As teachers, we are always trying to find new classroom organization ideas. Having an organized classroom looks different to different people, but no matter what your system is, it is important to find different ways to grant easy access to classroom materials.
Though I have covered specific classroom organization products before, this focuses a little more on *how* to use them.
Here are five tips to help organize your materials, classroom library, file folders, desk drawers, and other aspects of your classroom supplies.
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Bulletin Board “Home Page”
Hang a bulletin board above your desk. This is a game-changer for your students and for you. It is a great place to post important notices, homework assignments, and other information for your students. It also provides a convenient spot to hang student work or pictures of your class. This can be where sticky notes live or other small items that can be hung up. It can also incorporate a white board for interchangeable announcements. Having a “go-to” spot in the classroom for all the “good stuff” will help everyone to stay in the loop of what is going on.
Use storage containers to organize your materials. Plastic bins, crates, pencil pouches, and baskets are great for storing textbooks, notebooks, folders, math centers, and other materials like office supplies, construction paper, and other little things that have a tendency to get lost. You can also use them to store classroom decorations or supplies. (Spoiler alert: if you’re not using book bins, you’re really missing out on an opportunity to keep things together). There are so many classroom storage ideas (and most of them can be put into play with items from the dollar store).
Charging Stations (Hear me out…)
Create a “charging station” for electronic devices. If you allow your students to use electronic devices in class, create a charging station for them. This could be a desk or filing cabinet in the back of the room with power cords and charging adapters. I always say that this is also an incredible classroom management tool because if the students are actively charging their phones, they cannot be on them. I’ve never had a teacher try this out and argue that it wasn’t a great idea.
Use labels to identify your materials. Labeling your materials will help you keep track of them, and it will also make it easier for your students to find what they need. You can use adhesive labels or tags to identify your materials or purchase an inexpensive label maker like this one from Amazon (ad). I find that having everything labeled really helps keep the classroom space organized and is the perfect way to keep those school supplies at hand and in the front of mind.
Using a CMS
Use a classroom management system. A classroom management system can help to keep your materials organized and easily accessible. There are many different types of systems, so find one that works best for you. This is something that you can work into your lesson plans or just file under classroom organization hacks. No matter how you implement your classroom management system, it’s a great way to take good ideas and incorporate them into classroom jobs, behavior, and important tasks first thing from the very first day of school.
Organizing your classroom materials does not have to be difficult, whether it is your first year of teaching or not (I’m looking at you, veteran teachers!). Truly, the best classroom organization ideas are the ones that work best for you and your students. They will simply make sense in the flow of how your classroom runs.
Imagine your small groups in a school day not losing anything or keeping the classroom a mess. Think about that effective teacher rating in your observation when your administrator sees these organizational tools put into play and run on auto-pilot. All it takes are some creative ideas; sometimes they’re from last year, sometimes they have been around since the beginning of the year. Maybe you are just coming up with the idea towards the end of the school year; none of that matters. The sooner you can implement these plans, and figure out a system for them to work, the sooner your room will get (and stay) organized.
Classroom organization ideas vary from teacher to teacher; what works wonders in one educator’s room might not have the same effect in another’s. With these five tips, you can create an easily accessible classroom that is organized and functional for both you and your students. Experiment a little and find what works for you!
Classroom Organization Ideas and the 4 Keys
Finding classroom organization ideas that will work for your students (and you!) isn’t necessarily difficult, it just needs to ebb and flow with the students and where they are (physically, mentally, and emotionally). Being flexible is the key to making all of this work. The key is engagement. There are four keys to student engagement that I discuss in my video training challenge called “Finding Your Student Engagement Formula” and it walks you through those four keys and how to implement them in the classroom.
If you are interested in registering (it’s totally free), visit the Finding Your Student Engagement Formula Challenge registration page and you will be notified the next time the series is available.