Top 5 Tools for Classroom Organization
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Full disclosure: I’m what my husband likes to call “surface organized,” which means that I appear to be organized only in areas that most people see. (Which also means that my closets, pantry, and drawers are usually a horrifying mess!) I’m also drawn to anything color-coded or involving pretty plastic bins, which I think most teachers can identify with, am I right? After 15 years in the classroom, I’ve tried just about EVERY organizational tool and trend under the sun, but these 5 are my go-to favorites year after year!
My number ONE game-changer organizational tool is one that made me ditch ALL my messy hanging files and binders after so many years…PROJECT CASES! These durable plastic cases hold individual file folders divided by subject inside, and it’s where put my master copies, task cards, visual aids, and more for each month. These babies have been going strong for four years and are SO easy to pop into my teacher bag to bring home to plan. Plus there is NO hole-punching or page protectors to worry about because #aintnobodygottimeforthat.
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I currently have mine on a shelf near my teacher’s desk, but they will often fit in legal sized filing cabinets! (Just make sure to measure yours first!)
Number 2 on my list is my three-tiered rolling cart! You can find these at Walmart, Michael’s, Target, IKEA, and other related stores. They’re perfect to hold a classroom set of STEM Bins! They don’t take up much space and are easy to roll into accessible locations or out of the way. They’re also ideal to put between two classroom doors for multiple classes to share. You can even add some sticky Command hooks on the front for easy access to STEM Bins task cards!
Here are some other STEM Bins rolling carts from some fabulous friends on Instagram. I love how @smillermiller82 added a Quick Writes file on the top for additional written extensions!
Coming in at Number 3 is my rainbow tabletop organizer from Michael’s! Make sure to use their weekly coupon to save big on this little guy. I use this to organize all my Seasonal Task Cards for STEM Bins. It makes it quick and easy to switch out sets for holidays and seasons!
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Number 4 is plastic 4 x 6 photo cases, another option for organizing STEM Bins task cards (or ANY task cards for that matter!) They are durable, portable, and great for keeping tiny pieces separated.
Last but definitely not least are my plastic table caddies! Like many teachers, I use these for basic community school supplies on my tables, but I also use them to keep my LEGO pieces separated for Build a Story. I also LOVE the larger utility version for Maker Stations because they hold a LOT more supplies, but are still portable.