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Let’s Get Organized

This is my second year in third grade, and my first year in this classroom.  I think as common in any new building and grade level, you are constantly reworking your organization systems to find what works best for you and for your physical space.  After receiving some office supplies from Shoplet, and motivation from the growing hours of sunshine each day, I’ve started reworking some of my storage solutions and I thought I’d share them with you.  I think every teacher is always looking for new ideas for our hoarding problems curriculum storage and classroom organization.

Task cards are my favorite new teaching tool.  I love that they give students practice on necessary skills, but when you use them as a Solve the Room activity, they also get kids up and moving.  I’ve created a ton of math task cards and am continuing to create more, as we’re working through different standards.  Storing those task cards can be tricky, especially if you’re using file folders.  I love to store them inside coupon organizers.  That way, you can put multiple sets of cards in each one and separate them with the regular dividers.

This image shows my Fluency Task cards stored in a cute organizer that I got for 25 cents from the Target Dollar Spot’s clearance.  That is probably my favorite place to grab them because I can often get them so cheaply.
These letter trays have lasted me 9 years in education.  This year, I wanted to try something different and used an old mailbox system.  I’m back to these.  While these look a bit crazy, I promise they’re organized.  On the top are two shelves for storage on things I use weekly (my paper newsletter folder, spelling lists, etc.).  The next 5 are each labeled with the day of the week.  In here I put copies I’ll need for the week, books I’m going to teach from, or anything else we might need.  On Monday, you can see a piece of brown construction paper.  I use that to divide weeks if I’m ahead on copying- which rarely happens.  The bottom tray collects various things.  Right now it’s holding my posters I had to take down for state testing.
These 3-in-1 SuperTab Section Folders are SO COOL!  From the outside, they look like normal file folders.

However, on the inside, are pockets!

These are perfect for storing the different items you need for teaching a unit.  Task cards or exit tickets can be stored in the little pocket in the front.  Printables, posters, or lesson plans can be stored in one of the two big pockets.  You can also use the rings on top to secure things you just slide into the file.  Everything you need for one unit in one place- and secured!  I’m going to be using these to reorganize all of my files.

For reading, I teach students from my own homeroom and from another homeroom.  I needed a way to store running records for each of the students in the other room so it was nearby.  This 12-Pocket Stadium File was the perfect solution!  I wrote each student’s initials on a SuperTab file folder and placed it into the stadium file.  Both the file folders and the stadium file are thick and sturdy.  I just place the stadium file on a bookshelf behind me and slide it out when I need it.  It takes up such little room, but has room to grow as I add more to it.  I love that everything is now in one place.

While I use these for storing running records, they really can be used to store anything.  They’d be perfect for organizing intervention resources or data.  For small group instructions, they could hold resources for different specific skills for each group.  With 12 slots, there’s really so much you could do.

I’m also a big fan of using binders to store materials.  I don’t even want to think about the amount of binders I have or how much I’ve spent on them.  I have two different cabinets that have binders and books with materials I’ve collected over the last 10 years.  I also have a bin on the ground behind my desk where I store the binders I use most often while planning.  I love storing papers inside plastic sleeves inside binders because they not only contain everything, but they’re easy to then tag and label, or rearrange however you see fit.

I use binders to store my interactive notebook materials.  Each plastic sleeve stores everything for that specific standard.  Here is my math binder, showcasing the amazing 3rd grade INB from Blair Turner.  When I’m planning each week’s lessons, I pull out the pages from one sleeve, and plan how I’m going to build my lessons around these.  I love that I know exactly where to find the materials, and they’re organized so simply.

I also use binders to store my running record materials.  I use a half inch binder (shown on the left) to store the student materials.  I just used plastic sleeves to slide in the texts.  Then on the right is a 3 inch binder with all of the teaching resources.  The orange papers divide each text within the binder.  In the front of a section is a plastic sleeve with copies of the running record forms, as shown below.  Then, behind that, is the originals and the answer key to the comprehension questions.  When I’m assessing students, I just grab the two binders and I’m ready to go.  I love that everything is in one place and I don’t have to worry about file folders!

I hope you’ve found a couple new ideas that will help with your classroom organization.  Do you have any organization suggestions?  Feel free to leave them in the comments below.  If you’re a blogger, I’d love it if you’d like up below.  Please use the button above to link to this post to bring reciprocal traffic to the linky.





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