Keeping Things Organized, Part 2I hope you're ready for a few more organization ideas, because I have a few!
Tip #1: Bag Your Colored Pencils and Markers
At the beginning of the school year, each of my students brings in loads of supplies, including sets of markers and colored pencils. I'm not a huge fan of either, and we don't use them on a regular basis so I don't want them taking up space in my students' desks. So, I take the entire collection and bag the items for each table group (plus an extra).
You're probably saying to yourself right now, "Zip top bags? That's your secret?" Yep. They may not be pretty, but they get the job done. Since they aren't out on display and can be tucked away, the bag is the perfect tool for me. You could always use pencil boxes too. :)
I keep the bags in my storage cabinet and pull them out when it's time to use them. The bags make it really easy to quickly pass out the materials.
I put about 3 boxes of colored pencils into their own zipper top baggies.
I do the same with the markers (this year, I was only able to put one box in each bag because not everyone sent in markers on the first day).
Tip #2: Store Your Math Game Boards in Tubs
On to the next tip! I love math game boards. I mean, I really, really love them! They are a great way to fill the rest of our math block when a lesson runs short, they give the students some cooperative learning time, and I can even bring the activities out for Fun Friday because the kids love them too! I place the game boards and baggies of materials in these tubs.
I keep 4 different games out at a time. I have about 5 copies of each of the games that I put out. This gives the students choices. Most of the games that I set out are seasonal and I can keep them out all month because the kids never tire of them. You can't beat that kind of prep work!
If you're interested in what I've got in my math tubs this month, you check them out here:
Freaky Five in a Row
Stop, Drop, and Roll
Tip #3: New Student Bags
New student bags are also a must. There is nothing worse than getting that little slip of paper in your box 30 minutes before school starts informing you that a new student will arrive that day.
No one has time to dig out all the materials needed for that! So, I keep a bag of materials at the ready. I can quickly stock the new student's desk and send home my second grade information without much effort at all.
- my welcome letter and handbook for parents to reference
- folders (homework folder, unfinished work folder, and writing folder)
- a name stick, a clothespin for the clip chart, a cubby label, and a job card (I just quickly write their names on these items and place them in their designated spaces around the room)
- a nameplate for the students' desk
DON'T FORGET IT, PIN IT!
Be sure to visit these lovely ladies for some more great organizational tips!