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Quick Tips for Back to School

Quick tips for back to school

When I think of my struggles and frustrations from my first few years in the classroom, many of it revolved around all of the materials and resources I was accumulating and where the heck it was all supposed to go.  I tend to get behind and bogged down during the year and just throw things in places for a quick fix.  Then I spend way too much time in the summer trying to organize everything while also vowing to never do it again.  I spend so much of my Back to School time organizing and cleaning from the previous year, and don’t spend enough time doing things that I feel like will help me make the next year better.  I’ve learned a few things: I need my storage to be super  affordable because I will have excuses and not buy something even if it will make everything so much better; and I need it to be a super easy to use system otherwise I won’t keep up with it once I’m in the middle of things during the year.  Hopefully these quick and easy organizational tips will help you keep up with your neverending piles of “stuff” especially during this crazy Back to School season.

Coupon organizers

Coupon organizers are great storage for task cards.  They have dividers so you can sort by skill.  Or, you can have students store things in there and use the dividers to identify which cards they’ve finished and which they have not.  It’s perfect for fast finisher activities if you use it that way.  Or, you an use them to store sight word cards that students can sort known and unknown words into.

Teacher Toolbox

It seems that nearly every classroom has one of these toolboxes in them at this point.  But, if you’ve been a hold out, take another look.  These are the perfect storage solution for all of those little things that get stored and lost in your desk.  My building doesn’t provide desks but gives a movable podium with 5 super little shelves in it (which you can’t pull out therefore you can’t see what’s on the shelf).  I literally would never find a paperclip or a new strip of staples if I didn’t have this toolbox behind my desk.  You can see the specifics on this toolbox itself, and grab my labels for free, by heading over to this post.

Spelling Lists in Photo Albums

Photo albums from Dollar Tree are another favorite of mine.  I hope these never go away due to digital photo technology because I use them in several ways in my classroom.  Or, maybe I should stock up now.  Especially for just $1 a piece.

I use them in my Word Work bins to store weekly spelling lists.  I print them 4 to a page and then keep 4 albums in my bin.  The size fits easily inside the album and students can then quickly see both current and past words.  For more Word Work ideas, you can read my post here.

Cut out letter storage

I also use these photo albums to store my punch out letters that I’ve bought from the teacher store.  I took out the front and back cover so that I can see exactly which one is in it.  Because they don’t have quite enough pages, I store some of my lesser used letters (like x and v) together.  It took a bit of time to get them in there, but it’s so much easier to find letters now and I actually return them to this spot.

Borders in round food storage I also buy these little round food containers from Dollar Tree and use them to store so many things in my classroom. I originally tried storing my borders by clipping them on a binder clip and then hanging them in a closet.  It worked at first.  But then every time I wanted a set, others would fall off on the clip.  Or if I bumped it, they’d fall.  These stack so nicely, I can see exactly which one to grab, and I can store a border for like 20 cents.  I’ve also heard people using frosting containers, but I love that I can see what’s in these.


To help you make your Back to School time even easier, I’d also like to give away a $25 gift cart to TpT!  Enter below using the Rafflecopter and then check out the awesome posts by a few of my friends, and enter to win their gift cards too!  We’ll announce the winners soon so that you can use those gift cards during the 1 Day Sale on Monday!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

For some other quick tips during this Back to School season, and to enter to win their $25 gift cards, hop through the blogs below.


  • So clever! I love your ideas for photo albums! I’d get your maths warm ups or number sense task cards…my kids need a lot of number sense work.

  • I love your organization tips for boarders and bulletin board letters. More times than I like to admit I lose a piece or two and end up needing to get a new set. Great ideas! Thanks!

  • I’d choose Yellow Chevron Classroom Decor {Editable}

  • I love all your products!! Would love to have any of them!!

  • I would love to win your Multiplication and division task cards bundle. Thanks!

  • I think your Black History Month: Responding to Inferential Questions with Text Evidence looks fantastic!

  • The daily warm-ups for 2nd grade looks awesome!

  • LOVE the idea of storing punch out letters in mini albums – thanks!

  • Ooh, I would love your centers management PowerPoint! It’s been on my wish list for a while now!

  • I love your Number Sense Brain Teasers Task Cards!!

  • I like the 2nd Grade Math Warm Up/ Morning Work- Bundle!

  • I would love your 3rd grade quick questions. Love your products.

  • I would LOVE your number sense brain teasers for 1st grade! Thank you for the chance! 🙂


  • I would love your Close Reading Graphic Organizers.

