Are you ready to tackle your classroom organization to do list this year? Let me help! Here are some of my easy to implement classroom organization tips for a successful school year.
Organize Your Physical Space
Start with planning out your classroom space for working areas such as centers, work spaces, flexible seating, art area, etc.
In my kindergarten classroom, I like to have student-focused areas such as a writing center, art center, guided reading area, classroom library, and tech space.
Included in my writing center are anchor charts to remind students about our learning of the writing process.
- Pencil anchor chart is a FREEBIE here
- My Pencil’s JOB! and Make my Writing Easy to Read FREEBIES here
I have easily accessible drawers to store my differentiated writing pages from DeeDeeWills that coincide with the monthly writing topics. I like to switch these out every other week to keep things fresh for my young writers!
Another student-focused learning space is my calendar area in the front of my classroom.
I made sure to plan out a whole group learning area since our calendar time / whole group math warm up is something we do daily as a whole class in kindergarten. Here’s the roundup of my calendar materials:
- Weather cards (Today’s weather / tomorrow’s weather): Target Dollar Spot a few years back
- Calendar cards (Today is, Yesterday was, Tomorrow will be): Kindercraze
- Monthly calendar cards / pattern calendar number cards: Kindercraze
- “Calendar” bulletin board header cards: Amy Groesbeck
In kindergarten another key to organizing physical space is to label everything! Flashback to my first kindergarten classroom (below) where I had simple numbered labels on all my student book boxes and cubbies. In my first year, I learned that every child needs a physical space for his or her materials in the classroom, so assigning each student a number is a great fix to this!
Now, flash forward 2 years and I learned to use student photos in addition to student numbers to help students feel a sense of belonging as I create a visually savvy organized space. Every child has a book box so they can go book shopping in the classroom library one day a week for “good fit books” and read them as an early finisher activity. Photos are a perfect way to label other spots in your classroom and encourage positive behavior as well as student role models.
Pro tip: I upgraded my cardboard IKEA book boxes for Lakeshore plastic book boxes and they have lasted me 5 going on 6 years! 100% worth the money!
Speaking of bins… having spare bins on hand is super helpful when organizing centers, extra activities, classroom transformations, etc. I keep them in my storage closet stacked up just in case on special days – you never know when you need another bin for that special art activity, class celebration, etc.
Organize Student Spaces / Materials
Let me start by saying some teacher truth: No matter how you organize student materials and supplies, they’re bound to get lost, broken or disorganized at some point in the year. But, modeling explicit expectations of using materials and keeping things organized how you want it at the beginning of the year will start you off with success! Model good organization habits by having your room well-organized ahead of time to prime kids to keep it that way.
That said, it is important to make space for each student. Making space for each student’s materials is not only a key to organization, but also a great way for student’s to feel at home in your classroom environment. Each student in my classroom has a cubby for his / her book box, a space for a book bag, and room for our individual pencil boxes.
Individual pencil boxes are a great way to teach students responsibility with their own supplies, as well as an opportunity for learning. My pencil box labels are a perfect opportunity for learning and time saver for transitions when students keep their pencil box on their desk and take them to / from each center throughout the day. It makes it so easy to let kids reference their name tag for letters, numbers, shapes, or colors!
If you’d like to hear more about my Classroom Organization, check out my Youtube video here: