No matter if it’s back to school, special events or day-to-day classroom management, the way our classrooms are organized make all the difference.
Ask any teacher and they will tell you that keeping track of your time is a major key to success. Proper organization is the best way to keep track of your time and empower students to respect order and flow during the school day.
To help make your classroom as efficient as possible, Pampered Teacher has asked teachers to tell us their favorite tools for keeping their classrooms organized.
Organizing with Containers
- Storage Bins – store and stack for the easiest and sturdiest way to organize. Teacher Tip: “I organize my classroom bookshelves using bins for the classroom library for students to select books from.”
Classroom Idea – Add casters to the bottom of tubs or easy moving around the classroom and sliding under tables.
- Storage drawers – they come as big as bedroom furniture or small enough to sit on your desk. They’re useful, inexpensive and durable.
Teacher Tip: “I use a toolbox with drawers used for supplies.”
Classroom idea: Arrange groupings of desks or tables around a tall storage drawer unit and store the supplies for that group in it.
- Baskets – teachers prefer the colorful plastic baskets that hold up well to the wear and tear of classroom life.
Teacher Tip – “I’ve repurposed baskets as drawers inside desks, and in milk crates being used as seating.”
Classroom Idea – Most plastic baskets have holes on the bottom. Flip them over and stick scissor tips, pencils or markers in the holes.
- Shoe organizers that hang over doors – those little pockets, especially the clear ones make vertical storage a snap in the classroom.
Teacher Tip – “I fill each slot with all sorts of things from craft items to brain games to extra copies of assignments. Each slot also has its own slide in label that I laminate with binder clips.”
- Trays – stackable, but keeps important papers at your fingertips.
Teacher Tip: “I use trays for period in and out boxes and absent student box.”
Organize Small Items in the Classroom
- Paper clips with tabs on top – clip it, label it, and it’s officially a “station” in the classroom
Teacher Tip: “I sort homework by clipping together assignments with no name or incomplete.”
- Individual folders – always great because they come in so many colors for color coded sorting.
Teacher Tip: “ I have an individual folder for each student with data sheets and a working copy of their current IEP.”
- Binders – sturdy and expandable, binders are outstanding for organizing in the classroom. Bonus: the laminated covers and binding keep labels and color codes protected from wear.
Teacher Tip: “I use a binder for each unit, lesson plans, discipline notes, contact info and grade book.”
- Pencil boxes – pick these up at the beginning of the school year for a cool $1 and they’ll last for years.
Teacher Tip – “I store all kinds of cards in pencil boxes – everything from flash cards to index cards to card games. I then found a basket that the pencil boxes fit in perfectly.”
- Magazine holder boxes – he perfect storage solution for floppy items such as handouts, magazines and readers.
Teacher Tip: “I labeled 5 magazine holders with the days of the week to store and organize daily handouts.”
Classroom Idea: Repurpose cereal boxes or other food packaging for DIY magazine holders.
- Tabletop organizers – create a supply station at each work table or desk grouping.
Classroom Idea: Repurpose a kitchen utensil caddy for the classroom. You can even add a lazy-susan mechanism (less than $10 at hardware stores) to the bottom for easy spinning.
- Laminator – make all your teaching dreams come true with a classroom laminator.
Classroom Idea: Laminators turn all curriculum materials into dry erase surfaces! Think about how that will transform brain games, desktop planners, flip books, hall passes, desk checks and so much more!
Here is the laminated most highly recommended by teachers (aff. Link):
Only $29.99 on AmazonScotch Thermal Laminator 2 Roller System (TL901)
Get Organized with Apps
- ClassDojo – a safe communication tool for teachers, parents and students.
- Remind – a messaging app built for education
- Confer - a note taking app for teachers that lets you record and keep track of the notes you take on your students; both individually and in small groups
- Booksource - allows educators to organize and track books in their classroom library
- Symbaloo – a URL bookmarking site teachers can use for keeping track of apps for each subject, skill practice, learning, research, coding and lesson planning
- Microsoft Onenote – the digital note-taking app for your devices
Wishing you the best as you prepare your classroom for the new school year! Also a special THANK YOU to the teachers who participated in the Pampered Teacher survey that helped to bring great content and resources to our blog.
Each Pampered Teacher subscription box contains products for the classroom so be looking for some of these useful organizing tools in upcoming boxes!