Can we ever have too many organizing ideas? Nope, I didn’t think so. 🙂 Super excited to have Meredith here to share some ideas on how she organizes her primary classroom. Organizing the primary classroom takes skill and I am sure you’ll agree with me that it is always more tips and tricks to learn. Here she is…
Organizing the primary classroom can be tricky. It needs to work for the teacher, the students, and the parents. What I have learned over the years (I am in my fourth classroom in six years) is that every classroom is different, but they can all be equally functional. Some require more creativity than others, but all classrooms can create the perfect environment for the students they serve.
When I first moved into my current classroom, I had my work cut out for me. I organized what I could in the amount of time I had, while making it cute and welcoming to my incoming kindergarteners. As time goes on, I always find myself re-organizing and moving things around to make things easier and to better utilize my space.
Seat Sacks. Because I use tables and not desks in my classroom, my Seat Sacks have become priceless. They have eliminated so much transition time when working on Writer’s Workshop, Reader’s Workshop, and math. I no longer need to pass out folders, book bags, or math packets. My students have them all at their seats, at all times. It even helps to promote student independence. They take care of their own materials, and can work on it throughout our day if they choose to (because why should writing and reading be limited to just workshop?).
Popcorn bins. I have become obsessed with the Target dollar section’s popcorn bins. I love them because they are cute but also incredibly practical. They do not roll off tables, they are sturdy, and they even fit into the small section of my table caddies. Currently, I store scissors, glue, and colored pencils in them. I have stored flash cards, math manipulatives, and Mr. Sketch markers in them in the past. I keep things in them that are not readily available on my tables. To top it off, they are easy to store (see my black rolling cart below) and easy for little hands/little people to carry across the room.
Cubbies. I have giant cubbies easily accessible in my hallway. I used them for a year, but slowly grew tired of needing to remind my students to come right back in to the classroom. Needless to say, after a year of using my hallway cubbies, I was done. So I found these black “literature organizers” on Amazon. They are sold in sets of 12, and I have two. They can be stacked on top of each other, but I have them sitting next to each other on my counter. It’s easier for my little guys to reach and read their names. I love these cubbies for many reasons. They are perfectly sized for regular paper and construction paper. They are close together which makes it easier to quickly sort student papers into cubbies. I can put them anywhere in my classroom. I currently have them close to their backpack hooks so they are easily accessible for students on their way home (and parents picking up).
Leveled library. Once I found a solution to my cubbies, I didn’t want to let the larger cubbies go to waste in my hallway. Throughout the year last year, I slowly transformed my cubbies into a leveled library where parents and volunteers can take small groups and one student at a time to read. It has been such a great routine for my students, and the parents have loved volunteering and watching their kindergarteners become fluent readers. I gathered extra leveled readers and used my Scholastic Reading Club points to buy more. The Sterilite shoe bins (found at Target for super cheap, less than $1) are a perfect size for both the books and the cubbies. They are a makeshift drawer for students and parents quickly grabbing books.
Every part of your classroom can be practical for both you and your students. Think about what your students use, how often they use it, and how would make the most sense. Happy organizing!
Thanks again to Meredith for sharing her ideas!! Be sure to head over to her Teachers Pay Teachers Store for all kinds of goodies.