  • I’d love your Story Problems Task Cards for Grade 3.

    🙂 Kaitlyn

  • I’d like your Multiplication & Division Task Cards Bundle. These are very important math concepts for my 4th graders, and they will make great practice for my kiddos.

  • I would love the 3rd grade math morning work bundle!

  • I love your Problem of the Day Story Problems 1st Grade- September!!!

  • I love your toolbox labels!! Great ideas for using those little Dollar Tree photo albums, too!!

  • What a creative idea to store the letters in photo album. I’m in the midst of purging STUFF. I have been finding letters and borders in the weirdest places. I going to the dollar store tomorrow!

  • I would love to win the pink and green polka dot classroom décor. Love these colors! Thank you!

  • I like your Editable Binder Covers: Pink, Lime, & Turquoise because I am using those colors too!

  • Thank you for sharing these wonderful ideas! I just spent too much time reorganizing my intervention classroom since I did the exact thing you were talking about-getting in a hurry during the year and just stashing stuff!

  • I would love to win your “3rd Grade Story Problems Task Cards Bundle”. Thank you for the opportunity to win a very generous giveaway!

  • Would love to win your Main Ideas bundle. My students struggle with this concept.

  • CVC Games Galore would be perfect for my K kids.

  • The photo books are amazing I use them to store the QR codes for the books in my QR listening center. I would love to win your 1st grade math warm up bundle!!

  • WOW! So many great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  • Your 3rd Grade Math Beyond the Textbook MEGA Bundle looks absolutely amazing. My students would definitely benefit from this resource.

  • 3rd grade Mth Beyond the Textbook looks awesome. What a great all encompassing product.

  • Love your ideas especially the containers for borders. I’m going to use that one. Thanks for sharing!

  • Hi!
    I would love to win:

    Word Wall Word Work
    Daily Math warm-ups for First Grade

  • One of your products I would like is the “Number Sense Brain Teasers”. I can always use more critical thinking/problem solving activities!

  • I’d like to win your word wall word work product! I like that it doesn’t require lists and there is a variety of activities to choose from.

  • I would love to win your sentence scramble or your word work set!

    Also I LOVE your bulletin board storage ideas!

  • Love, love, love the photo album idea!! I would love to win your Daily Math Warm Ups for 2nd Grade! Thank you! 🙂

  • I love the photo album idea!! Genius!! I would love to win your Daily Math Warm Ups for 2nd grade 🙂

  • Centers Management- that would save bulletin board space for items needed!

    Shout out from a fellow Hoosier! 🙂

  • I like the grammar “units” (noun, adjective, etc.).

  • I love your ideas for using the Dollar Tree Photo Albums!

  • The second (or third–have both grades this year) grade problems of the day bundle looks great.

  • I love your organization tips! I hadn’t thought of the containers for border. Thank you!

  • What clever storage solutions you have. Thanks for sharing!

  • One thing I would choose from your store is the word wall word work.

  • I love your organization tips…I really struggle with this area! I love your CVC games product.
    Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  • I love your products. Thanks for sharing the border storage idea. I would love your pink and lime polka dots decor or your Open Ended Passages and Questions!

  • I would love the Daily Math Warm Ups for 2nd Grade Bundle.

  • I would love your Problem of the Day Story Problems bundle!

  • I love the 3rd Grade Beyond the Textbook Mega Bundle!

  • I’d like to get your Close Reading Graphic Organizers

  • Your ideas for simple and inexpensive storage methods are great! Thank you for sharing with those of us who overthink EVERYTHING.

  • I would love to have your Daily Math Warm Ups for 1st Grade.

  • I would love to have your 1st Grade Math Warm Up/Morning Work.

  • I would love to have your 1st Grade Math Warm Up/Morning Work- Set 1

  • Close Reading Companion: Patricia Polacco
    Love all of her books.

  • I set up my toolbox last week with your labels – love it!
    I think the 3rd grade multipart story problem bundle looks great.

  • I’d love to win any of your primary task cards. They’d be a great addition to my Sub bag.

  • What’s the Proof? Citing Text Evidence looks like everything I need!

  • Love your Daily math warmups and morning work bundle!

  • I’d love to win your 3rd Grade Story Problems Task Cards Bundle.

  • I would LOVE the Close Reading Graphic Organizers!

  • I would love to have your unit: What’s the Proof Citing Text Evidence!

  • I love the look of your year-long writing prompts!

  • I would love the fluency phrases task cards!!!!!

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Hi! I'm Tessa!

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