Whip your classroom into shape using these 5 ways of organizing all of the materials, tools, and supplies in your classroom: Numbering, grouping, labeling, using containers, and color coding. Read below to learn more!
This blog post will…
- identify and explain 5 organizational methods for organizing everything in your classroom
- provide the information you need to begin organizing your kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth, or fifth grade classroom
- suggest specific strategies to create a neat and tidy classroom
Put your students’ names in alphabetical order and assign a number to each child sequentially based on that list.
Number EVERYTHING in your classroom, including cubbied, folders, binders, mailboxes, etc. Train your students to not only write their name on their work, but to also write their number in the top right corner of their assignments. This will make it easy to put papers and forms in numerical order and quickly identify missing items.
Numbering each individual student supply is a bit time consuming, however you will eliminate lost time throughout the entire year because it will be easy to find and identify misplaced items. It will also decrease disputes between students. If your students are not old enough to do this themselves, look for volunteers to do this for you. Be sure to have a class roster visible that includes the student numbers.
Group like items together. This will make it easier for you to keep an accurate inventory of your belongings so you know when you need to replace consumables. Grouping also encourages students and volunteers to put things back where they belong.
Do not be shy when it comes to labeling. Stick labels on anything and everything you possibly can. Labeling makes it faster to find what you need quickly. It makes it possible to volunteers and students to find things and put them back in the proper location, Labeling items in a classroom can be done in many ways.
- Computer labels or an actual label maker work great for small objects and containers.
- You can print onto paper, cut out labels and attach them with clear packing tape. I tend to print labels on paper so I have more flexibility in the sizing. I then mount the printouts onto cardstock, laminate and attach with tape, hot glue or velcro dots.
- Adhesive label holders work well for containers you plan to keep, but may change out the contents of over time. The labels slide in and out which can be a great time and money-saver.
- You can also just write on objects with permanent marker. Teachers have the tendancy to want to make everything look amazing, but the point of labeling is to help with organization and it is OK for somethings to simply function well without a lot of effort.
Placing things into containers when not in use helps to keep them together, and also improves the ease of finding them if the container remains in the same location. Putting items into smaller containers within a larger container increases the organization even more.
Use clear bags to house like objects. Store those bags together with other like objects. An example of this concept would be putting all of your pattern blocks, Base Ten blocks, and linking cubes into bags and then putting all three bags into a plastic tub.
Color-coding not only creates a cohesive look when like objects are grouped together, it also saves you time as a teacher because it makes things easier to identify at a glance.
- Color code each subject. For example if math were green you could use green folders, green notebooks, write learning goals and assignments on the board in green marker, copy important resources onto green paper, etc.
- Color code groups of students. Some teachers color-code alphabetically, by table, or by another form of grouping (such as reading groups or guided math groups).