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January 1, 2013

10 Tips for Organizing the Classroom

Written By: Brandi Jordan
X 10 Organizing Tips for Teachers


10 Organizing Tips for Teachers

Organizing any classroom can be challenging, but a well organized classroom offers not only benefits for teachers, but also for students. Limiting the amount of visual clutter will help students focus. Having designated and labeled areas for supplies makes finding things easier. How you organize your classroom can be the difference between a chaotic year and one that runs more smoothly. Whether it is the beginning of the school year or the middle of it, there is always an opportunity to make some simple changes that can have big rewards. Check out the 10 tips below and get your classroom organized for the remainder of the school year.


Classroom Organization Tips

Construction Paper Organization

Organizing construction paper can be challenging! Instead of keeping it stacked in a closet or taking up space where it might be torn or damaged, sort it and file it away in an accordion file. The papers will stay neatly organized and easily accessible.


Magnetic Organizers

If you do not have closets, take full advantage of magnetic organizers.  There are organizers that hold mail, files, folders, whiteboard supplies, and more.  Hang them on the sides of tall filing cabinets, on the front of the teacher’s desk, or on the magnetic whiteboard itself.


Under the Chair Storage

Make use of students’ chairs and install under the chair storage for their books, journals, and folders.


Rolling Drawers

Imagine being able to wheel your supplies and materials around the room where you need them when you need them.  With a rolling set of drawers you can!  Use the drawers for everything from individual student cubbies to center supplies to Daily 5 organization.  The best part?  You can find different size rolling drawers to meet all of your organizational needs.


Proper Bin Sizes

You may think that a larger bin would take up more space and not work as well in your small classroom, but bins and baskets that are sized appropriately for the books and materials they will be holding work out better in the long run. Not only is it easier to organize the supplies, it is easier for students to keep things organized. Picture book bins are a great example of containers that are made specifically to protect your book investment and keep your small classroom more organized.


Cover It Up!

Sometimes you just cannot get away from a pile of bins and tubs that need to be stored in the classroom.  Instead of leaving them out on display, stack them in sets of two and cover with a pretty piece of fabric or a tablecloth.  The covered stack can then be used as a divider between centers or in the classroom library.


Storage Bin Stool

Transform a milk crate into a stool with storage! Cut a piece of plywood slightly larger than the opening at the top of the milk crate. Drill two holes on one end through which you would place large metal rings to anchor it to the milk crate. Cover the plywood with batting and colorful fabric that matches your classroom theme. Push the metal rings through the fabric and batting so that they go through the holes that you drilled in the plywood. Loop the rings through the top of the milk crate to secure the seat. When you lift the seat, there is plenty of storage inside the milk crate for your teacher editions, extra supplies, or center materials.


Hooks and Clothesline

When all else fails, do not forget to look up.  Look up to the classroom walls and ceiling, that is.  Most schools have strict fire code regulations, so check with your administrator before hanging clothesline from wall to wall.  If it is permissible, string a piece of clothesline or cord across the room and use clothespins to hang student work, light book bags, or anchor charts.


Hanging Pocket Charts

The backs of doors and closets are ideal for storage. Use a color-coded chart to keep track of and store lesson plans, student work, and frequently used forms. File folder games can go in larger pocket charts, while small hanging organizers typically used for jewelry can be used for storing office supply type materials.


Stackable Bins

Space is always at a premium in the classroom. Instead of lining bins across a table, use stackable bins that take up that unused vertical space. Label the bins with what goes in each and you have an instant organizer for homework, writing centers, math stations, or small group work.


Think outside the box when it comes to organizing the classroom. Do you have a special tip for keeping your small classroom organized? Share it with us by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook page!

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