Teacher Week: Organization - My Top Four Tips

20 August 2014
Organization is my forte!  If you read my last post, you know that my classroom is more organized than my own home.

Why? Why be organized?  I like to be organized because, I  spend a lot of time in my classroom.  I feel stressed or frazzled when I cannot find things.  I also feel stressed or frazzled looking at messes!   Organization helps keep me cool and collected.  I do wish I could be they type of easy going person who just does not care, but I am not.

Here are a few of my tips!

I label everything in the room, I always include a visual cue.  This creates a print rich environment and fosters independence in my students.  I can just ask a student to go grab me some extra staples and they know exactly where to look.   My classroom library has labels on the outside of bins and mini-labels on the back of the books on the inside.  Again, this fosters independence and keeps the classroom neat!


Each table has a caddy with communal supplies.  I found supplies got lost in the abysses that were their desks.  The caddy above is actually a picnic organizer I snagged at CVS a few years back.  They held up so well!  I just change the ribbon and table label every other year. 

I am big into procedures.  I remember reading Harry Wong's The First Days of School and learning the importance of practicing procedures.   My students have a procedure for everything.  There is never a need to ask me, they know what to do.  I like my first graders independent.  Even going to the bathroom does not require consulting with me.   The students just place the hand-sanitizer on their desk and go.  I can do a quick look and know where the student is.  No more than two girls or boys can go at once, because there are only two hand-sanitizers. When they get back from the bathroom, they give their hands a quick squirt and put the sanitizer back on the table by the front of the room.

These labels are included in all my Ultimate Decor packets or you can purchase them separately by clicking the image below.

2. Binders are Your Friend
I use binders for everything!  I keep a binder for my plan book, grade book, running records, miscellaneous forms, and student information.

The binder covers are from the packet below:

My plan book format is available in this packet:

It also includes two versions of binder covers. 

I keep a lot in my plan book.  It is on my desk at all times.

You can find a similar stand to the one I use here.
 Inside my plan book, I keep important dates.  I use clear pocket dividers to separate the sections in my plan book.  You can find the pocket dividers HERE.

You can find these clear label pocket dividers here.  Don't forget to save the box tops!

The calendar I use is included in my Teacher's Plan Book Packet.  You can type in the calendar pages. 

I keep a binder with my students' information and parent communication logs.  I use a number system.  Each student is assigned a number.  This helps me keep things in order and works so that I don't have to redo my tabs or mailbox labels every year.  
I use number divider tabs that you can find here.

I keep a miscellaneous binder for all those papers that just don't have a spot to go in.  I order Avery A-Z dividers (click here) and put them in the binder.  I sort my papers by the letter I think I would file them under.  For example, I print out my passwords for BrainPopJr and Go Noodle and file the passwords under "P." 

3. Large Plastic Storage Bags
I keep my centers in gallon-sized Zip-Lock bags.   Then I put them in large month by month storage bins.  I also have bins for phonic centers.

4. Hide stuff in a closet.
I keep my not so pretty boxes hidden in a closet.  I have organized the closet above so that it contains all math items.  When I need to find a math center, manipulative, or work-mat, I look in one place.  The boxes are not so pretty, but they serve their purpose.  Our duplicating comes in these white boxes and I save them and use them to store centers.   The bins with the blue lids were from an old math series.  Each student was supposed to have his/her own manipulative bin.  To save space, I consolidated the manipulatives into individual bins.  The bins don't match my classroom, so I have them hidden in the closet, too.   I know that seems crazy to hide bins because their lids don't match, but it would drive me nuts to look at them. 

I hope these tips help you!  Hop over to Blog Hoppin' to get some more organizational tips!!

If you want to snag some of the resources I mentioned above, everything in my store is on sale!!  Click below to shop!


  1. I am so impressed with your organization!! Before I had my child I was so organized, now I feel like I am in desperate need of an intervention. Thanks for reminding me that there is hope :)

  2. I pinned so many of your photos/ideas. Thanks for all the great ideas!
    Laughter and Consistency

  3. Recipe stand? BRILLIANT! Adore all your tips...the recipe stand smacked me in the forehead. #nobruisethough

    LOVE! Smiles - Lisa
    Growing Firsties

  4. Love it, I wish I could have posted new things from this year, but my room isn't ready yet! Love yours!

    1. My room is not ready yet either. Many of them are old photos.

  5. Hey Erica!!! Where did you get your supply storage drawers???

    1. Here is the link: http://amzn.to/1ma3Ejf


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