As teachers, we often face the challenge of organizing our classrooms. Many questions pop up in our minds, like “Where do I start?”, “How do I organize my classroom?”, and “Will my students keep it neat?” Over the years, I’ve learned that working on one space at a time with the right tools can make a significant difference when it comes to successful classroom organization. From your classroom library to your student supplies, here are three easy ways to get your classroom in tip-top shape using the best classroom organization ideas!
Tackling Your Classroom Library!
Creating an organized classroom library can be a very daunting task. Begin by figuring out what area you have to house your books. From classroom shelving to rolling carts, every classroom library space looks different, and that’s okay! Your library can be accessible and functional regardless of the space you have. When I moved into a classroom with no counter space or shelves, I turned to cube organizers and classroom book bins from Really Good Stuff®. Besides being a perfect fit in a cube shelf, these book bins are incredibly sturdy and deep enough to hold dozens of books with a removable center divider. They even come in smaller sizes, perfect for organizing chapter books!
Simple Organization for Your Materials!
Keeping your supplies and materials organized can make your classroom life so much easier! Trays and baskets are great for arranging materials and providing easy access for both you and your students. I separate materials for each of the six grades I teach into different color-coded classroom baskets, making transitions more efficient between classes. Use baskets to organize supplies for different subject areas, class periods, or even small student groups. The best classroom organization ideas often involve using simple storage solutions, like a smartly arranged assortment of trays and baskets, to keep everything in its place!
Make It Student Friendly!
When it comes to classroom supplies, accessibility is essential. We want to create workspaces that students can use independently. Caddies are a great way to hold different art and work supplies for students. From writing and coloring utensils to scissors and glue sticks, compartment caddies can be used on classroom shelving or at individual tables. Not only can materials stay organized, but students can take part in keeping caddies clean and fully stocked!
One of my favorite classroom organization ideas is to involve students in the process. By giving them ownership of the space, they are more likely to keep it neat and organized. For example, assign classroom jobs, such as “materials manager” or “library assistant,” to help maintain organization throughout the school year.
Another great tip is to label everything! Use labels on your classroom book bins, shelving, and supply caddies to make it easy for students to find what they need and put things back where they belong. This not only helps with organization but also fosters independence among your students.
It’s Your Space — Get Creative!
Implementing the best classroom organization ideas can make a world of difference in your teaching experience. By tackling your classroom library, using simple organization techniques for your materials, and making your space student-friendly, you can create an environment where both you and your students can thrive. Plus, the extra time gained from not looking for classroom essentials can mean more time spent on fun activities, creating memories, and exploring lessons on a deeper level.
While these classroom organization ideas are a fantastic resource to get you started, a teacher’s journey never ends. You may find some ideas work better than others, and in experimenting with your organization system, you may come up with unique and creative ideas that save even more time! It’s your space; don’t be afraid to test out new methods for taming your classroom. And when you discover a classroom organization idea that works, please share it with the rest of us!
By Nikki Ortiz-Tatarka
*Compensation was provided for this blog post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Nikki Ortiz-Tatarka is currently an elementary theater teacher in Florida. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s Degree in Integrated Teaching Through the Arts. Over the past 16 years, Nikki has taught preschool, kindergarten, and 2nd grade with an emphasis on arts integration in the classroom. She is an advocate for integrating the arts and academic content in all grade levels. Follow her on Instagram @integrateandeducate.