Five for Friday: Classroom Organization Sneak Peek



We had so much fun linking up with doodlebugs last week that we decided to do it again! This week I've spent most of the week in my classroom, so I thought I'd give you a sneak peek of what I've been doing!

I've been a little crazy this summer working in my classroom. Ashley and I do a Jumpstart to 1st Grade summer camp each year, and it's happening next week! This has really gotten the ball rolling on classroom set-up. Plus, there were some projects that I wanted to tackle, and those just don't happen during the school year.

 I'm the kind of person that LOVES a neat and organized classroom. I like it to feel cozy but not cluttered. It's a tough balance! I also do not want to spend the week before school stressing like a crazy woman, so I like to do little things here and there throughout the summer.

I LOVE these bins from Walmart. At this point, I've pretty much converted all of my old plastic shoeboxes to this. They come in every size you can imagine!


I just love everything about them. They are super-sturdy, and those green handles...perfect. I use them for any and everything. Storing group markers, word work bins (the ones with the random play-doh in them), and now storing my seasonal books! (See #2)

Last year I started using these monthly drawers to store things: math tubs, décor, books, etc.

While reorganizing my library this summer, I started thinking about my holiday/seasonal books. I only take them out during that month (which frees up lots of space in my library AND gets the kids excited when the new books come out.) I like keep them separate, but my drawers were getting super-full.

Not pretty. I decided to pull the books out and store them in my favorite Wal-Mart tubs. I chose the medium size because they were thinner and would be lighter to grab each month.

Ta-Da! These will be labeled and stored in the corner of my classroom.
A couple of quick organization tips. This one is so simple and makes my life much easier.
It's not rocket-science, but it took me a few years to get this going! I keep it right next to my printer, and I can easily switch out paper when I need to.
I also wanted to share what I use in place of my filing cabinet. Now, this does not mean I've gotten rid of the cabinet yet, but it's on it's way out!

I keep a binder for my team and try to stick one copy of everything that we do in the binder (in order.) We meet weekly to plan our lessons, so I bring the binder to the meeting and we can go through and see what we did previously and make copies. I also try to keep my examples and books used. It is not a perfect system, but it's a little easier than pulling out files. library. Whew! That was quite the task! I'd been looking for some labels for a while now and contemplated making my own, but then I saw these kindercraze labels and KNEW we were meant to be!

I like to have some of my books sorted my character and author, and I was able to use the editable file to create my own. This was not easy and took me 2 days, but how cute are they? So worth it. (Thanks kindercraze for making it editable!)
Once all the books were sorted, it was time to label! Another great tip from Maria at kindercraze was to HOT GLUE the labels to the bins! O.M.G., ya'll. This is genius. No more nasty tape! I had to take a few off to combine with another bin, and the glue easily peeled off.
I'm never going back.
HG4L (Hot Glue 4 Life)
So this is what it looks like *mostly* complete.


I was so pleased and ridiculously excited that the labels matched nicely with my new chalkboard alphabet décor! Love, love, love!

You may have noticed a tiny gap of space, and you may also be asking yourself..."Where are the random fiction books that don't fit into a theme?" Yes. Good question.

 Oh! There they are! Boo.
This is part 2. I'm planning to level these books and either display them by level or by the first letter of the title. For now, they are hiding in the corner. My dirty little secret. :)
Finally, while you're here, feel free to head on over to the We Heart 1st Facebook page and follow us. It's a pretty sad situation over there, and we need some friends! :) We started strong with instagram and forgot all about our Facebook page. It' so much to manage! I'll be giving away my new chalkboard-style alphabet décor pack on the FB page very soon! 
That's it for now! I'd love to hear some of your fave organization tips. Do you use binders? Have a favorite bin? Sound off in the comments, and remember to head back to doodlebugs and check out some more blogs!
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  1. I'm loving your classroom organization! The picture of your library reminds me of the shelves that I used to have back when I first started teaching...cinder blocks and boards make for the best shelves! :)

    Teaching in High Heels

    1. Thanks Gladys! (Sorry for the delayed response. I just figured out how to add a reply button!) You are right about those shelves! They are holding strong 8 years later! BTW I love your blog!