Classroom Organization: Tips and Tricks
Classroom Organization Tip 1- Organizing Reading Material
Library Display Books
We’ll start in our classroom library where you find our wooden display shelf and our student book bins (from Really Good Stuff), as well as, Sterelite containers for themed books. If you search #1stgradebookshelf on Instagram you can sneak a peek at our weekly themed-bookshelves. I love these shelves because they expose students to a wide variety of books and authors, and build excitement. My friends can’t wait to see what books I’ve chosen for us on Monday mornings! Plus, my friends BEG for extra reading time on Monday mornings. (Read more about our weekly bookshelf in this blog post.)
I store and organize all of these books by month or general theme. I try to keep one theme in each bin, but sometimes small themes (like teeth or Valentines Day) double-up in the containers.
For student book bins I label them by number and attach the labels with permanent Glue Dots. Over all of last year, I only lost 3 labels by using the glue dots…making library set-up a breeze this year!
Next, onto our library: I have two LARGE metal cabinets. When you open them up, you find my Reading Street Leveled Readers (on the first shelf) and then, hard-back books (Seuss and Willems) and Listen to Reading Books.
I place listen-to-reading books in plastic bags if I have multiple copies of them. If I only have a single copy of a book, it goes in the bin solo. I sort the books into three groups – fall, spring, and anytime books. This makes trading out books for listening to reading simple. I typically keep 5-6 different book choices in our listen to reading center. (To learn more about our Listen to Reading center here.)
Weekly Magazines and Newspapers
Guided Reading Books
Classroom Organization Tip 2- Supplies
Manipulative and Basic Supplies
I clearly label every bin so my friends know exactly what to grab and where to put materials back. This helps keep things organized and allows students to be in charge. My friends know that anything with a label can be touched by a 1st grader. If a bin doesn’t have a label, they need to ask me before touching! (The bins on the left are size small and the ones on the right are size medium.)
Additionally, our number lines hang from a Command Hook. I purchased mine from Carson Delrosa, laminated them, hole-punched the end, and hung them. This keeps the number lines organized and easily accessible to my small friends.
Classroom Organization Tip 3- Planning
Right behind my teacher table, I also keep these color-coded bins organized and stocked for Guided Math. Often the manipulatives travel from bin-to-bin, but the assessments and mini-lesson materials are group-dependent. I love having my materials at arm’s reach, and it’s easy to restock them at the end of the day.
Organization is the key to a smooth-running classroom. It helps students know what to expect and gives them structure when working. My biggest takeaways from this year are (1) label things that you want students to be able to use independently (2) keep things at 1st-grader height and (3)figure out a color-system that makes management easy.
So, tell me, is organization something that comes naturally to you? What tips do you have for keeping it manageable? I’m always looking for new ideas, so I’d love to hear what works for you! For other FREE classroom resources and freebies, sign-up here for teaching ideas to land in your inbox each month.
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