain color, they know NOT to come and tell me!  They go straight to the crayon organizer and pick out their missing color from the appropriate drawer.  To the right I also have an organizer for extra glue tops and dry erase markers (when a marker or glue stick dries up, I take the top and put it in here) so when a student can't find a glue top, there are extras!

TIP #2:  Individual Student Water Bottles
    The school I was at previously was a brain-based learning school and they provided water bottles for all the students, because research shows that when the brain is sufficiently hydrated, students have better attention spans and are more productive and alert! The school I'm at now does not provide them, but I got so used to my kids having them every day and not having to get up and down to go to the water fountain that I just buy them myself now! The students fill their bottles up in the morning when they come in, and I send the bottles home with a parent to be washed on Fridays.  Then the parent sends the bottles back to school on Monday! I got these blue bottles at Wal-mart for 98 cents apiece for my kids this past school year, but for this coming school year I found some cute green BPA free bottles at the Dollar Tree that I like even better for $1.00 apiece. LOVE THEM!

TIP #3:  Organizing Computer Files 

One thing that has helped me tremendously to keep my files organized, is grouping everything by unit.  Whether I find it online, purchase a unit on Teachers Pay Teachers, or make a resource myself....I put it all in a folder with that unit, so when I am teaching it the next year it will all be there.  I usually keep a Math folder, and an ELA folder, and a Science/Social Studies/Holiday folder with tons of subfolders all titled with the name of the unit I used that resource for. It has been a great system!              - Beth



Mrs. Lundquist said...

Great ideas! I am inspired to organize my crayons. :)

April Kreitzer Wolfe said...

Great idea for your files!! I love the box you made for the center of your tables!! Do you have a problem with your kids playing with their water bottles?


Simply Sweet Teaching said...

Hey April,
Thanks! The explanation for how to make the box in the center of the tables was in a previous post if you're interested. The kids at my old school never played with them because they had always had water bottles since pre-school/kindergarten. My kids this past year played with them every now and again. But I had a zero tolerance policy for if they were banging them around or making noises with them or bit off the mouthpieces, etc. I just took them away and they didn't get to use them for the rest of the week. So when I gave them back, they usually didn't do it again. :)

primary practice said...

Hi Beth and Katie, I'm a new follower.I love your crayon organizing idea! Where did you find the colorful set of drawers that you use for your extra caps?
primary practice

Simply Sweet Teaching said...

Hi Patti,
That little colorful organizer came from one of the school supply order companies...either Really Good Stuff or LakeShore... not sure which one. It came full of different types of stickers. Thanks for checking us out! Happy late 4th!

primary practice said...

Thanks so much, and thanks for visiting my blog too :) By the way, I love your blog name and design!

Lauren Morse said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Can't wait to read more of yours. I love the idea of organizing lost crayons. I'm already thinking of a spot I could store more plastic drawers in my tiny classroom.

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