I -Heart- Organization Tips!!

Kathleen at Growing Kinders is hosting an organization Linky Party - fun fun fun! I love getting tips from fellow teachers, and it sure makes me fell better knowing I'm not the only one who struggles with filing and weeding and grading and, and, and.... :)  Anywho, here are my few humble tips to offer up to my peers. If you have something to share, click the picture at the end of this post and join in the fun!

Literacy Materials
We use Story Town for our reading series, and it's differentiated for us! There are below level, on level, above level, and ELL strands of the series, and they're color-coded: red, blue, green, and rainbow, respectively. I don't have any ELLs in my room, so I only have the first 3 strands; I purchased red, blue, and green tubs/binders to store the coordinating decodables, guided reading books, and lesson plans. This way, I don't have to think twice about which resource I'm grabbing when going about my teaching!

As for Guided Reading specifics, I keep a tall cart o' drawers by my small reading table that has labels such as "student materials," "teacher materials," "comprehension," etc. Here, I store my all-star reader sunglasses, crazy finger pointers, before/after reading spinners, and deflated questioning beach balls. It's handy to have it all an arm's length away every day, so I can change up my plan if needed based on how the kids are interacting that day!

Math Materials
Like you, I have SO MANY manipulatives for math! It's great, but was overwhelming for me when I first began. So, I implemented a plan that I use for my home storage! I bought tons of clear shoeboxes and a few huge clear storage tubs. I put each manipulative into its own shoebox (red/yellow counters in one, tens rods in another, clear chips in another...), and then labeled the tops with masking tape. {I am thinking of making cutesy labels this summer to spruce it up a bit!} Then I neatly stacked the shoeboxes into the big tubs and labeled those lids with all of the items inside! Now, I slide out one tub off the bottom shelf, check to see if it holds what I need, and go from there! Much easier than baggies falling all over when I open a cabinet door!

Bulletin Board Items
I borrowed this idea from a wonderful co-worker, so I can't claim genuis on this! We have waist-high, flip top wooden storage options to us, and I used this for my bulletin board/poster storage. I stapled 2 pieces of posterboard together on three sides, leaving the top open to slide in my goodies. I labeled the outside with what's inside, and wha-la! It's stored!

Daily Materials
This is normal, and most people I know have this system already in place in one form or another, but here goes! I have a colored magazine holder for every day of the week, and an extra tub for "next week". As copy orders are filled or I find books to read aloud, I place them in the correct day's tub. At the end of each day, I pull out tomorrow's materials and lay them in order on my back shelf. At the end of each week, I empty "next week's" tub into the proper days for the following week! No more losing copies or forgetting to round up a read aloud!

Lesson Plans
Once again, an idea borrowed and tweaked to fit  my needs! When searching for the perfect lesson plan book, I was unable to find anything that satisfied my needs for lots and lots of subject areas throughout my day! So... I made my own! Using Excel, I have made my own lesson plans that have varying box sizes to fit what I need to jot down for each day.

Lesson Plans pg. 1
get organized
Okay, I'm done! Your turn!! Share your thoughts and join the party!



  1. Hi! I love the daily mag.-holder idea! I use daily file folders, but these don't hold the 3-D things we use in the early grades :-). You've inspired me to take a trip to Homegoods!


  2. Just found your blog off the link party! Very cute ideas!


  3. I LOOOOVe your lesson plan layout! Is there any way you can email your format?! =) That is exactly what I'm looking for! Thanks so much for sharing!!! =)

  4. Thanks for linking up! Fab ideas - loved looking at your lesson plans. It's so fun to see how everyone's days are organized!

  5. Thank you for sharing! I'm looking for ideas since I believe I'm going to have to do away with my desk next year to fit 28 kids in my room. I'd love to see a picture of what the shelves look like at your reading table. I currently have one shelf with all my reading group supplies and books and one on the opposite side with math manipulatives for my math groups. So i'm thinking your daily bins might be the best way to go! Thank you for sharing!

  6. Lindsey - I wish you the best of luck with your class next year! Yikes!! I'm stressing out about the possibility of moving from 16 this year to 24 next year; guess I should count my blessings, huh??

    As for my reading shelves, what you see in the pics above is what I've got - the tall cart of drawers and the colored tubs for Story Town. Those sit right next to my small round reading table.

    Along the opposite wall is where we have a long green shelf with several cabinets, and that's where my daily supply tubs hang out.

    I hope this makes sense... let me know if I can help out any more!! :)


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