Organization plays an integral part in helping to keep busy classrooms on track with lesson plans, due dates, and life! If you’ve found yourself swimming in a pile of papers, losing your mind trying to find materials for lessons, or just becoming frustrated with your current classroom set up, then you’re in luck! Listed below is a collection of MY FAVORITE MUST-HAVES FOR CLASSROOM ORGANIZATION to ensure that your classroom runs like a well-oiled machine!
This mail center works wonders in the classroom! In alphabetical order, each student is assigned a number that corresponds with their own “mailbox”. Students turn their assignments in their numbered mail slots, which makes it really easy for me to figure out who has/hasn’t turned in their work! I collect their work in order, which helps speed up the process of entering grades into the gradebook, too! For example, when I collect WEEKLY READING LOGS on Fridays, I could quickly see who still needs to turn one in!
Although the wood mail center holds up longer, there are more affordable variations to suit your budget, like this one made from particle board.
Book baskets allow you to organize the class library however you wish! Whether organized by genre or author, these baskets and their easy-to-read labels help keep books in order for both you and your students. I like the ones that hold books upright to keep them organized. Paperbacks won’t get lost and books within one basket can be divided by reading level, author or genre.
I love using supply carts and caddies in the classroom to organize everything from thesauruses and dictionaries to crayons and pencils. The rolling supply carts are perfect for an active classroom that moves around a lot, and they can fit a good deal of supplies throughout the three tiers. They can be placed in centers (especially writing centers), in groups, or even behind the teacher’s desk.
Drawers for Daily Plans
These drawers do wonders for classroom organization and they’re one of my favorite organization hacks of all time! I label them with the days of the week and then fill each of them up with that day’s corresponding worksheets, plans, and books. (Get the first week of lessons plans HERE) Any extra drawers can be used for future lessons or extra lessons, too!
As a bonus, these are PERFECT for days when you have substitutes (whether planned in advance or due to an emergency). It was very helpful, especially when you have a classroom of students working on very different goals in their IEPs. I labeled folders with each student’s name, then included a list of goals each student needed to work on with corresponding activity instructions on that particular day. Organizing these in advance and giving student helpers a brief weekly introduction to our plans for the coming days on Mondays helped give me peace of mind in the event that I would need to be out for training or illness.
Task Card Containers
These are helpful for organizing and storing task cards! Print, laminate, and cut out the task cards before labeling and stowing them in these handy containers. It is so easy to grab them when needed for a lesson or assignment. I like to keep them in my centers so they are easily accessible for students. For example, in my writing center, I keep writing prompts, paragraph writing task cards, and task cards for editing. In the reading center, I keep all the task cards for each of the individual reading skills.
Anchor Chart Storage Rack
I’ve been able to save time and money with the help of this storage rack! I no longer have to deal with wrinkled or folded-up anchor charts because of this rack and I can use them over and over! This Amazon deal includes the rack and 12 hangers for your anchor charts. With its rolling wheels you can either keep it in the classroom nearby or tuck it away somewhere. Game changer!
I use book racks to display picture books that the class will be using throughout the week. Some are related to monthly theme, subject or topics being covered, or character trait of the week. This set up allows students to become more familiar with the resources that they will be using during the week as it relates to the skills and content they’re learning at that time.
Writing Supply Caddy
I put this adorable caddy in my writing center so that my students have exactly what they need to write with! I will typically store pencils, highlighters, erasers, colored pencils, glue, and crayons in the caddies. These also work well to hold different categories of prizes/rewards students may work toward earning if you are working with a class point system for behavior management or other purposes.
I use these stackable trays to house students’ completed work assignments after I gather them from the mail center. Actually, one of my classroom jobs was for a student to collect items from the mail center! You can also use a separate tray to keep track of work for absent students!
Storage Bins for Art Projects
These storage bins are fantastic for storing art projects and craft supplies. They’re larger than letter-size and they come with lids! If you are working with students who use manipulatives to meet goals on their IEPs, these also pair wonderfully with the Drawers for Daily Plans mentioned above, enabling you to organize bulkier activities that correspond with each student’s lesson plan for the day.
I hope you found something that can help you to get organized in your classroom! For more ideas, go to my Amazon list!