Classroom Organization = Teacher Happiness

Am I the only one that gets excited about classroom organization? I think that most teachers have a desire to be organized. And, that is what this post is all about!

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Teachers have stuff.  Lots of stuff.  Therefore, we have a never ending need/desire/nagging feeling to be as organized as possible. Organization looks like different things to different people.

To me, organization means that everything has a place. It also means that things are easily accessible and tidy. So, hopefully today's organizational tips are helpful in making sure everything in your classroom has a place (fingers crossed), thereby keeping your space tidy.

Do you use crayons in your classroom?  Chances are, if you teach primary, well then, yes, you do.  Don't you just love it when there are random crayons scattered about the classroom floor at the end of each day? Didn't think so.

Rather than attempt to locate the owner of unmarked, abandoned crayons, we add them to a crayon tub. This tub is where all the little lost crayons go to live.

The students are free to use the crayons in this tub as needed. It's so much nicer than hearing random blurts of, "I don't have a blue!"  They know they can just get up and get a blue, or whatever.

I love note cards! I keep several sets on hand at school because you never know when you might need to tell someone thank you, or decide that you want to write a special note to a student. Rather than have 5 different packs of cards floating around inside my desk, I keep my cards organized in a mini expanding file folder (coupon holder). They are perfect for holding all the cards and envelopes, and I can easily grab a card when needed!

It's no secret. I'm a huge fan of reward tags. And, so are my students. These necklaces are only worn once a week, which means they have to be stored somewhere for safe keeping. This space below my whiteboard is perfect for storing our necklaces.

Each hook (push pin) is labeled with students numbers rather than names. I use calendar number cards. This allows me to reuse the labels year after year.

What I love best about this space is that the kids can easily get to and return their necklaces without any issues or the necklaces getting lost or damaged.

One more thing I do to organize my reward tags is write student numbers on the back of the tags (usually just the first tag they are given). This way, if we ever find a stray necklace, we know exactly where that set of tags goes.

Think you could use these calendar numbers to help keep your reward tags organized?  Click HERE to grab them.

Whether you have 5 clipboards or 20, it's helpful to put them in one spot that keeps them contained yet accessible. After all, we want the students to be able to access the materials intended for use. I store my clipboards in a metal tub. It's not fancy. But, organization doesn't need to be. The tub makes it easy for the kids to grab and return a clipboard throughout the day.

I hate cords. With a passion. We were given these devices in the past two years, and the cords were getting out of control. So, I found it necessary to contain them (because they gave me the heebie jeebies every time I looked at them). Having some sort of system to store your tech and manage the cords allows for ease of use and keeps the heebie jeebies away.

These bamboo stations are from Amazon. The quality is great. Each device plugs into a power strip which fits comfortably inside each station. Click here to learn more about this charging station option.

Let me start by stating that I am not a "binder person." Binders are not my go to resource for organizing ALL the things. BUT, I do find them to be the perfect tool for organizing specific lessons and samples. I have a binder for back to school, the holidays, special projects, etc.

Rather than store these lesson ideas, masters, and samples in a file folder, they are stored in page protectors and zipper pouches in a binder. It actually prolongs the life of the masters and samples (less creasing), and it is really easy to find what I need.

For example, I use a three inch binder to store all of my back to school lessons, samples, task cards, and so forth. This binder cover is from Learning in Wonderland.

I store craft samples in page protectors along with the masters that go with that craft.

And, task cards, around the room cards, etc. are stored in zipper pouches within the binder.

The binder set up allows me to easily go through all of my resources and quickly choose what I want to use each year.

I know I've shared this before, and I know it's a well known trick, but new student bags are a simple but highly effective way to stay organized. These are especially useful if you have a lot of movement at your school, as I do.

A new student bag is where you place all the items a new student will need into a plastic bag. When you are told that a new student is on the way, you grab a bag and it's very easy to prepare for that new student's arrival within just a few minutes.

Putting together a new student bag takes very little effort and saves you from scrambling the morning a new student arrives. I always set mine up before school starts as I'm preparing these same materials for the students on my beginning of the year roster.

I store my new student bags in a crate on my storage shelf. When I get a new student slip in my box, I grab a bag from my shelf and set up a desk. Easy peasy.

What you put in your new student bag is up to you, but here's what I put in mine:

  • Writing journal
  • Writing folder 
  • Poetry folder
  • Unfinished work folder
  • Homework folder
  • AR folder
  • Back to school forms and letters
  • Desk nameplate
  • Blank name stick
  • A small gift
I hope this short sampling of ways to be organized in the classroom was helpful. For more organization ideas click HERE.


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  1. I love the title of your post! :) You look so organized! I have a crayon bin like that too. I love how your notecards are organized. I'm always digging around in my drawers for the right ones!

    Thanks for sharing your tips!
    A Sunny Day in First Grade

  2. I have a crayon tub in my classroom too. Overhear I give my students new packs of crayons for Christmas and their old ones get tossed into the tub which starts to overflow. So, Christmas week I take home to tub and melt down the crayons with different mixes of colors in an old muffin tin. They love coming back after break and having those to experiment with in centers, and the tub stays a bit more in control. I love your brag tags organization - so much neater than my mess. I am totally going to copy it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I'm so excited because now I have another reason to go and stock up on those expanding files from Target! I love that idea! -Jaime

  4. Can I come to your room? Your pics always look so super neat and organized!! Love it!
    A Burst of First

  5. Oohhhh brag tags, I'm totally interested in that!!

    The Daily Alphabet

  6. I use brag tags too and have my kiddos store their necklace on a hook with their number. I did have owl numbers but have done away with the owl theme and need some new ones. Thanks so much. These are perfect!
    Second Grade Perks
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