Organizing Your Classroom

So, this week I’m hanging in Vegas and presenting at the I Teach 1st! Conference.  It’s still a little surreal sometimes.  Vegas is just enormous when it comes to everything, so getting to go and spend a day talking about something that I love is just crazy, right?

Anyway, one of the things I presented on is how to organize yourself because I’m sure we all need a little help with that.  I know I do.  I think as teachers it’s never all done no matter how hard we try.  So, I decided to present on what works for me.  I also promised everyone that came that I would share links to some of the things I mentioned to try to help everyone out a little.

I started with cleaning out the junk.  Friends, this is what I was dealing with.  For the first time ever I am changing classrooms.  When you’ve been in the same room for fourteen years, you definitely accumulate a ton of junk.  I have a new respect for people that change classrooms often.  Um… it is insane how much you have to pack and move and clean and unpack.  That doesn’t even include all the furniture you have to organize and reorganize fifty times before you feel it’s exactly right.

Here are a few pictures of my finally organized classroom.  I decided to go with tables over desks.  I’m a little nervous about the change, but I’m hoping it will make it easier to manage when it comes technology and small groups.  I know flexible classroom seating is the big thing right now.  This is my version of that.  I needed something I was comfortable with while giving my students a little more freedom. 

Here are also a few photos about how and where I store all of the extras – glue sticks, paint, centers, etc.  I think most teachers would agree that we can never have enough storage.  Since I mentioned centers, feel free to grab my month labels that I use for my black cubes and for my tubs.  

You can also click on my colored carts photo to grab the labels I made for them.  Hopefully those items will help you get your classroom set up a little easier.

Now, I’m sure paperwork is the other big thing most people struggle with.  I have to tell y’all I can get my files all organized and within days they seem like a mess again.  Here are a few photos of how I attempt to keep my paperwork straight.  Instead of a filing cabinet, I use a binder system.  Mine aren’t overly pretty right now, but I understand it and it’s usually easy for me to find what I need.  With moving to third now, I’m having to start a lot of my binders over, but it’s nice to know I already have a plan.
As for keeping my students organized, I use several pages from my Beginning of the Year Teacher Packets.  If you click on the photo below, you can get several of my most used items for free. 

For computer organization, below is my go to sheet.  I keep it in a safe place so I don’t have to remember the bajillion passwords and screen names it feels like I have.  Feel free to grab it too. 
Alright, that’s all for now.  If you are in Vegas, I hope y’all have had a great time at I Teach 1st!  If you aren’t there, hopefully this post will let you experience it a little.

Have a great night!

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